Our development team talks about the background of the Tracer 700. A bike that’s developed, according to our Project Leader, to put a smile on your face every day!Read More
Radical in design, radical in technology and performance. Based on the YZF-R1. The MT-10 is the outspoken top of the MT range. Let’s have a look at some of the key questions that our engineers and planners had to face.
The XSR bikes have a clear style of their own. Fun to ride and full of character. They are designed to be individualised and customised. Some questions and answers with their creators.
2016 marks the 5th generation of the famous FJR1300. With over 100.000 units sold world-wide, the bike has been a remarkable success and Yamaha has once more meticulously developed it, keeping true to its original concept.
Up the mountain pass, five bikes are coming towards us and it looks like they are chasing each other. Winding up the road, hairpin after hairpin, we see the bike in front is slowly taking distance from the others, flowing through the corners in a way that seems effortless. When it arrives at the top we hear its characteristic triple-engine sound. It’s the MT-09 Tracer during a development test with its competitors.
“In terms of style, we were inspired by the design of the late ‘70s and ‘80s, with simple and pure shapes and authentic materials” says designer Stephane Zache. “The DNA is also racing inspired. Long and narrow tank, dynamic seat, race number plate with intakes… And we thought a lot about the customizing. This XJR is an easy base to pimp!”
“We set out to develop a naked bike with aggressive feeling” says Project Leader Alessandro Ghezzi. “We had the former R125 chassis and engine available for that. So we stripped the R125 and said to ourselves ‘this still needs a lot of work’! The technical basis was great, but from design point of view we needed important updates to make it a good-looking streetfighter. And we had to do a lot of testing to get the riding position and handling as we wanted it.”
The XJR 1300 is the successor of the XJR 1200 that originated in 1995. The 1200 was famous for its strong 'big block' character with already massive power, available at very low revs. In addition to its sports appeal, reminiscent of the superbikes of the '80s, this big bike was very easy to ride and the ample seat space and comfortable suspensions offered a relaxed ride.
The re-launch of the SR into the European market with 400cc may seem odd. However, Yamaha kept this model in production for the Japanese market where it is a cult classic, and with the modern fuel injection it could pass European emission standards again. “We decided to import the SR 400 in small quantities, based on the demand from tuners and special customers” says Product Planning manager Oliver Grill. “It is a true classic. A unique bike that fits today’s trend for high-character motorcycles.”
“This bike is meant for tight corners as well as high speed sprints” says creator of the concept Oliver Grill. “We took inspiration from rallies on public roads, where you have technical sections, hairpins en open stretches all following each other. Like in the WRC car series, or the French MotoTour challenge.”
“Our starting point was riding fun” says Project Leader Shin Yokomizo. “So regarding power delivery, as well as in light weight construction, we had a very clear challenge. We decided to create a true next generation engine. Compact, powerful, much lighter and more fuel efficient as well.”
“The MT-09 has roadster roots, mixed with motard influences” says product planning manager Oliver Grill. “We wanted to build a bike with a very strong character. Our starting point was to be more sporty in the lower speed ranges. Therefore our riding position is more forward and upright, with a wide handlebar like a motard. And the triple engine is ready to deliver immediate and exciting power output in all rpm ranges.”
“This engine is excellent, it pulls superbly, already at low and mid revs” says test rider Jeffry de Vries. “The throttle response is so immediate and direct, and you feel you have a lot of power, always. It’s a treat to ride it. There are some characteristic vibrations and they are nice too. Instead of being annoying, they give a certain character to the bike. It’s a new experience.”
The FJR1300AS features two additional technologies compared to the standard FJR1300A that we explained in another article. Let’s see why.
“Yamaha has at least three strong colour identities” says product planning manager Naoki. “There is the famous yellow and black combination that Kenny Roberts raced with in the seventies, there is the white and red combination that is based on our corporate colours, and there is the blue that is our official worldwide racing colour.”
"FJR is in the core of sports-touring" says Product Planning Manager Oliver Grill. "We don't follow the general tendency in the touring segment to make the bikes ever bigger and heavier, with an overload of gadgets. Our focus is on the real riders, who want to go long distances while still enjoying the pure motorcycling fun!"
“We’d like to show the possibilities of the trendy, underground stunt modifications based on the XJ6” says design director Shimizu. “In an urban and young spirit.”
"We paid a lot of attention to the riding fun in real-life usage situations, that's why we wanted a more torquey and responsive engine." mentions Product Planner Alessandro Polati. "The FZ has always been a high performance allrounder and with the shift to 800cc, we've made it more exciting than ever."
