Yamaha Motorcycles

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The development of Yamaha motorcycles is one that took place quite by accident. In 1953 the company was already developing a variety of other products. They were looking for a use for idle pieces of equipment that had once been used to make propellers for airplanes. The ideas for this equipment included sewing machines, auto parts, scooters, all terrain vehicles, and motorcycles. The decision was made to focus on manufacturing motorcycles because of the market demand for them.

The first Yamaha motorcycle was introduced in August of 1954, called the Yamaha YA-1. This bike featured a two stroke single cylinder engine. By July of 1955 Yamaha was creating 200 quality motorcycles each month with a staff of 274 people. The YD-1 was introduced in 1957 as a racing bike. The bike quickly became popular and was featured in the United States Catalina Grand Prix in 1958.

This gave Yamaha the invitation to start selling its motorcycles in the United States with a private dealer in California. To further attract sales in the United States, Yamaha Motor Corporation USA was established in 1977. In 1959 Yamaha introduced the idea of offering a converter kit to consumers. This allowed the motorcycle to be used for both street riding and motocross racing.

By 1960 Yamaha was producing 135,000 bikes per year. 1965 saw the advancement of no longer having to mix oil with gas due to the automatic oiling system. By 1973 Yamaha was selling more than 1 million motorcycles each year worldwide.

During the 1970’s they began working on developing four stroke models to compete with other manufacturers. The results were faster motorcycles that met emissions regulations and were even more economical than the two stroke models. However, they also realized the potential to continue selling two stroke models to consumers as well. Many other manufacturers focused only on four strokes, so Yamaha was able to meet the needs of that target market.

1974 brought the introduction of the YZ250. This model quickly became the largest selling motocross bike because it featured a single horizontal rear suspension system. Yamaha built a racing track right next to the plant, allowing them to continually observe the quality and capabilities of their products.

Yamaha created one of the fastest racing bike models in 1985 with the introduction of the V-Max. This was classified as a muscle bike, with power that was not for the beginning rider. They continue to produce some of the fastest bikes on the market both for street riding and for racing.

Yamaha has never been satisfied to simply stop when they had a good thing going. They always had a vision of achieving more and to strive to further customer satisfaction. The visions and philosophies of the company have proven to be effective in every aspect of motorcycle production. The fact that they offer so many different models means the consumer has the opportunity to find the exact motorcycle they are looking for from a brand name they know they can trust to offer them a quality product.

While some of their models of motorcycles haven’t sold well, many of them have. Yamaha has always focused on the future of motorcycles while keeping in mind what consumers are wanting. They have been able to diversify their developments, and it has paid off by allowing them to reach a large portion of the motorcycle market without compromising their vision.

Today, Yamaha is the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world behind Harley-Davidson. They continue to make fast, reliable motorcycles that customers around the world are proud to own. They also manufacture motorcycles that have won more races than any other brand on the market. Their diversity and dedication to making quality motorcycles that meet the needs of the consumer have kept them a top seller in this growing industry. Yamaha dealerships can be found around the world, offering a full range of motorcycle models to suit your tastes.

All About Suzuki Motorcycles

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Suzuki Motor Company was founded by Michio Suzuki. He had a very successful looming business when he decided to invest in the concept of motorcycle manufacturing in 1920. Suzuki didn’t take the motorcycle world by storm, in stead it was a slow and steady rise to success. There were a variety of motorcycle models that had moderate success. People began to take notice of the Suzuki line of motorcycles after their Diamond Free model won the Mount Fuji Hill Climb in 1953.

In June of 1954, Suzuki implemented their trademark “S” logo that is still used today. They also put their years of observing the motorcycle industry to good use. 1962 saw them as the winner of the Grand Prix World Championship. Suzuki decided to begin selling its motorcycles in the United States in 1963. They have come a long way since that first introduction. Consumers quickly took to the models, finding them to be valuable and reliable.

Suzuki introduced the X-6 Hustler in 1966, becoming their first street legal performance bike. At the time, it was also the fastest 250CC on the market. They followed the success of it with a 500CC model called The Titan. In 1969 Suzuki took the world by surprise when it introduced the GT750. This was a two stroke motorcycle that could reach a speed of 110 miles per hour. It was able to accelerate from zero to sixty in only five seconds. Since this motorcycle was so well received, Suzuki decided to make a larger bike with the same type of power. The RG500 became the most successful racing bike of that era.

Suzuki continued to dominate the motocross racing circuit in the 1970’s, winning the World Motocross Championship in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, and 1976. Due to tighter emission regulations, Suzuki had some stumbling blocks in 1976. However, they were successfully able to redesign their four stroke models to meet these regulations. They models also sold very well.

