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2018 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M

2018 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M

New Quick Shifter and Lift Control for 2018

Yamaha’s R1 family brings genuine racebike fun to the unwashed masses for a price that belies their capabilities. The base-model R1 and its even more race-tastic “M” variant come with MotoGP-level performance, and indeed are actually set up to be quickly converted for track use, so these are no poser bikes, not by a long shot. A powerful liter-sized mill pushes the R1 family well into the stupidfast category with updated electronic subsystems to help you keep it all under control, and of course, the synergy between the components makes the R1 family much greater than the sum of its parts. Let’s dig in and see what else the Tuning Fork Company has going on with this pair.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M.

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2019 Yamaha Niken

2019 Yamaha Niken

A First Look At Yamaha’s Leany Delta Trike

Yamaha looks to redefine what we think of when we hear the word “trike” with the all-new Niken (literally: two sword) that brings the leaning trike concept into the realm of full-size bikes. Based on the popular FZ/MT-09, the Niken LMW (Leaning Multi-Wheel) doubles the size (and number) of the front contact patch(es) for greater safety and traction with the proven 847 cc Crossplane Concept engine to drive the thing. With over 100 ponies on tap and its fancy front end with gobs of traction, the Niken seems set to deliver a ride that is limited only by your own skills and testicular fortitude.

Continue reading for my first look at the Yamaha Niken.

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2015 - 2018 Yamaha YZF-R3

2015 - 2018 Yamaha YZF-R3

Sport Trainer or Fun Commuter?

The Tuning Fork Company makes a solid effort for a slice of the entry-level sportbike market with its YZF-R3. Yamaha had its work cut out for it ’cause this all-important market is hotly contested by nearly every other streetbike manufacturer in the world and the pressure is on to get brand-loyalty instilled in the incoming riders. Engine displacement breaks the 300 cc mark with 40-plus horsepower and 20-plus pounds of torque, and at only 368 pounds wet, this is plenty of power for some cheap thrills on the road. The rest of the bike seems well put together at a glance, but today I am going to dig into the guts of the thing and see what all Yamaha has in store for us and how well it stacks up against similar models on the market right now.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R3.

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2018 Yamaha R1S

2018 Yamaha R1S

It’s An R1 Without The Hefty Price

Yamaha’s YZF-R1S expands the R1 range down into a slightly younger demographic with the “S” variant that sheds some of its fancy metallurgy in favor of slightly less-noble metals with a concurrent decrease in the sticker shock. The “S” delivers the same thrilling performance as the rest of the line as well, so this isn’t just a detuned or repowered look-a-like, its a bona fide R1 that drops a few race-day features to make a bike that is not only less expensive, but more pragmatic for a daily rider. Now you can get that same feel and performance even if the parking lot is the closest it will ever get to a track. Today, I’m going to see what all the buzz surrounding this bike is about, and see how it compares to other lower-top-shelf models currently on the market.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R1S.

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Yamaha announces Niken's entry onto the US shores

Yamaha announces Niken’s entry onto the US shores

To come only in one color option and will be a limited edition affair

Being the most talked about bike ever since its launch, the Niken showcases a crazy innovation called the Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW). Basically, Yamaha has stepped up their game with this.

The three-wheeled revolutionary motorcycle based on the hugely popular MT-09 platform is finally coming to the US, and it costs exactly $5,333 per Wheel. If you can do the math right, that means the Niken will cost exactly $7,000 markup over the Yamaha MT-09.

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Motorcycle Manufacturers Are Scrambling For New Riders

Motorcycle Manufacturers Are Scrambling For New Riders

Big Bikes Are Out, Small Bikes Are In To Attract New Riders to a Dying Industry

The motorcycle market is shrinking and if left unchecked, could diminish into nothing. Manufacturers are scrambling for new riders and the push is on for attracting young people into a mode of transportation that they previously shunned. Ad campaigns are out there advertising what could be premium-priced bikes for under $12k and the push is on for more new-rider training. Manufacturers are moving away from their traditional looks and styles in an effort to attract new buyers. What spawned this shift? The motorcycle industry — at least in the North American market where motorcycles are considered a luxury, not a necessity — is dying. Yes, the statistics show it is true.

