Yamaha Motorcycles

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Yamaha Motorcycles

Post by ganahsokmo on Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:53 pm

Yamaha Motorcycle History

The Japanese company was well known for its musical instruments,
but in 1955 it began producing motorcycles. It began with simple and
inexpensive machines but has grown to its position as a powersports
powerhouse, offering some of the best sportbikes, cruisers and off-road
bikes on the market. It ranks second only to Honda as the leader among
Japanese manufacturers.

  • 1851

    Torakusu Yamaha is born. He will train as a watchmaker and make his
    first reed organ in his mid-thirties.

  • 1890

    He incorporates Nippon Gakki Company Limited, for the purpose of
    making pianos and organs. The company’s origins as a musical instrument
    maker are still reflected in its logo, which depicts three interlocking
    tuning forks. It becomes the world’s largest musical instrument maker.

  • 1916

    The founder passes away.

  • 1955

    In the years after WWII, the company’s president Genichi Kawakami
    realizes that if Japan is to rebuild, the country needs affordable
    transportation (more than pianos!) The first Yamaha motorized product
    is the YA-1 Motorcycle. It’s a 125cc, 2-stroke, single-cylinder
    streetbike patterned after the DKW RT125 (as were both the BSA Bantam
    and the Harley-Davidson Hummer.) The YA-1, aka “Red Dragonfly,” is so
    successful that Yamaha incorporates a subsidiary, Yamaha Motor Corp.

  • 1957

    The 250cc twin-cylinder YD-1 is an improved version of another
    German bike, the Adler.

  • 1958

    The first Yamaha motorcycles are sold in the USA by Cooper Motors,
    an independent distributor. The models are the YD-1 (250cc, 2-stroke,
    twin-cylinder streetbike) and MF-1 (50cc, 2-stroke, single-cylinder
    step-through streetbike).

  • 1959

    The YDS-1 mounts a tuned-up version of the YD-1 motor in a
    double-cradle frame (the earlier version was built on a pressed-steel
    spine). The YDS-1 establishes the pattern for the next 20 years of
    sporty Yamaha two-stroke Twins.

  • 1960

    Yamaha International Corporation began selling motorcycles in the
  • 1964

    Phil Read gives Yamaha its first-ever World Championship, in the
    250cc class.

  • 1966

    The YDS-3 is the first Yamaha streetbike to really capture the
    American imagination.

  • 1967

    The Yamaha TD1C 250cc production racer is released. Though the
    factory racers have been effective for years, this is the beginning of a
    brilliant run of proddie racers. More than any other manufacturer, it
    is Yamaha that forces out four-strokes engines from Grand Prix racing.

  • 1968

    The DT-1 Enduro is introduced. It’s perhaps the world's first
    dual-purpose motorcycle.

  • 1970

    Yamaha’s first 4-stroke motorcycle model, the XS-1 (650cc vertical
    Twin) is introduced.

  • 1973

    Kenny Roberts wins the AMA Grand National Championship, racing a
    Shell Thuett-tuned 650 Twin on the dirt tracks and a 350cc two-stroke
    Twin (later TZ700 and 750 Fours) on road courses. He’ll repeat the win
    the next year, despite the 650 being outgunned by the Harley-Davidsons
    on the dirt tracks.
    The fine RD350 middleweight sports bike is released. Its air-cooled
    350cc parallel-Twin two-stroke motor is fitted with reed induction and
    produces an impressive 35 horsepower at the rear wheel.
  • 1975

    Yamaha pioneers the very first single-shock production motocross
    Giacomo Agostini gives Yamaha its first 500cc World Championship.
    In a desperate effort to keep the #1 plate, Yamaha encourages Roberts
    to try a TZ750-powered flat tracker. He rides it to an epic win in the
    Indy Mile, but says, “They don’t pay me enough to ride that thing!”

  • 1976

    The legendary XT500 is born. This thumping trailbike is the last
    nail in the coffin of the old British mystique. “The Japanese can even
    build a better 500 Single!” In its fourth year of production, an XT500
    will win the first running of the Paris-Dakar.

