My Instagram video reminded me how excited some were when the Yamaha RD350LC arrived: a “TZ or the road” they said. They were wrong and the work needed to convert the roadster to TZ spec was such that it wasn’t allowed to compete in the Formula 2 world championship. So here’s Ago on the real thing in 2011 on a celebration lap at Creg Ny Baa.
That the TZ was on the way was hinted at in 1971 when air cooled factory twins first appeared with four lugs welded on the front
While it might be true that Yamaha killed 750cc production racing with the slightly terrifying TZ750, this is proof they did intend it to be related to something in the showroom. The GL750 was part of the shock and awe Tokyo Salon 1971 show, and at the Paris Salon the following autumn it created a sensation on the Sonauto Yamaha stand. This would be the only time that the GL750 would leave Japanese soil, although there were rumours that as many as 800 were delivered to France
Ron Haslam was my racing hero before I even knew who Barry Sheene was. World of Sport was a Saturday afternoon TV show that screened everything from darts to wrestling, and occasionally a bout of road racing. Watching him wrestle Mal Carter’s Yamaha TZ750 around some gnarly British track was to behold a supernatural talent. Yet when post-race interviewers asked him how he was so quick he’d reply with something typically modest, including “I just lean it reet over”. He
This is Ron Haslam at his winningest best aboard a 1981 Honda CB1100R, the first sod-the-expense homologation special Honda built. When Suzuki cleaned up in production racing with the Katana, Honda built a big bore, track focused, missile based on the CB900F. In New Zealand - where only 20 or so bikes had to been built to homologate them - Suzuki wheeled out a wire wheeled (lighter back then) smoothbore carburetted and Yoshi cam'd Katana to carry on winning. In the UK the nu
This is my brother on his Suzuki Katana 1100, based around the 16 valve four cylinder GSX1100. Before Target came up with the ED1 in the previous post and the Katana, motorcycle seats were long and pillion accommodation extended far behind the rear axle. The stance was parallel to the road and the visual mass was usually central, or around the fuel tank and cylinder heads. Fairings, if fitted, were separate from the fuel tank. Target changed all that. The rider, fuel tank and