Yamaha derived its name from Torakusu Yamaha, the company’s founder. It started off by manufacturing Western musical instruments in Japan back 1887, and it wasn’t till 1955 that the company’s motorcycle division was set up. While Yamaha still manufactures musical instruments, with the distinction of being regarded as one of the leading names in the field, it also forms one fourth of the big four Japanese manufacturers in the two-wheeler industry.
With a rich legacy of motorcycle racing under its belt, Yamaha gained fame for its two-stroke motorcycles which exceled in premier class racing. Be it superbikes or motocross, Yamaha became one of the best manufacturers to bank on. Even today, Yamaha continues to be one of the top dogs across different forms of two-wheeler racing. This success in racing has helped Yamaha establish its name across the globe, making it one of the biggest two-wheeler manufacturers in the world.
While Yamaha motorcycles were being locally manufactured and sold in India some time before that, the company first, officially entered the country in 1985. It continued with its joint-venture with Escorts till 2001, after which it became a 100 per cent subsidiary of Yamaha Japan. Yamaha might be considered to be a sporty brand internationally, though the company’s Indian portfolio consists of a wide range of two-wheelers spread across different segments. Right from 100cc commuter motorcycles to litre-class superbikes, Yamaha has all of them. In its attempt to increase its volumes, the company off late has been focussing on scooters. The Fascino has helped Yamaha immensely in this cause, while the rest of the scooter range has also been performing decently. For the enthusiast audience, Yamaha has the Fazer, FZ-S, YZF-R15 and the YZF-R3. For budget-conscious customers, there are the Saluto RX, Saluto and the SZ-RR. The superbike range is imported as CBU and consists of YZF R1, YZF R1-M, VMax and the MT-09.