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First Impression - Brett McCormick on Yamaha's 2020 R1

Growing up in Canada, one can always count on August being great weather for the most part, and we can also count on September throwing curveballs every year.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 16:34 Published in Feature Stories

Canadian rider invited to next Yamaha VR46 Master Camp

August 9, 2019 (Toronto, ON) - Yamaha Motor Canada is pleased to announce that Canadian amateur racer Jake LeClair has been selected to attend the 8th edition of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, based out of Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Motor Ranch in Tavullia, Italy this coming September.

The VR46 Master Camp is designed to give young Yamaha stars a boost by enhancing their riding skills and professionalism, enabling them to make the next step in their racing careers.

“There really are no words to describe this opportunity,” said LeClair, who received the news via Tomas Casas, current top bLU cRU athlete and previous Master Camp attendee. “There is only one VR46 Camp, and I am going!”

LeClair, 18, became Yamaha’s first-ever bLU cRU Factory Ride Award winner in the discipline of road racing in 2018. He was the inaugural champion in the Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike category of the Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) that same year, and currently sits second in CSBK Amateur Sport Bike on his Yamaha YZF-R6 – an impressive feat in his first year on 600-class machinery.

The Blackstock, ON teenager becomes just the second Canadian invited to the VR46 Master Camp after Casas in early 2017. Since attending, Casas has won two consecutive CSBK Pro Sport Bike titles and is Yamaha’s flagship Canadian Superbike racer.

“With all that Tomas has accomplished since being at the camp, I feel privileged and honoured to have this opportunity,” beamed LeClair. “I have watched numerous videos online and know only a select few get chosen from around the world to go. VR46 is all about success, so what better place to learn than at Valentino Rossi's personal facility!”

LeClair and a handful of other young Yamaha riders from around the world will spend the week training with VR46 Riding Academy instructors on riding technique, bike control, balance, fitness, technical skills, presentation and more.

You can follow Jake’s progress during September’s VR46 Master Camp on Yamaha Motor Canada’s Instagram (@yamahamotorcanada) and Twitter (@YamahaMotorCa) accounts.

Friday, 09 August 2019 12:28 Published in News

Yamaha Unveils New 2020 R1 and R1M Supersport Motorcycles

Toronto, ON – July 13, 2019 – Yamaha Motor Canada is thrilled to announce the latest evolution of its flagship open-class supersport motorcycles, the 2020 YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M. Featuring a refined engine, augmented electronic control features, enhanced suspension performance, advanced bodywork, outstanding aerodynamic performance and next-generation R-series design, the 2020 R1 and R1M were built to deliver improved handling and rideability with more electronic control for mastering both the street and track.

Our History. Your Future.
Yamaha has a rich heritage of building the most sought-after supersport motorcycles designed to deliver the pinnacle of performance on and off the track. Based on 22 years of proven race-winning engineering, the 2020 Yamaha R1 and R1M are forged from the technology and development gained from countless challenges in MotoGP, World Superbike and MotoAmerica Superbike races, and the gruelling demands of Endurance World Championship racing. From crossplane crankshaft engines to revolutionary electronics such as the six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), Yamaha’s historical achievements have become the future of R World.

Refined CP4 Engine
The new 2020 R1 and R1M come equipped with the next generation of Yamaha’s unique 998 cc inline four-cylinder crossplane crankshaft engine for refined performance. Returning features such as titanium fracture-split connecting rods and offset cylinders contribute to a responsive and potent character, while the cylinder head, fuel injectors, finger-follower rocker arms, and camshaft profiles are new for 2020.

An all-new Accelerator Position Sensor with Grip (APSG) ride-by-wire system with Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) eliminates throttle cables and reduces weight while providing smoother throttle operation.

