Build your own.
I was today years old when I learned that, until very recently, Yamaha had blueprints and instructions for building tiny paper replicas of its most popular models available free online. The manufacturer shuttered the paper models website in late 2018, and for a while, it looked like those model kits were lost to history.
Enter Chuck from FamilyBusyness.com. This legend managed to grab most of the PDFs from his original collection and filled in the rest using Google’s WayBack Machine. For now, at least, Chuck has all the models and their build sheets hosted on his own website.
Everything is here—The T-Max, and V-Max, a 2014 YZF-R1, and ancient YA-1, even the MT-10 and MT-01. Dirt bike fans will get a kick out of the YZ-450FM and those of us with a lust for small Japanese motorcycles can spend hours building a paper SR400.
All it takes is a color printer, some glue, scissors, Xacto knife and a couple of hours worth of time and nimble-fingered fiddling. The good news is, because it’s free to download you can try, try again on each of these models. Your only cost is a few dollars worth of printer ink and the possible risk you’ll teach your kids new swear words and you build the intricate models with them.
How long these models and downloads will stay available for remains to be seen. After all, they’re not only the intellectual property of Yamaha, but the company must have had a reason for pulling down the site they were originally hosted on. Web hosting for these files would have cost Yamaha virtually nothing, so maybe they had a scheme for these schematics we don’t know about yet.
Let’s hope Chuck can keep hosting these excellent model projects for a while to come, and that more parents sit down with their kids to build them.