Trying to secure a bit more market share and perhaps appeal to a new audience, Yamaha took its standard U5E electric start step-through 50, added a front basket, a white fringed seat, some special graphics and painted it pink. Badged the Lady Yamaha, knick-named the Pink Lady, and sold only in the United States, its sales for two years were luke warm, but it’s an interesting look back to motorcycle marketing of the era.

But was pink a new thing for bikes? We called former Motor Maid Vice President Glennadine Gouldman and asked her about the late past president of the Motor Maids, Dot Robinson’s bikes. Glennadine says, “Through the early 1950’s, Dot always rode regular Harleys with standard paint jobs. But after the film The Wild Ones came out in 1953, started riding pink Harleys. Dot was protesting that not all motorcyclists were as Hollywood had depicted them in the film and probably hoping to keep husband Earl from riding her bike. Before dirt track races started at Springfield, Columbus or about anywhere, she would lead pre-race parades of Motor-Maids out on the track. Each Motor Maid was in uniform, and Dot would lead on her pink bike. Quite a sight to see.”

As we know, by the mid-1960’s Japanese motorcycle sales were very strong in America. From 50cc machines to 450’s, step-throughs to street scramblers, Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki could satisfy about any need in small to medium bikes, and competition was strong. But maybe the entire industry’s recent efforts toward designed-for-women apparel and appropriate seats heights is more on target than pink bikes.

This 1969* Lady Yamaha was donated to the Antique Motorcycle Foundation by Kathy Dhue a few years back. Kathy’s late husband “Gentleman” Ray Dhue served on two Boards of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America and in retirement was a Harley-Davidson technician. On loan from the Antique Motorcycle Foundation, you can take in this unusual Yamaha and dozens of other Japanese bikes of many brands, plus lots of great women and motorcycling memorabilia the next time you visit the National Motorcycle Museum.


    • Engine: Air-Cooled Single
    • Type: Rotary Valve
    • Bore & Stroke: 40mm x 39.7mm
    • Displacement: 49cc’s
    • Induction: Mikuni VM, Rotary Valve
    • Ignition: Battery, Coil, Points
    • Lubrication: Autolube
    • Compression Ratio: 5.7:1
    • Starting: Kick & Electric
    • Primary: Gear Driven
    • Clutch: Multi-plate, Wet
    • Transmission: 3-Speed, Semi-Automatic
    • Electrics: 6 Volt
    • Frame, Forks: Pressed Steel
    • Suspension: Leading Link Fork, Dual Shock Absorbers
    • Wheels / Tires: 2.25 x 17 / 2.25 x 17
    • Brakes: Drum Front & Rear
    • *Titled as 1969. May be a 1965 or 1966 model year machine.
17 replies
  1. Lisa Larsen
    Lisa Larsen says:

    Great article and info! We JUST picked one up that has 275 original miles. It has some some condition issues but doesn’t seem like anything too major. Does anyone have any leads or information on where to get parts and such? Thank you in advance.

  2. Suzanne Demarco
    Suzanne Demarco says:

    I actually had one of these 1969. It was great for women who did not weigh very much. My boyfriend later my husband tried to ride it it did not have much pick up and go with him on it because he weighed a lot more.

  3. Mark
    Mark says:


    The Museum was contacted by a person who also has a Pink Lady, and may be interested in selling it. Call the Museum and ask for Mark, and I’ll relay his contact information.

  4. Roger Haase
    Roger Haase says:

    I have one with very few miles that it wouldn’t take a lot to restore. Can anyone tell me market value. One owner, my mom who is now deceased bought it new in 1969 and rode it to post office every day.

  5. Dustin hemmingsen
    Dustin hemmingsen says:

    I have one also, it was painted blue and the paint started peeling off and found out it’s pink, are these rare

  6. Cathy Crane
    Cathy Crane says:

    I had one growing up and would love to have another one. If anyone knows of one for sale or where I can find one it would really mean alot to me.

  7. Paris Best
    Paris Best says:

    I was tickled pink when my Dad bought me this brand new 1969 Lady Yamaha at the Yamaha dealership in Alamogordo, New Mexico. I rode it all over Holloman AFB. Wish I could have kept it forever, along with long my first car, the teeny tiny 1969 Subaru 360. 😊


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