2017 Shannons Melbourne Winter Classic Auction
1973 Yamaha SC500 YZ Motorcycle
This lot is no longer available
A relative latecomer to the motorcycle market, Yamaha’s first bike – the YA-1 – was launched in 1955 and the company quickly established itself through competition success, both at home and abroad. Yamaha reached out to a wider market building excellent off road bikes, starting with the 250cc DT-1 and 360cc RT-1 in 1969, backed by a successful racing program in North America and Europe. Victorious in the 500 National Championship in 1973 thanks to Dutchman Pierre Karsmakers, Yamaha offered its first large capacity motocross bike that same year, badged the SC500. Powered by a reed-valve two-stroke single, the SC500 packed a lot of punch delivered through a four-speed gearbox, while the bike’s suspension consisted of inline axle front forks with four inches of travel plus remote reservoir rear shocks. The SC500 was a brutally fast, somewhat cantankerous bike with a reputation for poor reliability but these days most of the problems can be cured with easy fixes. Yamaha only sold the SC500 for two years – in ’73 the bikes were finished in silver and the ‘74s came in yellow, while the other major difference was the adoption of electronic ignitoin, replacing the points – and survivors are few and far between, with only a handful in Australia. As an early Yamaha scrambler, the SC500 is a real rarity and a great addition to any vintage motocross collection.