"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".
Product planning manager Norihiko Imai adds: "To change such a successful model is very difficult. It's so risky to modify its design! But still we felt that some elements were getting old. Like the lights, the speedometer, the electric components. We saw many customers modifying them. It was time for a change and we took up the challenge."
Marco started working on the design. "We had two main inspirations for the design renewal. The first was, to make the character lines and surfaces less rounded, to bring more tension in them, to make them feel full of energy like the muscular skin of an animal ready to explode. That is the treatment we also have in the latest R-series motorcycles."
The second inspiration was also speed-related.
"We paid a lot of attention to the aerodynamic shape. Like in Formula 1 where they use flaps and wings. That kind of wind penetration was also a main inspiration."
Passion for design
Marco has a special way of looking at scooters.
"As a teenage boy, I fell in love with scooters. For me and my group of friends it was the only way to escape, to get freedom, to move around. It was part of our culture, of our friendship. We could sit the whole afternoon parked and sitting on the scooters and talk. And then you learn to enjoy the shape of the scooter from any angle, from any position, for example from sitting on it and looking down. So I learned that the design must be great from all view points and be able to express dynamism even by standing! "
In his professional life, that sense stayed with him. "Nowadays you see more and more edgy designs with sharp surfaces. Because it feels more modern, more technical. But often the surface itself is rather flat giving a cold sensation, as something made directly on the computer. I wanted to give the surface more tension and vitality. It should be inviting to be touched, to feel that the shape is generated by hand… by “Human Touch".
• new headlights - with a more piercing look
• new tail light, inspired by Yamaha's R1 supersport machine
• subtle design update on the whole shape - more muscular
• aerodynamic side panel design - like a motorcycle fairing
• single seat for the rider - sporty
• separate "flip-open style" seat for the passenger
• so you can fuel up without exposing the contents of your helmet box
• new digital dashboard - cool and up to date
Apart from the design, what's new on the Aerox?
Project Chief Watabiki explains.
"Actually also the chassis is updated. We wanted a good chassis and excellent performance for our customers to enjoy."
Imai-san calls this the Yamaha DNA: "We develop our scooters to be dynamic in every aspect: a responsive engine and very agile handling combined with good stability in the corner and a good feel for the road. That creates motorcycle feeling in scooters and that's what we aim for!"