Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas
750 YZE Paris-Dakar / Stéphane Peterhansel Â– 1989
Big single is back
First run in 1974 and dominated since 1983 by the faster and more flexible twin-cylinder bikes, the Paris-Dakar rally has always been the field of a bitter battle between twins and single-cylinder machines. It's a situation in which the singles - even if they haven't won - have always performed better overall.
The Ultimate Singles
The final development of the big singles came in 1987 with the 820cc Suzuki and the Yamaha 750. Even though they were giving away between 10 and 15 hp to the twins, they made it up in terms of weight and manoeuvrability. The Yamaha YZE was the most technically advanced, with a five-valve head and liquid cooling. It quickly proved fast and reliable.
Twin Fuel Tanks
Among its novel features were twin fuel tanks - 9.25 gallons at the front, 4.75 gallons at the back. On this bike, Stéphane Peterhansel narrowly missed winning the 1989 Paris- Dakar: the event went instead to the Honda twin ridden by Lalay. But the YZE Yamahas of Picco, Peterhansel, and Neveu finished second, fourth, and fifth. The following year Yamaha also followed the twin- cylinder trend with the racing version of the Super Ténéré, which won the supreme event in 1991. But the big single hadn't entirely lost out, for the production Ténéré 600, which made its debut in 1991, has a power unit that incorporates all the developments first tested on the YZE.
Engine: 752cc water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Power output: over 60 lip @ 6500 rpm
Valves: single overhead camshaft, 5-valve cylinder head
Transmission: 5-speed gearbox; chain final drive
Suspension: (front) Kayaba telescopic forks; (rear) swinging arm
Wheels: (front) 19 or 21 in; (rear) 18 in
Maximum speed: 115 mph
Stephane Peterbansel narrowly missed victory in the 1989 Paris-Dakar, but his YZE gave birth to the new Yamaha Ténéré in 1991.Â”