The fork restoration includes hard to find stickers up with a surprisingly loud crackle given the size of the silencer and Brice hurtles off to our prearranged location ready for some action shots, -ollowing the wraith-like trail of partially combusted 2T we plot up and snap away as the bike is worked up and down the box and hustled through the bends. If Yamaha's intention was to make a visual micro statement they certainly succeeded.

Once it's my turn to pilot the diminutive yel ow missile I have to totally recalibrate any expectations, preconceptions and opinions I may have harboured. Firstly, there is no argument that the GR is tiny; sit on the seat and my backside is right against the bumstop. The next thing noticed is that the foot pegs; although a little too far forward in true 70s style, don't leave the rider's legs cramped or hunched up. Observation number three reveals knees that are closer to the steering head than normal and a long way up the :ank.

Anyway, with the freshly rebuilt engine happily burbling away it's into first gear and away. With less than 5bhp on tap prcgress is never going to be rapid but the GR gets a relative wiggle on and we're soon 7ipping up and down the box, enjoying the hills and bends of the ru'al Essex. After allowing a few minutes to get accustomed to the bike I find myself laughing; this is actually highly entertaining. The apparently lightweight and flimsy frame of the GR does its job without drama and the rear shocks more than keep up their end (and this rider's bulk). The front forks feel basic but then only one leg has a spring fitted so it's entirely reasonable to expect something slightly less than refined than with a normal twin-spring setup. However, you might argue such designs were ground breaking and not necessarily penny-pinching as man/ larger modern machines run similar systems.

What does surprise is the bike's initially a most flighty, ability to change direction; there's nothing maverick about the hand ing but it's very easy to get from the gutter to crown of the road in the blink of an eye. The ccmbination of a miniscule wheelbase and a chassis derived from a trail bike probably conspire to allow such rapid moves, but once you're acfcwstomed to the characteristics it reaRy isn't an issue or cause for concern

In deference to the freshly restored motor, the tact that its owmsf doesn't even know it's finished and trre Dike is due to be cleaned again prior t\being shipped to Ireland tomorrow, the Keys are reluctant y handed back tc Chris anclthen it hits me. Despite the pint-sized natu of the bike I never felt cramped. How come? At stationary the machine feels like a toy; only a I ttle bigger than a large mini-moto. Yet on the road the machine felt and behaved like a full-sized machine; I never actually felt cramped, uncomfortable or in any way compromised. It's k safe and very viable motorcycle. I've ririden much bigger machines that would have been immeasurably better hati they deferred to the GR's ergonomics. Chrte, Brice and I study the Yamaha GR50 oier a cogitative cuppa and ruminate. \

Most manufacturers will produce a new machine using as many^.ommon parts as possible from existing v\ machines. Crawling all over the GB50 there are some components that lob.k familiar to your average Yamorak but still quite a few that don't. The tank arid seat unit are almost certainly unique to \ the GR50/80; dit:o the exhaust system and odd-sized wheels. The frame on our

The float bowl Isn't much smaller than the piston

The float bowl Isn't much smaller than the piston

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