Yamaha Shows off Futuristic Scooter Concept

Yamaha has been investing in motorcycles probably more than any other brand recently and have shown off a number of interesting concepts in recent times, including the soon to be released MTW-9 three wheeler. Now they’re giving another two wheeled category – scooters – some love as well with the 04GEN concept at the Vietnam Motorcycle Show.

The 04GEN design is based on the RUN-WAY concept, which evokes the image of women with an air of dignified elegance and grace in both mind and body. Compared to most scooter bodywork structures – which hide the frame with exterior parts – the 04GEN only covers the frame with semi-transparent exterior parts. Showcasing the beautifully-engineered interior structure brings a lightness to its majestic body, creating a new design which synthesizes the interior and exterior to achieve a rare beauty.

Yamaha Motor, which has always ensured design is a central pillar of their product creation from its founding as a company, established Refined Dynamism as a design philosophy in 2013 and is currently putting great energy into developing products that emphasise the unique style of Yamaha. Based on this philosophy, Yamaha Motor has unveiled three design concepts to date: in 2014 the 01GEN, a crossover motorcycle with two wheels at the front and the 02GEN, an alluring electrically power-assisted wheelchair were shown and in 2015 the 03GEN was revealed, a new mobility concept with enhanced optional colours, materials, and finishing based on the TRICITY.

Yamaha 04GEN Design Concept Yamaha 04GEN Design Concept Yamaha 04GEN Design Concept Yamaha 04GEN Design Concept Yamaha 04GEN Design Concept Yamaha 04GEN Design Concept Yamaha 04GEN Design Concept Yamaha 04GEN Design Concept Yamaha 04GEN Design Concept

Yamaha Yard Built Dealer Contest Returns for 2016

Yamaha’s Yard Built series has shown off the talents of custom builders from all over Europe and elsewhere around the world and now after a successful competition last year, Yamaha is again opening the series up to its dealers to make the most amazing custom built bikes from its Sport Heritage Range

The competition actually pits both customisers and dealers against each other.and sees builds including the VMAX, XV950, SR400 and even the brand new XSR700. Yamaha Motor Europe is awarding special prizes to the best custom build in the following three engine categories; single-cylinder and parallel-twin, V-twin and V-four and finally inline-four.

There are some amazing bikes on display, including the German built Corniche d’Or, and the ‘sixtynine’ from Austrian dealer WS-Motorradtechnik OG. We’re actually quite suprised at how good most of the XSR700’s came out which will hopefully inspire some new entrants into customising with what is a comparatively affordable motorcycle.

You can find the Dealer Built entries online at www.yamaha-yardbuilt.com Take a moment to check out the entries in all their glory and read up on the modifications made then like to vote and share your favourites. Voting closes on the 31st March and the winning bikes will be shown at European Custom Motorcycle event later in the year.

Best of all, Yamaha will be opening up the competition to the public later in the year so start wrenching.

1455295152_6ezTL56be0ab033155 1454431330_usikc56b0dc623a115 1454061860_l2BHp56ab39248ac92

Yamaha Releases 2016 MT-10 Specifications

Late last year, Yamaha finally announced they were giving us the supernaked we’ve been wanting so long for – one based on the Yamaha R1’s latest crossplane engine. The MT-10 was unveiled at EICMA last year but no specifications or pricing was released. We now have the former and if you’re living in the UK the latter as well.

The MT-10 supernaked is based off Yamaha’s budget version of the new R1, the R1S. That means it misses out on a few special features such as a magnesium oil pan, engine covers and wheels (replaced with aluminium) and the titanium exhaust headers and connecting rods are replaced with steel versions. But for the average supernaked rider, those things are hardly going to be missed.

And despite being a retuned naked, it still looks to pack plenty of punch and will go head to head with BMW’s S1000R:

Power 117 kW (158.2 hp) @ 11,500rpm
Torque  110 Nm (81.86 ft lb) @ 9000rpm
Seat height 825mm
Weight 210kg

That is an eye watering amount of torque and a still very respectable amount of horsepower. By way of comparison, the S1000R produces 118 kW (160 hp) at 11,000 rpm and 112 Nm at 9,250 rpm, although it does weigh three kilograms less.

The MT-10 will retain just about all the other goodies you get on the R1S, including the extremely advanced electronics package, albeit modified slightly for the more road focused segment the bike is aimed at. The bike will first hit Europe in around April and will cost £9,999 in the UK. Australia should see it hit around June while the US misses out at this stage with the American division saying they currently have no intentions of importing it.