  • 1977

    Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, was founded in order to better appeal
    to the American market and establish a separate identity (from music
    & electronics) for Yamaha motorized products.

  • 1978

    The four-cylinder shaft-driven XS1100 is introduced.
    Kenny Roberts becomes the first American to win the 500cc World
    Championship. He’ll win again in ’79 and ’80, proving that the first one
    was not a fluke.
    The XS650 Special was introduced. This was the first production
    cruiser built by a Japanese manufacturer.

  • 1979

    YICS (Yamaha Induction Control System), a fuel-saving engine system,
    was developed for 4-stroke engines.

  • 1981

    Yamaha’s first air-cooled V-Twin cruiser, the Virago 750, is

  • 1984

    The RZ350 (sold elsewhere as the RD350LC, for “liquid cooled”)
    finally reaches the U.S. market. It was popular elsewhere from 1980
    until the early ’90s but is only sold in the U.S. for two years. It’s
    fitted with an exhaust “power valve” that dramatically improves
    mid-range performance.
    The hairy-chested RZV500 is introduced. With its water-cooled V-4
    two-stroke engine, it’s a Grand Prix replica for the street, but it’s
    heavy and no match for Suzuki’s RG500 Gamma.
    The first production 5-valve-per-cylinder engine is introduced on the
    Eddie Lawson wins the 500cc World Championship. He’ll do it again (on
    Yamahas) in ’86 and ’88.

  • 1985

    The V-Max 1200 muscle-bike hits the streets. Its 145 claimed
    horsepower sets a new motorcycle standard.

  • 1987

    Yamaha introduces EXUP, a new exhaust system for 4-stroke engines
    that includes a power valve to control back-pressure for optimizing the
    width of an engine's powerband.

  • 1989

    The FZR750R homologation special briefly challenges the GSX-R750 for
    sportbike supremacy.

  • 1990

    Wayne Rainey wins the 500cc World Championship. He’ll do it again in
    ’91 and ’92, and is leading the 1993 championship when he suffers a
    paralyzing injury in mid-season.

  • 1991

    Thomas Stevens becomes the only person ever to win the AMA Superbike
    Championship on a Yamaha.
    The FJ1200A sets the sports-touring standard and includes ABS.

  • 1993

    The striking GTS1000 features electronic fuel injection and
    hub-center steering designed by James Parker. Consumers failed to bite
    on the innovation and balked at the relatively high price.

  • 1996

    Yamaha introduces its first Star model with the 1300cc V-4 Royal

  • 1998

    The YZ400F four-stroke motocross bike is introduced. This is the
    first mass produced 4-stroke motocrosser. Doug Henry won the AMA outdoor
    motocross championship with it while it was still a prototype in
    development. As soon as the public gets its hands on the production
    model, the two-stroke 250s are doomed.
    The YZF-R1 sport bike is introduced to wild acclaim.

  • 1999

    The YZF-R6 is introduced.

  • 2002

    The R1 gets fuel injection, a first for a Yamaha sportbike.

  • 2004

    Valentino Rossi wins the MotoGP World Championship. He’ll repeat the
    feat the next year.

  • 2006

    The R6 gets YCC-T (Yamaha Chip-Controlled Throttle), a partial
    fly-by-wire system that is an industry first.

  • 2007

    The R1 gets YCC-I (Yamaha Chip-Controlled Intake), a system that
    varies the length of the inlet tract depending on throttle position and
    engine speed. The bike also gets a slipper clutch. Nori Haga uses the
    race version to finish second in the World Superbike Championship, just
    two points behind James Toseland. Haga and teammate Troy Corser combine
    to win the Manufacturer’s Championship for Yamaha.

  • 2009

    After an incredible run of more than 20 years, the Vmax is finally
    put out to pasture in favor of a new version powered by a monstrous
    1700cc V-4 engine pumping out a claimed 200 horsepower.


Join date : 16/01/2010
Age : 37

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