The Yamaha Motor Corp U.S. – the sport, dirt and Superbike side of that company’s operation – announced its 2013 launches recently (in time for the 2013 International Motorcycle Show tour).
We start at the top of the performance line with bikes fast enough to entertain the most experienced veteran rider – and maybe bikes so highly tuned they might be best reserved for such experienced bikers.
In the SuperSport category, the AMA Pro Road Racing R1and R6. are making news on tracks around the world. Two-time AMA Monster Energy Graves’ rider Josh Hayes put his R1 and its’ crossplane crankshaft engine to good use, dominating the AMA Superbike class at races around the world. Cameron Beaubier put the R6 in the winner’s circle in the Daytona Sportbike class.
So, Yamaha isn’t tweaking the the 2013 YZF-R1 and YZF-R6 significantly – beyond providing some new colors. Why mess with success?
On the less extreme, but still entertaining side, the FZ1 or FZ6R bikes are updated with similar exterior changes. Known as effective, if not elaborate, options for street riding and less aggressive off-road travel, the FZs are also significantly more affordable in their various setups than the YZF speedsters.
The Super Tenere added Pearl White and Matte Gray to its color chart. For the uninitiated, the Tenere is more of an all-purpose, cross-terrain ride. Having ridden the Tenere on occasion, it’s a solid selection for someone looking to run longer off-road rides before transitioning to pavement.
The more “beginner” selection in the re-tuned Yamaha line are the TT-Rs, with the TT-R50E all up to the TT-R230.
Rounding out the off-road category, Yamaha’s 2013 WR450F.That bike arrived brand new last year and arrives in 2013 with a push-button start, the YZ250F’s frame and YZ-derived suspension.
Yamaha reports that the 2013 model versions of the FJR1300 and FZ8 will receive updates of their own for 2013 – with the details set to arrive later in November.
In addition to Yamaha’s sport and off-road motorcycle line, the manufacturer is one of the world’s top scooter makers. The Yamaha Majesty Scooter returns for 2013 in Charcoal Silver. The Yamaha Zuma 50F – completely redesigned for 2012 – remains an active seller.
When redesigning the Zuma for 2012 urban driving, Yamaha’s designers toughened up the frame and the look of that scooter. They fattened up the tires and lowered the center of gravity by setting the fuel tank under the foot rests in middle of the frame. The result is a bike that runs smoother on rough pavement and more stable on banking turns.
While curiosity will continue to build for what Star Motorcycles – Yamaha’s line of cruisers and touring bikes – has in store for 2013, these new Yamaha rides should keep the more active riders tearing up the roads, hillsides and dunes for a good while.