Live Auctions

Two Stroke Survivor: 1971 Yamaha CS3 200

Most of us started our lifelong love of motorcycles on a small CC bike. Whether it was a Honda 50 or a mini bike with a pull starter, not many of us were riding huge motorcycles as our first two-wheelers. This 1971 Yamaha CS3 200 is listed here on eBay in Rapid City, South Dakota (known by locals as “Rapid”, for some insider info) and the current bid price is $1,999 but the reserve isn’t met.

I’ve been riding for 50+ years now and I still love small bikes like this Yamaha, and this is a big one to me. I’m 6′-5″ tall but as a kid, my first one was a late-60s Yamaha YL-1 Twinjet 100 twin-cylinder street bike like this one. My brother and I put hundreds of miles on that thing on our gravel road and on a trail that we carved through the two acres of woods behind our house, building a little wooden bridge over the stream and everything. What I wouldn’t give to go back to those days now.

Most of you have similar stories I’m positive. I still have that Yamaha Twinjet but it’s been sitting for over forty years now, it’s time to do something about that. But, back to this CS3 200. This would have been an incredible upgrade to the YL-1 that we had as kids. It had double the engine size of our 100 Twinjet and in a couple of years, my dad bought a beautiful 1970 Yamaha DS6 250 like this one, a bike that I’ve been looking for over the last several years.

The Yamaha CS3 200 came out in 1970 as basically an upgrade to the previous CS2 180 cc bikes. You can see that this example isn’t perfect so it’s not a nut-and-bolt restored motorcycle, but it appears to be in really nice condition with no dents in the gas tank which is almost unheard of for a bike this old. There is one big chip in the paint on the corner of the left side cover and the seller has included three great videos on YouTube – a walk-around video here, a cold start video here, and a riding video here. Nice work.

The engine is Yamaha’s 197 CC parallel twin with around 22 horsepower and it runs like a sweet blue-smoke-producing sewing machine as it should. It starts on the first kick as I remember with our Twinjet but this one has an electric starter, too. They mention that it has a salvage title so I’m not sure what that’s about. Let’s hear those vintage motorcycle stories!


  1. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    My friend had what must have been the little brother to this. 120 CC and metallic blue. Great bike.

    Like 3
  2. Euromoto Member

    Spent my 2020 – 2021 Covid lockdown rebuilding a 1975 RD200, the racier son of this guy. Fun bike. But when it came time to sell, I got less than I thought it would be worth. I’m not surprised the reserve isn’t met given my own experience.

    Like 4
    • Ken Haughton

      It was just after passing grade 5. The summer of 1974. I always wanted a “mini-bike” since my best friend’s dad built him a dark blue pull-start Briggs and Stratton 5 HP motor mini-bike in 1973. And at 5hp that little thing woulda’ blew by a ‘vette in the qm!! Lmao!! But really. It was fast by those standards of mini-bike. So after the last day of grade 5 I decided to walk home taking a path that would lead me to seeing inside our ’69 Dodge Fargo van. I’m sure you all know what you can see inside one of those as you approach it from the rear. Well I saw the handle-bars with the tell-tale brake cables and mirrors you would see one a factory made motor-cycle. My little sister Cathy who walked home with me know what mom and dad got me for passing and told me to act surprised. I didn’t have to act when my little brother, four att, gave me a gold motor-cycle helmet. My parents bought me a 1970 Honda Trail 70T? That was my first go round with a real mini-bike. To make a short story longer it was me ma’s idea to buy that for her oldest son. But it was me drunked out daddy that spoiled it for me the very 1st summer I had it. Will he is gone now. 22 Years ago fathers day. I missed him lots. So then. That’s it. The story of my first bike. Was it ok?

      • Euromoto Member

        Very good, Ken. Very good, indeed.

  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    Looks like the larger version of the old Twin-Jet 100 that Yamaha brought out back in the ’66. I remember when those came out, the local dealer couldn’t keep them in stock; they kept buzzing out the door. Myself I was never impressed but by then I was into bigger bikes. Of course I have to say that I sure wouldn’t kick this one off my driveway. Well, either one…

    Like 5
    • Howard A Member

      Hey, hey, we were a wonderin’ where you were. “Buzzin” is the right word there, think of it as riding around on something powered by 2 chainsaws. Not sure what the obsession was with 2 strokes back then. We certainly had much more civilized 4 strokes around. Let’s call a spade a spade, these were noisy, offensive, before oil injection, mixing gas was always iffy, at best, they rode poorly and uncomfortable for anything longer than “to the other side of town”, not to mention, show up to your date smelling of oil, yet, like you say, Japan couldn’t make them fast enough. It was probably the cheapest form of transportation, they were used until they either crashed or puked, and discarded for something better. At the risk of offending a 2 stroke nut, these were almost always “beginner bikes”, and not many bought another. Most went on to better cruisers, but make no mistake, these were ridden plenty, with valuable riding experience gained.

