1972 Yamaha RT-2

Perhaps my favorite of all my bikes, I bought this Yamaha 360 Enduro as a low-miles 1-year-old cream puff. It stayed with me for nearly 15 years, and I had a ball with it! For the first 3 or 4 years I used it both on the street and in the dirt. I'd frequently take the highways to off-road riding areas, spend the day trail riding, then ride it home. I even rode it in some enduros, and a few times removed the lights and other street gear, and entered it in scrambles and cross-country races.
Eventually, I removed the street gear and left it off, turning it into a dirt-only machine. It got full knobbies then, and somewhere along the line it acquired an expansion chamber (which really perked it up!). In the end, even the Yamalube system was gone, and I ran it on pre-mix. The picture above was taken very late in it's sojourn with me, probably '86 or '87. Eventually I traded it for a ratty '72 Camaro, which I used as winter transportation for several years. I wish I'd hung on to it, now! I did acquire another RT-2 several years ago (which is presently laid up with a broken kickstart shaft), but it just ain't the same. :-/
Favorite memory; generally- wheelies! The RT-2 would wheely at the drop of a hat in 1st or 2nd, and in 3rd, too, given judicious body english or a slight tug on the bars. Specifically- probably the time when I was putting around with Karen, shortly before we were married, riding abreast of a fairly big hill. She got nervous, and started trying to extract a promise from me that I wouldn't climb the hill with her on back.. whereupon I promptly took a hard left and swooped right up the hill. ;-) She was pinching me the whole way, and I was simultaneously yelping in pain and laughing my head off, if that's possible. ];-)
Least favorite; the time my throttle stuck approaching the very jump pictured, and I flipped end-over-end. You know you're in trouble when you actually have time enough before the impact to think "This is really gonna hurt." I remember seeing sky, earth, sky, earth, sky once more, then WHAM! I was sore for days. That crash also produced the big dent in the gas tank, which is evident in the above photo, but other'n that (and after fixin' that sticky carb slide) it was fine. The bike was tougher'n me, I'll be the first to admit. :;-)

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