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Essential Stuff to Know About the Yamaha CV80

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:04 pm    Post subject: Essential Stuff to Know About the Yamaha CV80 Reply with quote

The Yamaha CV80 is an 80cc 2-stroke scooter that was produced from 1981 to 1987 and was sold all over the world. For sure, it was sold in Canada, USA, Holland, Belgium, Sweden and Japan. This scooter was one of the first scooters sold as part of the 80's Japanese scooter invasion that also included scooters like the Yamaha Jog, Honda Aero, Honda Elite series, Honda Spree, Suzuki 50 etc.

The CV80 was sold under several names worldwide including:
- 'Beluga' in Japan and Canada
- 'Riva 80' and 'CV80' in the USA
- 'City CV 80' and 'Beluga' in Europe (sometimes sold as a 'Hercules' rather than a Yamaha)

Throughout it's lifecycle, the CV80 received a number of performance and visual changes. Check out the performance and style sections below for more details on this.

In it's original form, the CV80 was quite a slow scooter for an 80cc 2-stroke. It's competitors (i.e. Honda NH80 and Vespa P80X) produced considerably more power. The main reasons for the CV80's poor performance are the restrictive exhaust system, tiny carburetor and tall gearing that didn't let this engine rev. It seems that Yamaha went overboard when they tried to make this scooter docile and friendly.

Part way through the CV80's model life, it seems Yamaha realized they had overly restricted this scooter, so they made a number of revisions that dramatically improved the performance. Yamaha changed the 13mm carb to a 16mm carb, replaced the exhaust with sort of an expansion chambered design and they introduced a new cylinder, head, variator, reed cage and intake manifold (and more). These revisions were implemented at different times in different countries. Europeans seem to have gotten these changes for the 1983 model year, while USA customers didn't get them until the '85 model year. In Canada, it seems that Yamaha implemented these changes gradually over a few years ('84-'86).

The performance difference between the early and late versions of the CV80 is quite dramatic. The early model CV80 is rated at 4.7hp, whereas the revised model produces 6.9hp. Accordingly, the late model CV80 has considerably better acceleration and tops out around 75km/hr instead of 60-65km/hr. A European magazine compared these versions and recorded 0-60km/hr times of 15.8 seconds (early model) compared to 10.5 seconds for the revised version.

For any owners seeking to make their CV80 faster, there does seem to be some fairly easy ways to improve the performance including retrofitting the improved parts, tossing in lighter rollers and installing aftermarket exhausts and bigger carbs. Speeds of 50-60mph are attainable fairly easily. For more on this read:

The CV80 was initially intended for the Japanese market and thus was designed to meet only Japanese safety rules. Accordingly, when Yamaha decided to sell this model in Europe and North America, they needed to make changes to the blinkers and/or taillight. With the exception of Sweden, the integrated front and rear blinkers did not meet regulations in the rest of the world, so Yamaha opted to externalize the rear blinkers and widen the front blinkers with an ugly plastic appendage. The front blinkers are still available from Yamaha Japan for about $38 each (I ordered myself a set and they're great!). For more on this read:

Fortunately for European owners, the integrated rear taillight apparently was okay to sell there, but North American owners got stuck with an ugly external taillight as well. Owners of North American CV80's can retrofit this internal taillight (and blinkers) if they can source one from Europe or Japan. Here is a guide on the process:

Any North American owner who retrofits this taillight (and any European owner) can then easily then activate the internal blinkers following this guide:

In addition to these safety changes, Yamaha also deprived North American owners by giving them a useless front gear slot instead of the nice lockable and large glovebox provided in the rest of the world. This gear slot is virtually useless due to its small size and it's fondness for cracking and breaking. You can retrofit the glovebox if you can find yourself a European or Japanese one (like I'm trying to do) but this isn't easy.

Finally, Yamaha introduced a kickstand on some CV80's at seemingly the same time they made the engine revisions. This part is not easily retrofittable as mounting the kickstand requires a bracket welded on to the main frame.

Accessories & Aftermarket Parts:
Unfortunately, no aftermarket parts are available for the CV80 but Yamaha did initially sell a number of nice accessories. Yamaha sold a weird rack to hold a tennis racket (in Japan) and a windscreen and storage box (worldwide). The storage box is particularly nice as it matches the Beluga's style very well and it provides a nice increase in lockable storage. A NOS storage box sold on eBay a year ago for about $50 but generally these accessories are quite rare.

In terms of aftermarket parts no one makes aftermarket parts specifically for the CV80, so you're stuck using universal parts or finding parts from other applications. For more info on what's out there, check this out:

The Beluga was only sold in three colours which were available every year in every country. These colours are 'Chappy Red' (Code E1), 'Clean White' (Code 20) and 'Crystal Silver' (Code 36).

Fuel Economy:
The original Beluga is rated at 3.1 litres per 100kms (about 150kms or 90 miles on a tank). Following the performance improvements Yamaha made in the mid 80's, the fuel consumption increased to a rated 3.9L/100kms (about 125kms or 75 miles on a tank). In my experience, this numbers aren't too far off of reality. My early model Beluga in it's stock form normally got about 120-140kms on a full tank.

Horsepower: 4.7hp (early model) & 6.9hp (updated model) both at 6000 RPM.
Torque: 4.8ft/lbs (early model)
Redline: 8000 RPM
Bore x Stroke: 49mm x 42mm
Compression Ratio: 6.8:1
Idle Speed: 1500 +/- 50 RPM
Sparkplug: NGK BP6HS (early model) or NGK B8HS (revised version)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.7 Litres
Tire PSI: 14 psi (front) and 22 psi (rear) or 36 psi (rear with passenger)
Dry Weight: 89kg (original version) or 92kg (updated version).
Electrical System: 6 Volt
Magneto Output: 48 watts
Battery: 6N11-2D
For more detailed specifications refer to:

Last edited by DandyDan on Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:24 pm; edited 20 times in total
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Site Admin

Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Posts: 1076
Location: Victoria, BC

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anything you guys want to know? Post up and I'll try to answer it Cool
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Junior Wrench

Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any way of upgrading to a 12v battery? I cannot find any lights that run off 6v. I know there are plenty of 12v available that are the same size but I am worried about breaking all sorts of bits by just switching them out
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Location: Victoria, BC

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's pretty complicated to switch to 12V. I'm no electrical whiz, but there's a lot of stuff you need to change. You won't blow 12V parts running 6V power, but they won't work very well (if at all) either. Vice versa will blow stuff.
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