Yamaha history and facts
Yamaha motorbikes have been around for almost 70 years. The Yamaha company was in fact set up at the end of the 19th century in Japan as a producer of pianos – a role the Yamaha Corporation still plays today.
After the Second World War, however, Yamaha redesigned some of the production processes it had developed during wartime to manufacture motorcycles. The first model rolled off the production line in 1954.
A year later, Yamaha Motor Co Ltd was spun out of its parent company and started life as a new, independent entity headed up by Genichi Kawakami. Its headquarters are in the city of Iwata in Shizuoka prefecture, roughly 150 miles south-west of the Japanese capital, Tokyo.
Yamaha’s first motorbike was the YA-1, a 125cc single-cylinder motorcycle. The early success of this model in motorbike races in Japan as well as elsewhere in the world set the template for Yamaha’s subsequent involvement in the motorcycle racing arena. Among many notable achievements over the years, the Yamaha XT500 claimed first place in the inaugural Paris-Dakar Rally in 1979.
During the 1980s, the motorcycle industry – led by Yamaha as well as its Japanese competitors Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki – rapidly broadened the range of motorbikes they produced. The Yamaha FZ750, a high-performance street bike, was launched in 1985, following on from the success of 1981’s XV750 cruiser-style motorcycle.
In the past three decades, Yamaha has expanded into a number of new areas of motor manufacturing while retaining its focus on the motorcycle sector. Indeed, in 2020 it was reported to be the world’s second largest motorbike manufacturer by value, behind its rival Honda.
In 1989 Yamaha launched a Formula One team which ran until 1997 and which employed drivers including Damon Hill and Martin Brundle. The company has become one of the world’s biggest producers of snowmobiles and has also developed boats and other watercraft, golf carts, off-road vehicles and electrical generators, among many other products.
How much will my Yamaha cost to insure?
The cost of buying annual motorbike insurance for your Yamaha will depend on a wide range of factors – and a lot of these are not directly related to the motorcycle itself.
For example, your age, where you live and your occupation will have a significant bearing on the size of your premiums. Younger bikers tend to pay more for cover as insurance companies have found that this group overall tends to take more risks on the road. If you live in an area where motorbike thefts are higher than average, this can push up the cost of cover as well.
In terms of the motorbike itself, the class of motorcycle will have an influence on Yamaha motorbike insurance policy costs. Typically, the less powerful your engine, the less you’ll pay for cover – other things being equal. Also, any modifications you make to the motorbike that result in it being faster or having a more powerful engine, or which make it more attractive to potential thieves, will normally increase costs.
When you’re shopping around for a Yamaha motorbike insurance quote, make sure you let potential insurers know about any modifications. Failure to disclose substantial changes can in some circumstances result in claims being turned down.