Back in the 1960s and 1970s, it seemed that all the cool kids had a mini bike of some sort, and the Yamaha GT80 like this best mini bike winner, was one of the coolest. Clymer caught this perfectly restored example at the 2013 Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts vintage motorcycle rally, looking like it had never been ridden.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles including British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American makes, all on display. Manufacturers represented include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, well worn bikes daily riders, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. Also on display were vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and right outside the hangar was a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
Yamaha made street legal enduros in every size from 50cc to 400cc back in the day, and the big boy looks made the smaller bikes far cooler than a pull start, lawnmower powered mini bike. If you were small enough, these bikes made competent racers as well, with real hydraulic suspension front and back,and better brakes than you would ever need. These bikes may not have been as bulletproof as a Honda Mini Trail, but a good rider on a GT80 would ride rings around the Mini Trail mounted kid.
You can read more of the specs on the Yamaha GT80 on Bikez.
If you have one of these great little dirt bikes, you’ll find all the answers in the Clymer 1968-76 Yamaha 80cc-175cc Piston Port Manual.