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Thread: Vintage Motorcycle Projects

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    19

    Default Vintage Motorcycle Projects

    As there is not a motorcycle project specific section... I thought this "Pre 1970" area would be the proper place to post up one of my projects.
    I am a lover of vintage Yamaha Enduros and also the very early street bikes.. all 2 strokes.
    To me the stuff Yamaha was putting out then was very cutting edge and though Honda and others were making very good 4 stroke units, the direction and effort Yamaha put into developing their 2 stroke twins and singles won races and created some very special bikes.
    This post is about my favorite bike project I own.

    1964 Yamaha YDS3 Catalina

    20200703_101732.jpg

    20200821_135154.jpg
    Last edited by Soonerbillz; 12-02-2020 at 09:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    19

    Default

    This bike is very special. The YDS3 was 3rd entry of the YD series road bikes Yamaha produces very early on. Preceding this model was the YD, then in 1962 & 1963 came the YDS2 which was very much improved and then my bike.
    The YDS3 was produced from early 1964 until 1967 when Yamaha introduced the RD series.
    What makes my bike special is the following:
    .. In late 1963 Yamaha issued to dealers details on the new YDS3 specs. It included the ground breaking Autolube injection system, a much improved frame and suspension plus a mayiad or other improvements. It was lighter, faster and much easier to operate than anything offered to date. Or so the factory said!
    So dealers and buyers were very much anxious to get them in the dealerships floors.
    The problem was that Yamaha had yet in early 1964 to have some new YDS3 specific items in full production. The new fuel tanks, wheels and fork yokes specifically. But the dealers were really putting the heat on the factory to get the new motors out so Yamaha built around 3K units fitted with parts from the previous YDS2 model.. front fenders and the tanks were made specially for these models, Yds2 yokes and wheels were fitted... as were several other special made items. these bikes were produced from early 1964 to around mid year. They were distributed mainly in Japan and Europe though a number did make it to the United States. After that time the bikes were produced using the new parts that became available. The early bikes have become know as "6 month" units.. these are easily identified by the serial numbers as they all had 4 digit serials whereas the later ones have 5+ digit serials.
    The big giveaway is the round tuning fork badges on the fuel tanks. The later units all have rectangular badges.

    20200820_132817.jpg

    6 Month YDS3

    1966 YDS3.jpg

    Late 1964 and later YDS3

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    19

    Default

    The first pic is my bike. It is serial # 2306
    Unfortunately .. as was with many 6 month bikes.. a previous owner modified the bike to make it look like a later bike. The correct oem round badge tank was swapped for a later rectangular badge version. the original front fender was bobbed and a few other things were done.
    I have had this bike in my collection for around 10 years now (haven't done much anything to it yet) and have been lucky to find most all the correct parts I need to do a proper restoration.
    ..... except for the correct fuel tank. I can tell you they are pretty much unobtainable. I have looked for years without success. It's very disheartening.
    The 1962 model used a similar round badge tank. That tank looks very similar in design but the profile is different slightly, the mounting lugs are completely different and the manner they are attached make removal difficult. Bottom line is the 1962 tank will not work on a 1964 bike.. at all!

    received_272114974098289.jpg

    This is a 1962 YDS2 fuel tank that I have purchased.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Here are some pics of a 1964 vs a 1962 tank

    My intentions are to take the 2 tanks and make one correct tank for my bike.
    Thoughts and ideas on tackling this project are appreciated.

    62 yds tank.jpg

    1962 YDS2 with the round badge I need

    64 yamaha tank.jpg

    Late 1964-67 YDS3 rectangular badge tank.
    Has correct mounts for my bike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    45,289

    Default

    Would it be easier to switch out the mounts?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Len View Post
    Would it be easier to switch out the mounts?
    You would think so.. I did too. But it turns out that frame on the 62 model is much higher up on the top so that tanks tunnel sit much higher than the 64 model.
    Also the top tube to the main frame is wider on the 64 and the rear tunnel galley is kinda squared off when compared to the 62 tank. The tanks look similar but in reality they are very different.
    I think cutting the side panels out and then butt welding the round badge into the rectangle tank is where I'm going on this part of the project.

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