Inspiration Friday: Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration

Inspiration Friday: Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration

Inspiration Friday: Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration

With the media filled with bad news today it is great to promote the good news. We take a look at Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration on today’s Inspiration Friday! From Iconic motorcycle models to inspiring CEO statements, it is a brief look into what makes Yamaha tick and why they made motorcycles. If you owned, rode or dreamed after a Yamaha motorcycle, then we have some interesting history for you today to inspire you to get out there and ride!

Check out our 49 years of Yamaha Motorcycle Model Guides right here on Total Motorcycle from 1972 Yamaha to 2021 Yamaha! We have them all!

Please enjoy this week’s: Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration feature!



Yamaha Motor Europe is proud to honour Yamaha’s 65th Anniversary on 1st July.

Yamaha continues to strive to bring Kando, the vision of its founder Genichi Kawakami which has been embedded into the company’s mission since 1955, to its customers, sharing everything from its unforgettable memories in motorsport to its groundbreaking machinery.

Since its birth, racing has been a part of Yamaha’s DNA. Take a trip back through time and experience Yamaha’s on-track success, including all of its on- and off-road achievements, whether that be in Grand Prix, MotoGP, FIM Motocross World Championship, World Superbikes, or domestically.

Yamaha’s iconic products, from its market-defining DT-1 and innovative YZ250, to the high performance R1 Supersport bikes, from the very first outboard engine P-7, to the powerful F425A XTO, and from the resilient Grizzly 700 EPS ATV to the innovative Side-by-Side YXZ1000R models. Although this section will still expand in coming months, visitors are already able to enjoy Yamaha’s seminal range of European models, which changed the markets they were built for.

Experience a range of other historical Yamaha stories from throughout its 65-year history, go behind-the-scenes with customers and employees in the Moving You series, as well as keep up to date with all of its current racing and corporate activities. Combined, this further reinforces the “Kando” mission that brings innovation, excitement and emotion to customers and across the world. Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration going that mile further.


Yamaha’s Mission

Ever since our founder, Genichi Kawakami, established Yamaha Motor in 1955, it is our mission to give to ALL our customers KANDO. And not just only with our products.

KANDO is a Japanese word to express the feeling of deep satisfaction and excitement you get when you encounter something of exceptional value, quality, and performance. It’s a thrilling emotion that adds spice to your life, and makes our Hearts Revving! All our products and services have been designed and produced by people who truly enjoy what they do, and their goal is to provide you with the very best experience possible.

Whether you want to RACE faster, to FEEL the passion of riding or to find the best solution to MOVE smarter, we hope you find that Yamaha product that will give you that KANDO experience – and we hope to Rev Your Heart and see that sparkle in your eyes.


Our Foundation

“I want to carry out trial manufacture of motorcycle engines.” It was from these words spoken by Genichi Kawakami (Yamaha Motor’s first President) in 1953, that today’s Yamaha Motor Company was born. Genichi Kawakami was the first son of Kaichi Kawakami, the third-generation president of Nippon Gakki (musical instruments and electronics; presently Yamaha Corporation). Genichi studied and graduated from Takachiho Higher Commercial School in March of 1934.

In July of 1937, he was the second Kawakami to join the Nippon Gakki Company. He quickly rose to position of manager of the company’s Tenryu Factory Company (musical instruments) and then Senior General Manager, before assuming the position of fourth-generation President in 1950 at the young age of 38. In 1953, Genichi was looking for a way to make use of idle machining equipment that had previously been used to make aircraft propellers.

Looking back on the founding of Yamaha Motor Company, Genichi had this to say: “While the company was performing well and had some financial leeway, I felt the need to look for our next area of business. Demand is something we create. So, I did some research.”

He explored producing many products, including sewing machines, auto parts, scooters, three-wheeled utility vehicles, and…motorcycles. Market and competitive factors led him to focus on the motorcycle market. Genichi actually visited the United States many times during this period. When asked about this decision, he said, “I had my research division chief and other managers visit leading motorcycle factories around the country.”


