1961-2021: 60 years of World Grand Prix racing for Yamaha
Racing has been an integral part of Yamaha’s DNA from the day that the factory was incorporated on July 1st, 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 July 10th.
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 2-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.
Just 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 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.
This 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 recognizable, speed block will forever be associated with Yamaha and its highly successful GP campaigns from a very special era in the company’s history.
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
- 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)
- 2-mode brake control (BC) cornering ABS
- 3-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 bodywork
R7 World GP 60th Anniversary highlights
- 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 41mm 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 298mm front and 245mm rear brakes
- Slimline 13-litre fuel tank with deeply sculpted knee indents
- R-series style tail
- 120/70 front tyre, 190/55 rear tyre
R3 World GP 60th Anniversary highlights
- 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
- 37mm 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 DNA
R125 World GP 60th Anniversary highlights
- High-tech 125cc EU5 engine with Variable Valve Actuation
- Excellent combustion efficiency
- Compact Deltabox frame
- Lightweight aluminium 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 tyre
- Outstanding braking performance
Availability and price
The R-Series World GP 60th Anniversary models will be available from November 2021. Prices will be released shortly
Equipped with Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) and featuring an impressive specification that includes the most advanced electronic control technology as well as lightweight carbon bodywork, the R1M is Yamaha’s definitive track bike. For 2022 this iconic high performance supersport motorcycle will be available in a new Icon Performance colour.
With super-aggressive, M1-inspired styling combined with a lightweight chassis, high tech electronics and a 998cc EU5 crossplane engine, the R1 is always ready to get the adrenaline flowing. Available in a new duo-tone Icon Blue with dark matte blue colour option.
Featuring an aggressively styled MotoGP®-inspired fairing, dual LED headlights and 37 mm KYB inverted front forks, the R3 is Yamaha’s ultimate supersport lightweight.
This high-revving 321cc A2-licence motorcycle is the ideal step up for those riders graduating from the R125, and is the perfect preparation for the next move on up to the R7.
For 2022 the R3 engine is fully EU5 compliant, and the shape of the fairing’s lower cowl has been adapted to accommodate the new catalyser. The R3 will be available in a new Icon Blue colour, which features a duo-tone finish consisting of a mixture of Icon Blue and dark matte blue for an even more sporty appearance, that reinforces the R-Series family look. The second colour for the R3 is Yamaha Black, giving the bike a stylish and dynamic look.
Built to the same high standards as every R-Series, the R125 gives every rider the chance to become a part of R/World. Equipped with R1-inspired bodywork and a compact Deltabox frame – as well as a high-efficiency EU5 engine and high-specification suspension and brakes, the R125 is the ultimate lightweight supersport. Available in a new duo-tone Icon Blue with dark matte blue colour option.
Availability and price
The R1M, R1, R3 and R125 models will be available from December 2021. Prices will be released shortly. For the R1, R3 and R125 models there will be two colour options available: the new duo-tone Icon Blue colour option, as well as Yamaha Black. The R1M comes in the new carbon-and-black Icon Performance colour featuring blue accents and blue wheels.
Yamaha Genuine Accessories
Yamaha’s extensive line-up of Genuine Accessories covers a constantly evolving range of items, and features performance, cosmetic and protection products as well as GYTR® Performance parts and Yamalube lubricants. These products have been developed specifically for the R-Series models, for both track riders and road-oriented customers. By always insisting on Genuine Yamaha Accessories, every rider can be sure of the high quality and perfect fit of every accessory item.
GYTR® Performance Parts
Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing (GYTR®) is the company’s in-house specialist parts division that develops high-tech performance parts, kits and accessories specifically for Yamaha motorcycles. GYTR works closely with Yamaha’s factory race teams and test riders, enabling them to develop a wide range of high-quality products for the R-Series models, for customers to personalise their motorcycle and enhance its performance.
World GP 60th Anniversary Clothing
To complement the new R-Series World GP 60th Anniversary editions Yamaha is launching a limited capsule collection, the new World GP 60th Anniversary clothing collection. Inspired by the iconic ‘speedblock’ livery that was made famous by Yamaha’s winning race teams in the 1970s, this dedicated collection features the historic white and red design and consists of a special World GP 60th Anniversary t-shirt, hoodie, softshell and cap.
Using MyGarage it’s so easy for customers to create a virtual R-Series and fit a wide range of different accessories before making a final decision on what suits their requirements and budget. The accessorised Yamaha can be viewed from any angle in 3D, and different items can be added and removed easily during the build. Once finalised the accessory list can be sent to the Yamaha dealer for fitment to a new or used machine.