Cycle World

The Way It Was

While Managing Editor Matthew Miles thinks about the guestion of whether or not a privately entered AMA Pro Racing American Superbike can be competitive, I think of my own experience in 1974, when Yamaha first released the four-cylinder TZ750A. Our dealer, John Jacobson of Boston Cycles, ordered one in a completely routine way—for $3500. Its crankshafts and many of its other parts were based upon the same production module as the TZ350 and TA250 Twins, which, in turn, were based on the R5 production bike. Therefore, it was no problem for me to change the main bearings before first start-up, per a service bulletin and supplied bearing kit. I also did not like the look of the production flat-sided exhaust pipes (I had seen such pipes fracture in the past), so I made a pair of round 2-into-1 pipes to replace them. Otherwise, I just went through the machine to be sure it was correctly assembled.

Our rider, Jim Evans, had no prior 750

Privateer racer Jim Evans launches Kevin Cameron-built Yamaha TZ250 at Loudon in 1974.
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