05 February, 2011

Welcome Back Little Yamaha

My first restoration project was a 1964 Yamaha YJ1 Riverside 55. I picked it up at a local car dealership, shortly after moving to Chico. It came as a basic bike with a cardboard box full of parts. It was fairly complete, but very rough:

After an hour of teardown, I had this:

I have to admit, I outdid myself on the frame. I spent weeks getting it down to bare metal and getting the frame as smooth as possible:

After a bit of assembly:

At this point, I needed a motor, as the original was a rusty hulk. Thanks to craiglist, I came across a running Yamaha GT80. I originally pulled the motor out for the YJ1 and had it running for a few months on that engine. After swapping the GT80 engine for the YSR50 engine, I ended up doing a hot rod weekend project out of the GT80, as shown below:

At this point, the YJ1 was running with the GT80 engine:

Another shot of the running YJ1 with GT80 engine:

A few months later, I came across an ugly but running YSR50 race bike. The engine had a high compression piston and carbon reed valves, so it ran very strong:

I ran the YJ1 with the YSR50 motor for a while, but frankly never really finished it. I never fit a front brake, or made proper foot pegs (the existing ones are way too low) or even wired in a on/off switch. Thanks to other projects it got relegated to storage duty. Until today. The little YJ1 is now front and center in the garage:

I actually plumbed in a new fuel line and filter, put in some fresh fuel, and it fired right up. So of course I can ran it around the block.

I'll be making up a list of things to complete over the next few weeks.



Ronnie said...

Nice yamaha gt 80 can you tell me what size of rims and tires you have on it?

Andrew Jaques said...

Hi, love the GT80 too. I've got one i'm building at the moment. Can you tell me how you extended the upper fork tubes through the yoke? I'd like to lower mine a little. Thanks, Andrew