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Where Are Yamaha Motorcycles Made, And Who Owns The Company Now?

Where Are Yamaha Motorcycles Made, And Who Owns The Company Now?
Though it may come as a surprise, Yamaha didn’t start out making motorcycles. One clue to the company’s origin hides in plain sight in its logo, which features three interlocking tuning forks. Before there was the Yamaha Motor Company, there existed in postwar Japan its predecessor, Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd., which was strictly a piano manufacturer. The connection between pianos and motorcycles lies in the fact that within the former is a strong but flexible steel-frame skeleton, that Nippon Gakki had perfected the production of using a unique vacuum and sand-casting process.
While building a strong frame for the motorcycle was no big leap in adapting the process for the prototype, the YA-1, produced in 1954, the same can’t be said of the cylinder head cover. Initial attempts at creating the prototype’s 125cc cylinder’s external cooling fins left Nippon Gakki engineers scratching their heads, but further refinements to the vacuum casting process eventually achieved the desired result.
Yamaha Motors spun off the following year and today produces a complete line of street bikes, off-road motorcycles, UTVs, ATVs, and snowmobiles under its Motor Sports banner, not to mention electric bicycles, boats, outboard motors, personal watercraft, generators, golf carts, and mobility systems. Three decades later, in 1987, Nippon Gakki changed its name to Yamaha Corporation, creating two separate Yamaha companies; and not giving up on a good and going thing, Yamaha still sells pianos and other musical equipment.

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