Suitably Retro

For the past several months, I have been looking for a suitable set of turn signals to fit the 1966 Yamaha YA6  that I bought earlier this year. I haven’t had too much trouble finding other bits and pieces – original style mirrors for example – but finding NOS turn signals from that era has proved to be a challenge. What are offered either from a dealer or after market reproduction supply, are examples of plastic and chrome ugliness that are closer to the look of more modern motorcycles than the older 1960’s look. I have seen a few custom lights intended for choppers and custom HD’s, but frankly the idea of putting Harley Davidson lights on a one eighth litre Japanese two stroke just didn’t feel right, and as well most of the custom lights are either halogen or LED’s which again just don’t match the era. A large part of the problem is that signals themselves were not a factory original item, but instead were offered as a dealer equipped option. As a result, finding a part number has not been easy, and in the past six months I have only actually seen one light for sale on eBay which went very quickly, and which just shows I’m not the only person with this problem !

The other day, I was puttering about the showroom of Universal Cycle in the north of Calgary while I was waiting for some tires to be installed for my GT750 project bike, and I literally stumbled across a temporary solution that will do till I can locate some originals.  Buried in one of the display cabinets was a light from a company called Emgo, and while this light wasn’t the same as what would have been installed originally, it did have that pleasingly ‘Flash Gordon’ retro look that I was looking for ! I’ve included a photo to the right.  The owner, Don Fergin, was able to dig up another three to go with the one in the display case, so I bought the set of four and walked away a happy person !

I’m still debating whether to paint them black as the original lights would have been done, or to leave them as chrome, mainly because at the moment the new chrome really stands out and makes the rest of the unrestored bike look a bit tired, but I’m in no particular hurry. My longer term plan is to do a ground up rebuild with new paint etc., sometime next year so I’ll decide then, and perhaps powder coat them with the rest of the parts I’ll be doing, plus of course I’ll still keep an eye open for an NOS style set as it seems everything shows up on eBay eventually !

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