The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Bike: 1965 Yamaha YM-1
Owner: Greg Davis
Hometown: Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Etc.: Greg also has a passion for powered free-flight model aircraft.
Bio: Greg Davis' love for his 1965 Yamaha YM-1 was sparked by a ride on a classic British motorcycle, of all things. Greg credits a ride on a BSA 250 for turning him on to bikes, but the look of Britain’s best didn’t appeal to him. English bikes looked cobbled together when compared to the Japanese bikes of the day, he says, as though they were assembled from a disparate set of pieces … which in many cases they were. Even so, the Japanese bikes of the time didn’t get much respect.
“Guys would ride them in the bush and wreck them,” says Greg, “then trade up to bigger bikes. The word was that the Yamahas didn’t last; but it was because they’d been thrashed off-road.”
The passion for mid-Sixties Yamaha twins lingered and smoldered. By the time he was earning his own money, Greg decided he had to have one of the Yamaha strokers. In 1966, as his first new bike, Greg collected a red YM-1 from Cariboo Motorcycles in Port Moody, BC, near Vancouver. Greg was determined it would be no garage ornament, and in just two years he had piled on 10,000 miles, during which time the bike proved reliable and durable. But the lure of more cubes meant Greg soon sold the YM-1, replacing it with a four-stroke Yamaha XS650.
“I always had a soft spot for the YM-1,” says Greg. “I thought one day it would be nice to restore one.”