2016_YAM_MT10_EU_BNS4DSJ_ACT_003 2016_YAM_MT10_EU_BNS4DSJ_STU_001_03 2016_YAM_MT10_EU_DPBMCRB_STU_002_03 2016_YAM_MT10_EU_MDNM6_STU_005_03 2016_YAM_MT10_EU_BNS4DSJ_DET_010

The Yamaha DT400 Might be Returning

Yamaha’s sport heritage range has already proven to be a big hit and it may have a tenth bike in its lineup very soon – this one based on the DT series that saw production in a range of bikes from 1968 through to 1985. While speaking at the European launch of the new XSR900, Yamaha’s Shun Miyazawa stated that, “Now we have the 700, 900 then I think we can definitely do something similar with smaller capacity. It could be DT. After having found SR400, a similar capacity could be interesting.”

The SR400 is  ironically a bike that itself pays homage to the machines of the same era which were road focused. Its 399cc air-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder engine makes 23 horsepower and given Miyazawa’s comments (and Yamaha’s track record of using already existing engines in order to keep costs down) is likely to feature in a reborn DT400.

That would sadly mean that the modern DT400 would not use a two-stroke mill as it originally had in 1978. It would however definitely further target Ducati and their upcoming Scrambler Sixty2 machine and would quite possibly have a bit more off-road credibility than the Ducati as well.


There’s a VMAX Hiding Inside the CS_07 Gasoline

Portuguese duo, Alexandre Santos and Osvaldo Coutinho have set out to give the VMAX an entirely new image and the result is the CS_07 Gasoline – yet another killer entry in Yamaha’s Yard Built Series. Under their roCkS!bikes moniker, the pair have been creating bikes since 2013 and this would have to be one of their best yet.

The CS_07 ‘Gasoline’ rides on custom made spoke wheels, 3.5×18 front with 120/70×18 Dunlop rubber and a 6.0×18 rear for the drag strip tyre. The stock tacho is kept but comes in a custom aluminium housing and the standard fuel tank is replaced with a beautiful custom aluminium unit with it roCkS!bikes motif. A metal hand crafted fairing ensures slippery aerodynamics for the ¼ mile and LSL footpeg adapters and clip-ons put the rider in the correct position. A Rizoma fuel cap and K&N air filter add some extra bling and Brembo brake and clutch master cylinders take it to the next level.

A host of Motogadget parts including handlebar grips, an m-switch and m-blaze turn signals ensure the custom work really stands out, and the handmade leather seat with it roCkS!bikes logo sets the standard. The build was completed at the end of 2015, the last of the year to celebrate 30 years of the VMAX. To mark the milestone a classic paint job was used to finish the bike. Taken from the 70s, the white, black and yellow colour scheme is pure icon, celebrating not just 30 years of the VMAX, but also 60 years of Yamaha! The bike was airbrushed and then gloss varnished in house by the builders.



BMW G 310 R v Yamaha MT-03 – New Naked Learner Comparison

Later this year the learner market will be joined by two important new models. One will be a naked version of what is in our opinion the best learner sportsbike on the market (the Yamaha R3) to be known as the Yamaha MT-03. The other is the first in a new partnership for BMW by way of the G 310 R which will see the German manufacturer target the entry level market for the first time. Let’s take a look at what each offers and who is likely to reign supreme in learner naked category.

BMW G 310 R v Yamaha MT-03

For this comparison, the MT-03 is somewhat of a known quantity already. Firstly, other than some ergonomic changes it is the same bike as the Yamaha R3 but with different looks. Secondly, the MT-25, which is a smaller capacity version of what western markets will get has already been ridden and reviewed in Indonesia where it went on sale late last year and reports are that it is a very solid machine.

The brand new BMW R 310 G on the other hand is a clean sheet motorcycle in more ways than one. The engine is brand new, it’s a totally new platform and it’s the first motorcycle to come out of the BMW/TVS partnership which sees BMW design the bike while it is manufactured by TVS factories in India.

BMW G 310 R v Yamaha MT-03

Looks wise, the BMW comes across as uninspiring and very generic. With the white, blue and red livery it’s sometimes hard to distinguish it from the Honda CB300F – and Honda are hardly known for their design flair. Comparing the G 310 R to the likes of the Kawasaki Z300, 390 Duke and MT-03 makes it seem even more boring and benign. BMW has played it disappointingly safe with the G 310 R and given that the S 1000 R looks so aggressive and modern, we feel it’s a missed opportunity by the Bavarian brand to make this bike stand out.

The MT-03 takes most of its styling cues from its bigger brother MT-07 and MT-09 bikes which is a good thing. We’ve always found the new MT range of bikes to be quite handsome and they manage to stand out without looking overly aggressive and brash like Kawasaki’s Z range can sometimes be.

