A brief history of Yamaha motorcycles
Yamaha was established when founder Torakusu Yamaha became adept at mending and then manufacturing musical instruments, namely reed organs. The obvious reference to this historical fact is seen in the Yamaha brand logo of three tuning forks that continues to grace its motorcycles today.
Yamaha motorcycles first appeared in 1954 as a result of growing demand for cheap urban transport and Yamaha utilising its engineering skills. The first bike was the YA-1, a 125cc single-cylinder two-stroke. This machine was a sales hit from the off and then quickly became the bike to beat in Japanese home-racing championships. Within a year Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd was formed – along with plans for new models.
Although Yamaha Motor Co. also built four-stroke engines in its early years, its reputation as a major bike manufacturer grew with more and more exciting two-stroke models – all developed from racing success.
Legendary racing bikes such as the two-stroke TZ range would often appear in street guise – without radical performance for reliability reasons – as the RD range. Notable machines include the air-cooled RD250/400 of the 70s, and then the famed water-cooled RD250/350LC bikes of the 80s. Yamaha’s Grand Prix YZR500 machine was celebrated with the road-going RD500LC, a water-cooled V4 two-stroke. It was the RD350 LC Pro-Am one-make racing series that spawned many racing greats such as Niall MacKenzie, Rob McElnea and other international riders.
By the late 80s, Yamaha had foreseen the writing was on the wall for the emissions unfriendly two-stroke and concentrated on producing four-stroke sports machines to fall in line with its range of FZ and FJ commuter and roadster four-strokes. These consisted of the YZF 600/750/1000 bikes, which then progressed into the current YZF-R range of R6 supersport 600 and R1 1000cc superbike. At the same time, Yamaha still produces world class and technology-led musical instruments…
Yamaha’s range of motorcycles
From the commuter-friendly YBR125 and YBR125 Custom, to the race-replica YZF-R125, off-road styled WR125 and supermoto-based WR125X, Yamaha covers all the 125cc learner legal bases.
A vast range of scooters, consisting of economical commuters and fashionable race-replica-styled models from 50cc to 125cc. Yamaha’s own 500cc TMax was launched in 2001 and helped kick-start today’s growing range of large capacity Maxi scooters of 250cc and upwards.
The WR125 remains one of the leading off-road styled, learner-legal bikes. While the single-cylinder XT660 remains the middleweight introductory bike into global travel. The XT1200Z Tenere is the basis for two large capacity adventure models that make world travel look like a ride to the shops.
Three base models that all carry the distinctive style of its MotoGP YZR-M1 machine. In the learner category, it is the stunning YZF-R125. The YZF-R6 is one of the leading 600cc supersport machines, while YZF-R1 is the 1000cc superbike that forms the basis for Yamaha’s World Superbike challenge.
A range of 600/800/1000cc naked and half-faired road bikes adept at everyday riding but also capable of delivering sports bike thrills with their competent chassis and performance inspired engines.
The three-bike 600cc XJ series is a cost effective stepping stone from the learner legal 125cc division to the popular middleweight class. There is a naked XJ6, as well as half and fully-faired versions of the XJ6 Diversion.
Basically the remainder of the Yamaha range including the touring FJR1300, naked retro XJR1300, the original modern day adventure machine TDM900, and middleweight supermoto look-a-like XT660X.
How Bennetts provide tailored Yamaha Insurance
Bennetts is more than an insurance broker – we use our experience to get the best possible insurance quote for you and your Yamaha motorcycle. To do this we compile every piece of relevant information about you and your bike and present it to our panel of leading motorcycle insurers.
But these are not just facts and figures. We have more than 30 years experience in motorcycle insurance, so we know how to get you the best possible quote and additional extras, such as European cover, RAC Breakdown cover or cost-effective monthly payments. We do the legwork so you, as a Yamaha owner, get the best deal.
Bennetts realises not every motorcyclist and motorcycle is the same. This is why we don’t put all our eggs in one basket – we use the services of eight leading insurance underwriters and their wide range of insurance schemes. Because nothing remains still in the slow and fast lanes of two-wheeled pleasure, you can be assured that Bennetts is always up-to-date on any changes that may best suit your needs.
How to get a quote for your Yamaha motorcycle
As a Yamaha owner, regardless of engine capacity, getting an insurance quote from Bennetts is easy. You can call us on 0800 107 7990, where you can speak directly to a member of our highly experienced motorcycle team, or simply apply for a quote online 24/7 here.
Sources of interest for Yamaha owners and fans
www.yamahaclub.com – a website dedicated to news on all aspects of Yamaha motorcycles. Features forums, picture gallery, advice and event calendar dates.
www.yamaha-motor.eu/uk/ – Yamaha Motor UK website with details of all new Yamaha models, accessories, events, dealer search etc.
http://www.yamaha-motor.co.jp/global/entertainment/ – Yamaha Motor’s global website dedicated to the fun aspect of Yamaha ownership. Instructions on how to make cardboard motorcycle models and pop-up greeting cards sit alongside wallpaper images and a Yamaha riding experience iPhone app.
http://www.yamaha-racing.com/Racing/ – the homepage to all areas of Yamaha racing activities, e.g. MotoGP, World Superbike Championship, motocross, enduro.