Tamiya 1/12 Yamaha YZR500

Some time ago I started a build log on the old site for Tamiya’s 1/12 Honda RC 166.
The build never got started for various reasons and I am getting the urge to start again .
I also mentioned in said blog that I have never completed a model motorcycle - a few starts but never finished one . I found this Yamaha kit buried deep in the stash - one of my uncompleted starts .
I remember working on this kit in our first home . We had no children at the time and our eldest is now 34 so it was that long ago at least . Scalemates lists this release as 1984 so that’s about right .
I had built several sub assemblies and had them ready for paint and it seems that’s as far as it got.
Now it’s time to rectify my non completion record .
This will give me some feel for these kits before diving in on the RC 166 - a considerable investment as I bought all the accessories as well.
So here are a few pics - not a build log really .
I’ve got the chassis / engine , swing arm , forks and wheels /brakes done and in paint . Body work painted in first color - white with yellow to follow .

Thanks for looking - more to come.

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Here are some pics of naked bike while the mechanicals can still be seen before getting lost behind the fairing ! Looks like I might actually finish this one - fingers crossed !


Great start Richard. These fearsome 2 strokes have gone the way of the dinosaur but good to see this being build. I rode a 125 GP two stroke many years ago, power band only operating between 11000 and 13000rpm. Always scared the hell out of me! Can only be impressed by the guys that rode these machines on the limit.


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Bodywork done . Would have loved to have used aftermarket decals but could not find any appropriate for this bike so struggled with the 35 + year old decals . Microscale Liquid decal film works well but the big issue was getting them to release from the backing . 25 minute soak in really warm water then lifting a corner with a brush and carefully paring away with a #11 blade did the trick but with the inevitable tear here and there . To my delight Microsol Red still worked to settle them down even though they were over coated with Liquid Decal film.

Not the bike build I been nagging you about for a few years, but this one is sure a huge surprise. I can now officially welcome you to the Dark Side.

I know even less about bikes then I do about trucks, so I’m studying your build strictly from a modeler’s point of view. The Gloss White paint laid down absolutely perfectly, I’m guessing that since you didn’t mention a Clear Gloss it’s Tamiya Gloss White. As for the Yellow, once again it’s a solid Gloss paint application. Looks glossy and smooth as silk. I’m finding it pretty hard to believe that you got those decals not only off the backing paper with the skill of a surgeon, but got them applied and then to lay down like they were brand new Cartograf decals.

the bare bones bike came out perfect. Hard to believe that they can stuff so much mechanicals into such a small area. Great job on painting all those various metal parts with different shades of Metalizers, as the end results really looks more like the real deal then a plastic model of one.

I have absolutely no doubt that you’ll finish it with flying colors.


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Thanks Buddy - coming from you it really means a lot . As noted in the post I dug this one out of the depths of the stash and decided to finish it for two reasons - 1 ) to break the spell and actually
complete a motorcycle. I am happy to
report that I finished it only minutes
ago and will post pics after touch up
dries .
2 ) to get a feel for these kits and
finishes before starting the Honda
which is next up - your persistence
has paid off !
Shifting gears away from aircraft has brought the mojo back a bit. I have some time on my hands as I am recovering from some minor injuries sustained Saturday when a girl took me out on my Norton by coming into my lane - bruised and swollen here and there and road rash on my right arm but mending quickly. Scary !

So here it is - finally completed a motorcycle model !

Next up - full build log - Tamiya 1/12 Honda RC 166
Thanks for looking


The yamaha YZR500 is just an outstanding build that’s up to your usual super high standards. Can’t wait for your Honda RC 166 build.

Can’t believe that some nut case girl most likely not paying any attention took you and your beloved Norton out. So glad that you only sustained minor injuries.

I shutter to think how after all those years you invested in a complete from the ground up restoration, the Norton was involved in that accident. Just how bad is it? And can you do the work to bring her back to that pristine condition?


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Looks great. Like Joel, looking forward to the RC 166. :+1:

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Very nicely done!

I think my Commando will be ok - some scrapes in the exhaust- torn footrest rubbers , etc . I won’t be able to assess all until my leg heals completely and it’s getting better everyday. The bike had a cushion to land on - me ! LOL . Thanks for the concern - all will be ok thankfully- could have been much worse .

Sorry to hear about the takeout Richard, something I think about almost everyday on my ride to work.
The Yamaha looks fantastic, I am sure King Kenny would be happy to throw a leg over that.


The main thing is that you’re ok, and you’re leg will heal hopefully with no lasting ill effects. Worst case scenario you need to buy parts to restore your Commando back to the pristine restoration condition it was in after more then 2 maybe 3 years of dedicated and super expensive work on your part.

I sure hope that the girl gets her insurance cancelled and thrown into the Risk pool for min coverage at max rates till the time period expires. I’m betting that she wasn’t paying much if any attention to the road in front of her while talking to a passenger, or on her cell phone even it was in hands off mode, or worse, texting which I see all the time.