Please note that the cars or exhibit items shown in this database are part of our collection but may not be on display when you visit.
In 1953, Genichi Kawakami, Yamaha motorcycles’ first president, was looking for a way to make use of idle machining equipment that had previously been used by the company to make aircraft propellers. Market and competitive factors led him to focus on the motorcycle market. By 1954, Yamaha had produced its first motorcycle, and four years later they became the first Japanese maker to enter the international racing arena. Yamaha Motorcycle Co. took an impressive sixth place in their first race, and this made a lasting impression among American race fans.