Continue reading for more on the shift in the motorcycle market.

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Why Is A Harley Called A Hog?

Why Is A Harley Called A Hog?

And Other Manufacturer Nicknames Explained

William Shakespeare wrote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” for a little play called Romeo and Juliet, maybe you’ve heard of it, but I would submit that the nicknames earned by motorcycles and manufacturers have much more in the way of a meaningful meaning than the simple labels we use every day. We just can’t help but come up with nicknames, sometimes for the manufacturer, sometimes for the bikes, and sometimes it applies to both. I want to take a look at some of the names that stand out among the detritus of history and try to shed some light on their origins. Just think of it as a bit of a semantic scavenger hunt. Some are pretty obvious to those in the know; this is for everyone else.

Continue reading for my exploration of manufacturers’ nicknames.

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2018 Yamaha YZF-R1M

2018 Yamaha YZF-R1M

New quickshifter, TFT screen and up-spec electronic suspensions

Touted as the sharpest and most track-focused supersport bikes you could get your hands on, 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.

Taking one step closer to the true-blue racing pedigree of the M1, the 2018 R1 series will enhance rider experience by improving suspension, shifting and fuelling to be the "most sought-after supersport motorcycles designed to deliver the pinnacle of performance on and off the track".

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The "TYPE 11", another feather on the Yamaha Yard Builds

The "TYPE 11", another feather on the Yamaha Yard Builds

Comes in two variants: "Prototype One" for the track and "Prototype Two" for road

Based out of Southend-on-Sea near London, the Auto Fabrica workshop is set up to design, prototype, manufacture a build from concept to final product. Their latest project is the “TYPE 11” breed of machines that has built two bespoke models for two different riding preferences, underpinned by Yamaha’s XSR 900.

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." The TYPE 11 gets the “Prototype One” track only machine and a “Prototype Two” road going version.

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Yamaha's new Tenere 700 ADV machine snapped testing in Europe

Yamaha’s new Tenere 700 ADV machine snapped testing in Europe

Black panels heavily conceal the final design and features

Yamaha had showcased its mid-weight adventure concept last year and called it the ‘T7 concept’. It was then we knew that the Japanese guys are coming up with a winner in the adventure class for the next year. Then, the brand showcased the ’Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid’ at last year’s EICMA, but for all our dismay, was still a prototype since they had yet to turn a few knobs more.

Fast forward to today, we have confirmation from the beautiful city of Milan that the 700 Tenere will hit showrooms soon. Heavily camouflaged or rather disguised in full black body panels, the test mule is a million miles away from home to taste the readiness of the bike in the Italian terrains.

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Yamaha released more specification info on the three-wheeled Niken

Yamaha released more specification info on the three-wheeled Niken

Electronic rider aids and engine specifications

Launched at the 2017 Tokyo International Motor show, the Japanese brand set the pace with this stunning three-wheeled machine called the Niken. It is a three-wheeled motorcycle based on the hugely popular MT-09 platform that gets double the grip on the front and heightened ride stability for carving corners with minimal effort. Basically, Yamaha has stepped up their game with this.

Being the most talked about bike ever since its launch, the Niken showcases a crazy new innovation called the Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW), and now, the Japanese Blue Team has released a new technical video showcasing fresh new information that lets us understand its ’ultimate corner carving experience’.

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Yamaha wins the Red Dot Design Award for its Tmax Scooters

Yamaha wins the Red Dot Design Award for its Tmax Scooters

The coveted design awards for the TMax 530 DX and XMax 300 models

More than just a practical commuter, the stylish TMax scooter has been Yamaha’s darling ever since it was launched in 2001. Although it was a bit long in the tooth here, it’s a whole different story across the pond. The scooter was at the top of the ranking charts in Europe for 17 years, and Yamaha has no signs of retiring it from there anytime soon.