Challenge and Make it The Very Best

To challenge has been in our DNA from the very foundation of our company. Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration really made a difference as we were at that time new to the already existing motorcycle business, we had to prove ourselves. To make sure the media, customers and other players in the industry took Yamaha seriously, we put all our efforts into preparing the YA-1 for winning the 3rd Mount Fuji Ascent Race, that took place only one week after Yamaha was officially founded on 1st July 1955! Yamaha rider Teruo Okada won that race. Moreover, six more YA-1 riders finished in the top ten of that race. The next race – the 1st Asama Highland Race – was four months later. There, Yamaha took the 1st to the 4th place in the 125cc class and went on to win the 125cc and 250cc class races in the 2nd Asama Highland Race in 1957. The excellent performance and quality of the YA-1 but also the “never-give-up” attitude convinced them all that Yamaha was a serious contender that was to be taken into account.

However, we don’t race solely for the sake of racing. New technologies developed by the Yamaha Racing teams have been shared with the production team and implemented into production models. This is still the case today and it will always be the case in the future.


2020 Yamaha Super Tenere ES

Iconic Products

1960-1969 – Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration

1968 DT-1
DT-1’s development was initiated after receiving information that road sports bikes did not sell very well, but what was gaining in popularity were models that could be freely ridden; not only on public roads, but also through meadows and in the mountains. This led Yamaha to try building such a type of motorcycle for the first time. The idea of a new type of motorcycle that would combine the features of both motocross and trial bikes and could be ridden on normal roads and off-road had puzzled the development and testing manager at Yamaha’s headquarters.

However, it was precisely that innovation that built the success of the DT-1. The model became such a major seller, moving at a rate of 500–600 units a month, that it practically created the market for trail bikes, which became a major category of motorcycles.

Engine / Frame
The DT-1 is a 250cc single-cylinder model. To make it suitable for a mass-production model, the DT-1’s engine was a redesign based on the Yamaha YX26’s, a true motocross bike that had won the All-Japan Motocross Championship in May 1967. Following its ‘mother’ model, the bore x stroke of the DT-1 was the same 70 mm × 64 mm. For the frame, high-tensile steel pipe was used, as well as a robust chassis strong enough for a production model.

1970-1979 – Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration

1970 XS-1
The development project for the Yamaha’s XS-1 was intended to clearly differentiate the model from other companies that emphasized raw power. Therefore, it had been chosen to pursue distinctive Yamaha features and make the bike stylish, lightweight, slim and compact. The motorcycle was also intended to appeal to adults and to be of high quality to the smallest detail. This objective was successfully achieved in 1969 at the Tokyo Motor Show, an international car showroom. People commented on its vivid green color and distinctive Yamaha light, sporty form.

The fact that “2-stroke Yamaha” had produced a 4-stroke, large-displacement motorcycle for the first time had drawn the most attention to the XS-1. Plus, people discovered with delight that this multipurpose, in-line 2-cylinder motorcycle give the light feel of a 350cc bike while being a 650cc. The XS-1 received high marks especially in Europe and the US, where there was a long history of producing large-displacement bikes and where long-established manufacturers had achieved an oligopoly.

Engine / Frame

The vertical 650cc OHC twin cylinder engine with a slim design on an equally slim double cradle frame was an essential element in the successful building of this “lightweight, slim and compact big-displacement sports model” that excited that much motorcycle customers.

1973 RD350
The RD350 model, released in Europe, inspired a boom in one-make races and almost immediately became a massive hit. This motorcycle benefited from a twin powerhouse with Torque Induction that gave Yamaha products more horsepower at all rpm’s. Plus, the pump for Yamaha Autolube gave the engine the ideal oil feed at every speed for top performance, economy and maintenance-free durability. Reigning 250cc Grand Prix World Champion in those days, Jarno Saarinen stated: “Steadfast power development at all speed ranges, sharp acceleration, and dependable braking to match high performance will make this model one of the most popular mediumweight sports bikes on the market”.

Engine / Frame

The 2-cycle, 7-port Torque Induction model engine with bore & stroke 64 x 54 mm built on the reputation of the RD350 model.The framework was made with a new street alloy for lighter weight and greater strength.

1973 YZ250
The Yamaha YZ250 was the first production model equipped with a Monocross suspension after its proven performance advantages on the factory machine YZM250 (0W12).
Being a latecomer yet taking on the challenge of winning the world premier’s title in the off-road competition, Yamaha realized how the chassis — and suspension performance in particular — was essential in motocross. So, Yamaha set out to learn about new suspension-related technology.