Enhanced Electronics Package for More Rider Control
The most technologically advanced electronics package in Yamaha’s supersport lineup complements the evolutionary engine of the new 2020 R1 and R1M. Yamaha’s proprietary six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) continues to be the key feature of the package, processing real-time vehicle attitude and wheel speed data for the new Brake Control (BC) technology that gives riders the option to choose between two intervention modes for enhanced braking control. Riders can select a “BC1” setting for enhanced upright, straight-line braking, or a “BC2” setting for enhanced braking into corners, where intervention timing grows faster the deeper the lean angle becomes.

A new Engine Brake Management (EBM) system also allows the rider to select between three levels of engine braking force to suit their individual preference or riding situation on the road or track. Both the BC and EBM settings are adjustable through onboard Yamaha Ride Control (YRC) and Yamaha’s Y-TRAC smartphone (Android only) and tablet app (Android and iOS).

Enhanced Suspension Performance
Premium Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) has been a staple of the R1M’s chassis performance, and a new NPX pressurized front fork with a gas cylinder built into the front fork axle bracket, along with revised rear shock settings to complement the performance of the front fork, are features of the new 2020 model. With rider adjustability options through YRC settings and Y-TRAC, the new Öhlins ERS suspension package takes the R1M to the next level of performance.

The base-model R1 also receives suspension performance enhancements courtesy of a new KYB front fork with a new internal shim stack design, and a KYB rear shock with revised internal settings. Together, the changes result in smoother suspension dampening paired with an improved feeling of contact and grip with the street or track surface.

Advanced Bodywork with Next Generation R-Series Design
Redesigned bodywork contributes to higher-quality performance and a more comfortable rider fit. The new design creates a 5.3 percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency while reducing wind noise and pressure on the rider when in a tucked position, while improved comfort comes from smoother side sections where the rider’s legs contact the bike. The 2020 R1M also receives a new carbon fibre tail cowl to accompany the existing carbon fibre fairing, front fender and passenger seat cowl.

New lightweight, compact LED twin headlights optimize illumination for both the low and high beam, integrating with the redesigned body styling to create a new front face symbolizing the next-generation of R-Series design.
The new 2020 YZF-R1 will be available in Team Yamaha Blue and Metallic Black for an MSRP of $21,999 and will begin arriving at Yamaha dealers in September. The 2020 YZF-R1M will be available in a Carbon Fibre colour scheme for an MSRP of $27,999. Quantities in Canada will be limited; contact your local dealer to place your order.

New Features:
• Redesigned cylinder head, fuel injectors, finger-follower rocker arms, and camshaft profiles
• All-new Accelerator Position Sensor with Grip (APSG) ride-by-wire system with YCC-T
• Brake Control (BC) and Engine Brake Management (EBM) for a total of seven electronic control rider aids
• Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) NPX front fork with integrated gas cylinder and optimized rear shock settings (R1M only)
• KYB upside-down front fork with new internal shim stack design (R1 only)
• Optimized settings for linked-type Monocross KYB rear shock (R1 only)
• Next-generation R-Series redesigned bodywork with outstanding aerodynamic efficiency
• Carbon fibre tail cowl (R1M only)
• Bridgestone RS11 Battlax Racing Street tires with updated tread design
• New front brake pad friction material for excellent control while braking

Returning Features:
• Compact combustion chamber and large-diameter intake/exhaust valves (intake 33 mm, exhaust 26.5 mm)
• Twin-injector fuel injection
• Forged aluminum bridge-box pistons
• Titanium fracture-split (FS) connecting rods
• Offset cylinders
• Crank inertial moment engineered to achieve linear throttle response
• 4-2-1 midship muffler with two variable exhaust routes (based on rpm)
• Assist and slipper clutch
• Aluminum Deltabox frame
• Forced air intake
• Aluminum fuel tank with 17-litre capacity
• Cast magnesium wheels
• 320 mm front brake discs and four-piston monobloc calipers
• Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) (R1M only)
• Six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for three-dimensional vehicle attitude detection
• Yamaha Ride Control (YRC) technology
   1. Traction Control System (TCS)
   2. Slide Control System (SCS)
   3. Lift control system (LIF)
   4. Launch Control System (LCS)
   5. Quick Shift System (QSS) with upshift and downshift function
• Power mode selection system (PWR)
• Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) (R1M only)
• Digital thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display
• Communication Control Unit (CCU) (standard equipment for R1M, optional accessory for R1)

