1989 YAMAHA OW-01

Classic Bike (UK) - - EVENT -

With the au­tumn Stafford show nom­i­nally con­cen­trat­ing on later clas­sics, it seems only right that Bonhams’ sale re­flects the rise in in­ter­est in ma­chines of the ’80s and ’90s – and this Yamaha FZR750R OW-01 is a per­fect ex­am­ple. Yamaha built the OW-01, a racer on the road rather than just an­other sports bike, for one rea­son only – to en­able the fac­tory to com­pete on the World Su­per­bike stage.

Rules stip­u­lated that man­u­fac­tur­ers had to have of­fered 500 of any model used in the se­ries on open sale. The re­sult was the birth of the ho­molo­ga­tion spe­cials – bikes built to sat­isfy the let­ter of the su­per­bike law – and the FZR750R joined Honda’s RC30, Suzuki’s GSX-R750RR and Kawasaki’s ZXR750R on the race tracks and, for a rel­a­tive hand­ful of lucky own­ers, the roads.

Far rarer than the RC30 (just 500 were built) and even more ex­pen­sive when it was new at £12,700 (plus an­other £2415 for the race kit), the OW-01 is very de­sir­able. This one (part of the Basil Keys col­lec­tion) is even more so – a UK mar­ket model, it has been on the road for just three post-pdi miles since be­ing de­liv­ered new to its mo­tor­cy­cle dealer ven­dor in 1989. The un­reg­is­tered bike has racked up an­other three miles from be­ing pushed round show­rooms in which it has been dis­played. The engine was last run in 2008, so needs recom­mis­sion­ing. Es­ti­mate: £25,000-35,000.

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