2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction

1965 Yamaha YDS3 250cc Motorcycle





Engine Twin-cylinder, 246cc
Gearbox 5-speed manual
Colour Red & White


This lot is no longer available

A relative latecomer to the motorcycle market, Yamaha’s first model – the YA-1 – was launched in 1955 and the company quickly established itself through competition success, both at home and abroad.  A series of models based on contemporary German DKW and Adler designs followed, including the two-stroke YD-1.  It’s successor, the YDS-2, redefined the 250cc market, putting racing technology into a mass produced road bike.  Powered by a two-stroke parallel twin with a bore and stroke of 56mm x 50mm, the YDS-2 had a single piston-port intake and exhaust per cylinder, with twin transfer ports.  The five-speed gearbox used a crank-mounted clutch, which ultimately became the Yamaha’s achilles heel – the design was revised several times and the clutch shaft diameter was increased to 25mm on the YDS-3 in an effort to avoid disaster.  The list of standard features was impressive - a duplex frame, three-way adjustable rear shock absorbers, twin leading shoe front brake and adjustable friction steering damper, plus steering lock and tyre pump as standard.  Three paint colours were offered; most were either red or blue with a white pearl finish on the fuel tank but a small number came in black with fern silver tank and side panels.  Thanks to its excellent performance and ‘Autolube’ separate oil supply system, the third generation YDS launched in 1964 attracted many new fans to the Japanese brand, putting Yamaha firmly on the map.  One of the more significant models in Yamaha’s early history, the YDS-3 was sportier than contemporary Hondas and these classic lightweight twins remain highly collectible today, with a loyal following around the globe.