Back in May 1977, 3 days after my 17th birthday I bought my first motorcycle - a 1973 (Lreg) Yamaha YCS5E 200cc motorbike, for £160 with 10,000 miles on the clock. I sold it 3 years later for £90, having put on a further 10,000 miles, blown two sets of main bearings, fitted an RD 200 bottom end and broken my leg in three places. Oh, but I did love that bike.
Having sold it and bought a Honda CB250 RSA (four valve single, hugely economical, but not much fun), I always regretted selling my first love.
So through the wonders of the internet, I've
combed the world's websites and downloaded every CS5E I can find, rather
than keep them to myself, I'll share them with any fellow CS5E fans out
there in cyberworld.
|Max speed||88mph (actual, indicated)|
The first twin cylinder 200cc model to appear in the UK was the CS1E in October 1968. This had a capacity of 180cc. The CS2E shortly followed with minor cosmetic changes. In January 1971 the CS3E appeared with an increased capacity of 195cc. The same engine was used in the CS5E (what happened to the CS4E!) which was released in 1972, with revised frame parts and improved styling. Barely a year later the RD200 was introduced, using the same engine, but with reed valves for a better mid range and lower gearing to match, the styling remained the same, but with a new paint job. The styling was again changed in 1977, with the adoption of a square 'eurostyle' tank. Finally and sadly, Yamaha went 'a model too far' and in 1982 the RS200 was introduced, which was essentially an exercise to us up the cycleparts, it had a single carb, no rev counter, and was sold as a commuter!
Living with the CS5E
The CS5E shared the same frame as its 125
twin, weighing in at just 258lbs it had extremely good power to weight
ratio, grab too much throttle and it would stand on its back wheel, more
often when I was bump starting the thing! The most exciting part of the
bike, from my mates point of view, was the electric start (almost unheard
of in the early 1970s), mind you it hardly ever worked. Kick starting it,
usually ended up oiling up the plugs, hence the bumping. Sticking in NGK
B7s, instead of the recommended B9s, ultimately cured it, but they tended
to melt on long journeys, so it was B7s to start, then B8s or 9s when it
had warmed up, ever tried changing hots plugs!
The bike didn't half shift, the maximum indicated speed I ever achieved was 88mph on the old Winchester Bypass, on the level, and with a pillion passenger (you know who you are!). But the brakes were something else. A perfectly adequate 6 inch drum on the back but a savage 7 inch drum on the front. In the dry it would stand on the front wheel, but in the wet it would lock at first touch. It had me off quite a few times!
Another shortcoming on the bike was the head lamp, sadly inadequate. Hence one wet February night in 1978, riding home from my evening job, I caught the corner of a parked car and ended up in a untidy pile in the middle of the road, my left foot almost touching my ear. 16 weeks later I hobbled out of hospital, to find to my delight, that not only had my parents salvaged the bike, but the damage was only cosmetic - a few fins knocked off the cylinder heaad and a big dent in the left handside of the tank. So I rode it for another two and a half years, not falling off it again. It took me digging in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire and ran me back and forwards between Leicester and Winchester during my first year at college.
Lots of piccies of my bike
Other CS5E piccies
Other Yamaha 200s