Featured in the October 2021 issue of Roadracing World:
In 1961, Yamaha made the decision to enter the Grand Prix World Championship series with two machines: the 125cc RA41 and the 250cc RD48. The factory team participated in three events, including the grueling Isle of Man TT, with the aim of obtaining technical data to develop future machines.
The RD48 was an air-cooled, disc (or rotary) two-stroke Parallel Twin with a six-speed gearbox. Fumio Ito finished sixth on the RD48 in the 250cc Lightweight TT, sixth in the Netherlands and fifth at Spa in Belgium. While the results did not ignite the racing world, a huge amount of data was collected to the 1962 season, but an economic recession forced Yamaha to miss the race that year. Instead, intensive development was carried out on the 125cc and 250cc machines.
For 1963, the lessons learned from the RD48 resulted in a new 250, the RD56. It would be the first truly competitive Yamaha racing bike that could challenge the dominant Honda four-stroke …
âHistoric racing motorcycle illustrations: 1964 Yamaha RD56, by Mick Ofield
The hard work paid off in 1963, when the Yamaha won at Daytona and Spa, and a year later, Yamaha won the 250cc World Championship. Read the story of the development of this historic machine in the latest issue of The world of road racing!
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OVERVIEW on October 2021 issue of Roadracing World!
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