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Yellow jacket: Zero-mile 2006 Yamaha R1 LE

To celebrate its 50th anniversary. Yamaha busted out the paint booth and the option sheet to create a limited run of hopped-up versions of their R1 literbike. The 2006 Yamaha R1 LE delivered the perfect birthday present to the storied brand, showing that Japanese brands were indeed capable of and interested in building special versions of their already potent road weapons. Just 500 LEs came to the states, wearing the black and yellow livery that made Kenny Roberts and the bikes famous in the 1970s, and bedecked with Ohlins suspension front and rear and a set of gold featherweight Marchesini rims.

2006 Yamaha R1 Limited Edition for sale on eBay

Like a couple of the Ducatis we have posted recently, the owner of this R1 LE took its aspirations as a collector bike seriously and never rode it. At all. In its 12 years, it has racked up exactly zero miles. The only alteration from stock appears to be 500 cc GP World Champion Wayne Rainey’s signature on the front numberplate. The seller offers very few details, but the pictures speak for themselves.

From the eBay listing:

New 2006 Yamaha R1 LE #428 of 500 sold by Yamaha. Always on display never ridden. It is New. Signed by Wayne Raney.

Please note we are an Ohio motorcycle dealer and are required to process the title into your name. We are also required to collect sales tax if you are an Ohio buyer and also buyers from AZ,CA,FL,IN,MA,MI and SC. Questions please call Al at 740-928-4454

The buy-it-now on this special, rare Yamaha is set at $17,500, sliding it in well below the price point for a similarly bedecked Italian machine. The R1 LEs may have flown under the radar, but to the right collector they are gold, and this one is a literal museum piece.

10 Comments

  • From what I’ve seen the market on these doesn’t seem all that strong, at least with miles on them. Love the color scheme and the upgrades from a normal R1 but I wonder if the demand will ever pick up or of these aren’t ‘special’ enough to really be collected.

  • Again, don’t really understand the appeal of zero mile anything. if the value is in no mileage, you can’t ride it so what’s the point. Unless you own a museum why would you want this?
    The color scheme is cool and the Ohlins upgrade is nice but I’d think you could create one from a nice, used R1 for way less.

  • The value of zero miles is theoretically that it is like new, ready to ride with no issues. Rc30s are out of my reach but the anxiety monster says, what if it needs repairs?

    There’s the rub. Things that sit decay faster than when there get reasonably exercised. To me zero miles is the opportunity to acquire what you wish you could have captured brandnew back in the day. The opportunity to seize what you couldn’t the first time around. It is with the intent to ride it and put the miles on that virgin. To relive lost youth. When we step out of the fantasy, the reality is the loved and low mile example is likely the better choice. It just isn’t nearly as romantic.

    • Well said.

      I’d also add that there are far more 5-20 bike mini-museums all over the country than you’d expect. 0 mile examples fit right in amongst these private collections that are hidden from public view.

      dc

  • Interesting.
    There is another LE posted on ebay right now with around 40k mi. And at a significant savings.

    There are only 2 yamahas on my rsbfs list. The other is an R7. I don’t see these getting down into my acquisition range though anytime soon. Not even with 40k mi.

  • Not really 17.5K if you have to pay all the fees and taxes. With freight you’re at 20K pretty quick. I’m with you guys, not that collectible just yet and going to be a long while before it is. Besides that, 20K now is what…25K in 10 years? So collecting for the sheer investment value would mean it would have to be in the 30’s in 10 years. To me it doesn’t make sense, I can think of a dozen better bikes to buy, ride and still appreciate….can’t do that with zero mile bikes!

  • A pristine example with 488 miles just went for $9,600. Love the color scheme on these.

  • This bike is meant to be ridden more than most. Back when they came out, I hastily looked the cheapest one up on Cycletrader that ended up being in Springfield, Ohio for $14,500 otd (thought I’d save 3500 or so off sticker). I live in California and hastily checked the weather and saw 50 degree weather and flew out a few days after that in February. My plan was to ride back home and actually only made it to Kansas City and rented a Uhaul as I was riding 30 minutes at time before the windchill and single digit temp had me stop at every gas station, truck stop along the way. Back then you could outsmart DMV and taxes never caught up with me, so I saved on that too. Photocopy smog sticker and glue on pipes, got it registered in CA. A lot of bike and actually one of my favorite to ride and I have a lot of bikes. It got me wherever I needed to go faster than all the other bikes as it just winds up so fast; a misty fog filled day headed north from SF would have the bake breaking out whenever you wanted. I thought it was a fairly legit widow maker with no computer controls yet. Just a dialed up bike out of the box. It worked flawlessly all the years I had it and actually just sold it last year to a gentleman in Ventura for 11K with 8K miles on it and perfect. Idk why, but a lot of the people that bought this bike just let them go for whatever and always have since they came out. Being a 50 year anniversary bike and being bought by a lot of ‘collectors’ hurt the value a bit. I believe Toyota is Yamaha’s biggest shareholder, fun fact.

  • I had a low mile one of these and found it to be a fun, fast and capable motorcycle. I did a couple of track days on it and was impressed with the handling, acceleration and top speed, considering it was a street bike. It’s a lot of bike for the money, but one with zero miles and not riding it? It would be like having a bottle of great wine and not tasting it.

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