Anyone in the know regarding classic Yamaha’s would know that Yamaha’s iconic FS1E has skyrocketed in value over the past few years, with complete original examples fetching several thousands of pounds. Many people in their 50s and 60s probably grew up with the FS1E as their first leaner legal moped riding on a provisional license and learner plates. Over the years many tall stories have emerged of 100mph bored out examples, usually with questionable tuning methods by teenage tearaways.

Yamaha FS1E available on ebay

During one of my regular surfing evenings on ebay I found this genuine 1973 barn find Yamaha FS1E for sale, last registered for road use in 1982! The engine is seized, and one of the side panels is missing. The bike may have also had a replacement engine in its life, based on information within the log book. Whilst there is obviously plenty of rust to contend with, the frame appears to be solid and should be able to restore.

Tackling the restoration of your Yamaha FS1e

With a motorcycle that has sat for so long and has a seized engine, and simple service isn’t going to be enough and you’ll need to look at a complete strip down of all components to check viability for restoration. There are still plenty of parts available for the engine, and an active owner group can also help you out with sourcing spare parts and provide restoration advice.

An area which often gets overlooked is the fuel tank, which can easily rust out if exposed to the elements. Finding new old stock tanks is virtually impossible, therefor finding a good restorer or good condition second hand tank may be your best bet. If you are planning to keep and possible use after the restoration, having the tank inside rust treated is also a worthwhile investment.

Modern fuels are generally bad news for classic motorcycles due to the additives and ethanol content, being hydroscopic and trapping moisture within the tank. If you are planning to tackle the restoration yourself you may want to consider reorganising your garage and working area, in addition to some new tools. We created a workshop tools article which may provide some inspiration. You may also want to check out our article regarding ethanol in fuel to understand how this impacts classic bikes, and what options you have.

Happy bidding on the Yamaha FS1E

If you are planning to bid on the FS1E we wish you the best of luck, and please let us know your plans for the bike. Every classic bike saved from the breakers is a win in the classic bike community, and look forward to hearing about your restoration plans. Remember to check-in on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest channels.

Ride safe,

Al (barnfindmotorcycle.com)


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