61mph Fizzie!

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    Apaarently Top Gear Presenter James may has been trying to extract 60 mph from the legendary FS1E. It will be show on TG in few weeks time.

    Apparently one brave soul squeezed 61mph out of one. Must of been pedalling like fury!

    James May Article:

    I asked Santa for a Yamaha FS1-E sports moped, writes James May. Thirty years is a long time to wait…

    I don’t know if Santa has kept my letter dated December 1977, but, if he has, he’ll be distressed to know that I haven’t changed my mind.


    Yamaha FS1 E sports moped: maybe a bit big for a stocking
    I was terribly grateful for the Airfix Avro Lancaster and the Top Trumps Supercars pack, and I could even summon up a wry grin at the efforts of some misguided relation to help spur me through adolescence with a bottle of Boots Satinwood aftershave (I still have it, unopened). But these were a sorry substitute for that thing of which the mere thought was keeping me awake until dawn.

    I was just a perfectly normal teenage boy in 1977; by day gazing wistfully out of the window during “naming of parts”, by night driven to dementia by unsated lust. All I wanted was to get my leg over the Yamaha FS1-E sports moped.

    Surely you remember the Yammy Fizzie? The Fizzie was the world’s best example of marketing opportunism in the face of a legislative loophole. The minimum legal age for a proper motorcycle was 17, but for years the British had been fitting small clip-on auxiliary petrol engines to conventional bicycles. My dad did this. Eventually, the fashion was framed by legislation that said a moped – the word is a contraction of MOtor-assisted PEDal-cycle – could be ridden at 16, provided it retained its pedals and the engine capacity was less than 50cc.

    And there it might all have ended, with history recording the ultimate expression of the moped as the French VeloSolex or the similar machine, made by Raleigh, whose name eludes me. At best it was a step-through, such as the Motobécane or Puch Maxi. But just at the point when the rulebook was dusty with neglect, the Japanese motorcycle giants, plus a few Italians, recognised that they could snare their prospective customers a year earlier by building a high-performance 50cc bike and equipping it with pedals.

    This might not sound like much of a sales initiative by modern standards, but put yourself in the mindset of a 16-year-old, to whom the year that must pass before a car or proper motorbike may be acquired stretches ahead like some hideous vision of eternity.

    The only acceptable escape from the drudgery of the bus and bicycle was the moped. Honda and Suzuki were at it. But the Fizzie was the one. Occasionally red or blue or purple or copper or gold but usually yellow, and adorned with Yamaha’s racy black-and-white stripes, its name in the teenage vernacular was derived from the phonetic implication of the legend on its side panel and invoked perfectly the character of the thing, even if it was a poor onomatopoeia for the exhaust note, which was more like rin-bin-bin. Owning the Yamaha was the ultimate and all-consuming desire of every right-minded coeval of mine. My mate Simon reported in some detail on a pioneering carnal encounter with a girl called Julie in a quiet bus shelter, but no one was impressed by that. Fischer’s dad had bought him a Fizzie.

    Obviously, I never had one. I honestly think my mother would have preferred to see me playing with a used hypodermic than riding what was, when all was said and done, a motorcycle. Even the authorities eventually realised the folly of allowing 16-year-olds to own these things and in 1978 the legislation was changed to restrict them to a top speed of 30mph. Ironically, the requirement for pedals was dropped.

    This week, almost 30 years later, and since my mum wasn’t looking, I finally rode a Fizzie. On the downside, it will only really do about 45mph, and not the 60mph that was widely claimed. But here’s what truly amazed me. It harks from the era of watchstraps wider than the watch itself, of nylon paddock jackets, Barclay James Harvest albums, Old Spice and Liebfraumilch, all of which is now the landfill of an earlier life. But not the FS1-E.

    In fact, it is the first exception I have encountered to my own self-imposed rule that says you should never meet your heroes or revisit an old desire. I already know that the Lamborghini Countach was better as a poster than as an actual car. Starsky and Hutch isn’t half as good as it seemed at the time, The Muppets aren’t actually funny and the same Julie that reduced my mate to ruins in the bus shelter is now probably a mother of three with a subscription to Heat magazine.