Sunday, 14 July 2019 11:09 Published in Industry News

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 – Initial Impression

As I ride north from Belleville Ontario, I’m reflective on just how good new riders have it today. Beneath me is the kind of bike I should have started riding some 25 years ago. Instead I went through three bikes in three years before I found the right alignment and connection with a 1988 Yamaha FZ750.

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Through the ‘90s and most of the 2000s the small displacement sport bike was nowhere to be found. They were made and marketed to other places in the world but not in North America. Over the last ten years most of the major manufactures have jumped on board to what is now a very exciting segment of the marketplace.

Inside Motorcycles has been invited by Yamaha to sample the 2019 YZF-R3, with a morning street ride followed by some track time that has been arranged in the afternoon on Shannonville Motorsport Park.

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The new Yamaha YZF-R3 totally looks the part; as a fellow moto-journalist rides around a blind curve toward me I’m stationary at the side of the road and I need to have a second look to confirm that it is in fact the 320 cc machine and not an R6 or R1. Visually the R3 looks like a bigger bike, with 37 mm upside down forks and 2,090 mm (82.3 in) of length – 50 mm to 35 mm longer than the current R1 and R6. The cast aluminum 10 spoke 17-inch mag wheels also look big bike. From the seat the LCD display is modern with all the usual indicators including a gear indicator, something a new rider will greatly appreciate.

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The morning ride is comfortable even for this 6-foot two-inch tester, I’m pleasantly surprised. The power of this relatively small engine is also “enough.” Enough to be inspiring and back to the freedom of motorcycle riding provides. A relief from the complicated electronics of the leading-edge performance machines and their hyper horsepower. Shocking I know. And I have further revelation, maybe it’s not just for new riders…

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Watch for Steve Hoffarth’s complete review of the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 in an upcoming issue of Inside Motorcycles

Monday, 27 May 2019 12:16 Published in Products


April 5, 2019 (Toronto, ON) – Yamaha Motor Canada is pleased to announce its roster of elite bLU cRU race teams and riders that will compete for championships in racing series across the country in 2019.

Following a successful 2018 campaign that included nine Canadian national championships, a Gold medal and a Team of the Year award, excitement is high as the 2019 season gets underway.

Yamaha’s Canadian MX teams will once again contest the full Rockstar Energy Triple Crown national series in 2019. The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha team is back in the headlining 450 Pro class with one of the country’s most serious race efforts. New York native Phil Nicoletti, signed to the team in late 2018, is looking to build on the podium finishes he produced last year; veteran Shawn Maffenbeier (Swift Current, SK) joins Nicoletti this year after a previous stint with the OTSFF squad from 2013-2015. Both riders will contest all three portions of the Triple Crown – arenacross, motocross and supercross – with their sights set squarely on the overall championship and the accompanying $100,000 payout. The team also announced the addition of support rider Sam Gaynor (Erin, ON), who will participate in all outdoor MX races and select AX/SX rounds.

The Royal Distributing FXR Yamaha team is coming in hot after two straight 250 Pro MX championships and back-to-back Team of the Year honours in 2017 and 2018, plus their first SX title last fall. Led by 2018 Rookie of the Year Marco Cannella (Hamilton, ON), the team has brought in experienced AMA rider Luke Renzland (Hewitt, NJ) and returning team member Hayden Halstead (Waterford, ON) in hopes of continuing their winning ways.

Defending two-time Canadian Pro Sport Bike champion Tomas Casas is stepping up to the feature Superbike class for the 2019 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) season aboard his new Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R1. The 19-year-old Peterborough, ON resident will spend the season acquainting himself with the increased performance of the R1 while attempting to three-peat in Pro Sport Bike aboard his YZF-R6.