BMW G 310 R v Yamaha MT-03

Fit and finish wise we wouldn’t expect there to be too much difference between the two. While BMW would usually go the extra mile with quality of finish, the fact that these bikes are being produced in India will no doubt mean that typical German attention to detail will be lost. Add to that the fact that this bike will have to compete on price – despite its badge – and there’s little doubt that the Yamaha will sit alongside the BMW without any embarrassment.

BMW obviously sees this as a potential issue to customers and were at pains to point out that quality control would be of the highest order in their press release, a snippet of which is below:

TVS Motor Company’s quality management system has been based on Japanese role models for many years. For the G 310 R, this system was extended to include the requirements and standards specific to BMW Motorrad, and within the area of quality management there are interdisciplinary teams from both companies working in close collaboration.

Furthermore, staff were specially selected and trained by TVS for production and assembly. Additional training programs were held for assembly workers together with colleagues from the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin-Spandau over a period of more than a year prior to the start of serial production. From the very first motorcycle to come off the production line in India, they have also contributed to the high assembly standards and heightened quality awareness. All in all, production of the new BMW G 310 R is subject to the same quality criteria that apply to production at the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin-Spandau.

This goes on for two whole pages of the press release. Time will tell how the finished product stacks up. The best comparison that can be made is with the KTM 390 Duke and RC 390 – both made in India and probably do suffer slightly in terms of quality compared to the rest of the KTM range produced in Australia. Again however, we’re comparing budget entry level bikes to higher end machines that sometimes cost more than family cars.

BMW G 310 R v Yamaha MT-03

Our major area of concern with the G 310 R is the engine. BMW chose to go with a single cylinder engine while the majority of the competition has moved towards twins, the exception being KTM and Honda (although the latter is expected to shift to two cylinder units in the near future). And while the 390 Duke and RC 390 are great bikes, one of their weaknesses is something many single cylinder powerplants suffer from – vibrations.

Like the KTM’s, the G 310 R will feature a single counterbalancer to help combat these vibrations but generally speaking, they will still be present at higher revs. These become more noticeable at higher rpm which means that on long highway stints, they can become annoying and fatigue inducing. BMW’s track record with vibrations hasn’t been wonderful lately either, with the otherwise brilliant S 1000 XR suffering from sometimes severe vibrations at certain engine speeds.

Power and torque wise, the Yamaha has a fairly large advantage over the German, whereas torque figures are more closely matched.. The MT-03 will put out 30.9 kW (42 hp) @ 10,750 rpm and 29.6 Nm (21.8 lb-ft) @ 9,000 rpm. The G 310 R produces 25 kW (34 hp) at 9,500 rpm and torque of 28 Nm (20.65 lb-ft) @ 7,500, meaning that the BMW will probably be slightly more responsive down low as one would expect from a thumper.

BMW G 310 R v Yamaha MT-03

But does the BMW have a weight advantage to counteract this power deficit? Yes, it does. The MT-03 with a full tank of fuel tips the scales at 168 kg (370 lbs) – and that is including ABS brakes. The G 310 R will come in at 158.5 kilos (350 pounds) – a not insignificant weight saving of almost 10 kilograms considering the small power figures here which therefore amplifies power to weight ratios. That said, some of that difference is due to fuel tank capacity with the MT-03’s 14 litre tank able to take in 3 more litres than the BMW, reducing the weight difference by about 2.5 kilograms.

With braking, the both the G 310 R and MT-03 make do with single 300 mm discs up front, but the G 310 R takes it up a notch with a radially bolted 4-piston caliper compared to with a two-pot caliper on the Yamaha. The BMW also gets steel-braided lines – a rarity at this end of the market.

BMW G 310 R v Yamaha MT-03

Suspension is similarly comparable between the two machines as well, albeit the MT-03 will potentially be marginally more sharp. Both feature 41 mm forks, with the G 310 R’s being inverted. Travel for the BMW is 140 mm up front and 131 mm at the rear, while the Yamaha is slightly shorter at 130 mm front and 125 mm behind. Handling should be fairly comparable with a nearly identical wheelbase (only 6 mm separates the two), although the BMW does get a slightly wider tire of 150/60 compared to the Japanese bike’s 140/70.

Other dimensions are also near identical. Seat height for the G 310 R is 785 mm and 780 mm for the MT-03. Overall length for the Yamaha is 2,090 mm and the BMW comes in slightly shorter at 1988 mm. However, trail on the BMW is marginally more at 102.3 mm as opposed to the MT-03’s 95 mm meaning that on paper at least, the Yamaha will corner slightly more aggressively and that will be assisted by the skinnier rear tire, too.