    The Fizzie, though, with just 49cc and 4.8bhp, turns out to be as exhilarating as I always imagined it must be.

    And, in case anyone out there can help, I still want one really badly.

    Taken from:




    At 16, I had a rough time with my 4 mates, one had a FSIE (DX no less) and the others had AP50’s.
    Meanwhile I had a Bloody Honda CB50J. I tried to de-reestrict it, but it was not a patch on the strokers…..just had to have um on the brakes, and in corners!

    I am sorry to say the the AP50 was the one to have……..my god they were thirsty though, and tended to need a rebore with every tank of 2-stroke.
    It was the extra gear that beat the FSIE.

    I think the Yam had a sweeter engine though.

    What fun could be had until you could get a RD250, or X7 on L Plates at 17….Fantasic!
    – Don’t worry I didnt pick the Superdream at this opportunity!
    Happy Days…


    Now your talking, RD250 in white picked up from Copes of Dudley Aug 1st 1978 T reg. GRRRRRR. As Bob said in the film Rita,Sue and Bob too,

    I thought I were great [^]


    PS. Gix, Yams were the Guv’s for a while. He he he [:D]


    hmmmmm ok yes RD’s – bees knees, had an LC and was fantastic fun when running….but mine spent alot of time in bits, 2 anialated pistons later and I sold it for spares or repair, ok yes I blew a suzuki engine up too but after owning several yams and then a zook, nah never go back to a yamaha, zooks rule! [;)]


    Hey Gix, if you were cut in half, you would have Suzuki written right through you!

    I have to say, in the era we are talking about, the worst for reliability were [in my experiance] 50’s /250’s worst first:

    AP50 Suzuki 1 Kawasaki KH250
    FSIE Yamaha 2 Suzuki GT250
    SS50 Honda 3 Yamaha RD250

    Any doubts?


    The FSIE was king, nobody does a stroker quite like Yamaha. The FS1E is a cult now, but the AP50 doesn’t get the same sort of following.
    Thumper I think your list is spot on mate.


    I had a Flandria – and it was quicker then my mates AP50’s and FSIE’s



    Katana, such exotica, what do you ride now a duke or MV ? [:D] snigger snigger. Seriously though, I have never heard of one of those, I can remember one or two puch’s and casals at the time. It certainly looks the part, did it really have twin exhausts. And was your hair THAT long [:o)]



    hahahaha lol well Pigeon at least he has seen the light now….he rides a zook….a streetfightered Katana funnily enough [:o)]



    Originally posted by pigeon

    Katana, such exotica, what do you ride now a duke or MV ? [:D] snigger snigger. Seriously though, I have never heard of one of those, I can remember one or two puch’s and casals at the time. It certainly looks the part, did it really have twin exhausts. And was your hair THAT long [:o)]


    Nope didn’t have twin exhausts – bit of artistic licence in the Flandria art department at work there. My hair is shorter now but I seem to be developing larger breasts?

    Mine looked like this:

    Current ride is as Gix says is this:

    Check out the Streetfighters section.


    Katana, that’s a nice looking mate .


    Thanks Pigeon – stick some piccys of the SV and you’re previous bikes in the “Members Bikes” section.

    If you need instructions on how to do it try here first:


    If you are still struggling then stick up a post then PM me and I’ll edit it to make it work


    Hey Kat….that looks a great 50 mate, and no wonder you were faster than an AP50……
    I suspect it’s all down to those madonnas up front making you more aerodynamic!


    Can’t stop thinking about Ned Flanders now :-)


    Did`nt have a 50,started on a cb100n,great little bike had loads of fun on it and took me many a mile round wales,funny though didnt even give a thought to the tyres that we were useing at the time just threw it round every where untill i fitted avon road runners,they were the dogs reproductive love lumps.

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