Our Story


YA-1 Motorcycle

The first Yamaha motorized product was the YA-1 Motorcycle (125cc, 2-stroke, single-cylinder, street bike). Nicknamed “The Red Dragonfly,” it was produced and sold in Japan. The brand new YA-1 won the first two races it entered that year.


The YD1 Motorcycle

The first Yamaha Motorcycles sold in the USA were imported by Cooper Motors, an independent distributor. The models were the YD1 (250cc, 2-stroke, twin cylinder, streetbike) and MF-1 (50cc, 2-stroke, single cylinder, streetbike, step-through). Yamaha enters the world of international racing by competing in the Catalina Grand Prix in California, In this first attempt against the world’s seasoned racing machines, Yamaha placed an impressive 6th place. This race marked the first time a Japanese motorcycle raced in the U.S.


Yamaha's First Outboard Motor

Yamaha introduces its first Outboard Motor, the P-7, for the Japanese market. It was soon replaced by the more sophisticated and compact P-3 model. Both featured distinctive, bright yellow cowlings. Yamaha International Corporation began selling motorcycles in the USA as well as Yamaha’s legendary musical instruments.


World Grand Prix, RND 3

Yamaha’s first appearance in World GP road racing at Round 3, the France GP. Took 6th place in World GP 250cc class at round 4, the Isle of Man TT Race in Britain.


Yamaha Collaborates with Toyota

Yamaha collaborates with Toyota to develop and manufacture the Toyota 2000GT sports car. A modified convertible 2000GT was featured in the 1967 James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice.” Yamaha wins its first 250cc class victory at the Daytona Grand Prix.


Yamalube Brand is Introduced

Yamaha introduces the now iconic Yamalube brand of oils and lubricants. The Yamalube commitment to high quality and performance is now recognized around the world.


Yamaha's First Snowmobile

Yamaha's first Snowmobile, the SL350 (2-stroke, twin cylinder), is introduced. This was the first snowmobile with slide-valve carburetors. The DT-1 Enduro is introduced. The world's first dual-purpose motorcycle had on & off-road capability. Its impact on Motorcycling in the USA was enormous.


Yamaha’s first 4-stroke motorcycle

Yamaha’s first 4-stroke motorcycle model, the XS-1 (650cc vertical twin) is introduced. Production of XS650 models would continue through the 1983 model year, and the bike is favored today by customizers.


Daytona 200 Victory

Yamaha wins its first Daytona 200 and would go on to be unbeatable for more than a decade.


The SR433

The SR433, a purpose-built racer, was offered in 1972 and 1973. Yamaha continues expansion into new markets by introducing Generators.


YZ Monocross Beginnings

Yamaha pioneers the very first single-shock, production motocross bikes. This was the beginning of the YZ Monocross machines that changed motocross forever.


The SRX440 Snowmobile

The legendary SRX440 snowmobile hits the market and quickly catapults Yamaha to the forefront of the snowmobile racing scene.


Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. is founded

Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. is founded to better fulfill the needs of the American market and establish a separate identity (from music & electronics) for Yamaha motorized products.


Golf Cars are introduced in the USA

Golf Cars were introduced in the USA with the G1 gas model. The XS1100 motorcycle (four cylinder, shaft drive) is introduced. XS650 Special is introduced. This was the first production Cruiser built by a Japanese manufacturer. Kenny Roberts became the first American to win a Grand Prix motorcycle racing world championship, aboard his iconic yellow-and-black 500cc Yamaha


Yamaha Develops YICS

YICS (Yamaha Induction Control System), a fuel-saving engine system, is developed for 4-stroke engines.


Cypress, CA

The new Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. corporate office is opened in Cypress, California. The first Yamaha 3-wheel ATV is sold in USA… the Tri-Moto (YT125). The G1-E electric-powered Golf Car model is introduced.


The Virago 750 Cruiser

Yamaha’s first air-cooled, V-twin cruiser, the Virago 750, was introduced.