Suzuki again make racing history with the introduction of the XN85 in 1982. This was a turbo charged motorcycle that won many high profile races. The first American to win the World Motocross Championship did so in 1982 on this bike. In 1986 they offered the GSX-R, also a turbo charged racer bike. What made it so original was the aluminum frame. This made it the lightest motorcycle in its class.

In addition to selling large quantities of racing bikes, Suzuki has done well in the cruiser market as well. The Boulevard model comes in many different sizes to meet the needs of the consumer. This is a very sporty looking model built to look great as well as to offer comfort. The five speed transmission allows the operator of the vehicle to remain comfortable regardless of the riding terrain.

The body of the Boulevard model allows for a smooth ride regardless of the speed at which you are traveling. This model is one of the top selling cruisers out there as well as the best price with the 2007 models priced around $13,000. Each one comes with a 12 month unlimited warranty that can be extended. Suzuki offers the best warranty of any motorcycle manufacturer with unlimited miles, no deductible, reimbursement costs if the motorcycle breaks down, rental vehicle reimbursement, and the remainder of the warranty is transferable should you decide to sell your motorcycle during the warranty time frame.

Today, Suzuki is in the top four motorcycle manufacturer’s world wide. They offer a wide variety of street, off road, and racing motorcycles to choose from. You can find Suzuki motorcycles at more than 1,600 dealerships around the world. They are well known for offering style, comfort, and speed with hundreds of different models to choose from. They are also among the top sellers because the models are very attractive, the price is very reasonable, and they stand behind their products by offering an excellent warranty.

All New Adventure!

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For many, winter means parking the bike and waiting out the cold, wet, gray months that take over from November through February. For some, it just means putting on warmer clothing and getting out the heavy duty rain gear.

I have a few words to the wise for both camps.

Watch it out there. People in the Puget Sound who drive cars, trucks and RV’s will panic when the roads get wet. Many of the imports (people born outside the Puget Sound region) have no clue about driving in less than perfect conditions.

You’re invisible. When the dark moist days hit visibility in most cars drops by as much as 60%. Think about how many of us drive everyday in fogged up cars for the first few miles until our windows defrost. While this takes place you cannot see much around you; especially a small two wheeled vehicle like a motorcycle.

Night vision ain’t day vision, baby. Remember your visibility and clarity at night drops significantly for both cyclists and drivers. So please drive slower and look around you more often. Do not hug bumpers; the truck in front of you can’t see you.
Here are a few things that you can do to make the most out of the winter days.

Buy a reflective safety vest and wear it. Yes, you may look like a flagger, but your life is worth it.

You might think about an upgrade in the horn department. The louder the better. Many bikes come with horns that sound weak and can’t be heard in many of today’s sound proof vehicles. A truck style air horn just may save your life.

Make sure you have bright headlamps and tail lights. Older cycles may be in need of high tech riding lights, the brighter the better.
Make sure that your equipment is in top condition. Start with tire pressure and tread wear. There are some great aftermarket tires out there designed to offer riders exceptional handling. But follow the pressure guide on the new tires for proper inflation. Many of the aftermarket tires have a much higher tire pressure than the stock tires. The mistake by some riders is to keep the same air pressure in the new tires they did in the old ones. Bad move.

Enjoy the cold days. As an enthusiast I can say I’ve had some of my best short rides on crisp, clear Saturday afternoons. Not a lot of people out on a cold January day as most are in watching football or out at the mall shopping. This makes for some very open roads. Did I say open? You know what I mean.

Use the down time to fix and repair any thing that needs to be tended to or that you put off during the prime riding season. For some this may mean stripping the bike down and getting a new paint job. For others it may mean a complete engine overhaul or tune up and lube.

Catch up on your movie watching. Go to your favorite DVD/Video outlet and rent a few old 60’s or 70’s biker movies. Start with Electra Glide in Blue – not a true cycle movie but a pretty tough and gritty movie involving a cop on an Electra Glide. Another good one is On Any Sunday. Even the local library system has Easy Rider and the granddaddy of them all, The Wild One. Just keep in mind, most of these biker flicks are adult fair and not geared to the kiddies.

The bottom line, whether you are a year-round rider or a fair weather rider, remember to drive safely and make the most out of our Puget Sound winters.

Finally, we had Flash Gordon, MD, author of Blood, Sweat, and 2nd Gear, on Hog Radio for an interview. As part of our interview we went over various real-life scenarios bikers come into. You would do well to listen to this episode as he gives a lot of great advice. Flash is an MD and a long time rider; he owns and rides an Aprilia and a BMW.

Have a great November and make sure to listen to Hog Radio as we will keep you entertained all winter long.

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