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HomeYAMAHAYamaha Motorcycles Through The Years: A Look At The Brand's Evolution

Yamaha Motorcycles Through The Years: A Look At The Brand’s Evolution

Yamaha Motorcycles Through The Years: A Look At The Brand’s Evolution
The roots of the Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. stretch back to the 19th century when a talented craftsman named Torakusu Yamaha sought to make a Japanese-built reed organ that could compete with the Western models being imported into the country at the time. After successfully building his organ, his attention turned to pianos, which were gaining in popularity worldwide. His new company began building upright pianos in the 1890s and eventually designed its first grand piano in 1902. The company grew through World War I and the interwar period, but World War II brought destruction from Allied bombing to all but one factory.
Instrument production resumed after the war, but the company president, Gen’ichi Kawakami, quickly made plans to expand and diversify. Seeing a need for mobility in the war-ravaged country, Kawakami established a motorcycle division in 1955.
The creation of a prototype was fraught from the outset, and though the company suffered from many setbacks in its initial attempts to create a new model, the new motorcycle manufacturer persevered. These early efforts helped Yamaha Motor Company – which was split from the instrument maker Yamaha Corporation years ago — to become a world leader in motorcycle production along with other related products, such as ATVs, personal watercraft, marine engines, and automotive engineering. Today, it is a nearly $9 billion global manufacturing business — this is the evolution of the Japanese giant.



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