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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1966 Yamaha U5E

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Fifteen-mile 1966 Yamaha U5E for sale on From the seller’s description:

This is a true collectors find. A fantastically well preserved, original, unrestored 1966 Lady Yamaha U5E. This bike was Yamaha’s attempt at creating a bike that appealed to the female market, though sales numbers proved it to be a failure. The bike was a US only, special edition of the Newport U5E. To the best of my knowledge the bike was only produced in “pink lady” form for two years.

Features include:

2-stroke 50cc engine
oil injection system
electric start
front basket
3 speed semi-automatic transmission
15 original miles on the odometer

The condition of this bike is as if it was pulled from a time capsule, and it a way it was. The original owner worked at a Yamaha shop in the mid-west where he purchased it, likely realizing its future collectability. The family moved to Oregon where the bike was placed in the home’s dining room where it remained as a centerpiece/ conversation piece. The bike shows slight evidence of having been bumped into and likely sat on by the children of the family but it didn’t appear to have left the dining room since its placement in the early 1970s. There is a slight amount of surface rust on the chain guard and swing arm. Otherwise the bike is in overall fantastic condition, miraculously so considering its age. The odometer reads 15 miles and the condition of the bike provides evidence this is accurate. The bike shows no signs of road wear anywhere. It has original tires and every other part for that matter.

When I acquired the bike it was likely the first time it had seen the light of day since its placement in the dining room corner it occupied for the better part of 50 years. The tank, petcock and carburetor had a small amount of caramelized fuel residue. I cleaned the tank, rebuilt the carb and replaced the petcock. Additionally I replaced the fuel lines as well as the battery and spark plug. The bike starts and runs strong. With an enormous amount of trepidation I “test rode” the bike and brought the mileage up from 10.4 miles when I purchased it to where in now resides at 15 miles.

This is truly a unique bike in impossibly nice condition and appropriate patina for the age. I’ve described this motorcycle to various long-time collectors, most of which had never heard of this model. It would be best suited in a museum where enthusiasts can appreciate such a fantastic and unique part of motorcycle history.

Included with the bike:

original owners manual
original oil level check stick
original on-bike tool kit
original shop manual

Also included with the bike is a letter of authenticity issued by Yamaha USA, verififying the model year. This bike has a clean and clear Oregon title in my name.

Location Marker
Corvallis, Oregon
Magnifying Glass

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