Words and photos by Kevin Marrs
I am a mechanic by trade and work for BP I have been vintage racing for three years now with my buddies in Washington, USA. We race the Hammer and Tong series at Washougal each June at the National track.
I’ve been riding Yamahas my whole life and the ’81 YZ 465 was the big bike to own when I was growing up, other than the Maicos. But there weren’t any Maicos in Alaska (where I still live) back then to ride. (Is the closest place to race really 4,000 kilometers away, at Washougal!!!!! – Ken, VMX)
After I bought the bike to restore, it was stripped down to the frame and powder coated, along with the hubs and brake plates. The bike was originally yellow but refinished in white. The tank was repainted by Brian Fedigan in New York. The gas cap is a custom-made BBR cap (BBR also made the custom brake stay and brake arm).
Black Excel rims were laced up with Buchanon stainless steel spokes and nipples. During the resto I also used all new nuts and bolts, bearings, a Maico Only pipe and silencer, Protaper bars, ASV levers and hammer head grips. The plastics were sourced from Extreme XYZ. The motor was rebuilt and painted, and also painted were the cylinder and head after being bead blasted. Rear shock is a Works Performance item.
I also have an HL 500 and a ’98 YZ 400 which I race here in Fairbanks. The YZ465 took almost a year to complete and cost too much money! The resto would not have been possible without my buddy Fritz. He did all of the disassembly and reassembly and some machining work. I supplied the parts and funding. Now I have a bike I’ve always wanted and it looks great, runs great and has lots of power!!