Property of a deceased's estate
c.1973 Yamaha 525cc Three-Cylinder Racing Motorcycle
Engine no. 521-001240
Although the most famous three-cylinder Yamaha racer is that built by the Dutch importer and used by Takazumi Katayama to win the World 350cc Championship in 1977, it was not the first such machine to grace the racetrack. American tuner Doug Schwerma is credited with being the first to add a third cylinder to a Yamaha twin (a 350cc TR2) to make a 525cc triple, while in the UK one of the first to try the idea was Sheffield-based engineer Tony Dawson, creator of the Astralite wheel, who built the original SCITSU triple in 1973. Among others who went down the same route were Ted Broad, Dennis Trollope and Arnold Fletcher of Len Manchester Motorcycles.
Depending on which Yamaha engine was used - 250cc TD or 350cc TR - and the size of the additional cylinder, a range of different capacities could be arrived at. Thus combining a 350 twin with a 250 cylinder resulted in a 475cc unit, ideal for the 500cc class, while if the additional cylinder was from a 350, the capacity would be 525cc making the machine eligible for the 750cc or unlimited classes. It should be remembered that this was before the arrival of the Yamaha TZ750 and Suzuki RG500 made it possible for privateers to buy purpose-built racing machinery for these two classes.
The machine offered here was constructed in its present form by the Gaskin brothers - Mark and Paul, proprietors of Gov'nors Bridge Motorcycles approximately 12 years ago, using a Maxton-type frame and a three-cylinder Yamaha-based engine built in the 1970s by Dutch engineer, Karel Zegers. It had been believed that the frame might have come from the original SCITSU, but when this motorcycle was examined by Tony Dawson at Stafford in April 2013 he was unable to confirm this. Various sources maintain that the original SCITSU frame was cut up, and it is certainly the case that the original SCITSU engine was fitted into a mono-shock frame, probably in the late 1970s. The SCITSU in that form has belonged to the same private collector for over 30 years.
Gov'nors Bridge raced their Yamaha triple with some success, including a 4th place at Daytona in 2002, before selling it to Ian Millard. Mr Millard kept the Yamaha for some ten years before selling it to the late owner a couple of years ago. There are no documents with this Lot, which is offered without reserve.