These guys still manage to turn heads everywhere, and the proof of it is the Red Dot design award that was accredited to the TMax 530 DX and XMax 300 models. This is one of the most prestigious awards given to the best product that has been designed to serve its purpose with outstanding quality.

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"Janus" custom bolt-on kit that gives more with less

"Janus" custom bolt-on kit that gives more with less

All you need is an allen, hex wrench and a few hours to feel the ’80s

For someone like me living in an apartment and have no garage of sorts, the itch to customize my ride to my taste always takes the back seat. Calling a stock motorcycle my own is only by force and not with contention. But then again, shelling heaps of cash and the downtime of not having the motorcycle with me while it’s in a garage somewhere on the outskirts of the town is usually why I don’t bother much with it.

Coming to the rescue of such folks are these chaps from Istanbul’s Bunker Custom Cycles that have come up with a bespoke bolt-on custom kit for $1000 that will take up just a few hours on a Sunday afternoon to make your ride look like how you’d imagined it to be. Their first such kit is called the “Janus” that bolts on to the Yamaha MT-03 and MT-25 naked streets.

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Yamaha “Turbo Maximus”

Yamaha “Turbo Maximus”

A perfect harmony of aesthetics and engineering

After serving 8 years in the Navy, Derek Kimes was scouting for new challenges. But little did he know that a day would come where he would custom build and custom engineer a motorcycle that would go on to win top honors at the Forged Invitational show at the Jekyll Island.

It wasn’t any other motorcycle, but his own 1982 black Yamaha XJ750 Maxim re-engineered to replicate the 1984 XJ750R (0U28) race bike that participated over in Japan in the 1984 Suzuka 8 Hours, both in terms of design and performance. This modern machine gets retrofitted with fuel injection and ...wait for it… a freakin turbo kit.

It’s aptly called the Yamaha “Turbo Maximus” spooling 200 hp.

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Yamaha launches four new e-bikes

Yamaha launches four new e-bikes

For all kinds of terrains and torque options going upto 60 lb-ft

Setting sights on the 2018 FIM Trial-E Cup races in France and Belgium, the Yamaha Factory Racing chaps have worked out of Yamaha’s ‘Evolving R & D’ unit to get on with the rad looking TY-E concept. This is their entry into the electric motorcycle bandwagon. But their entry into electric two-wheelers happened way back in 1993 when Yamaha “launched the world’s first electrically power-assisted bicycle”.

Now, the Japanese Blue Team is launching a new breed of cycles powered by electric motors. With decent performance ratings, Yamaha has taken this foray into smaller powered “motorcycles” quite seriously. 500 Watt-hour batteries and 60 lb-ft of torque says a lot about these cycles.

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When the industry lured us to fool us on April 1

When the industry lured us to fool us on April 1

Good morning and welcome to our April Fool’s Day round-up. It has already been two good days since we came under hoax news and stories from the motorcycle world playing practical jokes on us. Thanks to the close proximities of these pranks to the company’s products and impressions, they tricked us into believing their true existence.

Some were instantly rubbed off, while some seemed pretty convincing. Nonetheless, they all were pure April’s Fool pranks, and if you did not catch them all, we have got you covered. Participating in the Sunday’s jester were pranksters from BMW, Kawasaki, Triumph, Yamaha and a bunch of others including Lewis Hamilton.

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2016 - 2018 Yamaha Super Ténéré / Super Ténéré ES

2016 - 2018 Yamaha Super Ténéré / Super Ténéré ES

’Super’ Adventure Touring

Launched in 2010, the Super Ténéré and its stablemate, the Super Ténéré ES return for 2018 with all the adventure goodness that gave the Ténéré its name. Named after the Ténéré desert region in the Sahara, the Super Ténéré and Super Ténéré ES from Yamaha give you on-road and off-road confidence wherever your journey takes you. The compact 1,199 cc parallel-twin engine coupled with the wide-ratio six-speed transmission carries you over hill and dale and back to the pavement with aplomb. The narrow chassis and low center of gravity make the Super Ténéré easy to handle as well as maneuverable and nimble on twisty roads.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha Super Ténéré and Super Ténéré ES.

