Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Yamaha

Green guitars: Babusa (left), Flax (top) and MADA (bottom right)

We live in environmentally enlightened times. Familiar products have been repackaged and now proudly push their green credentials right in your face. So when looking through the racks of the local guitar shop, why is it that the now familiar “environmentally-friendly” claims are conspicuous by their absence? Given the market advantage that being green seems to offer manufacturers, could it be that no-one in the music industry gives a hoot? Perhaps the world of green awareness hasn't yet reached the world of guitars? Or maybe the kings and queens of tone and resonance are just being a bit less obvious about it? Paul Ridden cuts through the distortion to find out more.  Read More

Nick Shotter's tilting 4-wheeler 4MC prototype

If the fun we had aboard Piaggio's MP3 is any indication, motorcycles with more than two wheels have a big future ahead of them. The additional stability and traction you get from a tilting three-wheeler is quite an eye-opener, and they're still exceptionally fun to ride. If you want to take the concept one step further, though, an extra wheel at the back as well can actually make the entire bike narrower while delivering the sort of stability that can let you safely powerslide and drift all four wheels on an oily skidpan. Remember Yamaha's wild and wonderful Tesseract concept from 2007? The company is keen to get one into production, but as it turns out, Yamaha has run into trouble with patents held by an ex-courier and motorcycle safety advocate from the UK who has been working on a road-ready tilting 4-wheeler for more than 20 years.  Read More

Yamaha's methane powered golf cart

We've all heard of vehicles that run on the smell of an oily rag, but what about one that runs on the smell of cow dung? A new prototype golf cart developed by Yamaha does just that - sort of - by running on the methane. The golf cart was tested with the assistance of the Osaka Gas Co. which provided methane at low cost to Yamaha for the vehicle tests as part of efforts to promote the use of cow dung biomass as a fuel.  Read More

The Yamaha Avant Grand N3 digital piano

Yamaha’s new Avant Grand digital piano fuses twenty-first century technology with Yamaha’s more than a century of piano-crafting experience. The result is a digital piano that mimics the touch of an acoustic piano by using the same key, level, and hammer mechanisms of an acoustic piano combined with special embedded speakers to recreate the feel of an acoustic piano's keys to the player's hands.  Read More

Yamaha's 2009 R1

Yamaha's superstar MotoGP team, including Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Colin Edwards and James Toseland, have assembled to throw their star power behind a completely reworked 2009 R1 launch in Vegas - but the magnificent machine barely needs any help to stand out on its own. One hundred and eighty two horsepower (before ram air kicks in) and 206 kilgorams dripping wet, for less than US$15,000 - aren't these magnificent times for motorcycle fans to live in?  Read More

Advanced Digital Control for Yamaha Outboard

July 22, 2008 The concepts of drive-by-wire, steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire were initially eyed with much suspicion by automotive aficionados – how could a computer possibly hope to do a better job than a human being? Well, computers can do a much better job of these tasks, and will eventually be able to turn every aspect of our mere mortal fumbling into Lewis Hamilton-like driving capabilities. Now drive-by-whatever is invading the marine industry with Yamaha’s new second generation 250hp F250B outboard motor.  Read More

Yamaha developing CVT enduro bike

Yamaha is developing a CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) enduro machine according to recent patent applications. Conceived by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago, the CVT power delivery characteristics could well be a boon in slippery off-road conditions, particularly with some help from a computer. The CVT's biggest advantage is ensuring the motor is always running “in the power band” and as the infinitely variable gear ratios change, it should deliver one smooth rush of power from standstill to top speed.  Read More

Yamaha set to release world's quickest motorcycle

June 4, 2008 Yamaha will release what is expected to be the world's quickest accelerating production motorcycle at a press conference later today in Madrid. The production 2009 V-Max will come almost 25 years after the original and groundbreaking 1200cc monster custom was first seen, and is expected to be almost identical to the concept machine shown at the 2007 Paris and Tokyo Shows (pictured above). With an 1800cc fuel injected motor, the new V-Max will produce 210 bhp and feature state-of-the-art everything. The launch is due in Madrid later today and Yamaha is using the internet for a simultaneous unveiling here. If you can’t wait until then, here’s our photo gallery from last year’s Paris and Tokyo Shows.  Read More

Yamaha builds a giant fishtank on wheels

January 24, 2008 Intent on driving the marine market size and retaining its share, Yamaha Australia has created two of these massive, 15 metre long, three metres tall, and 2.5 metres wide fishtanks on wheels to tour dealerships and boat shows. Part portable fishing show, part mobile fish tank and part educational program, the 13,000 litre Yamaha SupaTanks are designed to give the public a fish-eye-view on the world of angling.  Read More

Yamaha unveils Rossi’s 2008 YZR-M1 MotoGP machine

January 19, 2008 Yamaha unveiled its 2008 YZR-M1 MotoGP machine this week in a large event held in conjunction with sponsors Fiat in Turin, Italy. Last year the M1 was one of the slowest machines on the grid and played a major role in Valentino Rossi’s worst season for a decade, prompting Rossi to roundly criticise the machine publicly and Yamaha to test a V4 configuration and pneumatic valves in the hope of closing the horsepower gap to Ducati’s desmodromic valve system. With Honda employing a pneumatic valve system in its 2008 machine, Yamaha will be the only contender relying on traditional valve springs to close its valves this year. Despite this, Yamaha’s frightfully expensive throttle control system (Rossi) shares favouritism for the title with Ducati’s Casey Stoner (both 6/4).  Read More

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