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Yamaha YF5, 1969 - becoming passionate for motorcycles

My friend Nagib Chaul had a Yamaha YD 250 cc, with a high rise handlebar, and a radio installed at the middle crosslink bar.  We used to go to the Cruzeiro Square, more precisely to the front entrance of the Colegio Maria Auxiliadora (Maria Auxiliadora School, a girls only school by then) where many of our friends attended classes in the seventies.  Nagib is a psychologist, and his father  - Mr. Afif Chaul - was the owner of one of the best car garages (prestige used cars dealer) at that time.  He always had in stock dream cars, at least dream cars for us teenagers, like the Chevrolet El Camino) and some interesting motorcycles like the Gilera 175 cc - 1967 model - orange in colour (Made in Argentina) that Nagib used to ride in 1969, and the Yamaha YD 250 cc.   That bike triggered the passion I have had for motorcycles since then.  Before that my preference was mostly towards cars, but that close encounter with the Gilera draw my attention to motorbikes in general.  The bike in this photo belongs to Gary's Yamaha and Bridgestone site - EUA.

Yamaha YDS5 E, 1967 model.  My friend Nagib Chaul had a bike like that, dark red in colour, number plate: AA 001. A high handlebar, with a radio installed at the crossbar.

Yamaha YDS5 E, 1967 model. My friend Nagib Chaul had a bike like that, dark red in colour, number plate: AA 001.
A high handlebar, with a radio installed at the crossbar.

Yamaha YF 5 1969. Cruzeiro Square - Goiania-GO, July/1970.

My first two-wheel "toy" , motorized of course!

Yamaha YF5 50cc - 1969 makeThis photo ( and the two others on the previous page) are the only age related photos (1970) of this model of motorcycle, in movement, available on the Internet so far.

Yamaha YF 5 1969. Cruzeiro Square - Goiania-GO, July/1970.

MIL (Mecanica Importadora Limitada - Imports Mechanic Limited) was an extension of my house, due to the frequency I would go there, to watch the company owners and the mechanics work, to chat and to appreciate the wonderful motorcycles in their stock (European and Japanese firstly, and Japanese (Yamaha only) later, as they became one of the most important Yamaha dealers in Brazil. The owners Mr. Erwino Boettcher - the 'Paulistinha', and Mr.  Andrea Martelli - 'seu Andre') were special people.  I really miss my late friends Paulo Boettcher Neto (Paulinho) and Jose Luiz Bueno (Ze Luiz) truly companions of many trips.  Paulinho with Zündapp 50 cc, black in colour, and Ze Luiz with Yamaha 50cc - special factory series with a white fuel tank, red in colour (other parts of the bike), fitted with a flat handlebar custom built for him by 'seu Andre'.  The Zündapp had the looks of a much bigger bike, and many would take it by a 125cc.

In 1972 I moved to Brasilia, in order to study at the University of Brasilia (UnB) where I graduated in Economics (B. Ec.) at the end of 1975.  My friend Itabyra do Carmo Cunha and his sister Bartyra were my flat mates, and we were inseparable in our 'exploratory' trips around Brasilia and suburbs.  He had a Yamaha YF5 S (Scrambler), 1970 make, dark red in colour.  We wouldn't miss any opportunity to ride a lot at the weekends, as our bikes were very thrifty and gasoline prices wasn't an issue by then, even considering the fact that we were students - which normally means being short of money.

Historic perspective: During the sixties and in the beginning of the seventies Goiania held many memorable motorcycle competitions.  The street races were very common, in which Lambrettas, and European motorbikes (Ducati, Zundapp, BMW) raced together. Such races used to attract huge and enthusiastic crowds, and race drivers from other States (mainly Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais) would come to Goiania, eager to compete and to share the attention from the crowd. The main home race drivers at that time were: Erwino Boettcher (the 'Paulistinha'), Edmar Ferreira, Luzio Limongi, Salvador Cugurra and many others. Due to the 'japanese invasion' the youngsters (rookers) began to participate in such events, and I list some of them: the brothers Paulo and Roberto Boettcher, Moacir Horbillon, Jose Luiz Bueno, Kurt Feichtenberger, Mauro Vieira, Antonio "Ron-Ron", etc.

I still remember the street races downtown (Tocantins, Araguaia and Anhanguera Avenues and Civic Square); at the Tamandare Squre, Assis Chateaubriand Avenue and Cigano Square (Gipsy Square); and during the two years previous to the unveiling of the Goiania International Autodrome, we went to many competitions at the Goias Motorcycle Club to watch motocross and even speed races (endurance) in dirt track.

At the very beginning of the seventies, after watching the movie "Easy Rider" starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, I decided to install a sissy bar in my little Yamaha YF5.  For that I went to the MIL workshop and convinced 'seu Andre' to devise such part for my bike.  He tried to dissuade me of that idea, telling me that such device wouldn't improve anything in my motorcycle, but in spite of that I got what I asked for, but not without having to insist with him in order to have the job done.  Later, that odd equipment showed very useful during many trips I did then in the following years.