Despite moving up from the Intermediate division to the Expert ranks midway through the 2018 season, Jimmy McCullough (Paris, ON) found his way to the podium by the end of the year. After announcing a partnership with the Sehl Racing team for 2019 and sourcing a new YZ450F, expectations are high for the coming season.

Representing Yamaha in the snow are bLU cRU athletes Cody Matechuk (Cochrane, AB) and Brock Hoyer (Williams Lake, BC). The Western Canadian duo brought home hardware in January at the X Games Aspen, with Matechuk winning Gold and Hoyer taking Bronze in Snow BikeCross competition on their converted YZ450F machinery.

Defending Off-Road Ontario Pro champions Connor Brogan (Bolton, ON) and Zach Lewis (Pontypool, ON) are back to tackle the trails and woods in 2019, competing in the National Enduro Championship and Off-Road Ontario series on YZ machinery.

Last year’s bLU cRU Factory Ride Award winners Jeremy McKie (motocross), Jake LeClair (road racing) and Jacob Rainville (flat track) are eager to prove themselves in 2019. These teenagers are putting forward their best efforts after winning use of a Yamaha motorcycle for the season and a $2,500 credit toward genuine Yamaha parts and accessories.

After a one-year hiatus, the Factory Ride Award program will return to Western Canada In 2019, once again giving amateur MX riders three chances across the country to win one of these coveted awards. The program will also return to road racing and flat track for the second year in a row.

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is actively engaged in racing efforts all over the world under its three main principles of raising the value of the Yamaha brand, acquiring advanced technologies, and promoting the healthy spread of motorcycle racing.

Saturday, 06 April 2019 04:08 Published in Rider and Team Releases

Yamaha NIKEN Wins 2019 Red Dot “Best of the Best” Award for Design

March 28, 2019 (Toronto, ON) - Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is proud to announce that the NIKEN motorcycle, featuring Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) technology, has been honoured with a “Best of the Best” 2019 Red Dot Award in the Product Design category. The globally-renowned Red Dot Awards are presented annually in three categories of competition: Product Design, Brand & Communication Design and Design Concept.

2019 marks the eighths consecutive year that Yamaha has achieved a Red Dot Award and the fourth time the company has earned “Best of the Best” distinction. In addition, this achievement marks the second design award received by the NIKEN after earning the GOOD DESIGN Award in 2018.

The NIKEN is a full-size motorcycle with an 847 cc, liquid-cooled, inline three-cylinder engine. It was developed using a design that brings unprecedented riding, taking advantage of the features produced by LMW technology to make the NIKEN less susceptible to changes in the riding environment and provide a higher degree of stability during turns.

At the core of the design is a look that shows solid ground contact with the front two wheels, which further emphasizes the NIKEN’s sturdy undercarriage. The combination of a muscular front end and slim tank, designed for knee gripping, creates a feeling of greater dynamic movement. With its distinctive body design comes the realization of sporty, athletic performance that challenges the rider to want to take on each curve.

The 2019 Yamaha NIKEN GT is available in Canada with an MSRP of $20,999. To learn more about Yamaha’s Leaning Multi-Wheel technology and the feature-rich NIKEN GT, please visit

The Red Dot Design Awards, organized by Germany's Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, are widely recognized as one of the most prestigious design awards in the world.

Thursday, 28 March 2019 16:53 Published in News

Inside Motorcycles Commuter Series - Yamaha YZF-R3

Welcome back to Inside Motorcycles’ online Commuter Bike series and a look at the Yamaha YZF-R3

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 21:21 Published in Multimedia

R World is Calling with the New 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3

October 10, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – Summoning those in search of exhilarating experiences, Yamaha Motor Canada has launched a new YZF-R3 for the 2019 model year. Serving as the entry point to the company’s 2019 supersport lineup that includes the YZF-R6, YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M, the new R3 boasts next-generation R-series styling and updated handling features to bring it more in line with its R World stablemates.

