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Yankee 500Z – 1971
500cc Twin, the “Z”

John Taylor, President of the Yankee Motor Company in Schenectady, New York wanted to build the first “everything to everybody” motorcycle. He enlisted Dick Mann to design the frame, collaborated with Ossa in Spain to supply a twin-cylinder engine, searched out the best components, and opened his factory in New York.

Mr. Taylor bragged, “the Z was actually such a logical development that I’m surprised more manufactures haven’t pursued it.”

In use, riders found the Z heavy, relatively expensive compared to other machines, and not well suited to any specific application. It was hoped the Z could compete successfully in everything from road racing to motocross. Unfortunately it was too slow for road racing and too heavy for mx. When the factory closed in 1974, many Z’s were still in the warehouse unsold. Total production was in the seven hundreds.

Nice example, but 86 original miles? I doubt it!

Images are property of The Early Years of Motocross Museum, ®2006