The red circles show where we have been in our motorcycle trips around Brazil, in the past 39 years.

My first trip to Brasilia - DF on my 'little 50cc'

December came fast.  I was eager for the summer vacations in order to go to Brasilia - DF in my Yamaha YF5 - 50cc - 1969 make.  Such adventure was close to become a reality, and immediately after Christmas I went to my friend's house to finish the details of our trip.  My friend Moacir Horbillon didn't have any doubt about the trip, and when I arrived at his home his bike was almost ready.  We finish together the tasks of cleaning the transmission and the spark plug of his Yamaha SS 50cc - 1970 make, a very rare FS1, 5 speed model.

On the 26th of December of 1970 we left Goiania - GO to Brasilia - DF in our motorcycles, to cover a distance of approximately 215 km.  We stayed with my relatives in a big apartment at the SQS 114.  As my cousins (Luis Antonio and Marcio) had gone to Belo Horizonte - MG, my auntie Amarylis (in reality my mother's cousin) accomodated us in a very big sleeping room.

We arrived in Brasilia - DF by the afternoon after a very pleasant trip.  The road was empty due to the 'Boxing Day'.  During the trip we alternated the "leadership" in our shinning 'little 50cc'.  We were nothing more than two youngsters eager for adventure, in our first interstate motorcycle trip.  There was plenty of enthusiasm among us.

After settling in at my auntie's apartment I took my friend Moacir with me and introduced him to some friends.  The next days we rode a lot around the city, we met other friends I had there, and we went to a very famous night club at that time in Brasilia - The Drugstore, at the Commercial Center Gilberto Salomao, located at the Lago Sul (south suburb aside of Lake Paranoa). Those days spent there became party time.

We got all the attention possible from our friends and aquaintances as there were very few motorcycles in Brasilia that time (beginning of the seventies).

At the day immediately before our departure we went to a very famous dealer in the city - Camber (Volkswagen and Yamaha), in order to have a service done - the decarbonization of spark plugs and of our bike's exhaust pipes, and to check the Autolube system.  After that service my bike became superb, and I could easily follow Moacir in his Yamaha SS, that had five gears contrasting with the four gears mine had.  All the mentioned servicing was done by Pedrao, that was simply the best two-stroke engine mechanic in Brasilia - DF that time.

At the very end of December/1970 we returned to Goiania - GO, the time had come to return home and again we were lucky of riding in an empty road (very few people would take the road at New Year's Eve).  When riding close to Taguatinga - DF a group of youngsters like us, dressing colourful clothes and wearing long hair cheered us up.  Those were the days of the 'Age of Aquarius', and we were all equals.

After completing one third of the trip Moacir's bike began to loose power, especially when going uphill - ignition problems -and he simply couldn't follow me.  I was enthusiastic with my bike's performance, but at the same time I was worried and concerned with my friend's bike.  Some more kilometers ahead his bike simply came to a halt.  Everything we could try wasn't enough to make the engine run again, even taking off the spark plug and decarbonizing it.

The afternoon came fast and so came a huge summer thunderstorm.  Very dark clouds, like black cotton balls, appeared in that dark blue sky.  We couldn't simply stay there, at the middle of anything.  Suddenly, in front of us a white Volkswagen Karmann Ghia speedily passes.  Its distinctive engine noise, coming out of a very well dimensioned Kadron exhaust caused me no mistake - that was our friend's Salvino Pires Sobrinho (Vininho) car.  After seeing us on the roadside kerb he returned and offered his help, and even suggested that Moacir could take out his bike's front wheel and try to accomodate the bike inside his sport car.  But that was an impossible task to complete.

Then I had a 'brilliant idea': to take our bath towels from our bags and link them with a knot, and to use them tied as a towing cord.  We did that and after riding some kilometers we were stopped by a Federal Road Police agent, at the roadside police station close to Anapolis - GO, our final destination was 60 kms ahead of us.  We should hurry in order to avoid the thunderstorm that was coming toward us.

The policeman suggested to us then that Moacir would stay there with his bike, and I could go ahead alone to Goiania - GO.  The policeman also said he would find a commercial vehicle to put Moacir's bike inside and to take his bike and him home.

After realizing that everything was settled for Moacir, I took the road again and faced one of the heaviest thunderstorms ever in my 'little 50cc'.  That small bike took me back home sound and safe, and very wet indeed.  After a well deserved hot bath I could go to bed, I was tired and satisfied.  Tired but feeling the wonderful sensation of having made my first "great" trip in two wheels.  Next day I called at Moacir's home and he said to me that he had finished his trip very late the night before, but everything was alright and that he had arrived safe at home.

Simply unforgettable!