1961-2021: 60 years of World Grand Prix racing for Yamaha

01Racing has been an integral part of Yamaha’s DNA from the day that the factory was incorporated on 1 July 1955. At the time, the company proved its products on the racetrack just days after Yamaha Motor Company was founded, when the YA-1 won the Mount Fuji Ascent Race at its very first attempt on 10 July.

Spurred on by this success, Yamaha entered its first international race at Catalina, USA in 1958. By now, the company was developing some of the most competitive two-stroke machines, and the decision was made to experience the ultimate test of rider and machine by entering the 250cc RD48 race bike in the World Championship Grand Prix round in France in May 1961. Competing at the highest level put the company firmly on the map and marked the beginning of the brand’s transformation into one of the world’s most successful and innovative motorcycle manufacturers.R3 TRACKJust two years after Yamaha’s debut GP, Fumio Ito took the brand’s first ever GP win on the RD56 at the Belgian Grand Prix, and the company has never looked back since that day. 1964 saw Yamaha win its first World Championship as well as its first Constructor’s title with Phil Read in the 250cc class, the first of many victories in that decade. It was the beginning of an incredible journey for everyone involved in the company’s race programme, and during the past 60 years Yamaha has established itself as one of the most successful manufacturers with over 500 Grand Prix race wins, along with 38 rider titles, 37 constructor titles and 7 team titles.

Speed block: Yamaha’s historic racing colours

In 1964 the competition department debuted their 250cc Grand Prix racer with a new white fairing with a solid red stripe and red front fender. It proved to be a good omen, and factory rider Phil Read went on to win Yamaha’s first ever world title.R1 RIDEThis bold, simple and dynamic red/white colour scheme soon established itself as the instantly-recognisable Yamaha look in Grand Prix road racing, and was the forerunner to Yamaha speed block: arguably the most famous and best-loved colour scheme ever featured on a racing motorcycle.

A white fairing with red speed block rapidly established itself as the definitive Yamaha racing colour scheme in Europe for the next two decades right through to the Rainey and Lawson era. The incredible public reaction to the recent unveiling of the factory M1 with its special 60th Anniversary speed block colours demonstrates that it is one of the company’s most evocative colour schemes that is popular with riders and fans of all ages. Simple, dynamic, timeless and instantly recognisable, speed block will forever be associated with Yamaha and its highly successful GP campaigns from a very special era in the company’s history. R1 TRACK

New R-Series World GP 60th Anniversary models

To celebrate Yamaha’s long and illustrious Grand Prix racing history, the company has created a World GP 60th Anniversary livery for the 2022 R1, R7, R3 and R125 models.

Just like Yamaha’s famous World Championship winning machinery, the World GP 60th Anniversary R1, R7, R3 and R125 feature pure white bodywork with a strong horizontal red stripe and white vertical lines creating the red speed block. This authentic race bike colour scheme features an all-red front fender and gold-coloured wheels just like winning Yamaha’s factory bikes, and this timeless look is completed with a yellow front number plate, an anniversary emblem and a red stripe running along the top of the fuel tank and the tail.

Since Yamaha made its GP debut in 1961, the company has achieved over 500 Grand Prix race wins with legendary riders including Read, Ivy, Saarinen, Agostini, Roberts, Lawson, Rainey, Lorenzo and Rossi, and more recently Quartararo – and these historic racing colours highlight the connection between Yamaha’s race bikes and every R-Series model.

World GP 60th Anniversary model highlights

White bodywork with red speed block graphics

Special 60th Anniversary emblem

Red stripe along top of tank and tail

Red front fender

Yellow front number plate

Golden wheels

R1 World GP 60th Anniversary highlights

S R1

998cc, 200PS, crossplane, 4-cylinder engine

Highly advanced electronic control systems

6-axis IMU with Gyro/G sensors for 3D motion data

Power Delivery Modes (PWR)

Banking sensitive Traction Control (TCS) / Slide Control (SCS)

Quick Shift System (QSS)

Two-mode brake control (BC) cornering ABS

Three-mode Engine Brake Management (EBM) system

Ride-by-wire APSG throttle

Short wheelbase aluminium Deltabox frame

Upward truss type swingarm/magnesium rear frame

Magnesium wheels and 17-litre aluminium fuel tank

Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD instruments

M1-style bodywork02

R7 World GP 60th Anniversary highlightsS R7

Compact, high-torque, 689cc, CP2 crossplane technology engine

Ultra-compact design with pure R-Series DNA

Highly aerodynamic full fairing with aluminium lower cover

High specification inverted 41 mm front forks

Link-type Monocross rear suspension with newly designed shock

A&S clutch

Lightweight tubular frame with aluminium centre brace for tuned chassis rigidity

Clip-on handlebars and lightweight rearsets with stylish heel guards

Sporty and adaptable tucked-in riding position

Aggressive R-Series twin-eye face with LED position lights

Powerful central LED headlight

Lightweight 10-spoke cast alloy wheels

Radial mount front brake calipers with Brembo radial master cylinder

Supersport cockpit design with full LCD instruments

Central M-shaped front air duct

Powerful 298 mm front and 245 mm rear brakes

Slimline 13-litre fuel tank with deeply sculpted knee indents

R-series style tail

120/70 front tyre, 190/55 rear tyreR7 RIDE 2


R3 World GP 60th Anniversary highlightsS R3

Ultimate Yamaha lightweight supersport

High-revving 321cc inline 2-cylinder liquid cooled DOHC 4-valve EU5 engine

Compact and lightweight, high-tensile tubular steel chassis

Radical M1 MotoGP® inspired styling

R1 style dual LED headlamps and position lamps

Sculpted fuel tank and low handlebars for excellent sports ergonomics

37 mm inverted front forks and Monocross rear shock

Multi-function LCD instruments with easy-to-read displays

Refined performance with outstanding reliability and excellent economy

Balanced 50/50 weight distribution for agile handling

R-series DNAR3 RIDE

R125 World GP 60th Anniversary highlightsS R125

High-tech 125 cc EU5 engine with Variable Valve Actuation

Excellent combustion efficiency

Compact Deltabox frame

Lightweight aluminum swingarm

Assist & Slipper (A&S) clutch for optimum controllability

R-series LED twin-eye body design

11-litre fuel tank

M1 MotoGP-inspired cockpit layout

High-visibility LCD instruments

Sporty and comfortable riding position

Wide 140-section rear tire

Outstanding braking performanceR125 RIDEend bike test




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