      Like 5
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Howard. I’ve been around—to physio and other stuff. Getting wiened from the cast and dealing with work bedlam. Still trying to figure out how some of the BF features blast on by without my noticing. Must be in the water. Anyway, I remember when Yamaha came out with those “GYT Kits,” you could actually soup up a Twin Jet with one. It cost about $200 back in the day. The Yamaha dealer stuck one in a Twin Jet and made it into an off-road bike. It made it almost a complete circuit of the motocross track before its back broke. Back then you could’ve got a Van Tech or a Metisse frame that would’ve been something that could handle that P/O’d mosquito…

        Like 3
      • AZVanman

        I can’t speak for all 2-stroke lovers Howard, but the noise and feel was what drew me to them, not to mention taking larger 4-strokes to the cleaners on a daily basis. Granted my ’74 RD350 was oil injected and eliminated that hassle, these older and smaller bikes felt just perfect to a teenage boy like myself. I learned how to ride on a 4 stroke, but really fell in love with riding on that RD. And Scotty, your Dad’s DS6 250 was a great looking bike–as a huge Yamaha fan I’m ashamed I’d never heard of that model!

        Like 4
      • JS

        Howard, I love the two strokes. You don’t piss me off though, I just feel sorry for you. You must have never experienced the shock and awe of an H1 or H2 Kawasaki. Back in high school one friend who had a Honda 400 super sport was razzing another friend about the poor handling of his H1. His retort was “Yeah, but I could get off the bike and walk it through the corners and still beat you.”

        Like 1
  4. billy1

    Amazing condition given it’s age.

    Like 2
  5. Greg

    A YA6, YL1, 2 X6 Hustlers, a Suzuki T250, A Kawasaki H1, 2 Suzuki GT750’s say I have loved 2 strokes since I got rid of my first Honda C110 that kept getting blown away by a friends Tohatsu Runpet Sport.

    Like 2
  6. ToddTCE

    Oddly I was looking over the Stock today and was eyeing my RD200 for a freshening for a ride this time next year. Good stuff!

  7. Alex

    I have a 1970 ds6 that will be for sale this year at the Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival in the upper swap meet. Non original paint, all there and starts on the first kick… come get it!

  8. rdgabert

    I have seen this bike in person. It is a very honest and clean example.
    Too bad I just don’t have room for anymore bikes right now.

  9. Jiim

    My first motorcycle was a Whizzer. It had a 4 cycle motor but it burned so much oil it smelled like a two stroke mixed with STP. Wish I still had it too.

  10. John Traylor

    Those videos sure brought back great memories; my second bike was one just like this.

    Like 1
  11. Mood-O

    1969 Yamaha AT1 125cc was my first bike(1974/75) rode it to high school for 2 years without a license and “motocrossed” it in our local sand pit/rock quarry on the days I wasn’t working!
    Next step up was a ‘76 Yamaha 650 twin…
    Then a ‘75 Kawasaki Z-1 900 that I sold in 1988.
    Haven’t owned or ridden a 2- wheeler since, but great memories!

  12. Jim Trook

    I had a Yamaha 200 Twin, can’t remember the year model, but it was green. I bought it because of an experience with an earlier Yamaha 180. That was a real screamer for it’s size, so I figured a 200 would be just a little more of the same. Great little bike; spent many happy hours on it!

    Like 2
  13. Kenn

    Guess Howard A never owned an early outboard motor – two stroke, had to mix oil and gas, noisy, smoky, dirty but got you to the fishing hole and pulled water skiers to boot.

  14. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one ended at $2,225 and no sale. It’s tempting at $2,500 for me, anyone else?

  15. Barney

    I had a YDS3 in the mid sixties. Two cylinder two stroke 250cc. I had a lot of fun on that bike. I haven’t seen one since

  16. Brad460 Member

    First Bike we had was a 68 ct90 that my dad bought not running for 60 dollars. His buddy overhauled it and we rode it a lot. only years later did we discover 2 strokes. Lady was selling a 75 RD250 and one ride sold me. Love the peaky powerband. Dad is gone now about 7 or 8 months ago but my brother and I still have the RD. Still mint shape. Lots of memories riding “Margie”

  17. Kenn

    My first motorized two-wheeler was my bike with a Marmon Twin bought by mail order out of California if memory serves. Beat the socks off Whizzers but was mounted higher on the bike frame and had a two gallon tank. Lots of weight way up high. Still miss it after all these years.

  18. Terrry

    I had a ’68 180, in the early 90s that the previous owner had since new. It was in nice condition except for being a bit sun-faded. I remember it being a really nice around-town hopper. I would never take it on the freeways however. I always wonder why they put electric start on them, they didn’t need it. Mine started first kick.

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