The Overshadowed SP: 1994 Yamaha YZF750SP
Talk about the problems with being the middle child. How would you like to be sandwiched in between the iconic OWO1 and drool worthy R7? I think you can see how the YZF750SP often doesn’t rise to the top of a Yamaholics wish list. The SP was never imported to American shores though so I would have to believe this bike is more rare than either of its’ siblings.
Boy, I forgot how bright the 90′s where. I’m sure those familiar with the bike will spot the painted wheels.
Here is the story on her. It’s long but the seller does delve into the differing features of the SP and what he has changed on the bike:
If you want to show up at a bike night knowing nobody else has what you rode in on or if you are into Vintage Road Racing, anyone who knows what this bike is will envy you. The YZF750SP was never imported to the U.S. although we did get the R model. The SP was the bike factory Yamaha racing based the race team efforts on and many pro racers from this era had much success on them including Eddie Lawson, Colin Edwards, Scott Russell and many others. It was built in limited numbers for the European & Canadian market & most were stripped of their lights and used as race bikes out of the box. One of the reasons the U.S. did not get this bike is the R was sent here with run of the mill carbs and the SP has flat slides with electric accelerator pumps which made a huge difference without all the pollution garbage our tree hugging country demands. It also has hotter cams & ignition which allows the SP to have a 13,000 RPM red line while the R red lined at 11,500. To be reliable at this high RPM red line, the SP also had internal engine needle thrust bearings while the R had standard bearings. The SP also came with adjustable Ohlins suspension. While the R did come with Ohlins, they were just standard non adjustable units. Another race inspired note is the SP had a GP transmission including a taller first gear which allowed it to run to 85 MPH in first gear. At the time, a 750 that had a first gear that ran out that far was unheard of. The SP also came with a real solo tail, the R was a two up bike with a bolt on cover for the passenger seat. The SP has some other different parts but I think you get the idea here. Last month, Cycle World did a write up on the 750SP, the GSX-R750LTD and the ZX-7RR from 1994. The closing article noted the cost of the SP being outrageous. They actually mis quoted the price at $15,000 as it was just shy of $20,000 which in 1994 dollars (and even today?) was a lot of money. I am 51 years old and in my road race days I wanted this bike so bad that I asked our Yamaha rep to import one for me. When I found out the price and the fact I would not be able to license it for street use when not racing I obviously passed being on a motorcycle shop parts guy income. About the bike, I do have a clear title for it so you could ride it legally on the street. I bought it in stock form so any of the modifications not to your liking can be put back to stock although I do hope you like my personal touches. My hopes were to go out to Mid-Ohio and run one vintage race with it but the thought of it hitting the ground would eliminate probably the cleanest, low mileage SP left in the world. I can only hope this bike goes to a collector that will appreciate it and not be subjected to any kind of abuse. Actually, I only rode it up the street since I bought it and that was this spring once I had done my personal touches to it. I will try to remember what I did and if I recall anything I will add to the listing. What comes to mind: New Michelin Pilot tires, Braking rear rotor, GP style exhaust (have stock and Vance & Hines too), Huge amount of weight saved by replacing steel bolts with Pro Bolts, cleaned carbs, all fluids changed, 520 chain & sprocket conversion with +3 teeth on rear sprocket to allow easier red light / stop sign pulling out, misc parts like reservoir caps, grips, Pro Bolt orange and or black lightweight items. Being a Euro bike, the speedometer is in kilometers which reads just under 9,000 miles. Looking at the pics you can see much more and a lot of my labor of love. I did not buy this bike to ride it, my intentions were to do just what I did to it and enjoy looking at it and remembering how bad I wanted one back then. I drained the tank and carbs so I will ship it worldwide, if out of country bidder you must contact me as I have a bid lock on outside U.S. bidders. Getting pretty long winded with the listing so before I lose you if I didn’t already, please ask for anything I overlooked. Thanks
If that big paragraph scared you off; the bike is titled and is low mileage.
Does some lucky bastard out there have an OWO1 and R7 in the garage already? You can return this one back to stock with minimal effort.
Here is a little more specific info on the SP I found on a Yamaha forum:
The first 2 years (93-94) the difference between the “R” was:
-FRP 1 piece solo seat
-Keihin FCR39mm Flat-slide carbs
-Air Scoop on top of radiator
-Endurance windscreen (lower frontal area)
-Needle thrust bearings
-TPS sensors in throttle and gear
-Fully ADJ front suspension (93 “R” forks = preload only)
-Fully ADJ Rear Shock w/stiffer spring (very harsh ride compared to R’s softer shock)
-Close-Ratio racing transmission
-Different suspension linkage
-Michelin TX11/23 Hi Sport tyres (vs Bridgestone BT50′s on R model)
From 95-97, Yamaha also added to the SP:
-Ohlins shock w/remote preload adjuster
-Adj swingarm pivot
-Bolt on sub-frame (more forward position)
-Slightly revised fairing panels
YEC KIT Parts are EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to find now and most of the parts are discontinued. However, with LOTS of PATIENCE, it is possible to find some brand new parts and some used parts. Your search will be WORLD WIDE as I’ve sourced parts both from here in North America, Europe and directly from Japan.
YZF750SP’s respond very well to a HIGH QUALITY, FULL RACE exhaust (jetted properly of course) and you can expect an immediate 10HP gain (at rear wheel). This is the first thing you want. Keep in mind, you’ll lose the bottom end and midrange since you’ll be dumping the EXUP but it’s a track bike anyways.
What sort of price does the SP command compared to the other two Yamaha 750′s? OWO1′s seem to be offered in the high teens to low 20′s while R7′s usually are offered in at least the mid twenties. What do you guys think? I think you can argue it is more rare but is it as desirable?