The FZ750 motorcycle

The first production 5-valve per cylinder engine is introduced on the 4-cylinder, DOHC, FZ750 motorcycle. Yamaha’s first 4-wheel ATV, the YFM200 “Moto-4”, is introduced in the USA. The Phazer snowmobile is introduced. Innovative design, light in weight and nimble handling character made this model one of the most popular for several years. Yamaha begins marketing Outboard Motors in the USA.


The V-Max 1200 Musclebike

The V-Max 1200 musclebike hits the streets. The 4-cylinder V4 includes “V-Boost,” a butterfly valve technology that opens at higher rpm to feed each cylinder from two carburetors for extra power.


Newnan, GA

Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America is founded in Newnan, Georgia.


Yamaha introduces personal watercraft

The sit-down WaveRunner and the stand-up WaveJammer Water Vehicles. The WaveRunner is the model that created today's PWC market. A new exhaust system for 4-stroke engines, “EXUP,” is developed to provide higher horsepower output throughout an engine's powerband. The venerable TW200 is introduced. This practical, do it all dual purpose motorcycle is still a favorite today, making it Yamaha’s longest running model sold in the U.S. More trivia? The TW200 is the first motorcycle ever to be ridden to the North Pole, by Shinji Kazama in 1987. The Banshee ATV is introduced. Featuring the 2-cylinder, 2-stroke engine originally from the RZ350 street bike, there was nothing like it on the dunes. Although it’s been discontinued in the U.S. for over a decade, it still enjoys a cult following to this day. Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Company begins Golf Car and Water Vehicle production for U.S. and overseas markets.


DOHC V6 designed and built by Yamaha

Ford Motor Company offers the high-performance Taurus SHO, featuring compact 3.0 L, 60°, 24-valve, DOHC V6 designed and built by Yamaha.


The WaveRunner III 650

The WaveRunner III 650 is released as the world's first 3-passenger PWC. The SuperJet stand-up WaveRunner is introduced, one of the most successful stand-up personal watercraft ever made.


The Vmax-4 Snowmobile

The Vmax-4 Snowmobile (2-stroke, four cylinder) is introduced.


The PAS electric power assist bicycle

Although not distributed in the U.S., Yamaha develops and introduces the PAS electric power assist bicycle. The GTS1000 Motorcycle is introduced. It features ahead-of-its-time forkless front suspension, plus fuel injection, a catalytic converter, and ABS.


Yamaha Acquires Century and Skeeter

The Century and Skeeter boat companies are acquired by Yamaha.


Vonore, Tennessee

Tennessee Watercraft produces Sport Boats and later, the SUV-model WaveRunner in Vonore, Tennessee. Yamaha introduces its first Star model with the 1300cc, V4 Royal Star.


Kennesaw, GA

Yamaha opens southeastern offices in Kennesaw, Georgia. Yamaha acquires the G3 boat company. At the Newnan, Georgia, manufacturing facility, the first ATV (the BearTracker) rolls off the assembly line. The GP1200 PWC is released with the most powerful engine in the industry at that time.


The YZF-R1 Sportbike

The YZF-R1 sportbike is introduced. It sets the standard for open-class sport bikes and later R1 generations continue to do so. The YZ400F four-stroke motocross bike is introduced. This was the first mass-produced 4-stroke motocrosser. The Grizzly 600 4x4 ATV with Ultramatic transmission is introduced. The EF2800i inverter generator with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) is introduced. PMW allows use with equipment such as computers that requires stable frequency and voltage


The Big Bear 400 4x4

The Buckmaster® Edition Big Bear 400 4x4 is introduced. This was the first ATV with original-equipment camouflage bodywork.


The FX140 WaveRunner

The FX140 WaveRunner (1000cc, 4-stroke, four cylinder) is introduced. The world's first high performance 4-stroke personal watercraft. The F225 Outboard Motor is introduced. The 3.4 L, 24-valve, V6 was the largest 4-stroke outboard available at the time.


The RX-1 Snowmobile

The RX-1 Snowmobile (1000cc, 4-stroke, four cylinder) is introduced. The world's first high performance 4-stroke Snowmobile.


The First Side-by-Side

The first Side-by-Side model is introduced. Combined performance, terrainability, utility capabilities, and take-along-a-friend convenience to lead the way in a new category of off-road recreation.