After discovery of a single-shock suspension device in Belgium and overcoming numerous other difficult design and engineering problems when implementing a single-shock suspension device, such as lack of machine power, position of the device in relation to the chassis, etc. Yamaha was able to present the 250cc and 125cc factory machines at the 1973 All Japan Motocross Championship season with the new suspension positioned inside the frame under the fuel tank. Revolutionary for that time.

The brothers Torao and Hideaki Suzuki had won respectively the 125cc class race and the 250cc class of this race. These machines with their new Monocross suspensions dominated the podium in both classes. Moreover, August 5th that year in the Finnish round of the 250cc Motocross World Championship Hakan Andersson rode to win in both motos on a Yamaha YZM250 factory machine equipped with the revolutionary new suspension. These victories brought Andersson his and Yamaha’s first
motocross world title. It was a moment that decisively proved the competitive potential and future possibilities of the single-shock “Monocross Suspension”, a device that would soon become the new standard worldwide for motorcycle suspensions.

Engine / Frame

The YZ250 benefited from a 2-stroke, single-cylinder engine. The technology of the new suspension spread to many models and contributed to a major revolution in motorcycle chassis design.

1976 XT500
The XT500 is a big-single model dual-purpose that catered the needs of fanatical off-road enthusiasts that enjoyed riding on the wild open terrain and deserts. It incorporated epoch-making innovations in all areas, including – in a first for off-road vehicles – a forward inclined upside-down rear suspension. Its highly durable engine had strong torque and its robust, lightweight, slim chassis could handle the vibration of such a power unit. This combination made it an all-rounder, capable of being used for everyday errands as well as touring, making it a popular choice. The model became an instant big-seller. Also, thanks to the passion of the late Mr. Jean-Claude Oliver, at that time an employee of Yamaha’s French importer Sonauto and who later became the president of Yamaha Motor France, who saw the “Adventure” potential of the model to ride vast, unknown expanses of the African continent. Consequently, the XT500 participated in the first Paris-Dakar rally where Cyril Neveu and Gilles Comte took a 1-2 finish. Of the twenty five motorcycles that participated the following year, eleven of them were XT500. And moreover, XT500 riders, again with Cyril Neveu as winner, swept away the top four places of the race, sparking a desire for adventure with customers.

Engine / Frame

The XT500 was a 4-stroke, OHC, 2-valve, single-cylinder motorcycle with a torquey engine and a lightweight, slim chassis.

1977 Passol
Market expectations for expansion in motorcycle demand among women provided the backdrop for the creation of the Passol. What emerged from the plan of this product was the priority on a new “step-through” design, which made it easy for women to even wear skirts to ride. Thus, the area around the engine and drive mechanism was covered to prevent clothing from getting dirty. Yamaha succeeded in commercializing the Passol because it had the technical development capability to create a product plan that prioritized design.

The company developed a small forced-air engine and a single-speed automatic transmission compatible with the model’s compact design. To make it even more easy to ride, the Passol got bicycle-style handbrakes for the front and rear wheels and an automatic transmission. It also featured a kick starter, that would start the engine at the first try, as well as cast wheels. Being compact and weighing only 45 kg, made it easy women for to handle it. The cooperation between the technical departments made it possible to establish the “soft bike” as a new category of motorcycles.

Engine / frame

The Passol’s engine is a 2-stroke, single-cylinder that provides a capacity of 49cm³ displacement. It also features a pipe frame structure, cast wheels and plastic covers.
Yamaha Passol

1980-1989 – Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration

1983 XT600 Ténéré
The XT600 Ténéré was a modified version of the production off-road model XT600. The performance of the engine and suspension was upgraded as speeds in the Paris-Dakar rally grew faster every year. The bike boasted a 600cc engine that retained the YDIS (Yamaha Dual Intake System), the first front disc brake ever on a Yamaha off-road model, a bell-crank Monocross suspension, an aluminum swingarm and more and had a very high level of reliability.

The XT600 Ténéré not only became the natural choice of numerous Paris-Dakar racers but also the choice of many general motorcyclists who admired the adventure that the Paris-Dakar symbolized. The Ténéré was the model that best embodied their dreams and would ignite a worldwide boom in machines styled after those competing in the Paris-Dakar. In the ten years following its release, 61,000 XT600 Ténéré bikes were sold in Europe and more than 20,000 were sold in France alone.

