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Little bike, big ambitions – Yamaha Rotary Jet 80

Yamaha's 1965 ads for the humble and wonderfully-named Rotary Jet 80 offered plenty of variety and creativity. See the top three

(Jan 2024, Guy 'Guido' Allen)

              rotary jet 80 ad

The first to catch our eye was the ambitious association with Carroll Shelby's most valuable baby, the AC Cobra. Shelby was in the throes of launching the 427 version of the Cobra in 1965.

Yamaha rotary jet 80

Next up is the Captain Sensible approach, providing all the justifications for splurging US$350 on such a wonderful machine. It's designed to be low maintenance, technically advanced, you can do the lifestyle thing with your favourite pillion on the weekend and it's race-bred!

We particularly like the Samurai warrior waving the chequered flag – there should be one at every race meeting.

                  rotary jet 80

If the intention was to get 'cut through' in a crowded ad landscape, this astonishing image should have been a roaring success.

Of course the central message is your Yamaha doesn't need pampering. To quote the ad: "This potent rotary-valve two-cycle engine doesn't require pre-mixing of gas and oil. Or oil changes. And there's always clean, fresh oil to lubricate its seven moving parts." Compelling stuff.

Want to know more about this series?

See this post from an owner/aficianado on advrider.

And the Rider Magazine review of the Trailmaster derivative of the series.


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