YA-1Motorcycle / 1955
Yamaha’s first motorcycle. Leading makers were using 4-cycle engines, but as a late starter Yamaha focused on the possibilities offered by the 2-cycle engine, which still had room for development and improvement going forward. A prototype was completed in August 1954, and released in February 1955 as the model YA1 Yamaha 125 cc. Its slim, dark red body won it the nickname "Akatonbo" (red dragonfly). It won the 3rd Mt. Fuji Ascent Race held in July 1955, and placed highly in the 1st Asama Highlands All-Japan endurance road race in November of the same year, demonstrating its outstanding performance qualities. The motorcycle division gained independence that year, forming Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.