Restored Rocket: Yutaka Hoshi’s Yamaha TZ 250 Manufacturing unit Racer


Yamaha produced the mighty TZ 250 from 1973 all over to 2004. When the mannequin was first launched its 2-cylinder, water-cooled two-stroke engine produced 51bhp and was able to a prime velocity in extra of 150 mph (240km/h). The mannequin was bought commercially to the general public as a factory-built race bike and through its first yr of manufacturing, a TZ250 piloted by German rider Dieter Braun secured a World Championship title. 

In 1981 Yamaha utterly redesigned the TZ 250 platform. The all-new design used a revised engine that had been confirmed succesful by Yamaha racer Kenny Roberts of their 500cc machines. The mannequin boasted an elevated energy determine of 57bhp, considerably improved reliability, a lighter body, bigger forks, an extended swingarm and absolutely adjustable mono-shock suspension. This bike, which was noticed on show on the 2022 Mooneyes Yokohama Sizzling Rod and Customized Present, is a 1982 Yamaha TZ 250J. It’s the work of Yutaka Hoshi, the person behind the Japanese workshop Rocket Bikes which is situated within the Ibaraki Prefecture on Japan’s east coast.

The undertaking was primarily a restoration. Yutaka-san discovered the bike in Shizuoka close to the well-known Fuji speedway the place it had doubtless as soon as raced. The drained outdated TZ had been sitting unloved for many years so, with the purpose of using it himself at traditional Japanese race occasions, he spent 6 months restoring The TZ 250J to near-new, all-original situation.

“This bike hadn’t labored in 37 years, so I took all of it aside, cleaned it, and reassembled it,” says Yutaka-san. “The engine was in superb situation, however the cowling had small cracks and soiled restore marks, so I had a tough time with the groundwork.”

With the acquisition of the bike got here an intensive assortment of spares. The high-revving two-stroke engine of the TZ 250 wants common rebuilds so the earlier proprietor had a great inventory available to maintain his race bike performing its greatest. Many of those had been put to make use of throughout the restoration however some issues had been lacking.  So to finish the undertaking Yutaka-san launched into a world search to supply all the pieces he wanted.

Essentially the most distinctive facet of this restored TZ 250J is the color scheme which Yutaka-san designed himself. The velocity block sample and graphics structure had been impressed instantly by the bikes ridden by Yamaha race staff legend, “King” Kenny Roberts.

In 1978 Yamaha invited their grime observe racing champion, Kenny Roberts, to compete within the European World Championship Grand Prix. Many thought Roberts stood no probability of securing any stage wins that yr because of his lack of street racing expertise and information of the European tracks. Nevertheless, by the top of the season, Roberts had bagged sufficient factors and podium placements to return house with the World Championship title.

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Kenny’s World Championship win marked the primary time an American had received the title however much more spectacular was that Robert’s unorthodox model of street racing, which was closely influenced by his grime observe using, revolutionized bike street racing. King Kenny repeated his World Championship win for each the 1979 and 1980 seasons. For these causes and lots of of his different contributions to bike racing, Kenny Roberts was named a Grand Prix Legend by the Worldwide Motorcycling Federation.

The bike that impressed Yutaka-san’s design was King Kenny’s Championship successful 1980 Yamaha OW48. The two bikes schemes are nearly equivalent except for the quantity 2 race quantity versus Kenny’s 1. Yutaka-san has additionally opted to place his personal nickname, Hossy, on the edges of the windscreen and went with a blue Yamaha scheme versus the yellow of Roberts’ race bike. The ultimate paintwork was laid by Wedge bikes whereas the race numbers and Hossy lettering are the work of Japanese pinstripe artist Shakin’ Speedgraphix.

Sadly, the pandemic has put a cease to a number of race occasions in Japan this yr the place Yutaka-san deliberate to interrupt in his freshly accomplished Yamaha TZ 250. You’ll be able to relaxation assured although that as quickly as issues return to regular this bike can be getting its fair proportion of time on the observe…and hopefully successful a couple of trophies of its personal.




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