Yankee Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

About Jim

My interests include motorcycling in general, but Yankee motorcycles in particular, fishing, hockey, computers, and golf. I have really gotten to enjoy the fishing, especially at my favorite fishing area, Spirit Lake, Iowa.

I was fortunate to be able to view the International Six-day Trials in two different countries. One was in 1973, when it was in Massachusetts and in 1979, when it was in West Germany. This event is, as its name indicates, a competition of motorcycles lasting 6 full days, in which the riders ride approximately 200 miles each day with most of the riding through the woods. A schedule has to be kept in order to win a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. It was an amateur event, although there was some question about that in respect to some county's teams.

 My Yankee motorcycle interests started in the mid 1960's when I kept watch on the evolution of the idea John Taylor came up with about another American motorcycle manufacturer. After a 2-year stretch with the US Army, I was fortunate to be hired by Yankee Motor Company as one of their parts people. After a training period, I became the parts manager, primarily concerned with the OSSA parts that Yankee imported at the time. I left Yankee in early 1971 to return to college back in Illinois. During this time, I kept close watch on what the guys at Yankee were doing. I found time to continue to do some racing with my 1969 OSSA 250 Stiletto and a 1972 250 Rickman. Moto-cross and scrambles were the places I went on the weekends. Following this year in college, I took a job with Grayboy Cycle Center in Chillicothe, Illinois. This dealership was an OSSA/Yankee dealer as well as BSA, Triumph, Husquarna, Penton, Rickman, and Kawasaki. I traded for my 1971 Yankee Z 500 in 1975. I gave up an OSSA Mick Andrews Replica trials bike to get it.