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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.

Factory Custom Comparo: Harley-Davidson Rocker C, Victory Vegas Jackpot, Star Raider S, Honda Fury


Rider Contributor
August 18, 2009

photography by Scott Hirko [This Harley, Victory, Star, Honda Factory Custom Comparo was originally published in the October 2009 issue of Rider magazine] It all started in 1971, when Harley-Davidson introduced the Super Glide, a new model with a big 1,200cc V-twin shovelhead motor and a large fiberglass... Read more »

2009 Yamaha FJR1300A/AE Tour Road Test

2009 Yamaha FJR1300A and AE models

Rider Magazine
July 17, 2009

photography by the author, Rick Oxton and Paul Drevenstedt [This 2009 Yamaha FJR1300A/AE Tour Road Test was originally published in the September 2009 issue of Rider] FJR Tour, 4:40 a.m.—Blink, blink…up early, picking up Paul, coffee & doughnuts from Russell’s, driving to LAX. (Posted on... Read more »

2009 Yamaha FZ6R Road Test

2009 Yamaha FZ6R

Rider Magazine
March 17, 2009

[This 2009 Yamaha FZ6R Road Test originally appeared in the May 2009 issue of Rider magazine] Looks can be deceiving. The 2009 Yamaha FZ6R is styled like a supersport, and is even classified as such on Yamaha’s website, but its relaxed ergonomics and user-friendliness make it more a riposte to... Read more »

2009 Yamaha Tmax Scooter Road Test

Yamaha’s new TMAX blurs the boundaries between motorcycles and scooters. And the fence posts along the way.

John L. Stein
December 12, 2008

When Yamaha introduced the boisterous new Vmax streetfighter last summer, another “Max” had already slipped into the market under the radar. Billed as a cross between a sportbike and a scooter, admittedly the 2009 Yamaha Tmax looks like neither fish nor fowl at first glance-but then again... Read more »

2008 Kawasaki Z1000, Triumph Speed Triple and Yamaha FZ1 Road Test Comparison

2008 Yamaha FZ1, 2008 Kawasaki Z1000 & 2008 Triumph Speed Triple

Greg Drevenstedt
November 5, 2008

In my past life I was a scientist-specifically, a demographer who studied trends in human mortality (depressing, I know). Although my number-crunching days are behind me, my research background still comes in handy. To put these bikes-Kawasaki Z1000, Triumph Speed Triple and Yamaha FZ1-on a level playing... Read more »

2009 Yamaha/Star Vmax Road Test

Star Vmax action right

Rider Magazine
October 14, 2008

photography by Riles & Nelson Aha! Now I get it. Just before the unveiling of the 2009 Yamaha/Star Vmax on the deck of the U.S.S. Midway, we listened to a riveting account of how aircraft were launched from the now-decommissioned carrier. A steam-powered catapult helped propel each plane from 0-170... Read more »

2008 Yamaha FJR1300A Road Test

Riding the 2008 Yamaha FJR1300A

Mark Tuttle
October 14, 2008

When Yamaha introduced the FJR13000 to the United States for 2003, for sport-touring riders it was a second coming of sorts. Gobs of smooth multicylinder power had the potential to rocket this comfortable, fully equipped mile eater past the competition, with 26,000-mile valve service intervals to boot.... Read more »

2008 Motorcycle Fuel Economy Comparison

2008 Suzuki GZ250 action

Bill Stermer
September 15, 2008

Photography by Kevin Wing [This review of nine fuel-efficient motorcycles was originally published in the October 2008 issue of Rider] 2008 Suzuki GZ250 Motorcycles included in this review (2008 model year): Honda Nighthawk, Kawasaki Ninja 250R, Star V Star 250, Suzuki GZ250, Honda 750 Shadow Aero,... Read more »

Rider’s 250-class Dual-Sport Motorcycle Comparison

250 Dual-Sport Comparison

Arden Kysely
September 15, 2008

photography by the author, James Norris, Roger Eggers and Kail Wathne [Rider’s 250-class Dual-Sport Motorcycle Comparison including the 2008 HONDA CRF230L, 2009 KAWASAKI KLX250S and 2009 YAMAHA XT250 was originally published in the October 2008 issue of Rider magazine] 2008 HONDA CRF230L, 2009... Read more »

Retrospective: Yamaha RD350: 1973-1975

1974 Yamaha RD350.

Clement Salvadori
August 25, 2008

(This Retrospective article was published in the August 2008 issue of Rider.) STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLEMENT SALVADORI Nicknames can be good, flattering, positive…or quite the opposite. In the case of Yamaha’s RD series, the Chef Boy-Ar-Dee moniker—say it slow—was greeted with less than enthusiasm... 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.