The Design Cafe is an interactive platform where our planners tell you about the background of motorcycle and scooter development. At the same time you can leave reactions and give us your feedback in polls and questionnaires! Find all our articles in the navigation above.
“The original Tracer exceeded everyone’s expectations” explains James McCombe from Product Planning. “It offered such a good balance of performance and value that it was a daunting task to improve upon it! We decided to keep the concept as a sporty versatile machine with great dynamic qualities, and refine it for an even wider range of usage."Read More
James McCombe, from Yamaha Motor Europe’s Product Planning, takes us through the upgrades on the Yamaha MT-09 in SP version for 2018. Please have a look at the three video’s for his explanation. The first video is about the general changes, the second video is an in-depth explanation about the suspensions and the third one is about accessories. The videos are in English; below the accompanying text.
“This is a bike to enjoy the open mountain road” says Arata Kato from Product Planning. “Our key development target was maximum cornering performance” says Project Leader Takahiro Suzuki.
Yamaha is one of the very few manufacturers to offer a model in the supersports 600 class with EU-4 specification which is required from 2017 onwards. Why, and what is changed on this new model?
Yamaha has been the dominant force in the sport scooter segment ever since the original Majesty 250 and TMAX 500 models created the maxi-scooter movement. The TMAX dynamic DNA also shaped the new XMAX 300, which succeeds the highly successful XMAX 250 that has achieved over 130.000 sales in its 11-year history! Let’s have a look at its technology and talk to our designers.
Not only a new look for 2017: Also a completely new frame, added engine electronics and extra functionalities. TMAX remains the icon in the scooter world. We talked to the development team.
Not only an EU-4 countermeasure but a refreshed design and added equipments for 2017. Our developers explain.
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!
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.
A new WR450F for 2016, with the reversed engine layout as on the YZ450F with which Romain Febvre won the MXGP world championship title in 2015! In this article we explore its benefits.
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.
NMAX is a young and fresh 125cc scooter, designed for inner-city use. It is compact, agile, easy to ride and very fuel-efficient. And despite its low price, it is built with modern technologies and equipped with ABS! Our development team explains.
A major technical update for 2015: Our WR250F is based on the radical YZ250F motocrosser, with lots of refinements for the specific enduro usage. Let’s have a look at its highlights.
An introduction about the R-series design DNA by our current Japanese designers. Learn about the evolution of the R-series design since the launch of the first R1 in 1998!
Small items that make a difference: TMAX is cleverly improved. Let’s take a look at the changes and why they were done.
Our engineers made a radical change: instead of starting from the previous R1, they took the YZR-M1 MotoGP bike as a basis. This resulted in a new R1 that is about 80 % similar to the MotoGP machine, with crossplane engine design, super sturdy chassis and extensive electronic support systems. The differences are in components that are designed to be street legal, more durable or more affordable.
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’d like to open the door to new entrants into the market” says Product Planning manager Norihiko Imai. “Short distance commuting by scooter can be fun and saves you a lot of time.”
“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.”
“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.”
This compact ‘Leaning Multi Wheel’ has a sleek design and sporty touch, true to the Yamaha brand heritage. At the same time it is elegant, not aggressive. After all, Yamaha expects it to be the perfect inner-city commuter for many people and a great mobility solution in the typical European metropolitan traffic conditions!
"We see cool custom and retro bikes booming today" says our Product Planning manager for Europe, Oliver Grill. "The XV950 is fitting this trend completely. It has both a Japanese and American inspiration. The passion for compact and bobber-style custom bikes was the starting point. And with our Yamaha roots we focused on performance and on making the bike useable, even in crowded cities."
“The goals were very clear for us” says our development engineer. “Better power and optimal handling. So we adopted the reversed-engine layout that was so successful on the 450. At the same time, we didn’t want the power output to be too aggressive. Easy control and overall rideability was our main focus.”
“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.”
“Our key point for the X-MAX is the dynamic and sporty riding feeling” says Product Planning Manager Norihiko Imai. “From the moment you sit on it, you can feel it is totally different from other maxi-scooters in this cc class.”
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.”
“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 wanted to keep the character and soul of the original model" says designer Marco Ferrario. "That was the biggest challenge, to renew everything but still to feel the soul of the original one".
"Traction control is working very well in racing, so at a certain point we started to develop it for road bikes" says Product Planning Manager Oliver Grill. "It really helps you to go faster. Whether you're a professional or not: if you have to concentrate less on grip conditions you can focus more on your speed".
"The previous TMAX was already a perfectly balanced vehicle" says Naoki Segawa who was guiding the development process. "Our challenge was how to improve the performance while keeping all the good points of the previous model."
Important model change with fuel-injected engine in YZ250F-based chassis which brings new levels of agility to the 450 class. Bodywork is all-new, with a modern and slim-line design which underlines the 250-class dimensions and also has a 30mm lower seat height than the previous model.
"There are many scooters in this category already." says Product Planner Giovanna Camisa. "But we did not want to make just another one. We wanted to be sure we could develop clear advantages for the customer, and spent a lot of time to research the actual usage in their daily life."
"We wanted to show that the core of the Super Ténéré is very sporty and that with a few changes the bike gets a completely different expression" explains Product Planning manager Oliver Grill.
"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."