Yamaha backs classic riding team

Features bikes and riders from glorious ’60s and ’70s

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 14, 2008
Yamaha Motor Europe is throwing its support behind the Yamaha Classic Racing Team (YCRT).

Founded by former Yamaha Grand Prix mechanic Ferry Brouwer, the YCRT aims to conserve Yamaha’s history from the late ’60s to the ’70s with appearances. Yamaha will now officially back the team by providing technical, promotional and financial support.

“The relation between Yamaha, the Yamaha Classic Racing Team and Ferry Brouwer has been close for many years and continues to grow in strength. The step to make it official is a logical one," says Laurens Klein Koerkamp, racing division manager for Yamaha Motor Europe. “The passion for the Yamaha brand, the technology of the bikes and its racing history is something we all share.”

Brouwer owns 14 classic Yamaha motorcycles in top condition, including both restored production machines and bikes reconstructed from scratch.

The collection includes a 1972 YZ634 350cc factory racer and a 500cc YZR500 OW45 bike Kenny Roberts rode in his 1979 Grand Prix championship season. Rebuilt replicas include the four-cylinder 125cc RA31A and 250cc RD05A bikes that Phil Reed rode to a double world championship in 1968.

Brouwer worked for Yamaha from 1968 to 1973, and his passion for that era has drawn riders from Yamaha’s past to the YCRT.

“1973 was the last time I worked with Yamaha as mechanic for Jarno Saarinen on the official factory team. Exactly 35 years later I am so happy to be officially associated with Yamaha again,” says Brouwer. “But not just me; through YCRT guys like Rod Gould, Chas Mortimer, Michelle Duff are also back with Yamaha. The official support from Yamaha is recognition of what we do, but above all recognition from Yamaha to and for Yamaha’s own history.”

The YCRT will appear at several events this summer beginning with the Coupe Moto Legend in Dijon, France on May 24-25.

“Once again Yamaha is leading the way as a Japanese manufacturer they definitely live and act by their own slogan ‘Touching your Heart’ as an enormous amount of people’s hearts will be touched by seeing those classic machines riding again,” says Brouwer. “We wish to be a source of inspiration for others carrying the past into the future.”

YCRT Appearance Schedule

Date Location
May 24-25 Coupe Moto Legend, Dijon France
July 5-6 Biker's Classics 2008, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
July 19-20 Salzburg, Austria
Aug. 9-10 Oschersleben, Germany
Aug. 16-17 Schotten, Germany