The recent popularity and classic bike revival in the UK has seen second hand spares and restored motorcycle values soar in recent years. It is now impossible to find an A1 restored Yamaha FS1-E for less than £3000! A popular 50cc moped with pedals (a legal requirement at the time for all mopeds) amongst newly-turned sixteen-year-olds back in the day, the late 1970s…twenty-five years later they have seen a revival and continue to be hugely popular and have amassed a cult following.
Due to legislation anyone over the age of 16 or with a car licence could ride one!
Originally called the FS1 (with a 5-speed gearbox), when it came to Europe it was called the FS1-E, was supplied with a 4-speed box and de-tuned!
Yamaha FS1-E Specification;
• Engine – Rotary valve 49cc single cylinder, two-stroke
• Gearbox – 4-speed (UK)
• Frame – Pressed tubular steel backbone
• Electrics – 6V
• Ignition – Flywheel magneto
• Drum brakes front and rear
• Kick start
• Dimensions – length 1900mm, width 740mm, height 1155mm
• Ground clearance – 145mm
• Seat height – 760mm
• Fuel take capacity – 9 litres, oil 1.3 litres
• Weight – 76kg
Disc brakes were added to later models (FS1 DX) as well as an oil pump so owners no longer had to pre-mix.
200,000 FS1-E’s were supplied to the UK.
They were good for 50mph derestricted which is why they were popular with teenagers and their newly-issued provisional licence. They were originally supplied without an oil pump so you had to manually pre-mix the leaded petrol and two-stroke oil, 20:1.
The trick is to find the next appreciating classic before the rest of the market do, which can be a real challenge. Take the Suzuki RGV250, to a lesser extent the Kawasaki KR1-S but certainly the Yamaha RD350 LC, YPVS or RD250, if you fancy one of these then start writing a business plan and posting it to your bank manager…or just sell the house if you long for a TZ350!
If you really want to purchase an affordable appreciating classic then you can find a decent Kawasaki ZXR750 for around £1200, a real game-changer in 1989 and bags full of BHP!
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