Behind every renowned brand or company there is a long history that explains its reputation.. With several car manufacturers and Suzuki you have been able to see it previously through these lines in previous posts. Not surprisingly, each one has its peculiarities and that is what brings distinction and grace to what we tell you every time we start to write.
On this occasion, at AutoUsaPremium we are going to talk about 11 things you didn’t know about Yamaha, the house of tuning forks, a full-fledged benchmark on two wheels that sets the pace both on the streets and on the circuits. Several of its models are highly valued by users, so it is very interesting to know what this brand has in its bowels.
You will be surprised: things that few know about Yamaha
Once we have warmed up through the introduction, it is time to take action and explain, one by one, those n things about Yamaha that do not leave anyone indifferent. Here we go.
1. It was founded in 1887
Yamaha was born as such at the end of the 19th century, specifically in 1887, thanks to the idea of Torakusu Yamaha that was carried out in the Japanese city of Hamamatsu. Nevertheless, its original purpose was to make and subsequently market pianos and reed organsproducts that they continue to manufacture and sell today.
Of course, as an independent company it did not start operating until 1955, when the Yamaha Motor Company was created. It must be said that it currently continues to belong to the group, since Yamaha Corporation is its largest shareholder with 12.21 percent of the shares in its possession.
2. Competition has always been in her blood
Back in 1958, Yamaha became the first Japanese motorcycle manufacturer to venture into the world of international competition. The great results obtained in competitions and national tests encouraged the brand to take that big step. In fact, they presented their YA-1 model at the two most important racing events in the Asian country: the Fuji Ascent Race and the 1st Asama Highlands Race.
In both, he won the 125 cc category. and, the following year, he repeated his success in the Light and Ultra-light categories of the Asama Highlands Race. Already in that year mentioned at the beginning of the epigraph, he opened borders by participating in the Catalina Grand Prix, a test that was held in the United States. The result was a great sixth position.
3. Expansion and technological development based on sporting success
The milestone achieved in North American lands was the starting point for the expansion of Yamaha throughout the length and breadth of the planet. And it is that the great technological level exhibited by the Japanese among lovers of two wheels in the United States was recognized, which in turn made it easier for them to start selling their motorcycles in the North American country thanks to an independent distributor in California.
It was Cooper Motors who was in charge of marketing models such as the YD-1 250 and the MF-1, with a displacement of 50 cubic centimeters and a single-cylinder two-stroke engine. Later, in 1960, he began to commission various dealers to sell his motorcycles in the United States. In 1966 factories were established in Thailand and Mexico to satisfy foreign demand and, two years later, the same was done in Brazil and the Netherlands.
4. Genichi Kawakami, the architect of (almost) everything
Genichi Kawakami was the first president of the Yamaha Motor Company. Far from focusing solely on running the company, he became deeply involved in each and every aspect of brand development and brought the tuning fork brand international recognition. His philosophy of life was that if you are going to do something, you have to do it the best you can.
It must be said that this good man had previously worked at Nippon Gakki, the name of the musical instruments and electronics division that was later called Yamaha Corporation, and he rose from other ranks to reach the top of the company. , so that its performance can be explained there. Kawakami said goodbye on May 25, 2002, but his legacy and spirit lives on more than two decades after his passing.
5. The first trail bike was his work
Yamaha was a pioneer in the world of trial thanks to the DT-1 Enduro model that it launched on the market in 1968. The aim was none other than to provide the user with great performance both on and off the road, an idea that was very well received by riders. users around the world, especially in the United States. This idea gave him a great impetus to be the leader in the development of motocross technologies during the decade of the 70’s of the last century.
6. Music, very present in its logo
Despite the fact that motorcycles take the main role in their sales, the truth is that their logo represents more the relationship that the brand has with music than with the engine. The three tuning forks that appear are tools whose purpose is to find the necessary sound quality in certain instruments.. However, from the beginning they expressed other ideas that defined the identity of Yamaha: Science, Technology and Advancement.
7. It is the brand that has competed the longest without interruption
Since he took his first steps in his native Japan, the truth is that Yamaha has not stopped competing. The great Kawakami used to say that a product could not achieve success until it proved itself against others of its kind in its field. The way to do it, in the case of motorcycles, was the competition events.
Since then, it has maintained and continues to maintain a close relationship with the world of competition. In the 1960s they tasted the sweetness of success on many occasions, such as when they obtained their first victory in the motorcycling world championship in 1963, when they won the Belgian Grand Prix. During the oil crisis it disappeared as an official team, but it remained in the championship as a supplier to various private teams, so even that hasn’t stopped them.
8. They were also in Formula 1
Despite the fact that cars are absent from its product offering and that its success in MotoGP is unquestionable, Yamaha has been part of the most prestigious four-wheel competition in existence. The tuning fork brand was between 1989 and 1997 and teams such as Zakspeed, Jordan 192, Tyrrell and Arrows were nourished by their work.
However, passing through the Grand Circus was more pain than glory as its engines earned a reputation for being unreliable and powerful, which was clearly a drag on the single-seaters that equipped them. In 1994 they achieved their best result, when Ukyon Katayama and Mark Blundell led Tyrrell to seventh place in the constructors’ championship with 13 points..
9. The RD 350, a bad memory
Not everything in life is rosy, and this can be extended to Yamaha’s history since it was born. In 1973 he released the RD 350, the first street model to have a reed intake system. His virtues were a great power of 60 CV and speed that benefited from its lightness. So far so good, but he had a great handicap that he could not correct. The ineffectiveness of its brakes was a serious problem for all those users who wanted to ride it, which, added to the narrowness of its tires and the little grip they provided, made it even more difficult to drive.
10. The FZ 750, a milestone among sports
Yamaha has a lot to say when it comes to sports models, and that is the FZ 750 was a real hit in the mid 80’s. It was presented at the IFMA show in 1984 and reached the market with the honor of being the first to have a five-valve engine on board at a rate of more than 100 CV of power. Without a doubt, it was a turning point in sports bikes.
11. Developed the EXUP exhaust system
In 1987 they scored a great achievement with the development of the EXUP exhaust system (Exhaust Ultimate Powervalve) which was the ultimate of the time in the words of Yamaha. What happened inside this is that a butterfly valve was activated by means of a servomotor so that it could choose the degree of opening that it had to have based on the rotation of the motor.
In this way, at low rpm the valve partially closes, the pressure loss is accentuated, the depression wave decreases and the evacuation of gases slows down. On the contrary, after many turns the valve opens more and the exhaust outlet is optimized.