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Yamaha Motor Company Limited is a widely-recognized Japanese designer of motorcycles. It is also an influential figure in motorsports, vehicle engine production as well as golf cars design. On the face of it, Yamaha appears to be a comprehensive company with powerful facilities, ambitious outlook and robust competitive code of conduct. Meet the guru at its best!
Along with the development of motorcycles (sport and trail bikes, road racers, star cruiser bikes, motocross racers), Yamaha focuses its attention on the following segments:
- commuter vehicles: scooters;
- recreational (home) vehicles: ATVs, side x sides, off-road vehicles;
- golf cars;
- electric bicycles and wheelchairs;
- boats: sailboats, waverunners, utility boats, fishing boats;
- marine equipment: electric motors, outboard engines, stern drives, diesel engines;
- automobile engines;
- unmanned helicopters;
- power products: pressure washers, generators, pumps, multi-purpose engines;
- industrial robots;
- parts & accessories, outfit (helmets).
Yamaha Motor Company arose in 1955 after the separation from Yamaha Corporation. The same year the first two-stroke motorcycle, called YA-1, was released under the governance of Genichi Kawakami (the company’s first president). The unit was a copy of a German-manufactured DKW RT125. From the very start, YA-1 performed strongly in racing competitions, winning a range of significant awards. Upon the whole, in motorcycle racing events the brand has been entitled with 39 world championships. In 1957 Yamaha launched two-stroke YA-2 and YD-1 motorcycles.
During 1964-1968 the company established its first international subsidiaries in the Netherlands and Thailand. In 1968 the first four-stroke motorcycle, called XS-1, saw the light of day. It instantly became a hit in the market, though Yamaha continued to produce its best-selling two-stroke solutions.
In 1976 the team unveiled new multi-cylinder machines with shaft final drive – XS-750 and XS-1100. At the same hour it was developing the other ‘off-road’ segment. Its first off-road machine, YZ-250, emerged in 1974; since that time it has never been out of production line, making it Yamaha’s most longstanding model. During 1980s the company was focusing mainly on the manufacture of modernized two-strokes. RZ-250 and RZ-350 featured water-cooled twin cylinder machines and were performance-oriented.
Nonetheless, the company proceeded with four-stroke units as well. Its XV750 of 1981 was differentiated by an air-cooled V-twin four-stroke engine, replenished with cruiser styling, while a more powerful FZ750 model boasted a four-stroke inline four-cylinder engine and the first ever five-valve cylinder head.
In 1995 Yamaha introduced a family of Star Motorcycles. It comprised all cruiser series of motorcycles in the USA market. Yet, in international markets those units were sold under Yamaha brand. In 2007 the producer set up another subsidiary, for this once in the Philippines. Currently, it sells all motorcycles there via Yamaha Motor Philippine, Inc.
Automobile Engine Design
Yamaha came to prominence not only for the fabrication of top-tier motorcycles. It is globally acknowledged as a premium manufacturer of automobile engines. In 1967 it came into agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation and designed engines for Toyota 2000GT as well as cylinder heads for Toyota 4A-GE. In 1984 Yamaha settled down to the production of engines for Ford Motor Company (Taurus SHO). In early 2000s it concluded a deal with Volvo and British sportscar manufacturer Noble.
Moreover, the maker took great risks in developing engines for Formula One vehicles. Initially, it equipped the Zakspeed team; later on, it cooperated with the Brabham BT60Y, the Jordan 192, the Tyrell, and the Arrows A18.
Snowmobiles and Golf Cars
Yamaha is globally known also for the development of snowmobiles. As of 2010, it was the only manufacturer to integrate four-stroke engines into its units. In the end, it is the most honorable designer of golf cars. The cars are distinguished from rival analogues by a number of privileges: the lowest level of emissions, the best gas mileage, the largest seats, the quietest drive, the smoothest acceleration, and the lowest cost of ownership.
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