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 singles 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. This was the first production dirtbike to utilize a rear disc brake, though they kept a drum brake up front. They’re big, they’re rather brutal, and they look like a ton of fun to ride. I’ve seen multiple sources that say only 760 were built, so you won’t have many opportunities to snag one nowadays. Want to learn more? Check out Motocross Action Magazine – they say that 764 were built, for what it’s worth.
I’ve featured 3 Yankees in the past and all of them sold for $4,000 +/- 500. That makes the $7,000 asking price of this seller quite high, but
Find it here on Vintage Flat Track (scroll down to May 24) for $7,000 somewhere in Florida.