Warning!This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.
Shortly after the Superbike World Championship opened in 1988, manufacturers were compelled to prove their production bikes were up to the task, by providing comparable bikes to the marketplace. Numbers of bikes homologated depended on the size of the manufacturer. Though it did not result in a championship, Yamaha provided the OW 01 to the fray in 1989 and 1990, and in the process created a very memorable street machine.
Built to compete with the YB4 and RC30, and the eventual championship winning Ducati 851, the OW 01 was a thinly disguised racer. A 749cc carburetted straight four delivering over 120hp can hardly be otherwise. The 5-valve OW 01 was reputed to be quite rideable, thanks to EXUP, the automatic exhaust port valve. The aluminum perimeter frame was not an innovation but this lightweight DeltaBox was , with similar fabricated swingarm. Large for the day, 43mm forks are fully adjustable, as is the Ohlins rear shock. Braking handled by 280mm front disks and 177mm rear.
Not without its blemishes, this OW 01 looks good for its 34,000 kms. From the eBay auction:
One of only 500 produced this bike has never been raced. dry stored for the last 7 years, running and riding perfect before storage
has the stock exhaust and muffler which is in mint condition,
has 34,000 kilometers (20,000miles)
top end was done using yamaha parts and i have the receipts
comes with the owners manual and pouch
original toolkit, missing one small socket
as you can see in the pics there are 2 chips in the paint beside the headlight and under the headlight area there are stress cracks in the paint.
A higher mileage OW 01, this machine might be a restoration candidate, maybe after some serious rides. The steep price when introduced speaks volumes about the development dollars and potential in each machine. OW 01’s are available as perfect restorations or patina-ed racers, this one could be great to take in either direction…