1st Yamaha Motorcycle model ever produced. Sold in Japan in its first year of production. The 125cc, single cylinder, 2-stroke, streetbike had unique features including a cantilever seat, a plunger rear suspension system and a glove compartment in the fuel tank area.
The YD-1 was a 250cc, twin-cylinder, 2-stroke, streetbike. The first known Yamaha motorcycle in the US was purchased in Japan by Sgt. First Class Charles Butler of the US Army and brought to this country after his tour of duty in October 1957.
Yamaha began offering an electric start motorcycle with the YD-2. It was a 250cc, twin cylinder, single carb, 2-stroke, streetbike with a pressed-steel, monocoque frame.
The 250cc, 2-stroke, twin cylinder, twin carb, streetbike had a reputation for blowing away 650cc vertical twins during this time.
The YA-3 was a 125cc, single cylinder, 2-stroke, streetbike, with a pressed-steel, monocoque frame. Along with the YD-2, these were the first Yamaha motorcycle models sold in the US by Yamaha International Corporation.
1964 Santa Barbara
This motorcycle introduced the innovative Yamaha "Autolube" oil injection system, which eliminated premixing two-cycle oil and gasoline. The YA-6 was a 125cc, single cylinder, 2-stroke, streetbike. Yamaha was the first motorcycle manufacturer to use oil injection. Later in '64, Yamaha was recognized for this innovation when Auto & Motor Sport Magazine gave Yamaha their "Safety & Engineering Award."
1965 Big Bear Scrambler
Designed in the US to meet the demands of US consumers, the YDS-3C had high pipes, skid plate, close-ratio gearing and braced handlebars. The Big Bear was known for its style, acceleration and a ripping exhaust note.
The first Yamaha 4-stroke model featured a 650cc vertical, twin cylinder engine. It became extremely popular due to its reliability and high level of rider enjoyment.
1971 Mini Enduro
This 60cc 2-stroke, off-road model was the first small-sized two wheeler that looked like larger motorcycles. Dad could ride his DT-1 and Junior could look just like him on his Mini Enduro.
1972 marked the year when Yamaha first produced engines with reed valves, called Torque Induction. This system helped deliver more low-end power and quicker engine response over the entire RPM range. All 1972 MX and Enduro models had reed valves, except the JT-2 Mini Enduro, which had rotary valve induction. This was also the first year for CD ignition, which came standard on the RT2-MX (360cc).
Known as the streetbike "Giant Killer" during this time. 350cc, 2-stroke, twin cylinder streetbike.
Yamaha broke into new territory by creating a 4-valve per cylinder engine in a production streetbike with the 500cc, 4-stroke, twin cylinder TX500.
In '74, Yamaha came out with its first-born 2-stroke, four-cylinder production road racer. The TZ700 was a 90 hp, 694cc engine that had the same 64mm bore size as the TZ350 and RD350. It had twin shock rear suspension. In 1975, cylinder bore was increased to 66.4mm yielding 747cc, producing about 15 more hp. The rear suspension was also upgraded to Monoshock.
Talking about innovation... Yamaha created the very first single-shock, production motocross bike ever. This was the beginning of the Yamaha Monocross machines that changed motocross forever. The YZs of this time were near replicas of "Works Bikes" with their aluminum fuel tanks and light weight, lacking only magnesium engine cases and a few titanium pieces.
The original Yamaha 4-stroke Off-Road bike. The TT500 had a 500cc, single cylinder engine.
1978 650 Special
The beginning year for "Yamaha Specials." The 650 Special was the pioneer of production Cruisers built by Japanese manufacturers.
1978 XS Eleven
This machine was unique because it was the first Yamaha four-cylinder street bike. Shaft drive was standard. The horsepower king of 1978.
1980 1100 Midnight Special
The first "Midnight Special" model. Black bodywork and components that included an exclusive black chrome process, gold plating and black wrinkle finish.
