Yamaha Motor Company Limited is a Japanese motorized vehicle-producing company. Yamaha Motor is part of Yamaha Corporation.
Yamaha CEO Genichi Kawakami took Yamaha into the field of motorized vehicles on July 1, 1955. The company's intensive research into metal alloys for use in acoustic pianos had given Yamaha wide knowledge of the making of lightweight, yet sturdy and reliable metal constructions. This knowledge was easily applied to the making of metal frames and motor parts for motorcycles. Yamaha Motor produces motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, marine engines including outboards, automobile engines, personal watercraft and snowmobiles.
The Yamaha corporate logo is composed of three tuning forks placed on top of each other in a triangular pattern. These were piano maker instruments.
Yamaha's first motorcycle was the 1 YA-1, which had a 125 cc, single-cylinder two-stroke engine. It was launched in February 1955 and the bike won its first race, the Mount Fuji Ascent Race, in July 1955. Yamaha continued producing two-stroke engines until it launched the XS-1 in 1969, with a 650 cc two-cylinder four-stroke engine, using expertise that it gained doing engine development work for Toyota. In 1998 Yamaha marketed a revolutionary 1000cc four cylinder road bike called the YZF 'R1', this model introduced a new style of gearbox design which shortened the overall length of the motor/gearbox case, thereby allowing a more compact unit. This, in turn allowed the motor to be placed in the frame far enough forward to compliment good handling in a short wheel-based frame, a revolutionary step forward in motorcycle design In 1979, the XT500 won the first Paris-Dakar Rally.
In 1995, Yamaha announced the creation of Star Motorcycles, a new brand name for its cruiser series of motorcycles in the American market. In other markets, Star motorcycles are sold under the Yamaha brand.
Today, Yamaha produces scooters from 50 to 500 cc, and a range of motorcycles from 50 to 1,900 cc, including cruiser, sport touring, sport, dual-sport, and off-road.
In motorcycle racing Yamaha has won 36 world championships, including 3 in MotoGP and 9 in the preceding 500 cc two-stroke class, and 1 in World Superbike. Yamaha riders include Giacomo Agostini, Bob Hannah, Heikki Mikkola, Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Jeremy McGrath, Stefan Merriman, Phil Read, Chad Reed, Ben Spies, James Stewart and currently Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
The Yamaha YZ450F won the AMA Supercross Championship two years in a row, in 2008 with Chad Reed, and 2009 James Stewart. Yamaha was the first to build a production monoshock motocross bike (1975 for 250 and 400, 1976 for 125) and one of the first to have a water-cooled motocross production bike (1977 in works bikes, 1981 in off-the-shelf bikes).
Since 1962, Yamaha made production road racing Grand Prix motorcycles that any licensed road racer could purchase. In 1970, non-factory privateer teams dominated the 250 cc World Championship with Great Britain's Rodney Gould winning the title on a Yamaha TD2.
Yamaha also sponsors several professional ATV riders in several areas of racing, such as cross country racing and motocross. Yamaha has had success in cross country with their YFZ450, ridden by Bill Ballance, winning 9 straight titles since 2000. Yamaha's other major rider, Traci Cecco, has ridden the YFZ450 to 7 titles, with the first in 2000. In ATV motocross, Yamaha has had success with Dustin Nelson and Pat Brown, both who race the YFZ450. Pat Brown's best season was a 3rd place title in 2007, while Nelson has had two 1st place titles in the Yamaha/ITP Quadcross, one in 2006 and the other in 2008.
Yamaha produced Formula One engines from 1989 to 1997, initially for the Zakspeed team, in 1991 for the Brabham BT60Y, in 1992 for the Jordan 192, from 1993 to 1996 for Tyrrell, and in 1997 for the Arrows A18. These never won a race, but drivers including Damon Hill, Ukyo Katayama, Mark Blundell and Andrea de Cesaris scored some acceptable results with them.