The Adventure category that began with the arrival of the XT500 truly reached a new level of popularity with the launch of the XT600 Ténéré, which would eventually come to symbolize the “spirit of adventure” of the Yamaha brand.

Engine / Frame

The XT600 Ténéré was a 600cc, 4-stroke, OHC, single-cylinder with a specially designed frame.

1984 FJ1100
Yamaha had always based its development approach on good stability, but in Europe at the time, Germany’s Autobahn made it possible to ride and cruise at top speed. That meant that for these big bikes, straight-line stability in this very-high-speed range was the most important element in evaluations. Yamaha was hurrying to develop its new FJ1100.

In order to stress the model’s positioning as a supersport bike, it was decided to go with 16-inch wheels front and rear. It was based on the advantage of having a lower center of gravity from the standpoint of stability in the very-high-speed range. The ride was so unique and fit the preferences of German riders so well that the FJ1100 came to be positioned more of a full-on touring machine than a supersport.

Engine / Frame

The FJ1100 was the result of Yamaha’s taking on the challenge of establishing its position in the over-1-liter category. The engine had a bore of 74 mm and 63.8 mm of stroke for 1,097cc of displacement. In addition, the frame had a unique layout called the “lateral frame”. It was an extremely-high-rigidity spec frame in which the main pipes from the rear extended past the steering head, wrapping around both sides of it all the way to the front, so it embraced the head from all sides.

1985 VMAX 1200
Born in 1985 as a new American market model, the VMAX 1200 model won shortly after its debut a popular following for its unique styling and its distinctive, powerful performance, making it a long-seller for more than 20 years.

The VMAX was designed for outstanding performance in straight-line acceleration. It enjoyed a “V-Boost” system, which consists of the opening of butterfly valves in the intake manifold between the 1st and 2nd and between the 3rd and 4th cylinders starting from 5,750 rpm.

The valves are opened gradually to match the rising engine speed with a signal provided by the ignition system. The valves are at the fully open position at 8,000 rpm. The V-Boost system adds 10 percent to the top power rating of the base engine.

Soon after the debut of the original VMAX, it won a passionate following among big bike enthusiasts and went on to become an epoch-making model that transcended categories with its unique aura over the next twenty years. Its influence on the market was enormous, and by the end of 2007 the total production reached approximately 100,000 units.

Engine / Frame

This machine had a 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, V4 engine and a cast aluminium frame.

1987 BW’s Original
The BW’s 50 was originally developed in Japan by a creative team that envisioned a scooter to be able to go on the beach, in the fun spirit of a dune buggy. For that purpose, it had remarkable ‘Big Wheels’ and hence its name BW’s! It debuted on the Tokyo Motor show in autumn 1988. The late Mr. Jean-Claude Olivier, President of Yamaha Motor France at that time, was instantly convinced of its market potential and insisted to get it on sale in Europe. The brave decision was made to transfer the production line to the MBK factory in France, where production started in 1990.

The response from the youngster target group was overwhelming, especially in Latin countries like Italy and France. BW’s fun and sporty spirit were completely different from the serious, commuting-oriented competitors. Young teenagers loved the compact dimensions and lightweight in combination with the peppy engine: this scooter delivered a high level of riding fun. On top of that, its simple, authentic and robust design with the fat tyres looked strong and masculine.

Sales grew quickly and remained strong all through the ‘90s, in some years reaching over 100.000 units annually. The original model remained in production with only small technical changes until a more substantial model change came about in 2004, so 15 years later!

Frame / Engine

BW’s 49cc air-cooled 2-stroke reed-valve engine delivers a punchy performance. In combination with the underbone steel frame and the clever and ‘minimalist’ overall construction, the scooter features a lightweight of only 69 kg, despite the fat tyres and robust build quality.

1989 XTZ750 Super Ténéré
Adventure touring was one of the fastest-growing areas in motorcycling in the 1980s. The XTZ750 Super Ténéré was one of the vanguard bikes in this genre, and the boom in off-road touring owes much to the power and performance of this wonderful twin. However, riders wanted not only the capability to go off-road but the ability to cruise highways while carrying touring equipment and camping gear. This means that even more power and smoothness were needed.

