1987 Yamaha T80 Townmate


Good little work horse


I bought the bike with no MOT for £225.

The first task was to service it prior to the MOT. This is were I discovered that two of the fins on the cylinder barrel had broken away.

I decided to play safe and renew the barrel, reason being, these fins are all that keep the motor cool thus preventing seizure. Cost £70 for the barrel. £10 for gasket set.

Occasionally, engine would loose compression. This was due to a poor seal between the valves and the seats.

I discovered that by closing the choke and opening the throttle fully, the engine would start after about five kicks, then it is a matter of keeping the revs steady until the engine idles smoothly. This problem only occurred twice.

Front indicator brackets broke off. This is a problem with the T80.

Remedy was to fabricate some new brackets and weld them on. Did the job.

Left hand output shaft gearbox bearing started to wear badly at 32000 miles.

This seems to be another problem with the T80. The symptom is a deep rumbling noise that alters when on and off the throttle. This was never replaced.

Exhaust rusted through eventually.

This never replaced.

General Comments:

What started as a joke from many associates, turned into a real money saver. The T80 became a part of my life as a student. I was running a ZZR250 beforehand, and although I received many admiring glances, my finances were being crippled. The T80 resulted in many jokes and laughs, but I was the one laughing, laughing all the way to the bank.

The Yamaha T80 Townmate is the shaft drive version of the Honda Cub 90.

The T80 was always a good starter. One kick was all that was needed, even in sub zero temperatures, without using the choke.

The gear change of the four speed box was incredibly smooth. No jerkiness or clunks like many other stepthrus.

The six volt electrical system, although inexpensive to maintain, was rather feeble at times.

Rust was never a problem with this bike. The underside still looked good after years of hard labour.

The five liter fuel tank gave a good range. Fuel consumption would average 112mpg around town with hard riding.

The highest figure I achieved was 143mpg.

The T80 was not all that quick, only achieving about 45mph, but cost next to nothing to run, which more than makes up for the lower performance. This suites me fine as I am a man of economy.

The T80 was cheap to insure (group 2) and required very little maintenance.

Consumables, such as tyres, brake shoes etc hardly wore out. I changed the oil every 1000 miles, which I felt was necessary for a small motor that was permitted to work hard.

I ended getting rid of it (regretfully) because the engine needed an overhaul and the swing arm pivot bolt had seized in.

I have owned both the C90 and the T80. I can honestly say, I prefer the T80 by far. Reason being, the T80 had better range, shaft drive, was a better starter, parts were cheaper and easier to get, better and smoother gear change and I could go on.

In hindsight, I wish I had kept it.

At the age of seventeen, if I had used my head, I would have bought a T80 and kept it, instead of wasting my money on performance machines. If I had done this, I would be a lot richer.

If my present machine goes expensively wrong, I shall buy another T80.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2005

9th Nov 2005, 05:16

You're dead right, my T80 is the best thing I have ever ridden. It was out in the rain for one and a half years, and I took the mad decision to start it one day, and it started first go. What a machine.

10th Jun 2006, 05:36

I test rode a yammie (what I thought was a T80). I found myself stuck in the middle of a 3 carriage highway expecting c90 perfomance with virtually nothing over 30mph.

It may have been a T50 townmate, the owner was just describing it as a "townmate".

However it was smooth, with nice gearing (4 as opposed to 3 on the c90).

It didn't have the cool looks of the c90 (z2, zz or cub, maybe on a par with the c90c).

They said 200mpg when it came out!! May be true.

The new Honda Innova 125 - I think that'll be the one for me if I can find the cash.

Bit of an anorak here, first cast a leg over a "tuned" c50 in 1983!

Step thrus rock.

C90 cub has stonk loads of torque compared to the t80.

Sorry Yamaha, I think the T80 deserved more of a following than it got. Rest in peace, you were a great idea.