Yamaha YZR 500 GP racer
Tamiya occasionally decide to re-issue some of their older kits and I was especially pleased when they did a this with this one. Kit no 14001 was the first release in their successful range of 1/12 motorcycles back in 1980. this re-release seems pretty much unchanged except for the improved Cartograf decals. While the general design of the kit hasn’t changed too much through to the latest releases, it has evolved somewhat. Trying to fit the engine into the completed frame is extremely difficult, I found it better to build the frame around the engine, contrary to the instructions. The front forks are chrome plated
, easily removed with masking tape and a sanding stick.
Some history – Yamaha were trying to win the US dirt track championship but were frustrated in their efforts by the works Harley Davidson team. Yamaha therefore persuaded their star rider, American Kenny Roberts, to switch to road racing, sucessfully winning the world championship in 1978, 1979 and 1980, against their arch rivals Suzuki with their star rider the late, great Barry Sheene. Note to Tamiya, please can you re-release this kit as well.
Kenny Roberts, apart from his racing successes, is credited with two other motor sport achievements. One, his riding style, which was adapted from dirt track racing. Tackling the bends with the now uniformly adopted slow in, fast out, knee down, kicking the rear wheel out style. He was also something of a rebel and forced the authorities to bring in much needed safety improvements and a fairer allocation of prize money to the riders.
The Yamaha YZR 500 is powered by a four cyclinder, two stroke water-cooled engine of 498cc, coupled to a six speed gearbox. Yamaha have continually improved and adapted their designs, this picture
shows Valentino Rossi’s machine alongside in the special anniversary livery at the 2005 US GP.
Thanks for looking, George.
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.