Cult bike Yamaha GTS 1000


Cult bike Yamaha GTS 1000

Cult bike Yamaha GTS 1000

From the flop to the darling

The Yamaha GTS 1000 showed how quickly a supposed high-flyer can become a laughing stock. But now the terrific flop is a sought-after treasure.

Between the advertising lines, Yamaha hit the kettle at the IFMA in Cologne in 1992. The visitors to the world’s largest motorcycle fair had to get the impression that only Stone Age motorcyclists with conventional telescopic forks would dare to go on the road. The future belonged to the stub axle steering, which was freshly presented GTS 1000 was – at least according to Yamaha interpretation – the spearhead of a new generation of motorcycles.

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Cult bike Yamaha GTS 1000

Cult bike Yamaha GTS 1000
From the flop to the darling

Lots of tech treats

But it wasn’t just their front wheel suspension that was revolutionary; on top of that, there were lots of technical treats that were far from common in high-volume motorcycle construction in the early 1990s. The five-valve engine borrowed from the FZR 1000 super sports car was specially equipped for the GTS with an injection system and G-Kat and trimmed for more torque. The in-line four-cylinder, throttled from originally 145 to 100 HP (in Germany 98 HP), was located in a state-of-the-art aluminum bridge frame, also known as the “Omega frame” because of its shape. As the GTS 1000 A, the sports tourer was initially available with ABS for a surcharge of 2120 marks. The internally ventilated solo disc in the front wheel was gripped by a six-piston caliper.

But what started as a high-flyer at the fair already crashed clean in the first test: unwilling turning, poor directional stability, unsatisfactory maneuverability, strong positioning when braking in an inclined position, only moderate comfort on uneven surfaces – zack, that was good! Constant jerking and sometimes stubborn throttle response with violent load change reactions did not make things any easier. The 290 kilogram heavy hum was already through the audience before it was even at the dealers. The too wide 130/60 front tire was quickly identified as the main culprit for the lousy driving behavior. Soled with a 120/70, the GTS scuttled around the corner easily and without any problems. Yamaha Japan stubbornly stuck to the 130, but the German importer at least granted approval for the alternative rubber.

Fantastic draft, excellent brakes, great workmanship

With a (the exhaust gas values ​​not exactly beneficial) mixture enrichment, the GTS had also stalled – small cause, big effect. The rest was allowed to stay as standard: silky smooth engine run, fantastic draft, great space, best wind protection, excellent brakes, great workmanship. But hardly anyone wanted to buy the GTS. The radical price reduction for the 1995 model year did not help much (from 22,790 to 17,630 marks without ABS or from 24,990 to 19590 marks with ABS). On the contrary: Now Yamaha had pissed off the few GTS first-time buyers and permanently ruined the used prices. Between 1993 and 2000, only 1369 units found a very satisfied buyer in Germany.

The thing with the steering knuckle didn’t really catch on despite (theoretical) advantages, the unfortunate GTS had simply left too much scorched earth behind. But what gave the Yamaha marketing managers many a sleepless night around 20 years ago, makes the shrill technology carrier a sought-after treasure today and confirms an old rule for used machines: What was a flop at a young age can become a cult with old age.



From 1993 to 2000, GTS only found 1,369 new machine buyers in Germany. But they were almost always very satisfied.

water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, 1002 cm³, 72 kW (98 PS) at 9000 / min, 102 Nm at 6500 / min, five-speed gearbox, bridge frame made of aluminum profiles with beams, weight with a full tank of 290 kg, front tires 130/60 ZR 17, rear 170/60 ZR 17, tank capacity 20 liters, top speed 216 km / h, 0-100 km / h in 3.8 seconds.

The detailed used purchase advice was published in MOTORRAD 23/1997. A detailed chapter is devoted to the GTS 1000 in the highly recommended standard work “Yamaha” by Koenigsbeck / Schneider / Abelmann (Schneider Text Editions, 2004, around 40 euros).

Natuschke & Lange, 27751 Delmenhorst, Tel. 0 42 21/6 50 70, (Yamaha dealer for 30 years with a big heart for exotic species and with a GTS-experienced workshop)

Market situation:
Attention, last chance: The range of used machines was never abundant and is now really modest. But there are still a few, the well-groomed first-hand treasures. The GTS 1000 is currently traded between 3500 and 4500 euros and then has a completely unproblematic 40,000 to 60,000 kilometers on the clock. But it is only a matter of time before tariffs rise significantly. So buy now!

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