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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.

Retrospective: Yamaha TDM 850: 1992-1993

1992 Yamaha TDM 850.

Clement Salvadori
May 22, 2007

(This Retrospective article appeared in the May 2007 issue of Rider.) New Sports? What was a “New Sports” machine? In this case it seemed to be a “naked” bike partially clothed in a small fairing, which had a curious bicloptic headlight arrangement, the two bulbs side by side. Definitely unusual.... Read more »

2007 Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer Road Test

The big change is that the new bike is liquid-cooled, making it the first such Yamaha cruiser in a decade.

Troy Siahaan
February 5, 2007

I must have a screw loose. I told some friends that I would meet them near the local twisties for a breakfast ride. They all ride sportbikes and assumed that I would be riding one as well. Imagine their surprise when I made my entrance on Yamaha’s new V Star 1300 Tourer. I was greeted by laughter... Read more »

2006 BMW K1200GT vs. Yamaha FJR1300A Motorcycle Comparison

2006 BMW K1200GT and YamahaFJR1300A

Clement Salvadori
January 25, 2007

[This 2006 BMW K1200GT vs. Yamaha FJR1300A Motorcycle Comparison was originally published in the January 2007 issue of Rider magazine] Photography by Michael Mariant As any reader understands, the test rider has got to be objective in his evaluation of a motorcycle, to judge that motorcycle on the basis... Read more »

2006 Yamaha Road Star Midnight Warrior Road Test

Low handlebar, big-inch V-twin, belt drive, radial tires, great brakes: They all come together in the Warrior.

Bill Stermer
January 5, 2007

We hear it more all the time. “I’ve been riding sportbikes for years, and now that I’m getting older I want to slow down a bit. I’d like to just cruise, but on the other hand I’m not sure a cruiser would satisfy me if it had too many performance limitations. What would you... Read more »

2006 Yamaha FZ1 Road Test

Yamaha answered the call with a slew of changes, taking the FZ1 a full step deeper into the sporty realm while still leaving enough of the old bike’s charm that owners have come to love.

Ken Freund
January 5, 2007

A lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge in the half decade since Yamaha’s first-generation FZ1 was introduced, and the world is a different place. When that groundbreaking 2001 model was launched, company officials later admitted, they were skeptical that customers would flock to... Read more »

2006 Honda 599, Kawasaki Ninja 650R, Suzuki SV650S and Yamaha FZ6 Motorcycle Comparison

Middleweight motorcycle comparison — Four motorcycles

Mark Tuttle Jr.
January 1, 2007

[This 2006 Honda 599, Kawasaki Ninja 650R, Suzuki SV650S and Yamaha FZ6 Motorcycle Comparison was originally published in the April 2006 issue of Rider magazine] Photography by Rich Cox/Slide Action These middleweight motorcycles sure look nice as a pack... Look at the middleweight motorcycle class and... Read more »

2006 Yamaha Roadliner S Road Test

Star Power: 2006 Yamaha Roadliner S.

Bill Stermer
January 1, 2007

Open any magazine that covers the hyperactive world of customized cruisers (such as our sister publication Cruising Rider), and you’ll see a healthy percentage of customs based on Yamaha’s Road Star line. With its big-inch, traditional-looking, pushrod, air-cooled V-twin engine and just-right... Read more »

Retrospectove: Yamaha XV920 Virago: 1982-1983

1982 Yamaha XV920 Virago.

Clement Salvadori
February 21, 2006

(This Retrospective article was published in the February 2006 issue of Rider Magazine.) STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLEMENT SALVADORI It had to happen. Some Japanese manufacturer was going to come out with a V-twin cruiser. The first efforts, though, were a bit strange to students of cruiser aesthetics.... Read more »

2005 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe Road Test

2005 Royal Star

Ken Freund
July 30, 2004

With the cruiser market on fire and buyers gobbling up bikes almost as fast as they can be made, Yamaha has been scrambling for new models to add to its lineup. For 2005 the tuning-fork folks are rolling out the Royal Star Tour Deluxe, which can be converted from touring to cruiser duty. It’s based... Read more »

2004 Honda 599 vs 2004 Suzuki SV650 vs 2004 Yamaha FZ6 Motorcycle Comparison

Rider Contributor
February 3, 2004

When many of us started riding, there were just two kinds of motorized two-wheelers: scooters and motorcycles. Heck, even the line between street and off-road machines was pretty blurry. Things changed a little after the Japanese began selling motorcycles in this country, but it was still quite a while... 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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