Yamaha Motor Company Limited (Yamaha Hatsudōki Kabushiki-gaisha TYO: 7272), is a Japanese motorized vehicle-producing company (whose HQ is at 2500 Shingai, Iwata, Shizuoka), which is part of the Yamaha Corporation.
After expanding Yamaha Corporation into the world's biggest piano maker, Yamaha CEO Genichi Kawakami took Yamaha into the field of motorized vehicles on July 1, 1955. The company's intensive research into metal alloys for use in acoustic pianos had given Yamaha a broad understanding of the making of lightweight, yet sturdy and reliable metal structures. This knowledge was easily applied to the making of metal frames and motor parts for motorcycles. Yamaha Motor is the world's second largest producer of motorcycles. It also produces many other motorized vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, outboard motors, and personal watercraft.
Seaford Head - Nelson & his Yamaha 125
Nelson's first motorised transport, the Yamaha 125cc AS3. A beautiful little engine could spin up to 9,000 rpm with no worries. The AS3 had a top speed of 85 mph (92 downhill) it was a lot of fun to learn to ride on and develop your road sense in relative safety and get you to college of time.
Yamaha is now on the cutting edge of four-stroke technology with the introducing of their 80FI engine which is equipped on the Phazer and Venture Lite models. This engine has one of the highest specific output of any four-stroke in production, with 160 HP/L, Yamaha achieves this even without the use of a forced induction system. Yamaha is also a key player in the "four-stroke wars", which are a series of advertisements from opponent Ski-Doo who claim their 2-tec and power-tek equipped two-strokes are still cleaner and more efficient than four-strokes, while Yamaha still claims the four-strokes are cleaner. Yamaha also broke a multi-year absence from sno-cross in the winter of 2006-07 with their introduction of a factory race team headed by former Arctic Cat racer Robbie
WR series 4 stroke
Nelson's Yamaha RD 250 with clip-ons, racing seat and tank
The motorcycle above was Nelson's second machine - the Yamaha RD 250. A very capable bike, fast acceleration (wheelies) and good for a ton. Many sporting enthusiasts followed the racing successes of Yarno Sarinnen (the Flying Finn) then bought the road going version of the water-cooled TZ250. Later, Nelson fitted a full fairing for even more street cred.
One late winter evening, this fairing saved the intrepid biker from a soaking. Heavy rain had caused a minor flood at Alfriston in Sussex. I say minor, but in fact the water level was above the exhaust pipes, which as you can see in the picture above is about 230 - 290 millimeters or 9 - 11 inches. Hey, anyone remember imperial? Nelson used the twisty country lanes home to Seaford at speeds which would mean points, had he not been very careful to watch road conditions for safe passage. (By this we mean safety for other road users. Don't ride dangerously. By all means enjoy a safe blast, but ride considerately.)
Traversing Alfriston (famous for King Alfred burning the cakes) high street, he leant into the first tight right hander straight into a pond. Quickly, straightening up, he managed to glide the Yamaha through the 50 yards of water, touching down in the middle and revving, so as to keep the water from entering the exhaust pipes. What fun. If he hadn't been late for dinner, he'd have had another go.
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