BMW G 310 R v Yamaha MT-03

On paper, the G 310 R will have a big fight on its hands. It’s down on power, slightly on torque although it does have a weight advantage. It also looks to have better quality anchors up front. The key will be to its handling and comfort. Will it suffer from engine vibrations like the 390 Duke? And what will the quality of its suspension components be like?

There’s also the price. There’s little doubt BMW will price their bike above most of the competition by way of its badge, but that’s a very difficult ask to make of new riders who generally seek value for money as a main determination of their purchase. The G 310 R also doesn’t really appear to try to win on looks either, although beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We’ll find out later this year.

BMW G 310 R v Yamaha MT-03

BMW G 310 RYamaha MT-03
Engine Type313 cc 4 strong, single cylinder321cc 4 stroke inline twin
Bore And Stroke80 mm x 62 mm68 mm × 44.1 mm
InductionBMS-E2 42mm throttle valven/a
Compression Ratio10.6:111.2 :1
Valve TrainDOHC; four valves per cylinderDOHC; four valves per cylinder
Horsepower25kw (34hp) @ 9,500 rpm30.9 kW (42.0hp) @ 10,750 rpm
Torque28 Nm @ 7,500 rpm29.6 Nm @ 9,000 rpm
Drive Train
Chassis / Suspension / Brakes
Front Suspension41 mm fork, 140 mm travel41 mm fork, 130 mm travel
Rear Suspension131 mm travel125 mm travel
Front BrakeSingle-disc brake Ø 300 mm, 4 piston caliperSingle-disc brake Ø 298 mm, 2 piston caliper
Rear BrakeSingle-disc brake Ø 240 mm, twin piston caliperSingle-disc brake Ø 220 mm, twin piston caliper
Front Tire110/70 R 17110/70-17M/C
Rear Tire150/60 R 17140/70-17M/C
Trail102.3 mm95 mm
Wheelbase1,374 mm1,380 mm
Seat Height785 mm780 mm
Wet Weight158.5 kg168 kg
Fuel Capacity11 litres14 litres

Yamaha PED2 and PES2 A Step Closer to Sale?

Yamaha has registered the design for their electric motorcycle concepts shown at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show – the sportsbike PES2 and the off-road focused PED2 – with the European Union Trademark regulator. While no guarantee of the either bike actually coming to market, it is a sign that Yamaha is continuing to work towards an electric motorcycle in the hopefully near future.

The PED2 concept carries on from the PED1 from 2013, but looks a little more production ready than previous. Even with a heavy battery, Yamaha claims the PED2 well weigh less than 100 kg. The sports bike oriented PES2 is an extra level of unique as it has an additional electric motor built into the hub of the front wheel to make it a 2WD motorcycle. Both models are equivalent in performance to mopeds and small motorcycles (less than 125cc in capacity).

Other features of the two concepts is the use of augmented reality technology via cameras and senors on the bikes which are connected to a ‘smart helmet’. The PED2 also offers the ability to switch between automatic and manual gear changing modes. Yamaha has been registering patents related to electric motorcycle drive trains for many years now, but like Kawasaki who have done much the same, no actual electric bike has yet made it to production.


Yamaha Australia Look to Introduce R3 Race Series

The Yamaha R3 came late to the entry level sportsbike party, but upon its arrival placed itself at the head of the pack. And now in Australia at least, Yamaha are trying to reinforce its credentials with a new one make race series featuring the R3. It looks set to follow a similar formula that KTM uses in the UK and USA where it sells race ready bikes at discounted prices.

The race ready bike is set to be sold for around $7,500 AUD. That will include race glass, rearsets, full race exhaust system, lowered clip-ons and upgraded forks and rear shock. Given that the Yamaha R3 retails for $6,999 in standard form, that’s incredible value – around $3,600 of freebies according to Yamaha.

The series is aimed at younger riders and those looking to get into racing that are hoping to do so in a cost effective manner. And while the $7,500 price tag is extremely tempting, riders will need to commit to race at most of the rounds for the season.

One make race series aren’t anything new, but they’ve had a bit of a resurgence lately with the competition in the learner market. While the KTM RC390 is the go to bike in the US and UK, the Ninja 300 has had a one model series in Australia and Canada – however in those series, riders provide their own bike and modify it to be race ready.

Given that Yamaha seems quite serious about becoming the premier Japanese motorcycle brand, we may see a similar series take off in other western markets, too. For those interested in competing in the proposed Australian series, contact Yamaha directly at [email protected].

Race kitted R3