The XTZ750 Super Ténéré meets these demands. Powered by an extremely compact parallel-twin engine with a 5-valve head and liquid cooling this bike combines on-road smoothness and power with off-road torque and response. The engine is not only very smooth, but it is also very quiet. Since engine noise contributes significantly to fatigue during long rides, this is another very nice characteristic. Fitted to a lightweight chassis with an advanced suspension system, it offers a balance of on-road and off-road performance new to motorcycling. Lighter and more compact than existing off-road twins, it is also much more powerful and more comfortable at high speed than off-road singles.

Engine / Frame

The XTZ750 Super Ténéré owned 4-stroke, 750cc, DOHC, parallel-twin engine with 5-valve head, liquid cooling and slant-block design. Its frame is of the double-cradle design and is made of high tensile steel; light and strong, it minimizes flexing and ensure handling performance on- and off-road.

1990-1999 – Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration

1995 Majesty 250
This is the 250cc scooter that triggered unprecedented the “big scooter” boom. The high-quality design and onboard comfort like that of a luxury sedan were what cemented the Majesty as the leader in shaping the “big scooter” category. Its designers were involved right from the planning stage, conducting a number of assessments firsthand like commuting from the outskirts into the busy city center by motorcycle and by train. User-friendly features like its ergonomically designed seat, the shape of the adjustable backrest, highly aerodynamic fairing and ample storage space made it an attractive choice even for weekend touring excursions. Sporty riding performance was realized with a newly developed liquid-cooled 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine on a high-rigidity frame, and adopting 12-inch front/rear tires, a telescopic front fork and front disc brake. This machine also had an adjustable backrest, a cowling with highly effective wind protection that ensured riding comfort, convenience with its large amount of storage space and a stylish design.

Engine / Frame

The Majesty 250 engine’s type is a liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, single-cylinder, 249cm³.


1998 YZF-R1
This YZF-R1 was the first model of the R-Series and would define the next generation of supersport models. At the start of its development, the displacement of its engine was undecided and would only be set later through the results of tests to determine the ideal torque values for sporty riding on twisty roads. The model featured a new engine with a compact, three-axis layout, a long swingarm based on GP machine theory and more.

The R1’s 1,000cc, in-line 4-cylinder engine had an exceptionally high power output and quick response, and its chassis was extremely light and compact. Yet Yamaha’s aim was on a completely different level: the R1’s handling – since it was designed under the concept of “unsurpassed excitement” on winding roads.

Even with aggressive riding, the R1 always felt natural and in tune with the rider’s perceptions. It was easy to control every aspect of its performance. What set the R1 apart from its rivals most was this handling the YZF-R1 boasted a potent combination of excellent cornering performance and beautiful styling. The aftermaths were that the R1 marked the beginning of a new era in the supersport model category, shifting away from the 750cc engines that were the standard for race bikes at the time.

Engine / Frame

The engine adopted a liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 5-valve, in-line 4-cylinder, 998cc engine. Plus, its aluminum Deltabox II frame achieved an ideal chassis layout.


2000-2009 – Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration

2001 TMAX
The TMAX hit the market with a bang in 2001: A revolutionary scooter with a 500cc twin engine and the riding behavior and performances of a motorcycle. Until then, the biggest scooters were 250-400 cc single-cylinder models. Yamaha’s development team understood that these were lacking the levels of performance, speed and especially riding fun that riders in the higher cc categories would demand.

At the time of launch, the TMAX was the most powerful scooter ever produced. Everything from the engine to all the details of the chassis to the body design was unique and new.

The upright riding position offered great control of the machine and encouraged an active riding style. Ample comfort and wind protection allowed long trips out of town for leisure use, with or without a passenger.

In short, this scooter was not confined to city/commuting use anymore. The unique and dynamic design with dual headlamps and ‘boomerang’-shaped paneling became iconic.

Engine / Frame

The horizontal DOHC 2-cylinder 4-valve engine featured a reciprocating piston balancer and automatic CVT transmission. Thus it was smooth, responsive and powerful. The engine was mounted in a high-rigidity diamond type frame with strong, dual-clamped front forks and a motorcycle-type swingarm. (Conventional scooters had single-clamped front forks and incorporated the swingarm and engine into a single unit, resulting in poorer road holding and less feeling of stability). By mounting the engine far in front, the weight distribution was like a motorcycle. Combined with large 14 inch tyres, this resulted in an excellent feel for the road, never seen before on any scooter!


