Yamaha has been busy shaking things up as of late. The FJ sport-tourer family went the way of the FZ lineup with a brand-new name and refurbished looks, and it will hit U.S. showrooms sometime in November as the Tracer 900 along with a slightly more tour-tastic version, the Tracer 900 GT. Fans of the FJ models — and indeed the FZ/MT-09 range — will recognize the 115-horsepower, 847 cc triple and adventuresome flavor of this new sport-touring lineup that will be replacing the FJs. The base model lands somewhere near the “sport” end of the sport-tour spectrum, but the GT model is a bit more balanced with a set of hard-side panniers that provides some secure dry storage and a host of features that long-distance riders will certainly appreciate. Join me while I take a first look at this new pair that gives us a glimpse into Yamaha’s 2019 lineup.
See my first look at the Yamaha Tracer 900 and the Tracer 900 GT.
Yamaha Paper Crafts now gets the YA-1 to celebrate the 20th anniversary
Back in 1997, Yamaha challenged our building skills when launched a pretty neat form of Origami, the art of paper folding. They called it the “Paper Crafts.” Every now and then, they release a bunch of new Paper craft motorcycle models where one can print out, cut and assemble these paper figures. As easy as it may sound, trust me, they are more complicated than your understanding of the universe.
For its 20th anniversary, Yamaha PaperCrafts have recreated Yamaha Motor Co’s first motorcycle, the 1955 YA-1, as an Ultra-Realistic Paper Craft. There are two editions there: a standard edition for us puny ignorants and a special edition for those who have mastered the art of origami.
2018 Yamaha MT-10
After a fairly major update for the 2017 model year, the popular FZ-10 drops its American name and runs with the same MT-10 moniker as the rest of the world for 2018. Yamaha’s Hyper-Naked literbike sports a 998 cc plant that delivers 160.4 ponies for a brutally powerful ride. The factory tweaked its D-Mode engine mapping feature to help the rider manage said power and (hopefully) keep the power delivery synched with the rider’s skill level. Also new for 2018 is the Quick Shift System that helps you run through the gears even faster so you can get the most out of whichever mode you prefer. TC, RbW and ABS all make an appearance in the electronics suite, and the suspension comes with an array of adjustments to make this an all-around, top-shelf bike. New name, ’almost’ new bike; I give you the ’18 MT-10.
Continue reading for my look at the Yamaha MT-10.
Does Yamaha Have More Leaning Trikes On The Horizon?
The saga of the leaning backwards trikes continues into 2018. In an interesting turn of events, it seems that Yamaha has acquired some leaning front-end technology from the Norway-based Brudeli Tech Holding AS. Why so interesting, you ask? Well, let’s take a moment for some backstory for those of you who are not yet in the loop.
Continue reading for more on the patent acquisition.
2017 Yamaha SCR950
The retro war heats up as more manufacturers jump into the fray, and Yamaha finally took the plunge with its new-in-2017 SCR950 scrambler. Based on the Star Bolt, this bike runs the same proven 942 cc mill with a decidedly classic overall flavor dating back to the original scramblers of the ’60s and ’70s. I must confess that I have an affinity for scramblers, and I already know the Bolt is a heck of a bike, even if it is, shall we say, very ’flattering’ to a certain Sportster currently on the market, so it is with high expectations that I approach The Tuning Fork Company’s new foray into scrambler territory.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha SCR950.
Yamaha Yard Build: XS650 & XSR700 by Greg Hageman
Based out of Iowa, custom motorcycle builder Greg Hageman started working on Yamaha motorcycles at the start of this century. His very first one was an XS650 build that basically kicked off his love of vintage Yamahas’. And as they say, the rest is history.
This scent was picked up by the folks at Yamaha Yard Build, guys who ask "talented customizers to provide inspirational ideas on how to transform modern Yamaha models into ’Yard Build’ specials."
Yamaha has come out with a boat to ease the heavy burden of surveyors that measure sediment below dams; the BREEZE10 unmanned boat. Designed to be conned by an onboard operator, by remote or left to work autonomously, the BREEZE10 carries a sophisticated sonar and electronics suite that maps the lake bed while an electric motor drives it silently across the surface. An onboard generator can replenish the ion-lithium batteries, which makes the boat a proper hybrid.
Continue reading for more information on the Yamaha BREEZE10.
2018 is here. And these top dogs are heading our way
Aspirin taken, ate some food, drank that much-needed water and took a hot shower. Hangover time is over and getting my head around the fact that I have to wake up early to work depressed me at first. But luckily the excitement brought with the launch of these new machines means we and I get to see them on our roads pretty soon, and I cannot wait to unveil the secrets they behold.
Unveiled at the back end of 2017, these hot machines give new life goals and expectations, not just for riders, but also to other manufacturers giving them no option but to up their game as well. Thanks to this, competition keeps getting hotter by the day, and we are ultimately rewarded with machines that beam innovation and technology.
Here are the top picks that are touted to take the market by storm in 2018:
2018 Yamaha MT-09
Yamaha finally brought its U.S.-bound, mid-size hyper naked into line with the rest of the civilized riding world this year by renaming our FZ-09 as the MT-09. I’m sure we’ll all miss the “Fuzz,” but the “Master of Torque” is essentially the exact same bike. All the upgrades that were introduced in 2017 make the transition — traction control, ABS and improved throttle curves — along with the 115-horsepower engine that made last year’s model such a hit. When I covered the updated version, there was some question as to whether the range would live up to its potential. Well, having had around a year in which to prove itself, I’d say the 09 has acquitted itself admirably. Join me while I take a look at this ride from a fresh perspective.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha MT-09.
Is Yamaha developing an AWD motorcycle?
Yamaha has just been awarded a patent that carries an indigenous piece of technology which can possibly change the way we perceive the motorcycling experience. Giving twice the amount of traction than ever before, the new technology will take us places we couldn’t until now.
The Japanese brand is developing an all-wheel-drive motorcycle where power is given to both the wheels of the motorcycle, and according to the spy grabs, Yamaha will use two different energy sources to power the motorcycle.
2018 Yamaha MT-07
Yamaha finally saw fit to drop its FZ family designator in favor of the MT brand seen by most other markets. The changes aren’t limited the moniker; the MT-07 comes with a handful of tweaks to include better suspension and updated looks to reflect its aggressive nature. Fans of the”Fuzz” will rejoice to know that it retains its 689 cc, crossplane concept powerplant with its 50 pounds o’ grunt and steering geometry that makes the family so nimble. I understand and accept that there are some mighty smart people who decide what names/colors/whatever will sell in any given market, and I know that there are significant cultural differences involved, but I’ve never quite grasped why the MT had to be the FZ here. Looks like someone at Yamaha finally questioned it too.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha MT-07.
Yamaha begins online booking of 2018 YZF-R1M
Yamaha has updated their mad YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M superbikes with recalibrated equipment and a couple of new features keeping the competition alive and well. It was launched at the 2017 EICMA along with a host of new concepts and products from the Japanese Blue Team.
It will hit showroom floors in March 2018, Yamaha has opened up their online booking portal where enthusiasts and motorsport teams can book one for themselves that includes the limited edition R1M.