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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.

2011 Yamaha FZ8 Road Test

2011 Yamaha FZ8 action left side

Greg Drevenstedt
January 24, 2011

Here we go again. Yet another motorcycle clearly designed for the European market (it’s been sold there for a year) offered to Americans as if it was our longed-for last meal. But the 2011 Yamaha FZ8, which is essentially an FZ1 with less displacement and the fairing knocked off, is more like reheated... Read more »

2010 Kymco Xciting 500Ri vs. 2010 Yamaha Tmax

2010 Kymco Xciting 500Ri and 2010 Yamaha Tmax in action

Rider Contributor
October 20, 2010

photography by Scott Hirko [This 2010 Kymco Xciting 500Ri vs. 2010 Yamaha Tmax road test was originally published in the December 2009 issue of Rider magazine] 2010 Kymco Xciting 500Ri and 2010 Yamaha Tmax in action The first time I took one of these scooters out with my riding buddies they were holding... Read more »

2011 Yamaha Motorcycles

2011 Yamaha XTZ1200 Super Ténéré

Rider Contributor
September 1, 2010

2011 Yamaha XTZ1200 Super Ténéré Yamaha has been inundated with requests to bring the XTZ1200 Super Ténéré adventure-tourer to the U.S. Named after a challenging Sahara Desert stage of the Paris-Dakar Rally, it will arrive next spring as a 2012 model. Powered by a 1199cc parallel twin with a 270-degree... Read more »

2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe Road Test

2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe

Rider Contributor
April 30, 2010

photography by Riles & Nelson If you’re into cruisers and have kept your eyes open, you may have noticed that baggers—cruisers with saddlebags (and often fairings, too)—are replacing radical customs as the latest trend. According to Yamaha, it’s because riders have found radical bikes too... Read more »

2009 Yamaha R1 Road Test

2009 Yamaha R1

Greg Drevenstedt
November 16, 2009

Whizbang technology from Yamaha’s M1 MotoGP racebike trickled down to the masses in 2009 when the R1 sportbike became the first production motorcycle to use a crossplane crankshaft. Each crankpin is offset 90 degrees from the next, which produces an uneven firing interval that dramatically changes... Read more »

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 »

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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.