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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.

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 KAWASAKI... 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 »

Retrospective: Yamaha FZ750 Genesis: 1985-1986, 1988

1988 Yamaha FZ750.

Clement Salvadori
June 25, 2008

(This Retrospective article was published in the June 2008 issue of Rider.) STORY AND PHOTOS BY CLEMENT SALVADORI It was the early 1980s when the Japanese really got their sporting act together with liquid-cooled engines, single-shock suspensions, and frames that could handle the power in the corners. Yamaha... Read more »

Retrospective: Yamaha XJ900R Seca: 1983

1983 Yamaha XJ900RK Seca.

Clement Salvadori
April 25, 2008

(This Retrospective article was published in the April 2008 issue of Rider.) STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLEMENT SALVADORI This was a good bike at a good price, as $3,700 (MSRP) would roll this 900 Seca out the dealer’s door. The performance was not too shabby, with an 11-second quarter-mile and a chassis... Read more »

2007 Yamaha FZ6 Road Test

Not only is the FZ6 aimed at the new rider, but budget-conscious riders looking for a thrill can get a kick out of the bike as well.

Troy Siahaan
July 3, 2007

(this review of the 2007 Yamaha FZ6 was originally published in the July 2007 issue of Rider] Remember the days when bikes were inexpensive and could do a little bit of everything? Well, there’s good news-the middleweight standard motorcycle has made a comeback. In a market where most bikes are... Read more »

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 »

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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.