Production of the Yamaha R3 commenced in January 1969 and the first machines arrived already in the Netherlands by March, so that was really first production!
That same month the Dutch test rider could sample the machine. here are those magnificent pictures from the black/white era.
The Yamaha YR1 was a good seller in the Netherlands, but the "in-btween" R2 was not marketed here. The R3 did the job well. It looked much sportier than the YR1.
The luxury seat was very comfortable but is a nightmare today for restoration. Colour combination of this machine was red and black.
The original tyre pump was the first thing that got lost. Beautiful engine and no wonder that it was strong enough to be the basis of the TR2/TR2B production racers.
From every angle the machine looks perfect!
The engine was nicely polished. When you want to restore one, here you have the details!
Look at the 2 small tags on the cylinders which keep the exhaust nuts from turning loose!
The mufflers had a similar shape to the DS6 but are much longer of course.
The typical handlebar layout with the flat bar for Europe, twin instruments and steering damper.
On the left hand side the battery was positioned. The cover for the airfilter box was held by 3 clips. it was therefore very easy to change the filter elements.
The Yamaha Autolube oiltank is on the r.h. side. Behind is the Mitsubishi voltage regulator.
So he was the first guy in Europe to ride the Yamaha R3 on a chilly March day in 1969 !
One-piece racing leathers, unlined racing boots, "pudding-base" helmet in orange (Dutch National colour), gloves; that was the clothing you had 40 years ago!