My First Bike: Yamaha FS1-E

Richard Paine, our new general manager, got to grips with a throttled two-wheeler on a Fizzy.

He bought his 1975 Yamaha FS1-E when he was 16 and it was three years old.

The “mauve” moped, as he describes it, was officially Popsicle Purple.

He paid £135 for it, which was “stupidly cheap” at the time.

“You could tighten up a screw on the throttle to hold it open. The first thing that happened to me was that my brother did that,” he recalled.

“I bump-started it, as the splines had gone on the kickstart, went down the drive and ended up in a bed of rose bushes, with thorns where they shouldn’t be.

“It was my first crash.”

It started a love of motorbikes which has seen him own up to 25 – he has lost count!

The Fizzy made way for a Kawasaki KH250 triple (one of two he has owned) and, along the way, his fleet has also included:

  • CZ 175
  • Honda C70
  • Yamaha RD200
  • Kawasaki KE175
  • Suzuki X7
  • Suzuki GT380
  • Kawasaki KH400
  • Honda CB400N Super Dream
  • Suzuki GS550
  • Two Kawasaki Z1000s – marks one and two
  • Three Suzuki GSX-R750s
  • Honda VTR1000
  • Suzuki 600 Bandit
  • Two Kawasaki GPZ550s

Now Richard owns a modified, and personalised, Kawasaki Z900RS Café and a 1959 Mobylette moped.

So, despite a prickly start in a bed of roses, his love of motorbikes is still blooming!

It is appropriate that we feature a Yamaha FS1-E this month because the Fizzy celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

The FS1-E, the ‘E’ designates it was a model for England, arrived in the UK in 1973.

It went on to become the most famous 49cc sports moped, with more than 200,000 made for the UK, and gave 16-year-olds their first taste of the thrills of motorbiking.