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Yamaha Motorbikes – History

If you are going to do something, be the best”.

Those were the exact words of Genichi Kawakami, the man who ideated the motorcycle division of the then Yamaha Corporation.

Yamaha Motorbikes - History

Yamaha Corporation started in 1887 as a Japanese parent company that was initially founded to produce pianos and reed organs which they still are very much involved in till this day. Since it was founded by Torakusu Yamaha in Japan, the company has ventured into several productions of motorcycles, all of which they have thrived to pass in flying colors and stay at the top with a reputable name to protect.

Yamaha Motorbikes - History

In a bid to make an impact and engrave the company name on the rocks, Yamaha launched their moto company in 1955 as a separate entity branch of the main with that department being headed by Genichi Kawakami as the President at the young age.

Genichi carried out several types of research to know the next product the company should venture into before choosing the moto market. After adequate information tours were carried out including several visits to the United States and Europe as a whole with his engineers. During that period, Genichi decided it was time to start production.

In January 1955, Yamaha Moto constructed their Nippon Gakki factory in Hamakita to commence production of their very first motorbike. By 1st of July the same year, they had employed about 270 workers and the factory could produce 200 units of motorbikes per month.

Yamaha Motorbikes - History

Although Yamaha was late into the motorbike production market where some other companies had succeeded and others failed, they were determined to make an impact. Being driven by the motto “If you are going to make it, make it the very best there is”, Yamaha Moto began production of their very first Yamaha motorcycle product called the YA-1.

The moment the YA-1 was ready, Genechi was confident in the product. Yamaha Motor Co Ltd immediately enrolled in the 3rd Mount Fiji racing completion and won in its category. The YA-1 product also went ahead to steal the show at the All Japan Auto Bike Endurance Road Race with a first, second and third position in the competition the same year.

After announcing their presence locally in Japan, in 1956, Yamaha Motor Company took a step further to start competing internationally by participating in the Catalina Grand Prix with their YA-1 product where they settled for the sixth position.

Yamaha Motorbikes - History

By the following year, 1957, Yamaha followed their first product with an improved new version called the YA-2 also with a 125cc two-stroke like its predecessor but with a better suspension and improved frame.

In the same year, Yamaha launched YD-1 product with a two-cylinder engine and 250cc, being a first of its kind, this product hauled the company into a brand new era of respect in innovation and class. Ever since Yamaha Motor company has become a household name in the production of top-notch innovatively advanced and physically stable motorbikes.

Yamaha Motorbikes - History

The 1960s was a huge breakthrough for the company with an impressive sales record and technological innovation. New products like the 305cc two-twin stroke, 650cc four-stroke engines were launched. Yamaha also won the Belgium GP competition.

Thanks to the philosophical adherence of Genechi the company was ushered into a realm of top-class production. The success resulted in an expansion of the company to several countries including the US market after the first sale of its product in 1956.

Yamaha Motorbikes - History

By 1977, Yamaha Motor Corporation founded a branch in the US after realizing that the need of European market differs from the Asian market. Yamaha Motor Company has ever since been relevant in the field of motorbike production.

Yamaha of Today

Yamaha Motorbikes - History

The Yamaha Motor Company has different production divisions. The company also ventures into the production of Automobile Engines, Electric Bicycles, Electric Wheelchairs, Boats, Marine Engines, Golf Cars and more. They also produced All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and scooters to appeal to a different category of users.

Yamaha in India

Yamaha Motorbikes - History

Yamaha started a subsidiary and made its expedition into the Indian motorbike market in 1985 with the Escorts Group.

By 2001, it was approved as a full subsidiary of the Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd and was called the Indian Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd.(IYM). The subsidiary has since been in charge of the production of a range of motorcycles for commercial, domestic and export purposes in India. Yamaha has 3 two-wheelers production plants and over 500 different dealers for its thousands of customer base in India.

New Launch – India

Yamaha Motorbikes - History

Yamaha has been known to continuously release different motorbike models to appeal to their existing and prospective customers. The Yamaha YZF- R15 V3.0 is one of the latest models launched in India this year. The bike is impressive with its appealing design, performance, comfortability, and technological add-ons.


Yamaha Motorbikes - History

Apart from participating and winning several racing competitions, Yamaha Motor Company has also received several awards.

Some of which include:

  • Bike of the year.
  • Scooter of the Year and Entry Level Sports Bike of the year awards by BBC TopGear in 2009 and 2012 respectively.
  • Good design award for YZF-R1, 2016.
  • Best Styling, Best Quality and Best Variant in 2012, just to mention a few.

Yamaha undoubtedly remains one of the best amazing motorbike producers of the world majorly due to its diversity, innovation, and key attention to users’ and market needs.

We, at Motorbikes India, look forward to many new innovations from the house of the Japenese brand soon!

Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by it's author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it's owners.

The views and opinions expressed on this web site are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Steve Gerweck, the GERWECK.NET staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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Motorbikes India (MI) is an online magazine about motorcycles in India. Motorbikes news, articles, clubs & events, routes, insurance, finance, maintenance & safety. We welcome contributions, from anyone that is enthusiastic about biking. If you are part of a motorbike club in India, please be sure to keep your club info and events up to date in our clubs section.

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