Motor Cycle

Yamaha XT 125 X

By 1960 the company's output had increased by a massive 600%, but a period of recession forced Japanese companies to look further afield A kit was available which allowed the owner to adapt the bike for racing, both on and off road. However, the company flourished during the following years, and in 1959 Yamaha were the first Japanese company to offer a sports model, the twin cylinder YDS1, complete with five speed gearbox. A win a Mount Asama boosted sales, but at less than 16,000 models a year output was still way behind Honda and Suzuki.

The twin cylinder YD, the first machine designed by Yamaha, was introduced in 1957. This machine, fondly known as the Red Dragonfly, laid the foundation of Yamaha's reputation for reliability, and success on the race track contributed to the bike's popularity. The Japanese have often been accused of copying European models, but let's not forget that BSA also used this very same design to produce their Bantam. Their first offering was the YA1, a 125cc, single cylinder two-stroke, was a copy of a German motorbike. It has grown to be the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, which is no mean feat for what was a fledgling company that arrived late in the motorcycle market.

The Yamaha Motor Corporation sprang into life on July 1st 1955, and remains part of the Yamaha Group.  Although the first Yamaha motorcycle didn't appear until the mid fifties, the company's history dates back to 1887, when the father of the company, Torakusa Yamaha began producing reed organs.


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Motor Cycle
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