The Dark Side of Japan
Founded on 1st July 1955, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., celebrated its 65th anniversary this year, and over the past seven decades the company has developed some of the industry’s most iconic models and been responsible for the introduction of a range of innovative technology that has transformed the riding experience.
Machines including the XT500, XS650 and RD350LC – through to the VMAX and YZF-R1 – have all achieved legendary cult status within the world of motorcycling, and have become an integral part of the Yamaha story. While justifiably proud of its past achievements, Yamaha’s focus is on the future, and by the end of the first decade of this century the company’s product development teams were on a mission to create a new generation of future icons.
To make a difference it is necessary to take a risk, and some of the company’s greatest designs have been those bikes that defied convention and dared to be different. So when Yamaha’s designers and engineers set about creating a new breed of motorcycles for the 21st century, they made the conscious decision to break all the rules and take a whole new direction. Rather than playing it safe by making a newer and better version of what was already out there in the market, Yamaha decided to start all over again.
The next key decision in the development of this new generation of bikes was that they would be distinctly Japanese, with a unique look and feel that set them apart from every other brand. Playing with a variety of Japanese influences including Tokyo’s biking subculture, the development team were free to explore every possibility.
The focus would be on crafting a bike with a unique, thrilling and enjoyable riding experience, achieved primarily through the delivery of linear torque and easy agility.
Very competitive pricing and easy to ride for all type of customers, including female would be the goal. The look would be naked and mechanical, to give this new breed of distinctively Japanese bike a pure and muscular image. And every piece of technology would be there to serve the rider and create a more engaging, rewarding and satisfying riding experience.
Inspired by Japanese subculture, and created by some of the most visionary designers in the business, the MT-07 arrived shortly after the very first MT-09 was launched, and the year 2014 marked the real beginning of the new Hyper Naked segment that has become the dominant force on the streets of Europe.
The motorcycle world was changing, and Yamaha were leading the way with two of the most significant new models to be launched by the company in its long and illustrious history. With over 250,000 units sold to date, the MT line is proving to be the most successful range ever produced by Yamaha.