Onboard the Yamaha TZ750 - Canyon Riding - Palomar, California

What are the chances seeing a Yamaha TZ750 carving up the canyons? None you say?


Well it just so happens that there is a guy somewhere in the world, with enough money and tasste  to own such a machine and enough guts to ride the thing on public roads, on 20 year old slicks and ancient suspension, just for the fun of it.

Hats off to you sir!

(The camera bike is a Ducati Hypermotard)


Yamaha TZ750 - Sunday fun
Yamaha TZ750 - Sunday fun




The official Yamaha 350 racer, Jarno Saarinen, rode to victory in the 1973 Imola 200 Miles after having won that year's Daytona 200. It was at the Imola race that motorcycle fans first got word of the four-cylinder Yamaha 700, a new speed demon that had been built by the most famous manufacturer of international racing motorcycles to challenge the Suzuki and Kawasaki three-cylinder 750s.
Saarinen was responsible for the publicity leak, although it was not all that indiscreet. The new Yamaha engine consisted of two 350-cc. racing engines put together. In tests it generated 140 h.p.

The Yamaha 700 was tested secretly on the company's own track. Giacomo Agostini, who had joined the team, tried it out first after the test driver Hideo Kanaya had tuned it. Agostini had switched to Yamaha chiefly to race formula 750 in the
United States. He rode the new 700 to win the 1974 Daytona 200 Miles and the Imola 200, sister race of the Daytona. From that moment on, the 750 class throughout the world was the exclusive property of official and private riders of the Yamaha, except for occasional sorties by Kawasaki and Suzuki.

At first the four-cylinder 700 had an engine built by putting together a pair of two-cylinder Yamaha 350s with gill-port distribution. The engine generated some 115 h.p., making possible a top speed of about 185 m.p.h. The chassis had the classic double cradle with traditional suspension. Altogether the motorcycle weighed over 350 pounds, which was too much for a racing motorcycle. Agostini tried out an interesting chassis modification in order to improve the vehicle's maneuverability and stability.


Yamaha TZ750 - parked on a fence!
Yamaha TZ750 - parked on a fence!


A rear suspension with triangulated Yamaha 700 Four-cylinder
swinging fork was installed. The upper arm worked the single central shock absorber, which was mounted in a semihorizontal position under the fuel tank.
The new type of suspension, called "monocross" or "cantilever," was installed on all subsequent Yamaha racers. In 1975 the TZ 700 became the TZ 750. It was not a question of merely increasing displacement, but involved an overhaul of both the engine and the chassis. The Yamaha Daytona had always looked bulky and clumsy, but after this overhauling it looked sleek and powerful.
The Yamaha TZ 750 was unbeatable in formula 750 racing. Suzuki and Kawasaki turned out new models without being able to overtake it.
Until the end of the 1976 season, Cecotto, Roberts, Romero, Agostini, and Victor Palomo—FIM formula 750 champion in 1976—rode official, private, or partially-assisted Yamaha TZ 750s. Thanks chiefly to its mechanical robustness and its 140 h.p., this motorcycle dominated the major speed races.

Motorcycle: Yamaha TZ 750 (model OW 31, official 1976 version) Manufacturer: Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd.,
Type: Daytona and FIM formula 750 Year: 1976
Engine: Yamaha four-cylinder in-line, two-stroke, with cross-port distribution. Displacement 750 cc. (66 mm. x54 mm.)
Cooling: Water
Transmission: Six-speed block
Power: About 140 h.p. at 10,700 r.p.m.
Maximum speed: Over 185 m.p.h.
Chassis: Double cradle, continuous, tubular. Front, telescopic fork suspension; rear, cantilever telescopic suspension
Brakes: Front, double hydraulic disk; rear, single hydraulic disk


Yamaha TZ750 - parked on a fence!
Yamaha TZ750 - parked on a fence!




  1. The old slicks are on the tire rack.
    Bike has Avon Super Venom, which were the only reasonably sticky tires I could find that would fit.
    I may be crazy, but I ain't stupid. :o)
    Had to ride somewhat conservative pace since the back tire is only a 140 on a skinny rim.
    It has been run on Palomar about half a dozen times since I got it a few years ago.
    FWIW: I'll be 64 in January.

  2. PS: Have also run a Y 2 K jet bike, a 2015 Kaw H 2 Ninja, a Bimota Tesi 3 D, and a 1936 Harley Knuckle along with a few dozen other bikes on The Hill.

  3. Hat's off Chris. Owning and maintaining such a legendary bike is no small feat. Running it on the roads is almost legendary.
    How do you find parts for maintaining the bike? They must be pretty rare, or non existent.

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