Post-Sale Update: After 8 bids on eBay, this Yankee Z500 sold for $3,550.
In the early 70s, John Taylor of Schenectady, New York started building the Yankee Z500, an American dual-sport designed to compete with the best bikes coming out of Europe. Yankee Motor Company started by importing machines from OSSA, the Spanish off-road powerhouse, and then moved to modifying OSSA engines in their own custom frames. Eventually, they combined two OSSA 250cc thumpers to form the 500cc twin that powers this rare American legend.
Unfortunately, the Yankee Z500 was out of the market almost as soon as it got in. Production delays meant that it was already too heavy to be competitive in serious competition the day it was released. But it had some interesting features, like a 6-speed gearbox (with the ability to lock out 1st), a quick-release seat, and a large air filter. But the quirkiest thing of all? This was the first production motorcycle to utilize a rear disc brake. What makes that quirky is that Yankee kept a drum brake up front! I can’t recall any other vehicle that only has a disc in the back, but I’d love to hear from any of you that know one off the top of your heads. They’re big, they’re rather brutal, and they look like a ton of fun to ride. Only 760 were built, so you won’t have many opportunities to snag one nowadays. Want to learn more? Check out YankeeTwin.com.
This specific Yankee Z500 (#526) isn’t in perfect shape, but it’s definitely a solid project – especially when you consider how rare these bikes are. It has a NOS tank, though there’s some scratches from sitting on a shelf. It last run (poorly) a “couple of years ago”, so expect to sink a bit of money into this. We’ve seen Z500’s go for about $4,500-$6,000 in great shape over the last few years, so we’ll be looking to see where this one ends up.
Find this Yankee Z500 for sale in Punta Gorda, Florida with bidding up to $2,610