’72 Yamaha DS7 250
The little giant killer. 250cc’s that could outrun bikes twice it’s size without breaking a sweat…and on top that, do it quite comfortably. For a 250. The Yamaha DS7 was the basis for a fantastically successful roadracer, the TD3, and at the same time touted as a fine middleweight (?) tourer. This little 250 put out all of 24 horsepower…more than most 350’s and some 500’s of the time, and in race trim, up to over 40!. Top speed was calculated at just short of 90mph (which is the same as my Honda 350), and, for a two stroke had a very respectable amount of torque…you actually could ride two up on this little bike.
There are good racing stories about the Yamaha 250’s…throughout the 1970’s, the DS7 based Yamaha roadracers were dominant around the world. Piloted by champions like Kel Carruthers, Phil Read, and Jarno Saarinen, the Yamaha’s toppled Europe’s kings.
Another little side story here about the little 250; my step dad Michael, who got me started in the motorcycling life, also thought he could get my mother riding…delusional was one of Michael’s more endearing qualities. I got the phone call one afternoon “come meet me at Van Nuys Yamaha, bring the truck…” Next thing I know we have a gold metalflake DS7 in the garage. Mom came home that evening took one look at it and said, ” thanks but no thanks.” Over the next couple of years, Michael, myself and my friend Ted flogged that little Yamaha through every canyon road in Southern California. We had a blast on that bike, we would regularly humiliate bigger and so called ‘faster’ bikes with that little DS7…well, until there was a long straightaway. It started every time, never quit, and provided more grins than just about any motorbike any of us had at the time…thanks mom.
I found this really nice stock DS7 on ebay and I think that anybody looking for a great little commuter bike, a bike to get someone started in motorcycling, or if you just happen to be a fan of small bikes (like me…not that you would want to be like me…), this is a great bike. Light, narrow, great handling, good looking, low maintenance, fun to ride, and…a good deal. What more could you possibly want ?? Click on the pics below for more.