Yamaha YL1 or not?

Published Date

Jack Swartz from the USA built himself a rather nice Special.....!


Never seen before! Jack Swartz took his tools and cobbled together this very nice motorcycle, using a Yamaha AT-1 cycle and our lovely small YL-1 engine.

Yamaha AT1-YL1
Yamaha AT1-YL1

It reminds me very much of the Italjet Buccaneer from the early 1970's. I will ask jack how he did it because I am tempted to build something similar!

Italjet was the Yamaha Distributor in Italy and as there was an import ban on Japanese Motorcycles smaller than 380 cc, they imported hundreds of AS1 and later AS3 engines and fitted these in stylish and sporty frames of their own manufacture.

When you; "Google" > italjet buccaneer > pictures, you will see a few.

Jack-San just e-mailed a short description of how he made the bike. Here it is in his own words:

"The short story of the project is as follows:
In late summer of 2007 I found a 1971 Yamaha AT-1 Enduro with a seized engine and I figured that the frame, forks and shocks, wheels and fenders were just what I needed for my "Special". The Twinjet engine fit neatly into the AT-1 frame and the drive sprocket lined up perfectly. I made up some side plates to adapt the front and rear Twinjet engine mounts and while I was at it I fabricated rear-sets for the pegs. An added benefit of the rear-sets is that the gear shift lever is installed facing back toward the pegs and this changes the shift to a more familiar pattern of up to up-shift. With the engine in place I then mounted the stock YL1 oil tank and the AT1 battery box was relocated. The stock Twinjet mufflers went on without any modifications and the YL-1 fuel tank and seat also fit on the frame like they were made for it. To finish things off I made up the fiberglass air-box and the side covers. The "YLAT-1 Special" turned out to be interesting to look at, it sounds great and it is really fun to ride. Motorcycles don't get any better than that! "
Regards - Jack Swartz