The Yamaha TR2 350 cc production racer was actually even more than the 250 cc TD2 the bike that changed the world for private riders.
When it was introduced in early 1969, it hit the racing world like a bomb. The TR2 was a further development of the semi-works Z608 and YZ608 machines and was largely based on the standard Yamaha R3 machine.
Those of you who know the Yamaha YR1-R2 and R3 models see immediately that the engine looks are practically identical. The machine was equipped with Autolube and the oiltank was positioned in the seat. Most riders used pre-mix fuel.
The Yamaha TR2 was/is a long looking racer, visually accentuated by the much longer exhausts than on the Yamaha TD2 250 cc racer
All the detail photo's were taken from the first machine that "landed"in the Netherlands, also in March 1969. With the engine taken out the Norton "featherbed" style frame can be seen.
The strong construction (for those days) in detail. Nice if you want to restore a Yamaha TR2. When you look at the frame number (TR2-900144) you know it is a bike from the first batch as the production started with TR2-900101. I do not know what happened with this machine....!
After the TD1/A/B/C drumbrake finally a "showstopper"! The 4 cam double twin-leading shoe front brake became famous within a short time, but was ooh so difficult to adjust properly!
The casting was covered with a nice mesh cover up front and with a thin plate at the back. This was sometimes taken off in order to have more cooling.
Here we have the lovely casting of the front hub and the two brake plates with their lightened levers.
At the rear the Yamaha TR2 had single leading shoe brake, operated by a cable.
The first Yamaha TR2 engine's were equipped with a kickstarter shaft, but this was of course removed immediately.
As several readers did not believe this kickstarter story, here it is on a Yamaha TR2. This is the machine on the London Show.
The YR1-R2-R3 (and therefore TR2) were Yamaha's first engines with a horizontal-split crankcase. And the poor TD2 production racer still went on with the old vertical-split crankcases until finallt the TD3 arrived.....
This engine was a joy to work on, compared to the 250 cc one. No special tools were needed to split the crankcases or push/pull the crankshaft in/out.
The crankshaft and gearbox shafts simply could be inserted into the upper crankcase and the lower crankcase could be bolted on (okay, it takes a little longer than this)
The clutch and primary gear have straight-cut teeth, different from the street machine.
The clutch plate that Yamaha used for the TR2 can still be purchased from your Yamaha dealer. The number has changed several times, but apparently the design was so good that it was kept until today.
The cylinder head has a different combustion chamber from standard adn the pistons have just a single ring.
The Yamaha TR2 has (as all Yamaha racers) a hard-chrome bore. The additional boost ports which correspond with the "window" in the piston above. You can see the bore in the right hand corners of the transfer ports. They contribute also to the 55 Bhp. But the transfer ports from the crankcase into the cylinder are still far away from the Yamaha's some 20 years later!
A good view from the cylinder top where you can see that a simple thick ring was used as cylinder head gasket.
The pictures are also from the London Show machine. You will agree that the sales people were rather scared for the enthusiasm of the customers for the new Yamaha...... It was secured very well to the stand.
Don Vesco immediately tuned a Yamaha TR2 for an attack on some absolute speed records. The back of the photo only says: "Partially streamlined 347 cc Yamaha, although well prepared by Don vesco it failed to set a new record (150 mph). I do not know where and when yet, It looks like the Bonneville Salt Flats. Who knows more?
Already in 1969 some riders built "specials" and Jack Findlay was one of them. This special Yamaha TR2 has a Ceriani front fork, The gentleman behind the bike was his sponsor, I wonder if his wife still has her nice cloak...! Jan Postmus from Gieten near Assen (who knows nearly all details...) told me that the man is Daniel Fontana (the front brake therefore is a Fontana) These brakes were made for Fontano by Angelo Menani from Sedriano (near Milano). Menani S.R.L. made brakes for many cItalian companies in the past; currently he still produces various brakes. Whether the lady still has her cloak is something also Jan is not sure about!