Most of us will clearly remember the first XJ600 Diversion series. For many of us it marked the beginning of an era, of riding Yamaha’s inline 4 cylinder motorcycles.
“Power, power, power!” That’s what you always hear when our riders step off the VMAX, usually with a grin on their faces. “That punch is so impressive, you know. To have power like that is just not known before. Wheelspin everywhere. But the bike handles so easy!”
The road from Almeria to Sorbas is fantastic. It winds on an on and on into the mountains, each corner a different radius, and the tarmac gives tremendous grip.
Following the highly successful launch of the MT-01 torque-sports roadster in 2005, Yamaha have been exploring new possibilities and considering alternative directions for this large capacity V-twin roadster.
"I have been riding the bike in the mountains and it is great", explains product planning manager Oliver Grill. "We went there often for testing, and each time I was amazed how fast you could go. This bike is amazingly sharp. It's fun, it's compact, and the engine is very useable because it works at lower rpm. In the mountains you go from corner to corner and on opening and closing the throttle there is always an immediate reaction."
"I came to work for Yamaha because they always do things differently" tells our product planning manager for the European market. "In today’s hectic world, for many people it is more and more difficult to find the time to ride their motorcycle."
And the friends of the Design Café hold their share in making that possible. Your feedback was a strong support. Exclusively for you, read here how the bike impressed the Yamaha family.
The new MT-03 shows again Yamaha's philosophy of building innovative and characteristic motorcycles. The stunning appearance of the MT-01 at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1999 is not forgotten: again this is a concept based on "sound and emotions". A look behind the scenes.
A product planner at Yamaha Motor Europe remembers: "We decided to let the new Fazer really jump up in terms of technical solutions and design. The only way to free the engineers from restrictions was to give them a free hand to start from scratch. And they did. The new Fazer is new and gives you a new riding feeling as well, without sacrificing its basic qualities of the past."
"We see the FJR 1300 to be a long life model", says the marketing manager of Yamaha Motor Europe. "We have quite carefully considered the changes for the new model and did listen to our customers, to determine the improvements after these 2 years of FJR model life."
Two great-looking show-machines based on a standard BT1100 Bulldog had their debut at the International motorcycle exhibition in Munich.
Mario Inumaru is convinced that bikers are individualists:" Most guys love to personalize their machine. With this version of BT 1100 we wanted to demonstrate, how a much attention we paid to the possibilities of customisation when we created BT concept". He continues: "I have spend many years both in Europe and in the US and when talking to bikers there, they always touch the same point - how can I make my bike fit my personal taste."
When the first TDM was launched in 1992, it was a niche product. Now, 10 years later, TDM has created a category by its own and other makers have been following with similar concepts in the meantime. The new TDM 900 marks the 3rd generation and has the features many TDM owners have been telling us to develop.
Yutaka Kubo likes big bikes and XJR 1300 is a classic big bike to him. This bike has archetype looks, with the massive air-cooled engine and the conventional shape of tank, seat and sidecovers. In spite of the conventional looks XJR 1300 hidden spec is modern technology.
The new Big Twin 1100, nicknamed Bulldog, has European genes. The bike is designed and made in Yamaha's pilot plant on the outskirts of Milan in Italy.
V-max is a category of its own. The mighty V4 has made it to motorcycles cult heaven. The men behind this monument on two wheels recall the making of V-max.
Our web survey on FJR 1300 got a lot of attention. In the past couple of weeks we got thousands of replies from around the globe. For engineers and product planners your opinion is a very helpful information and we discussed the outcome very intensively.
Naoki Segawa, product planner and Yutaka Kubo project leader for Fazer 1000 work in Yamaha Factory in Iwata/Japan. They both give insight in Fazer's development.
FJR 1300 has got a lot of attention at shows and in the media. This new generation of Sport Tourer breaks new ground for riders, who like comfort and protection, but still demand a powerful and sporty machine. Hiroshi Komatsubara, project leader of FJR 1300 explains, how he solved this engineering contradiction:
"Naked bike” is a phrase that came up a few years ago. It describes a category of machines which are actually just big, conventional motorcycles without fairings or plastic covers. What is so special about them?
TDM850 created it's own category. Hennes Fischer, Ex-product planner and today consultant at Yamaha Motor Europe, recalls insights of TDM development:
The FJ 1100 from 1984 marked the start of Yamaha 4 stroke sportsbikes The new FJR 1300 is the start of a new generation of lightweight sportstouring machines.