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Yamaha Motor R&D Europe

Yamaha Motor R&D Europe (YMRE) was founded in the early 2000s to meet the varying demands of European markets, adopting a ‘local’ vehicle design approach in order to be close to the tastes and needs of European customers. Since 2005, we have operated our unique R&D centre out of northern Italy. Rich in automotive culture and heritage, Italy was strategically chosen as a base for its proximity, allowing easy connections to advanced technology manufacturers, engineering services and rapid prototyping.

From its inception at the start of this millennium, we have grown in scope and personnel, integrating highly skilled staff from engineering departments across Yamaha’s European factories, to cover every facet of a modern R&D organisation. Since 2009, YMRE has run with over 100 members of staff, with roughly 70 employees directly involved in departments including Design, Engineering, Prototype construction, BOM (Bill of Material) and drawings administration, and Testing.

With a clear vision to design vehicles suited to the demands of European markets, the first projects were the development of small engine products such as 50cc to 125cc motorcycles and scooters. From there, YMRE’s product development range was expanded to include larger engine size vehicles, producing successful models, such as XMAX, Tracer and Ténéré 700 that helped to establish the strong reputation of YMRE as a leading R&D centre.

Models, designed and developed by Yamaha Motor R&D Europe, fuse Yamaha’s DNA with European motor vehicle knowledge and history, enriching each vehicle with a unique multi-cultured approach. This potent combination is perfectly aligned with Yamaha’s Kando* philosophy.

These models meet and create demands in European markets for high quality and thrilling rides, embracing Yamaha’s heritage and emotional past models, whilst looking to the future of customer style and needs.


Designers and Engineers Working in Synergy

The development cycle of a new R&D project – from an idea to a vehicle rolling off the assembly line – typically requires 3 years. Project targets are set, based on market analysis, with Yamaha’s vision for the end product being a crucial input from the start.

  • From first drafts on paper, every layout and solution is checked and refined back and forth between designers and engineers to ensure the desired idea can be completed to perfection. 

  • Moving to the Pre-Proto stage, team members are able to see their visions coming to life as the vehicle is realised for the first time in a scaled 3D clay model. 

  • In the next Proto-0 stage, the first vehicles made by prototype parts are tested, before Proto-1, which sees the test vehicles assembled by moulded parts for rider tests and solutions to any problems. 

The final stage sees delicate refinements to the vehicle, before the production lines fire up to produce models for the customer.

Racing DNA

With the first victory arriving just 7 weeks after the foundation of “Yamaha Motor Co.” in 1955, Yamaha racing DNA does not need to be explained.

This same passion is also shared by many of YMRE people. This is why we are also particularly proud of the very close relation with the Yamaha Road Racing Technical Service (RRTS) which is also located in the Gerno di Lesmo Yamaha Campus. The RRTS is the driving force behind the Yamaha Motor Europe WorldSBK program, here the R1 which has got the Triple Crown in 2021 has been developed as most of the GYTR road racing parts Yamaha is making available for Racing Customers.

YMRE is supporting RRTS with back office operations but also giving access to engineering skills and machinery which can make the difference when Racing development needs to get the maximum of Yamaha knowledge, and the same time the relation with RRTS is giving back to YMRE the excitement and the adrenaline that just Racing can generate.


Since 2005, YMRE has led the design process of nearly 30 Yamaha models, including the fourth-generation 2017 XMAX and the recently launched 2020 Ténéré 700, which both received the prestigious Red Dot Design Award**. Other flagship models include the YZF-R125, the Sport Touring TRACER-7, the Sport Heritage XSR700, and the ground-breaking naked 2019 MT-07. Additionally, we design and develop genuine Yamaha accessories simultaneously with each model to enhance its functionality and also limited series of products like the TMAX 20th Anniversary that was much appreciated by TMAX-lovers.

Consistent customer favourites and always in high demand, the success of vehicles developed by YMRE has laid a strong foundation for the centre. As it continues to move forward, leading the way in the creation of future technologies, we meet and create demand in markets ever-hungry for the latest in Yamaha perfection.

all models

We always reach out to the future, while never forgetting our experiences and lessons from the past. YMRE’s development guidelines are continuously aimed at offering a vision and solutions for the future.

The “E” in YMRE does not only stand for “Europe”. It also stands for EMOTION, tinted by Yamaha’s Kando philosophy and spirit. And, at the frontline of society’s evolution, the “E” also stands for ELECTRIFICATION and ENVIRONMENT.

Everyone at YMRE is driven by this consolidated “YMR-E3” mission. Tomorrow is calling and we are ready to offer vision and solutions for a better future.


Key models designed and developed

Year Model
2005 XMAX 250-125 in collaboration with YMES
2006 XCITY 250-125 in collaboration with MBK


NEO’S 2 stroke

NEO’S 4 stroke




XMAX 250-125 Second Generation

2011 XCITY 250-125 Redesigned

AEROX 50 2 stroke

AEROX 50 Naked 2 stroke

AEROX 50 4 stroke

AEROX 50 Naked 4 stroke

BOOSTER 13’’ Naked (MBK branded)


XMAX 400-250-125 Third Generation

NEO’S 50 Easy

BW’S 50 Easy


YZF-R125 Redesigned

MT 125

2015 XSR700
2016 TRACER 700

XMAX 300-125 Fourth Generation Red Dot Design Award

TMAX Genuine Accessory


YZF-R125 Second Generation

MT-07 Second Generation

TRACER 900 Second Generation


XSR700 XTribute

Ténéré 700 Red Dot Design Award


TRACER 7 Second Generation



MT-07 Third Generation

TMAX 20th Anniversary Edition


Ténéré 700 Raid Prototype

Ténéré 700 World Raid

Key Dates

2000s Yamaha decides to empower organization by creating a unique R&D center
2005 Founding of YMRE in North of Italy

Stabilization of number of employees to around 110 members


Full renewal of several models with a larger vision

2009 XMAX developed in 125-250-400 cc and enriched by the creation of specific limited editions

YMRE is assigned to higher challenges as large-displacement motorcycles development


Yamaha Road Racing Technical Service (RRTS) is created to run WorldsBK program

* Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value.


** Red Dot Design Award is an international design competition, aimed to celebrate the diversity in the field of design in a business setting. An award ceremony is held annually, where winners from three disciplines – Product Design, Brand & Communication Design, and Design Concept- are selected by a jury of experts within the disciplines.