It takes a special cocktail of skill, knowledge and reverence to restore a classic race bike properly—especially if it’s a rare one. It’s a recipe that Mike Watanabe and Luke Ransom know off by heart. They run Union Motorcycle Classics out of a barn in Nampa, Idaho, where they concoct the handsomest of restorations and customs.
They have a knack for finding vintage motorcycles with deep backstories too—like this race-bred Yamaha TR2B. Originally built and raced by AMA and Australian sports Hall of Famer, Kel Carruthers, it eventually made its way into Union’s hands in need of restoration.
Born in Sydney, Kel Carruthers was neck deep in racing and wrenching on motorcycles before he was even a teenager. As an adult he found a measure of success racing in Europe—like winning the 1969 250 cc motorcycle Grand Prix championship. He would later guide Kenny Roberts to multiple national and international titles, as his crew chief.
But before the Roberts era, Yamaha enticed Kel with an offer to race in the USA in 1971. He was partnered with another racing legend, the late Don Vesco, running a pair of modified Yamaha TR2Bs.
By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Period Correct: Union restores a 1971 Yamaha TR2B racer
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/yamaha-tr2b-classic-race-bike
Published Date: Mon, 01 Aug 2022 17:01:14 +0000