top of page


All I want' is a 4 gear Yamaha

When the youngest son turned 16, he had to have a real moped, and it had to be a 4-gear Yamaha. I've never owned or ridden these mopeds myself, and I didn't really have the time to fix one up. So I went in search of a good original moped that wasn't too nice to be used on a daily basis. It was relatively easy to find one. There are still many of these mopeds - they were so widespread once that there are still plenty of them out there. I chose one of the vintages that sold the most, a 77. The boy wanted it to be yellow, and it was. But my search for a good utility machine got into a strange dispute, which was already degenerating into a habit at that time. I ended up buying one more, a 74. Because I think the first vintages are the finest. This one wasn't supposed to be done until I had time myself, but it turned out a little differently, more on that in another story.

A bit of history

The Yamaha FS1 was born in 1969, and until 73 the model had an engine with a rotary valve. There was also a pressure lubrication system and 5 gears for certain markets, where it had to be driven with maximum performance from the 50 cubic. The first models that came to Denmark obviously had an exhaust and tank with an emblem and an engine with a rotary valve. The machine's breakthrough in Denmark came with the model with the tall tank, which is only available on the 74 and 75 vintages. The 76 models are the last year with metal side covers. But then came the breakthrough, the model with a disc brake on the front wheel. There were no other mopeds that could "match" that. But there are lots of small differences. Then, if a Yamaha is to be made so that it fits the year, you need to get hold of some of the people who are very interested in the model, and there are quite a few of them. Or you can read spare parts catalogues. The 4-gear Yamaha partially died with the new moped law in 79, but continued in Denmark in the form of a 2-gear lightweight version. While the 4 gear version continued in other parts of the world. The model was manufactured until 1994.

Watch out for the mangled wreckage

If you buy an old Yamaha for the kid, you might as well prepare to arm yourself with a certain amount of patience and then find the tools. Although it was a fine and reliable little machine in its day, 40 years of use and abuse have not gone unnoticed on these machines - it has left its mark. Up through the 80s and 90s, a 4-speed Yamaha was the moped that speed-loving boys wanted, because they could be made to run fast for little money.

It was the machine from the moped era in the 70s that would not die. That is why 99% of those left in Denmark are mangled wrecks filled with non-original parts. The reliability is then. The one the kid got was one of the better ones, but I b

live have to find some original parts to replace the non-original parts. It was full of broken threads and half solutions. But since the price of some original parts is approaching the ridiculous, some parts which do not mean much for use remained non-original. My advice to fathers who want to build a Yamaha for the kid in the belief that it can become a useful everyday item: Forget it! Unfortunately, these mopeds are no longer suitable for daily use, unless the owner likes to screw things up himself.

Unless you set approx. DKK 30,000 (or more) to buy one of the few originals. And if you have sacrificed so much money on an original machine, do you leave it on the stilts outside the business school?

I gradually got a handle on "Det gule lyn", but in the process had to familiarize myself with the technique and the difference between vintages and models, and thus also the history of the FS1. I learned how to change the clutch worm blindfolded until I could buy a new original engine side cover and original clutch worm. Then, on the other hand, there was peace, and the boy could enjoy long-distance driving and count on coming home with his own machine. The last year he rode it, he was around and everyone was happy, including the kid. Because a 4-gear Yamaha still gives a certain status to mixed boys with petrol in their blood.

Rare machine appears

(Got a funny story for the nostalgia page from a Yamaha collector.)

A kid got this nice FS1 as a Christmas present in 1973. He didn't drive it very much as parts from it were stolen, but kept it and his son inherited the remains of it in 2012.

It now stood for many years without a tank and side covers, but the remains were very original and had only driven 9,000 km. The heir contacted the Yamaha collector I know and asked if he was interested in it. The chassis number showed that it was an early Yamaha. So the collector suddenly became very interested. The heir would rather have some pocket money than an old moped. It changed hands for DKK 6,000. It is now refurbished with the original parts.

In 1973, the Danish boys had not yet found out how good mopeds came from Japan, and no one knew then that this model would become the most widespread moped in Denmark ever. There were sold approx. 100 pieces. in Denmark in 1973. 3 years later they were sold in the 10,000s. Here at the moped dealer in Grindsted (Egon Johansen) there was a 73 exactly like the one in the exhibition (in the rare green color) and collecting dust. I was also stupid enough to opt out of it over a Puch.

A completely original Yamaha like this with an emblem on the tank from 1973 is worth somewhere between DKK 30,000 and 40,000 today.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page