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Yamaha Motorcycles

Yamaha Motorcycle Road Tests
& Reviews

Yamaha Motorcycle Guide

Yamaha Motor Company Limited, a division of Japanese conglomerate Yamaha Corporation, has been producing motorized vehicles since 1955. Yamaha currently produces motorcycles, motorbikes, ATVs, boats, marine engines, automobile engines, personal watercraft and snowmobiles. Under the Yamaha brand, it produces sportbikes (YZF-R1, FZ1, FZ8 and others), sport tourers (FJR1300A), adventure tourers (Super Ténéré), dual-sports (WR250X, XT250 and others), dirt bikes (YZ450F, WR450F and others) and scooters (Tmax, Zuma and others). In the U.S., cruisers produced by Yamaha have been sold under the Star Motorcycles brand since 2006, including the Royal Star, Roadliner, Stratoliner, Vmax, Raider, Stryker and others. Yamaha motorcycle reviews and road tests explain why the brand has won Rider‚s Motorcycle of the Year four times: in 2006 with the FZ1, in 2003 with the FJR1300, in 1996 with the Royal Star Tour Classic and in 1993 with the GTS1000.

2015 Yamaha FJ-09 Review

With its low weight and rowdy engine, the Yamaha FJ-09 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It has an appealingly low base price, but we’d gladly pay a little more for better suspension and brakes and a more refined throttle-by-wire system.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 8, 2015

With its low weight and rowdy engine, the Yamaha FJ-09 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It has an appealingly low base price, but we’d gladly pay a little more for better suspension and brakes and a more refined throttle-by-wire system. Yamaha made a big splash when it introduced the FZ-09 for 2014.... Read more »

Comparison: 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT, 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS, 2015 Yamaha FJ-09

These three adventure-styled sport tourers offer lots of performance, versatility and value.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 8, 2015

These three adventure-styled sport tourers offer lots of performance, versatility and value. (Photography by Kevin Wing) Adventure-styled motorcycles have proliferated in recent years, with many new or extensively updated models introduced by European and Japanese manufacturers. Some are true all-terrain... Read more »

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Ride Review

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3

Greg Drevenstedt
April 2, 2015

Yamaha’s all-new YZF-R3 is a 321cc sportbike that should appeal to a wide audience. Photography by Brian J. Nelson Those interested in a new small-displacement street bike have a wide range of options to choose from. There are cruisers, sportbikes, standards, supermotos and dual-sports from Honda,... Read more »

Yamaha Introduces 2015 TMAX Scooter

2015 Yamaha TMAX

Rider Magazine Staff
February 13, 2015

2015 Yamaha TMAX Yamaha says its new 2015 TMAX scooter offers more road-going performance than ever in a scooter that handles like a sportbike. The TMAX features a new-for-2015, 530cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, twin-cylinder engine that is also fuel-injected and designed specifically to deliver maximum... Read more »

New for 2015: Big Bangs for the Buck

2015 BMW R 1200 RS

Rider Magazine
January 8, 2015

The 2015 crop of new bikes is a big one, with lots of all-new or significantly updated models. We’ve covered the new stuff from EBR, Harley, Honda, Indian and Victory in previous issues. Here’s a brief overview of what’s coming down the pike from BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki, Star, Suzuki and Zero. Unless... Read more »

2015 Yamaha FJ-09—First Ride Review

2015 Yamaha FJ-09

Mark Tuttle
December 24, 2014

The Yamaha FJ-09 offers road comfort and suspension compliance similar to larger adventure tourers but is much more nimble. Photography by Riles & Nelson What are you looking for in a sport-touring motorcycle? I know what I want in my go-to bike—plenty of performance, so I can cruise at high speed,... Read more »

Retrospective: Yamaha XT600: 1984-1989

1986 Yamaha XT600

Clement Salvadori
November 11, 2014

Year/Model: 1986 Yamaha XT600; Owner: Kevin Delaney, Arroyo Grande, California. As an inveterate reader of motorcycle travel articles and books, in the 1980s and ’90s I noticed that many of our European friends, when headed off to Africa—the equivalent of our southwest—opted to take Yamaha’s... Read more »

2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M – First Look Review

2015 Yamaha YZF-R1

Rider Magazine Staff
November 5, 2014

Weight and wheelbase are down and power is up on the all-new 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1. Yamaha has introduced two all-new YZF-R1 sportbike models for 2015 that have the potential to make as big of an impact in sportbike and roadracing circles as the original R1 did in 1998. Both the new R1 and R1M are expected... Read more »

2015 Yamaha FJ-09 – First Look Review

2015 Yamaha FJ-09

Rider Magazine Staff
November 4, 2014

The new FJ-09 should be perfect for fans of the in-line triple concept who want more sport-touring capability. Yamaha’s FZ-09 sport-standard triple is so popular that it’s unlikely a slight price increase for 2015 to $8,190 will have any negative effect on its sales. In fact, that popularity has... Read more »

2015 Yamaha R3 – First Look Review

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 in Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver

Greg Drevenstedt
October 16, 2014

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 in Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver Entry-level sportbikes have been coming on strong lately, with the recent release of the all-new KTM RC390, the updated-for-2015 Honda CBR300R and the Kawasaki Ninja 300, which received a major revamp for 2013. Now Yamaha is getting into the game, as... Read more »

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Yamaha Motorcycles, Who Uses Them?

Yamaha motorcycle reviews address a full range of motorcycles, from cruisers (under the Star Motorcycles brand), sport tourers and sportbikes, to dirt bikes, dual-sports and scooters, as well as ATVs, boats, marine engines, automobile engines, personal watercraft and snowmobiles.


Yamaha Motorcycle Standouts

Yamaha motorcycle reviews The Yamaha V-Max, introduced in 1985 and produced with few changes until 2008, is a power cruiser with a 1,197cc V-4 engine derived from the Venture. It became famous after multiple Yamaha motorcycle guides, reviews and road tests praised it for its V-Boost system, which opens butterfly valves at 8,000 rpm to give a rush of acceleration. The original bike had poor handling, but with a slight variation of the name, the VMax was completely redesigned for 2009 with a 1,679cc V-4, modern engine technology (YCC-I and YCC-T) and components, and much better handling. The FJR1300, which replaced the FJ1100 and FJ1200 open-class sportbikes, was introduced in 2003 and set a new benchmark in terms of performance among sport tourers.

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