The immortal Fizzy, svelte and aggressive looking even when standing still, was the must-have mode of transport for teenagers wanting their first taste of freedom.
Up until 1971, young learner riders could take a proficiency test and leap on anything up to 250cc, but in December of that year the lawmakers decreed that 16-year-olds could only ride mopeds up to 50cc. Fortunately, the Fizzy was waiting in the wings, with a 49cc, 4.8hp two-stroke engine capable of hitting 50mph with a fair wind.
Its sports styling played on the desire of a whole generation of young bikers to ride something that looked the part - and it worked.With three months of its launch in 1973 - at the time available only in gold - the FS1E was Yamaha’s biggest-selling bike in the UK, in part driven by the oil crises of the early 70s as people looked for more fuel efficient vehicles.
But it was clearly intended for the teen market, with early examples badged SS - “Sixteener Special” - before Honda stepped in to claim the name for their SS50.
At its launch, the Fizzy was fitted with bicycle pedals required at the time for its classification as a moped, handy if you ran out of fuel but hard work with low gearing and a comparatively heavy “bike” to propel.
In 1977, all mopeds were restricted to just 30mph, but it was a big surprise if you didn’t know something at school who had derestricted or tuned their Fizzy to reach dizzying speeds of up to 60mph.
In all, 200,000 FS1Es were sold in the UK alone, and the biker’s moped was immortalised in an award-winning film, Fizzy Days, in 2006.
A mint Fizzy will now set you back you back up to £3000 - and there are plenty of middle-aged men prepared to pay for the chance to relive this glorious age of small-engined motorcycling.
I wish I’d kept mine.