1980 Maxim 650
Introduced in 1980, the Maxim 650 was a 4-cylinder, shaft drive that became extremely popular. It was a high performance cruiser that continued the street bike excitement created by the Yamaha Specials.
Race-developed over a three year period, the YZ125H was the first liquid-cooled Yamaha motocrosser. The alloyed aluminum radiator was mounted to the top triple clamp. Coolant was channeled through the handlebar crown, steering head pipe and the down pipe of the frame. Liquid-cooling helped minimize heat-induced power loss racers experienced during a race.
1981 Virago 750
The first Yamaha V-Twin model. Tear-drop tank, pull-back handlebars, 72° V-twin engine and shaft drive.
The beginning of a long history of young rider excitement. A history of more than 20 years and the story continues.
1982 Seca 650 Turbo
Introducing the turbo charged Yamaha production motorcycle. A full fairing was standard equipment to reduce wind resistance and add visual appeal.
1983 Venture Royale
When Yamaha created the Venture Touring Bike, it went all the way. It was also the first liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, V-4 Yamaha and featured adjustable air suspension, luggage and stereo radio as standard equipment.
A Superbike class milestone model. Weighing 500 lbs, with a whopping 125 hp, the FJ provided a power-to-weight that was unequalled for bikes of this size during this time.
A true milestone sport bike, the lightweight 350cc 2-stroke was offered in white/red and as a Kenny Roberts signature model, as shown here.
Yamaha introduces more performance innovation with a five valve per cylinder engine in a production motorcycle. Lay down cylinders helped provide desired weight distribution
The V-Max Motorcycle model hits the streets. "Awesome" is the word for this liquid-cooled V-4, V-boost, 145 hp power cruiser, fondly called "Mr. Max."
This was the first year for an aluminum frame on a production Yamaha model in the US. The FZR also utilized the innovative Yamaha 5-valve per cylinder engine.
In its first year, the FZR600 dominated the 600 Supersport class at Daytona to establish itself as the Class Leader during this time.
The first fuel injected Yamaha motorcycle model. Omega frame, RADD suspension featuring front & rear swingarms, ABS. This was also the first Yamaha 4-stroke model that had a catalytic converter.
1996 Royal Star
Yamaha introduces the exciting Royal Star cruiser. The authentic heavyweight featured American styling, steel fenders & bodywork, long 66.7" wheelbase and V-4 engine, all designed and manufactured with the highest standards of quality.
1998 V Star Classic
Yamaha begins offering a Star middleweight model. American styling, steel fenders & bodywork, long 64" wheelbase and 70° V-twin engine.
The original production 4-stroke motocross bike by a Japanese manufacturer. Piloted by Doug Henry, it won the AMA National Outdoor Series in its first year.
The R1. Power, handling and styling established it as the Open Class leader for several years.
The newborn little brother to the R1, Yamaha introduces the R6. Power, handling and styling established it as the 600 Class leader.
1999 Road Star
Introducing the Road Star. 1602cc (98 cubic inch), air-cooled, pushrod, 48° V-Twin. Low 28" seat height and 66.3" wheelbase. This model was the first Yamaha motorcycle with belt drive.
Increasing the fun factor, Yamaha offers this 125cc, 4-stroke, single cylinder Off-Road bike. This bike helped to round out the Off-Road line and make Yamaha a serious contender in the category during this time.
Continuing the Yamaha reputation for innovation, the world gets its first 250cc 4-stroke production MX Bike ever. The YZ250F won the 125 West SX title in its first year and the 125 East title in its second year.
The YZF-R6 becomes the first production motorcycle to use a “fly-by-wire” throttle control system rather than traditional cables: Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T).
2006 Roadliner/ Stratoliner
Roadliner/ Stratoliner motorcycles introduced, featuring a 113-cubic inch (1854cc) fuel-injected V-twin engine for massive power and an advanced aluminum frame for superb cruiser handling.
Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I), the first ever electronic variable intake system on a production motorcycle, is introduced on the YZF-R1 to achieve the broadest possible powerband.