Styled on Eddie Lawson’s YZR500 race bike (albeit very loosely) and engineered for laughs, Yam gag bikes are huge fun
The reet petite Yamaha YSR50 and 80, cult and cool
They call them gag bikes and Yamaha were certainly in on the joke going by the self-deprecating humour of the sales literature that accompanied the 1986 arrival of the YSR80 3CE and YSR50 2UE tiddlers. “Look what we’ve been reduced to,” was the advertising tag.the funniest thing of all is that apart from their own domestic Japanese market, Yamaha were primarily aiming the YSRS at the bigger-boned denizens of North America. “Just about everybody could end up riding one,” concluded Yamaha’s spiel, “provided they’re small-minded enough.”
It isn’t really the rider’s mind that needs to be small if they’re contemplating gag bike ownership. Physical attributes are rather more critical when considering tinyengined machines with 12-inch pressed-steel wheels and a 25.6-inch seat height.that didn’t prevent them selling in their droves and there were race series for those supple enough to fold themselves onto the bikes.
Powered by reed-valve, air-cooled two-stroke singles purloined from the RD/DT50 and 80MX, the engines were simplicity themselves.
Close-ratio five-speed gearboxes
allowed a rider to coax every morsel out of the power output.the 50 was limited to 37.5mph (not in Japan).
The styling had marginally more sophistication.aiming to capitalise on the popularity of works rider Eddie Lawson, the YSR’S fairing was styled after his YZR500 factory racer.the steel frame’s lines mimicked those of a bigger sportsbike. Or as Yamaha put it: “The frame on our smallest highperformance street bike looks a lot like that of our highest performance street bike.” Maybe, if the YSR was half the distance closer to the viewer than, say, an FZ. Suspension-wise there were basic teles up front and a Monocross monoshock at the back. Braking was a single-piston sliding caliper and tiny disc to the fore and a drum brake aft.
More than a mere novelty, the YSR was seen by many as a viable alternative to a scooter.whether you think one might be a good idea now largely depends what the bathroom scales are telling you and how vulnerable you might feel riding along a couple of feet off the floor looking like someone’s wedged a Tamiya model of a YZR500 in your arse-crack.
“Whether you think one might be a good idea now largely depends on what the bathroom scales are telling you”
Capacity: 49/79cc Power: 7.25/8.67bhp Top speed: 37/60mph Dry weight: 75kg (165lb)
Getting some lean on – and we refer to the machine NOT the ample rider