MotoGP triple crown

Yamaha captures MotoGP triple crown by winning the rider, team and manufacturer titles.


The F350 Outboard Motor

Yamaha introduces the F350 Outboard Motor, a 5.3 L, 32-valve DOHC V8. Yamaha advances technology on the YZF-R1 by featuring new the Yamaha Chip Control Throttle (YCC-T) fly-by-wire throttle system and Yamaha Chip Control Intake (YCC-I), an electronic variable-length intake funnel system.


MotoGP triple crown

Yamaha wins MotoGP triple crown of manufacturer, team and rider championships. Yamaha’s proprietary NanoXcel is introduced for WaveRunner hulls and decks. It is engineered using cutting edge nano-technology to produce a watercraft that is lighter and stronger than conventional technologies.


The FZR WaveRunner

Yamaha introduces the FZR WaveRunner. It features an 1812cc, supercharged 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, Yamaha marine engine. The new-generation YZF-R1 features the crossplane crankshaft originally developed for Yamaha MotoGP machines. The crossplane design eliminates “inertial torque” for exceptional “combustion torque” feel. Yamaha wins MotoGP triple crown of maker, team and rider championship titles for second year in a row.


MotoGP triple crown

Yamaha wins the MotoGP triple crown of manufacturer, team and rider championship titles for third consecutive year. The YZ450F adopts a bold new design – its distinct rearward-slanted cylinder design, complete with rear exhaust and forward-mounted intake system, provides optimized mass centralization and power output.


Assembled in the USA

Yamaha announces that the majority of Yamaha’s ATV manufacturing worldwide will be moving to the United States by 2013. New Intelligent Machinery group company is established to expand surface mounter sales in Europe and the USA.


Helm Master system

The Helm Master system is introduced for larger boats with multiple Yamaha outboard motors, providing electronic control of all steering, gear shifting and throttle functions, etc. Its joystick enables 360-degree control and turning of the boat at low speeds for unmatched maneuverability and docking. Yamaha introduces the Yamaha Star Bolt 950cc V-twin cruiser.


The YZF-R1M is introduced

The YZF-R1M is introduced, featuring a sophisticated electronics control package that includes Yamaha’s Communication Control Unit (CCU). Yamaha introduces the RiDE system in the WaveRunner product line, the world's first dual throttle handlebar controls on a personal watercraft. Yamaha Motor Ventures and Laboratory Silicon Valley Inc. (YMVSV) established in the U.S.



Yamaha Golf-Car Company introduces the Drive2. Featuring the quietest gas-powered engine in golf car history, bold new colors and new body styling, it’s quieter and more luxurious, and offers more value than ever


The YXZ1000R Side-by-Side Launches

Yamaha introduces the YXZ1000R, the world’s first true sport Side-by-Side.


UMAX Light Utility Vehicle

Yamaha Golf-Car Company introduces the new UMAX Light Utility Vehicle to be the best off the course.



Yamaha releases NAVIONE, an innovative and intuitive wheelchair power assist system that can enable manual wheelchair users to expand the range of their day-to-day lives. Yamaha introduces the XTO Offshore Extreme 425 HP V8 Outboard Motor. Yamaha introduces the big-bore Star Venture and Star Eluder Transcontinental Touring Model Motorcycles. The NIKEN is released, introducing the revolutionary LMW chassis with two front tires leaning in unison, providing unparalleled rider confidence across a wide range of road conditions with double the available front wheel grip for exceptional stopping power, cornering confidence, rider comfort and impeccable road manners. Yamaha introduces a line of power assist bicycles.


UMAX Rally™ and UMAX Rally 2+2

Yamaha Golf-Car Company harnessed the speed of our motorcycles, the power of our WaveRunners®, the durability of our outboard motors, the pure grit of our all-terrain vehicles, and the skillfully engineered quietness of our golf cars to create the new UMAX Rally™ and UMAX Rally 2+2. With a lifted suspension and 23” tires the UMAX goes where no other Light Utility Vehicle can.