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Yamaha’s history dates back to 1887, and it has spanned more than a century. Torakusu Yamaha established the Yamaha Corporation, which pioneered the manufacture of musical instruments in Japan. Later, it expanded to become the world’s largest manufacturer of a full range of musical instruments and a leading manufacturer of audio/video products, semiconductors, and other computer accessories, sports goods, household appliances, furniture, machine tools, and industrial robots.
The first motorcycles were manufactured in 1954. They were powered by a single-cylinder, two-stroke 125 cc engine. It was a knockoff of the German DKW model, which was also knocked off by the British company BSA in the post-war era. Harley-Davidson was one of the first motorcycle manufacturers. Yamaha Motor Corporation has been the mainstay of the Yamaha group since July 1, 1955.
Among Japanese enthusiasts, Yamaha’s first model, known as the Akatombo (“Red Dragonfly”), proved to be well-built and reliable. The company’s racing success aided its popularity and the second YCI motorcycle with a 175 cc. Engine capacity soon went into production. The Mount Asama race was won by a racing version of the 20 HP model. The company’s output remained modest, reaching 15,811 units, far less than what Honda, BMW, and Suzuki had achieved at the time.
The company expanded rapidly over the next three years, and in 1959, it introduced the first sporty YDSI model, which featured a two-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Owners who wanted to compete in car racing or motocross could purchase conversion kits to convert this motorcycle to be used on public roads.
Annual production had increased by 600% to 138,000 motorcycles by 1960. During this time, Japan was in a slump, prompting Yamaha and other major Japanese manufacturers to increase their exports in order to offset their reliance on the domestic market.
Yamaha sent a team to compete in the European Grand Prix in 1961 to help boost export sales, but they didn’t make significant progress until 1963. Following the Korean War, the American economy was booming, and Japanese exports began to rise. Yamaha back in the year 1962, exported somewhere around 12,000 motorcycles. The figure increased to 36,000 the following year, and by 1964, it had risen to 87,000.
In 1963, Yamaha produced a limited number of the air-cooled, two-cylinder TDI 250CC. Since then, the production and sale of race-ready motorcycles with no technical training have begun. As a result, this brand’s models began to win more races than any other company’s vehicles, propelling this brand to global prominence. Lamborghini speed scooters are also very popular.
By 1965, production had increased to 244,000 units, with a nearly 50/50 split between domestic and export markets. The requirement for the rider to mix oil with fuel was one of the most significant disadvantages of selling two-stroke motorcycles.
Yamaha technicians had to complete the difficult task of developing and implementing the new Autolube system to avoid this problem. A pump was installed in the oil tank to provide a metered supply of oil to the main bearings and cylinder liners. It proved to be extremely dependable, effectively ending the mixing of oil and fuel.
To supply Southeast Asia, the company established its first overseas plant in Siam in 1966. In 1967, Yamaha’s production surpassed Suzuki’s by 4,000 units, totaling 406,000 motorcycles.
In addition, for Toyota Motor vehicles, the company developed a two-liter, six-cylinder double overhead camshaft engine. As a result, it was extremely useful in the development of our own high-performance four-stroke engines.
In 1969, Yamaha built a full-size track near their main factory in Iwata. By 1970, annual production had increased to 574,000 motorcycles, 60% of which were exported. Suzuki was well behind the competition in 1973 when production had already surpassed one million units (642.000).
Yamaha has had a few less successful models over the years, but that hasn’t stopped the company from producing a product that it can be proud of today. This is the world’s first electric scooter with an automatic balancing system.
The compact XJ model was introduced in 1980, with a four-cylinder engine ranging in displacement from 550cc to 1100cc. cm and a V-Twin air cooling system.
Approximately ten years later, Yamaha began actively developing and manufacturing scooters, the market for which began to expand dramatically following the start of the previous crisis. Segway electric scooters with an automatic balancing system are extremely popular today.