Friday, 12 October 2018 10:53 Published in Industry News

Yamaha Rider Appreciation Day Coming to Quebec’s SMX this Saturday

September 18, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – This coming Saturday, September 22, Yamaha Motor Canada is bringing its popular bLU cRU Rider Appreciation Day to the province of Quebec for the first time.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 12:02 Published in Industry News

Yamaha's Sporty new Tracer Triples

IT is often said that the key to a great motorcycle design is an appealing, distinctive power plant. In the case of Yamaha’s new for 2018 Tracer 900, the tuning fork company are off to a good start – the engine is the 847cc Crossplane concept triple, a delightful and proven design established with the FJ09. The engine design is very compact, with the racer-style “Tri-Axis” stacking of the crank, main and drive shafts.

At the recent Canadian launch for the Tracer 900 and the more travel-ready 2019 Tracer 900 GT, Product Specialist Andrew Scott explained that the Tracer is a Sports Touring design, aimed at experienced riders in the age 35 to 55 range. Both Tracer’s engines are essentially unchanged from the earlier FJ, and the more expensive GT version has a host of additions to provide impressive versatility.

The engine is one of the most distinctive and enjoyable designs available, a sporty three cylinder with Yamaha’s distinctive “CP3” Crossplane that delivers both a strong mid-range and an appealing growl. Throttle control is fly-by-wire or Yamaha’s Chip Control Throttle (YCC-T), with two traction control modes as well as an “off” position.

Both Tracers start with revised bodywork and a revised, reshaped wind screen. The screen is now easily adjusted on the fly, with just one hand. The handle bars are slightly narrower, connected to narrower and lighter hand guards.

Both front and rear seats are redesigned, the alloy swing arm is significantly longer, and the rear end is generally tidied with a new fender, passenger peg mounts and better-integrated side case mounts.

The base Tracer comes with ABS, as well as the most helpful of often overlooked sometimes-accessories, the centre stand, a suitable feature somehow missing from the earlier FZ.

The obvious difference with the GT version beyond the well-integrated hard luggage is the larger, Thin Filament Transistor (TFT) instrument screen, offering a wide range of performance and status data. The GT gets a Quick Shifter, and that works well with the standard slipper clutch shared by both Tracers’ six speed transmissions. Heated grips are standard as is Cruise Control.

The GT’s Front forks are now fully adjustable while the rear shock is upgraded too, getting the luggage and passenger-friendly remote preload adjuster.   

The stock side cases are color matched to the other bodywork, the overall presentation tidied up if somewhat subdued. There is even a 12-volt plug on the side of the GT’s fancy TFT display.

On the road, the new Tracer is certainly comfortable, the revised screen and roomier, firmer seat immediately attracting positive comments. The riding position is relaxed, fairly upright, with lots of space to relocate to change pressure points over a full day in the adjustable saddle.

I started off with the throttle setting in standard, and this seemed to provide a somewhat deadened response at low revs and low road speed. A quick and easy to follow switch to the “A” mode gave the direct response I was looking for, and got the triple snapping to attention in style. On our dry test, I didn’t bother with “B,” but that looks like a rough road or hard rain option.

The huge flexibility of the engine and broad power band mean gear selection is not a big deal, and the transmission shifts well, although it prefers some revs for the long throw controls. Horsepower is in the one hundred range on a rear wheel dyno, and there is certainly enough urge to have fun.

Chassis-wise, the steering is a little slower than I remembered, possibly due to the longer swing arm. Still the new Tracer steers well and is very stable while cornering, and has good ground clearance, even with the extended “curb feelers” mounted to the stock pegs.

Overall, we enjoyed both Tracers, and admit we would first recommend the GT. When you factor in the cost of the hard luggage and look at the convenience of the GT’s added features, the more expensive bike wins out, but both are friendly, strong performers.

Thursday, 30 August 2018 13:38 Published in News

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