2005 MT-01
Calls from customers expecting new models with an “adult taste” multiplied at the beginning of the millennium. Yamaha answered by developing the MT-01. This model is based on the original 1999 “Kodo = MT-01” concept, Kodo being the Japanese word for “heartbeat”. The MT-01 has also been developed around the key words “Soul Beat V-twin Sports”. The objective then was to adopt the latest technologies throughout to produce this “ultimate hobby machine”. It signaled the creation of a new field known as the “MT world,” gaining new customers who appreciated the “ultimate taste” it delivered.

Engine / Frame

The MT-01 mounts a newly developed air-cooled 1,670cc OHV V-twin engine. The engine boasts four valves and two spark plugs per cylinder, plated cylinder walls, forged pistons and pent roof design combustion chambers. With a bore x stroke of 97 x 113 mm and a compression ratio of 8.36 : 1, this engine achieves maximum power output at 4,750 rpm and max. torque at 3,750 rpm. A newly designed aluminum die-cast frame was adopted. It structure is a simple two-part (right-left) unit that is bolted together at just two points, the head pipe assembly in the front and the pivot assembly in the rear, thus eliminating the need for the usual welds.


2019 Yamaha NIKEN GT

2010-2019 – Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration

2010 EC-03
Leaders in a variety of fields are working to solve environmental problems and improve economic efficiency for the society of tomorrow by clustering or dispersing urban activity into a new structure, in which vehicles are used more selectively than they are. Small motorcycles offer excellent mobility for easy short-distance transportation, ideal for the transportation needs of the new society. They will provide still greater convenience and ease of use when they are powered by electricity. It is with this idea kept in mind that the Yamaha released its new electric commuter “EC-03,” a model designed and engineered with the product concept of a “Smart Minimal Commuter.”

This is a “zero-emissions” vehicle with a smooth and quiet ride that also allows the rider to enjoy the lightness and slim design not found in conventional 50cc scooters. This new model features plug-in recharging from a 100V household electrical outlet and excellent ease of maneuvering thanks to its lightweight aluminum alloy frame and other features to ensure the high level of functionality and convenience as a “smart, minimal commuter” vehicle.

Due to exclusive technologies, such as the electronic control technology garnered from Yamaha Motor’s PAS electrically power-assisted bicycle development, this model offers a level of quietness and smoothness to the ride that only an electric vehicle can provide. As a result, they have been put to use in a growing range of areas besides short-range urban commuting, including use as rental vehicles in tourist areas and fleet vehicles in resorts. For Yamaha, this model is a manifestation of our efforts to develop new forms of “Smart Power” as defined in our current medium term management plan.

Engine / Frame

The super-slim power unit YIPU (Yamaha Integrated Power Unit) is adopted on this model. Combined with the aluminum-alloy frame, it gives to the machine lightweight that improves the maneuvering and feeling of comfort. The slim chassis and design contribute to provide an aesthetic lightness as well.


2014 MT-09
In sport bikes market, there is a trend of customers seeking greater enjoyment in everyday use. Contrary to the conventional values favouring bikes that are “bigger” and “faster,” there is a new appreciation of models with sporty performance that fit one’s own age and physique. To answer this trend, the MT-09 was developed with Yamaha’s exclusive “Jinki Kanno”.
* design philosophy to bring together the “fun of riding,” the “sound and pulse” and “design” that make up the fundamental and universal appeal of motorcycles.

The result of this project was greatly appreciated. The MT-09 received no less than two prizes; the iF Product Design Award 2014 in the product design division as well as the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2014. Both of them are widely recognized as some of the most prestigious design awards in the world. * Jinki Kanno is a motorcycle design philosophy unique to Yamaha in which the motorcycle not only represents a means of transport, but where there is also a focus on delivering fulfillment and satisfaction to our customers.

Engine / Frame

The engine has been developed based on Yamaha’s “Crossplane Concept” that seeks “linear torque development in response to the rider’s throttle action”. It is an 847cc, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, in-line 3-cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve engine with a downdraft intake. The model adopts a lightweight aluminum frame with excellent rigidity balance and a look that created this distinctive exterior design which has been rewarded. Besides all this, the body has a hybrid design that mixes the elements in a naked (roadster) bike and a motard bike. The design synchronizes various elements that include a “mass forward” machine silhouette that expresses the image of a machine with light handling that can be ridden freely, a concentrated central core of the machine created by mass centralization expressing the agility to move in any direction swiftly, and aspects to create a motard and off-road machine image.

