The Yamaha FS1-E is one of the definitive 1970s
sports mopeds. They were produced in their un-restricted
form between 1972 to 1977 then in various other
forms to 1980. They were all 50cc but the later
ones after August 1977 were restricted for legal
reasons to a maximum of 30mph, the earlier ones
were capable of about 45 to 50mph and returned
about 95+ miles per gallon.
The Yamaha FS1-E, or more commonly known as
a "fizzy", was a must have moped for 16 year
olds from it's UK introduction in 1972 to the
late 70s, when in 1977 the British government
introduced new legislation to restrict the maximum
speed of mopeds to 30mph. The Yamaha FS1-E has
a 49cc single cylinder 2-stroke air cooled rotary
valved engine with a four-speed gearbox. It
originally was only available in one colour,
Candy Gold, and this was know as the SS model,
the last of the Candy Gold ones were badged
FS1-E in 1974. The SS stood for "Sixteener Special".
In 1974 a second colour was introduced, Popsicle
Purple and the model name on the side panel
was changed to the now infamous "FS1-E". The
model was FS1 and the suffix "E" stood for England
(differing from the models sold in other countries
as the FS1-E had pedals). Yamaha changed the
colours over the years (Baja Brown, Competition
Yellow etc) and introduced various improvements
such as a front disc brake (FS1-E DX.) and an
autolube model with a 2-stroke oil tank and
oil injection (so you wouldn't have to manually
mix fuel and 2-stroke oil any more.)
The FS1-E has enjoyed a renaissance for the
past few years as the original 16 year old owners
have now become 40+-year olds with some spare
cash are looking to relive their youth by buying
and restoring these wonderful classics. Such
is now the demand for Fizzys, the prices for
both the mopeds themselves and the spare parts
have risen sharply with some restored models
fetching in excess of £3,000. I am also
pleased to say that the FS1-E also has a new
generation of owners with many 16-year olds
opting to own an old classic Fizzy rather than
opting to buy a modern scooter, and thus keeping
the Fizzy spirit alive going forwards.
There have been various enthusiasts clubs and
websites set to cater for this renewed interest.
The extent of work carried out varies greatly,
from simply getting a bike running to complete
restorations and engine transplants (usually
from the similar YB100).
In total there were about 200,000+ produced
for the UK market and it is estimated that only
2,000-3,000 still exist so finding one in a
barn or old lock-up is becoming increasingly
The FS1-E had the ability
to be powered by pushbike type pedals since
this was a legal requirement in the United Kingdom
at the time for mopeds.
The special pedal cranks allowed both pedals
to be rotated forward so that the pedals would
form motorcycle-style footrests in normal operation.
To engage the pedals, the left-hand pedal crank
could be rotated back and locked and a drive
gear engaged allowing the user to pedal. A short
chain connected the pedal drive to the main
engine-chain drive system. Pedalling was hard
work for the rider: there was no freewheel and
the pedal gearing was very low. The engine could
be started with pedal drive engaged, causing
the pedals to rotate under engine power when
the bike was in gear.
In practice, the cam and shaft arrangement
to engage the pedals frequently seized (in normal
operation, a rider would never engage pedal
drive; it was less tiring to push than to pedal).
Engine: Two Stroke 4.8 bhp
rotary disc valve induction, single carburettor,
wet sump, 4 gears, with a 20: 1 mix of petrol
to 2 stroke oil.
Frame: pressed steel tubular
Electrics: 6v lead acid 3
cell battery, backlit speedometer with neutral
light, horn, high and low beam light switch
and indicators switch. 3 position ignition switch
(off, on, lights). On most models this was mounted
on the L/H side panel, however the switch was
moved to the conventional position between the
handlebars on the DX.
Performance: Maximum Speed
40-45 mph, 95 mpg or more. Right hand side panel
contains a basic toolkit in a plastic case,
pliers, 3 spanners, double ended screwdriver,
Top Fizzie restroration tips;
- Use all genuine parts as pattern parts don't
fit properly, don't last well and look naff!
- Get the paint done professionally by someone
who specialises in your model of bike
- Paint the frame, do not powder coat it,
they rarely look right with so much powder
coating on them.
- Use London Chroming, they provide an excellent
service and do a great job.
- Make sure your wife loves you very much
as you will be spending endless hours in the
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