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Snow riding and my new LC

Mon, 21 Jan 2013

I reckon the only thing to do when the snow comes is to get on a bike and my weapon of choice is usually a Yamaha TTR 125. I’ve had TTRs in the garage now for around eight years after Raceways Yamaha in Fleetwood put some on offer for just £900 and apart from a few broken spokes and worn out gearbox sprockets they have been indestructible.

One of the two has an electric start and incredibly starts as easily as the day I took delivery. I change the oil and clean the air filters but I have mates that never touch or clean their bikes and they still never miss a beat. These little five speed four strokes have no power and are pretty quiet so the neighbours don’t complain when we thrash round our back yard. And having no power is the key as you can practice skills and low speed crashing while having fun no matter what the weather brings. 

Three years ago I succumbed to the lure of a fat cheque and sold my mint Yamaha 350LC. A month later I was regretting my decision but I’ve finally managed to bag another white/blue Elsie and this one is going nowhere. Apart from sporting a pair of Allspeed pipes she is completely standard but the motor sounds sweet and even the tax and MOT is current.  Some minor titivating and I should be ready for the first Bassetts Pole bike meet of 2013 to show her off!

And staying with an all Yamaha blog I was sad to hear that on January 13th long time Yamaha France boss Jean Claude Olivier lost his life in a car accident. I first met JCO in eighties in the GP paddock when he was a front runner in the Paris Dakar events. I always thought he had a mad look in his eyes but he was also a very charismatic man, hard as nails and a great leader. He signed me to ride for the Yamaha France 500 GP squad in 1992 then for the Le Mans and the Bol 24 hour races in 1994 & 1999. He played a massive part in Yamaha’s success in the French market so will be sadly missed by the Japanese firm but also by anyone that ever shook his hand. R.I.P. JCO. 

By Niall Mackenzie

See also: 2013 Dakar Rally Results, Yamaha Kicks Off 2013 MotoGP Promotional Campaign with Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo – Video, The Pursuit of Yamaha-ness – A Message from Yamaha’s CEO.