Not a road test, but certainly worthwhile reading of a legendary designer.
"The ugly duckling, powered by the world's most sophisticated mass production four-stroke engine, has blossomed into beauty."
"An upstart from Italy takes on the Champ"
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"With one of these screamers and $1647, you too can be a boy racer ... for at least a year"
"First-rate performance at a cut-rate price"
"The Thumper returns to America"
"The car that already is a legend takes on the motorcycle that soon will be."
They got that one right. The Vmax has had a cult following nearly from day one.
"We promise you. This motorcycle will never bore you or gently romance you with lulling softness. The RZ is as intense as a medieval call to arms."
"Vibration-free engine performance and comfortable, spacious rider/passenger accommodations make the Venture equal to the best touring bikes. Its strong, broad powerband and delightfully agile handling make it better."
"No longer is the IT poor cousin to the YZ. This year the 490 benefits from the same bump in displacement and the same new Monocross system as the motocrosser--and that's terrific news for cross-country riders."
"Because of the success of the 650 and 750 Specials, an XS Eleven tilted in the same direction was inevitable. But somebody should pass the word to Yamaha: Specials don't have to be near this good."
"Before 1076 Enduro riders modified YZs for woods work. The machine's performance? So-so. Then along came the IT-C, a factory-modified YZ; the IT was an adequate but uninspired enduro bike. Later, while the 1977-78 YZs took a technological leap, the ITs plodded along--nice, but hardly devastating machines. This year's IT400F combines advanced YZ technology with traditional IT trickness. Performance? Truly exceptional."
"Think of the Daytona Special as a two-wheeled universal symbol of ill will. Obstreperous, irreverent and probably immoral, the RD bounces to a good-time cadence all its own--and provides more fun, and more temptation, than any street bike currently for sale."
"The Bad News: For no good reason, there's a shortage of high-quality 175 dirt bikes. The Good News: The few that are available are really good. The Bottom Line: With progress in the form of an upgraded suspension system, a chrome-moly frame and a new yard-long power curve, the Yamaha IT175F falls into the category of Really Good."
"The D-model's thunderous power has been united with a reworked suspension. Result? The new YZ400E, an open class weapon that handles like a 250."
"Seven years of refinement have made this Sixties-inspired streeter into a motorcycle for all seasons and almost every purpose."
"You don't have to own one-piece leathers and fancy boots and hotsy-totsy zip-back gloves to feel like a racer. All you need is a darting road and this cat-quick Yamaha."