Archive: Earls Court Show 1966

With a whopping price tag of £526-12s the Yamaha far exceeded most other race machinery on offer and was way ahead of all other 250s on price. Bultaco was still riding on the crest of a wave in the 250 class; it scooped a 1-2-3 in the previous year’s Ulster Grand Prix, and the price tag was a slightly more affordable £485, four whole pounds less than Aermacchi’s pushrod 250.

But when it came to performance the Yamaha had the edge, and although sales initially proved slow in the UK the two-stroke 250 sold like hot cakes in the USA.

Article continues below...

Enjoy more Classic Racer reading in the monthly magazine.
Click here to subscribe & save.

When you consider the average annual wage in 1966 was a princely £1333 (It is £31,309 in 2013) and the average house price had reached £3840, you have to wonder how anyone afforded to go racing. But afford it they did, and within a couple of years the Yamaha production racers had swept all before them. bike

Classic images like this can be purchased from the Mortons Archive.

Subscribe to Classic Racer Magazine Enjoy more Classic Racer reading in the bi-monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.