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Yamaha enters the electric world with the new TY-E trial motorcycle

Yamaha enters the electric world with the new TY-E trial motorcycle

A 150 lb trial having a carbon-fiber monocoque body and a high-torque motor

Entering the electric bandwagon, the Japanese Blue team has officially announced its future plans with its new electric trials bike, the TY-E. This came just days after Yamaha filed a patent for TY-E name, which is now in its concept stage.

Setting sights on the 2018 FIM Trial-E Cup races in France and Belgium, the Yamaha Factory Racing chaps have worked out of Yamaha’s ‘Evolving R & D’ unit to get on with this rad looking concept. It is a 154 lbs lightweight, low-speed high torque machine built to take on any terrains.

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Yamaha announces the 2018 TMax SX Sport

Yamaha announces the 2018 TMax SX Sport

Comes with a fancy list of equipment, but don’t wait for it

More than just a practical commuter, the stylish TMax scooter has been Yamaha’s darling ever since it was launched in 2001. Although it was a bit long in the tooth here, it’s a whole different story across the pond. The scooter was at the top of the ranking charts in Europe for 17 years, and Yamaha has no signs of retiring it from there anytime soon.

While we are still only able to reach our hands on the 2015 model, Yamaha Europe has given the already sporty TMax SX a new upgrade for 2018 that ticks at being the sportiest and sexiest scooter there ever is. Called the ‘TMax SX Sport’ edition, the scooter gets packed with some fancy equipment, confusing a whole lot of new-bees with their decision-making abilities.

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We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained

We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained

Launched at the 2017 Tokyo International Motor show, the Japanese brand set the pace with this stunning three-wheeled machine called the Niken (probably formed by the diminution of ‘Ni’ which means ’two’ and ‘Ken’ which means ‘sword’ in Japanese). It is a three-wheeled motorcycle based on the hugely popular MT-09 platform that gets double the grip on the front and heightened ride stability for carving corners with minimal effort.

Being the most talked about bike ever since its launch, the Niken showcases a crazy new innovation called the Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW), and finally, the Japanese Blue Team has released fresh new information explaining the workings of the LMW. Just what we were waiting for.

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Video: Yamaha showcases what the Ténéré 700 World Raid is capable of

Video: Yamaha showcases what the Ténéré 700 World Raid is capable of

Yamaha showcased a ADV concept model at the 2017 EICMA and badged it with a new name, ’Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid’. Previous to that, Yamaha had showcased its mid-weight adventure concept last year and called it the ‘T7 concept’. It was then we knew that the Japanese guys are coming up with a winner in the adventure class for the next year.

Apparently, they need to further develop the machine by testing it on public roads and now, it looks like they are one step closer to giving us their mid-weight ADV machine. Essentially, Yamaha took the naked MT-07 (FZ-07 before) and added a bunch of things, or rather removed, to give us a focused ADV concept model that will take you over anything that has ‘earth’ written on it.

Now, their production prototype is tearing apart the Australian outbacks showing us the promising capabilities the Tenere inhibits.

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Yamaha FJR1300P: The new American police story

Yamaha FJR1300P: The new American police story

It is time for our police to get sleek and stylish

Our police story is changing for good. Days of our cops roamed the streets in their shiny Harley or Indian cruisers are going to be a thing of the past. They were huge and bulky and weren’t much practical for police duties. A few Japanese models and Beemers were incorporated by few of the departments in different states now, and the trend seems to be catching on hard.

Introducing the Yamaha FJR1300P, America’s newest cop bike. Taking a fresh take on a century-old concept, this new police bike is coming to change the picture from broad and bulky to a new, stylish sleeker image. This bike already taken on police duty for many European and Australian forces, and is now jumping the pond to this side.

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2019 Yamaha Tracer 900 / Tracer 900 GT

2019 Yamaha Tracer 900 / Tracer 900 GT

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.

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