the ultimate collection of ultimate bikes



                                             Classic Motocross DVD's on sale now
    Torsten Hallman interview                         Back to bike index


                 1971 Yamaha YZ250  reed valve    Torsten Hallman

  This is the very first works 250 Yamaha.  It is the bike that Torsten Hallman received in the spring of 1971.  Torsten had just signed a three year contract to develop Yamaha's GP motocross bikes.  At the time Suzuki was the only Japanese manufacturer competing in the World Championships and they were dominating.  Torsten, riding this very bike scored Yamaha's first ever points in a GP with a sixth place finish at the 1971 Dutch Grand-prix.  Nearly every part on the bike is hand built and weight was of most importance as it weighs only 185lbs.  This is one of the most Historical Yamahas in that it was the first bike built for all out GP motocross.  It was also ridden by the four time World Champion Torsten Hallman.  It is in the original condition after its last race, the 1971 Swedish grand-prix.

Torsten Hallman's comments:  I received this bike shortly after signing a 3 year contract with Yamaha.  At first there were reliability problems.  I thought that we had a long way to go before the bike would be good.  Yamaha's enthusiasm and resources were very impressive.  The rear hubs were braking right away.  The factory designed, built and shipped a new one in about two weeks.  We had problems with the suspension and I would tell the Yamaha engineers in Sweden what was wrong and they would tell the Kayaba engineers in Japan.  The changes were not working so good and the process was taking too long.  Kayaba then sent two engineers to work with me for about two months.  We got the suspension working good then.  I still preferred the Koni rear shocks though.  The motor was too far to the rear and this upset the weight distribution.  I modified a frame myself by moving the motor forward and this cured that problem.  The motor was very good and after much testing and changing things we had a GP worthy bike.  I scored Yamaha's first GP points with this bike with a sixth place in Holland.  Yamaha was very good about making the changes that I asked.  Most of the modifications were then used on the 1972 works bike.


                                               click upper image to enlarge







                                                                                        NEXT PAGE