Hailed by many as the most significant new bike for 2005, Yamaha's MT-01 was the star of the recent Intermot show in Munich. Originally unveiled as a concept bike at the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show, MT-01 takes a new slant on the performance road bike concept: combining a pure sports chassis with a massive torque 1,670cc V-twin engine.
The reality is that the MT-01 creates a new category all of its own - the 'sport roadster' class. The MT-01 was a project of pure passion for the engineers and designers who created it. Ignoring the marketing men, they aimed to build something different, something that would fire the imagination of the biking public. The inspiration was the Japanese term Kodo, which is a difficult term to translate but roughly means pulse or soul beat - or rather the sensation created by the beat. That may sound like marketing bluster, but it's only when riding the MT-01 that it all starts to make sense. Raw and animalistic, the resonant big V-twin creates a soulful feeling unlike any other bike on the market. Handling promises to be up there with the best sports bikes, while the huge V-twin motor thumps out an amazing 150Nm of torque - at just 3,750rpm. As MT-01 is all about the expression of one's individuality, Yamaha is also producing a wide range of accessories - including three tuning kits aimed at road and track day riders.
Find out more at www.MT-01.com
Yamaha's YZF-R6 has undergone a significant revamp for the 2005 season, with a number of new and improved features to benefit both road and track riders.
The most notable changes are at the front end, which for the first time carries new 41mm upside-down forks fitted with the latest MotoGP derived radial caliper brakes. The result is an unbeatable 2005 version - under its skin a revised fuel-injection system that features larger throttle bodies and a new ECU to provide three more horsepower and a more linear power delivery than the previous model.
One of the most talked about bikes at Intermot was the R46, which will go into limited production in 2005. Yamaha's MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi is famous for coming up with the striking graphics he uses on his helmet and leathers and the original idea had simply been to let Valentino take a blank piece of paper and design a colour scheme, which would then be displayed on a bike at the show.
What he came up with was a black and yellow design featuring the moon (to represent his serious side) and the sun, as well as his famous number 46 logo and signature on the tank. Such was the reaction from Yamaha that they felt Valentino's R6 deserved more than just to be displayed at a show - so with the rider's blessing the R46 will go into production for a limited run early next year.
Another bike grabbing the crowds at Intermot was Yamaha's Tricker.
Originally displayed at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, a Japan only version has been in production for several years. Three versions of the Tricker were on display in Germany, including the Yamaha Motor Europe-developed Air Tricker concept bike.
In essence a cross between a mountain bike and a motorcycle, the YZ250F-powered machine can be used as everyday urban transport - and then taken off the road to perform a variety of tricks similar to a BMX bike.
Yamaha is looking at the possibility of introducing a European-spec Tricker. Who knows, you might even find one of these beauties under your Christmas tree in the near future.
Motocross superstar Stefan Everts broke yet another record in his illustrious career when he lifted an eighth world title last month.The Yamaha L&M Motocross Team rider has been in irresistible form all year, building up an early points advantage.
Going into the penultimate round at the Ballykelly circuit in Northern Ireland, the Belgian needed to finish at least 13th in race one to be crowned champion.
That he duly did by finishing second place to Mickael Pichon in the day's first moto before winning the second outing to take the overall victory and a record 78th GP victory. It has proved to be a memorable year for Everts, who has resigned with Yamaha for 2005. In August Stefan and his partner Kelly became parents for the first time: to a boy they have named Liam.