Thu, 02 Oct 2014
From an Arai press release. Arai Helmet, Inc. is proud to announce a two-year deal that will see Justin “Bam Bam” Barcia wear Arai helmets in both AMA Supercross and Outdoor racing.
Wed, 01 Oct 2014
Many roadracing champions will tell you that training in the dirt has helped them immensely in becoming the best rider they can be. The drastically reduced grip in the dirt makes a rider feel more comfortable on the street when one or both tires start slipping. At the Rich Oliver’s Mystery School, five-time 250cc champion, Rich Oliver, will teach you how to gain confidence on two wheels, all from the controls of a TTR125 Yamaha.
Wed, 01 Oct 2014
Yamaha fans expecting to hear big news from the Tuning Fork brand at Intermot may be a bit disappointed the Cologne show only brought us a refreshed XJR1300, the MT-07 Moto Cage stunt variant and a futuristic three-wheeled concept model. The first two aren’t likely to come to North America and the third might never see production. But fear not, as while most of the motorcycle world was focused on Intermot, Yamaha released a video teasing a “new era” supersport announcement for Nov.
Mon, 29 Sep 2014
Yamaha continues to expand its MT lineup (or FZ lineup for us North Americans) with a new stunt rider variant on the MT-07. Making its public debut tomorrow at the Intermot show in Cologne, the 2015 Yamaha MT-07 Moto Cage will likely be an exclusive model for the European market like the Street Rally and Sport Tracker variants of the MT-09. Polish rider Rafal “Stunter13″ Pasierbek has signed on to be Yamaha’s official stunt rider, performing at shows and competitions on the MT-07 Moto Cage.
Mon, 29 Sep 2014
In a time where air-cooled icons like Harley-Davidson, Indian, BMW‘s boxer engine and the Ducati Monster have all embraced the radiator, it’s a bit surprising to know Yamaha is still offering the XJR1300 in Europe. Featuring the world’s largest-displacement air-cooled Inline-Four engine in production, the XJR1300 lives on in 2015 with a new custom-inspired look and a cafe racer variant. The 2015 XJR1300 was inspired by a custom from builder Keino called “Rhapsody in Blue” as part of Yamaha’s Yard Built program.
Mon, 22 Sep 2014
Following the success of its MT platform, Yamaha says it will continue to develop new models based on shared platforms, allowing for a choice of multiple models while reducing overall costs. Speaking in a presentation on the company’s business operation, Yamaha Motor President Hiroyuki Yanagi reiterated the strategy of developing multiple models sharing the same engine and frame. Honda has followed a similar strategy with its NC models, seeing the platform evolve to include the CTX700 and NM4.
Mon, 22 Sep 2014
This just in from the Yamaha Champions Riding School. And if you believe it, we have some snake oil to sell you…
The Yamaha Champions Riding School didn’t just spring from the tarmac like a jack-in-the-box with light rebound damping. No.
Thu, 18 Sep 2014
Say what you will about the depleted state of the American roadracing scene, it shouldn’t diminish the fact Hayes put in the effort and beat some formidable challengers to the title. Here, the AMA congratulates Josh Hayes on his accomplishment. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes entered the 2013 AMA Pro SuperBike season on the heels of the most dominant campaign in the history of the series and with his primary threat no longer in the paddock.
Tue, 16 Sep 2014
BMC has just released air filters for the 2014 KTM 1290 SuperDuke, 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 and 2011-2013 Honda CBR250 – which also fit the 2015 Honda CBR300R. These filters are distributed to the U.S. and Canada through SpeedMob Inc.
Tue, 16 Sep 2014
Last weekend, Monster Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes cemented his fourth AMA Superbike title by winning both Superbike races at New Jersey Motorsports Park. To honor his achievement, Arai presented Hayes with a special, one-off edition of itsCorsair-V RC. In its normal trim, the Corsair-V RC is a pricy lid, retailing for $3,995.95 with just clear coat over its carbon fiber shell.