Bang! Kapow! Whamm! 1966 Yamaha Batcycle

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Holy Rare Beast, Batman! Here’s something that rarely comes up for sale, a 1966 Yamaha Batcycle! This authentic, or at least authentically-recreated, masterpiece of engineering and design genius (not that I’m biased) is listed in an upcoming Mecum Auction to be held in Kissimmee, Florida on Friday, January 13th. Yes, Friday the 13th! If you don’t remember the original Batman series that ran on TV from 1966 to , that isn’t just a stationery sidecar, it’s an actual gas-powered go-kart! Bert Ward, aka Robin, rode there while Adam West, who most of us know as the original Batman from the 1960s TV series, rode the 250 Yamaha that was decked out as the Batcycle.

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There is no auction estimate for this one but a similar bike with sidecar sold at a 2009 Barrett-Jackson auction for $24,750. I’m guessing that this one will bring at least that because it was originally a part of the Harrah’s collection before being bought by a dealer in California and restored back to its original configuration and sold to a heavy-duty Batman collector in 1988. It hasn’t been touched since then and it’s for sale once again, almost three decades later.

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Other than maybe a replica of the Batmobile, I can’t imagine what vehicle could attract as much attention anywhere it went, at least among folks 30 or 40 years old or older. This one actually appeared in the TV show, according to the notes in the Mecum auction. There is a wide history of this bike, being made in 1966 for the TV show, and then after the show going to the Harrah’s collection, being sold to a dealer who also bought an original Batmobile and ended up selling both of them to a collector who had them on display. I think, Hollywood Star Cars in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It sold for almost $52,000 at a Bonham’s auction, so this one will be well over my budget. But, with any of these TV vehicles, it’ll take a lot of paperwork to authenticate whether this is the real deal or not. Even if it isn’t, it’s easily worth $25,000-$30,000.

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This is the heart of the Batcycles, and they made four of them: a 1966 Yamaha YDS-3 Catalina 250 cc twin. Robin’s ride, the go-kart, was powered by a Yamaha 55 cc engine with electric start and three-speeds! I can not imagine how cool it would be to own this rig! I’m a lifelong Yamaha fanatic anyway, and a huge fan of the original Batman series, campy and cheesy as it was. If the world somehow stops spinning and all technology pauses when the bid gets to $10,000, this one will be mine. If not, it’ll go to someone else. Do any of you remember the Batcycle, or do you even remember the Batman TV¬†show?

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Comments

  1. Billy

    Holy cash grab Batman!

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  2. Jeffro

    I have my helmet!

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  3. 68 custom

    I think the Suzuki motorcycle there started life as an X-6 scrambler, cool bike in it’s own right! and yes I remember the duo riding around in a rig like that on Batman. very cool!

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    • Mike Kiser

      X 6 Hustler

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  4. Coventrycat

    Loved the show, thought Batgirl and her bike was a GREAT addition to the show, too.

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    • Peter

      rrrrRRRREEEEEOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!

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  5. AMCSTEVE

    Nananananananaanat BATMAN

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  6. Derik Lattig

    Derik Lattig says this is really cool! Thanks!

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  7. Alan (Michigan)

    Looking at the Mecum photos, it appears as though the sidecar frame contains a separate 4-wheel kart. I expect that the sidecar frame is mounted pretty solidly to the Batcycle, and Robin’s ride can pop off and go on independently. Very cool.

    They should split the kart from the sidecar for some photos, that’d increase the interest, IMO!

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    • MSG Bob

      If you saw the movie, Alan, you got it exactly right. The sidecar/go-cart rolled off a platform connected to the cycle, IIRC.

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  8. RockabillyJay

    I want the Panhead Batman rode before that Yamaha!

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  9. Claus Graf

    …and I remember the bat boat, batcopter and the Penguin’s submarine!

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  10. DJ

    It bring back the good old days I love what u guys do .

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  11. Sheffieldcortinacentre

    Yes I remember those vehicles all used by the real batman & robin, not these modern poor imitations.
    Still have my corgi toys batmobile from my child hood in the 70s, they also made the batboat & batcopter ,I think they also made the batcycle too.

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    • harit

      Hi
      Did your toy have that little cannon firing 3 red plastic pellets when the car was pushed along? Memories.

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  12. Jim

    There are no words to express how much I want this! Wow.

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    • peter

      Jim, the correct words are, “Holy Wow Batman, I want this”!

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  13. Ian

    Cool, iconic, collectible. Someone will definitely want to add this bike/kart combo to their collection. 55cc and a three speed for the kart? KAPOW!

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  14. Rolf Poncho 455

    Grate thanks for good old memories BF

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  15. Steve

    I met Yvonne Craig at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale in 2009 and we talked about her Batgirl cycle. She said she never knew what happened to it. She figured after the show was cancelled they removed the modified pieces and probably sold it. Like many of us back in the late 60s I had a major crush on her and it was fun to actually admit it to the real Batgirl! She was a very nice lady.

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  16. Ck

    This looks like the bike that I saw at Rhode Island comicon.Verry kool up close and in person.For 20 bucks you could stand next to it and take a picture,WITH YOUR PHONE ,what a deal.There are always asorted movie /TV cars at Comicon .Some of them are the real deal ,some are replicas.Not to sure if this was the bike I saw.I was at Walmart the other day and saw a Hot Wheel of this bike for around 5 bucks ,just in case you don’t have the cash for this one.

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  17. swriddle

    The 1st Batcycle was a 1965 Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

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  18. sparecr

    Can’t say it was this exact one but one sold at Auburn last fall looking exactly like this one for $44,000 http://www.auctionsamerica.com/events/feature-lots.cfm?Order=price&feature=&collection=&grouping=&category=Motorcycles&SaleCode=AF16&ID=r0072

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    • PRA4SNW

      Interesting, this one has a completely different look to it. Graphics, exhaust, etc are vastly different. Even the year listed is different.
      Not sure why, unless one of them is a re-creation attempt.

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  19. Tommy

    I sat on this strangely enough in my backyard in the 60’s. Korky Korkus lived behind me in Whippany New Jersey and was working for George Barris at the time, they came east for show and had a whole load of batman things including a surfboard with a motor. Sonny and Cher’s matching cars too. I guess I’m showing my age!

    Tommy

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    • Peter

      Tommy–TOO COOL!

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  20. Tommy

    It was and it also as a very long time ago!

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  21. PRA4SNW

    This sold just below estimate at $24,000.

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