2014 Tricity 125/150
Urban centers around the world face chronic traffic congestion and a lack of parking spaces. In light of these problems, people have long depended on scooters and small motorcycles for personal mobility. It led to more and more calls for new types of commuter vehicles that would be easy to ride, even for people with no riding experience. This is what conveyed Yamaha to release the Tricity commuter vehicle as its first model featuring its Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) design.

The two front wheels that allow to lean in unison with the chassis when cornering are the biggest feature of the Tricity. They not only provide a new kind of fun, light and sporty handling with a good feeling of stability, but also an appearance that helps give the bike a look of stability and ease of use. In addition, the fuel tank was placed as close as possible to the model’s center of gravity.

This ensures that changes in fuel level cause almost no change in its center of gravity, increasing handling characteristics. Thus, the Tricity honored the “Yamaha Handling” tradition by creating a new category in the commuter vehicle market.

Engine / Frame

The Tricity adopts an liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve engine. It features both Yamaha’s YMJET-FI fuel injection system and continuously variable transmission (CVT), that bring out the model’s smooth, agile performance in the mid- to high-speed ranges.

2015 YZF-R1M
The European market for 1,000cc supersport models has grown considerably, led by users who are passionate about riding their machines on racing circuits. The YZF-R1M, the high-end counterpart of the 2015 YZF-R1, allows riders to experience firsthand the technical philosophy behind Yamaha’s MotoGP racing machine, the YZR-M1. Along with an impressive 200PS, this YZF-R1M was one of the world’s first two commercial motorcycles (besides the YZF-R1) with a 6-axis position sensor that detects 3-axis angular velocity and 3-axis acceleration.

Coupled with advanced control technology, Yamaha’s sophisticated sensor provides high-dimension handling and performance, allowing the rider to devote more attention to pure riding. Incorporating hot features from the YZR-M1 MotoGP machine, the design is an entirely new R-DNA based on Yamaha’s “Speed Racer” concept, which combines a small silhouette, rider-machine unity and headlight-less front face.

The high-end YZF-R1M features lightweight cast aluminum wheels, an Öhlins electronically controlled suspension and ERS (Electric Racing Suspension), lightweight carbon fairing and is standard equipped with a CCU (Communication Control Unit) – a digital interface that records valuable racing information.

Engine / Frame

The YZF-R1M boasts a 1,000cc liquid-cooled in-line 4-cylinder high-output engine with crossplane crankshaft. Its frame is an aluminum Deltabox with a magnesium rear frame and uses a long head pipe. The engine is mounted with a high degree of rigidity, and results in a well-balanced chassis that delivers a ride with responsive handling and great stability.

2018 NIKEN
The launch of the world’s first ever 3-wheel leaning motorcycle, the NIKEN, demonstrated Yamaha’s commitment to innovation. Besides high performance, the NIKEN’s premium specification and futuristic design opened up a whole new dimension in terms of riding control, and enhanced the fun and enjoyment experienced on every journey.

Yamaha’s engineers have gone to great lengths to ensure that the character of the NIKEN is similar to that of a conventional motorcycle. The majority of riders are able to transition seamlessly from a two-wheeler to the Yamaha Leaning Multi-Wheeler* system without having to alter their riding style. Yet as soon as they enter a corner, NIKEN riders will feel growing levels of confidence and enjoyment – offering more fun with less stress.

The NIKEN’s sporty handling performance is designed to complement its high overall specification and enables riders to realize the optimal potential of the torque-rich engine in the model’s natural habitat; twisty mountain roads.

The NIKEN has received the “Best of the Best” in the globally-renowned Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019 competition.

* LMW is a registered Yamaha Motor trademark for vehicles with three or more wheels that can lean through corners like a motorcycle.

Engine / frame

This bike features a liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, in-line, 847cc, 3-cylinder CP3 engine and a lightweight but sturdy hybrid chassis composed of steel and aluminium.


Total Motorcycle would like to thank Yamaha for inspiring this week’s Inspiration Friday story to share with you and wish Yamaha another great Yamaha 65 years of Innovation, Passion & Inspiration! Discover More Yamaha History at their EU Website.

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"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle. Supporting over Motorcyclists and Motorcycling for 21 great years. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach out 330 million people has been incredible but I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members, thank you so much! You are making a difference to millions of riders worldwide. Thank you.