The first Yamaha motorcycle was completed in August 1954, so as of 2015, Yamaha has been manufacturing motorcycles for just over 60 years. Mass production of the motorcycle began in January 1955, and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., was officially founded in July of that year.
In 1950, Genichi Kawakami became the fourth-generation president of Nippon Gakki, which evolved into the Yamaha corporation. The company’s business was musical instruments and electronics, but in the process of looking for a way to use equipment that had previously been used to produce aircraft propellers, Kawakami approved the building of the YA-1 motorcycle, which was a single-cylinder street bike.
Originally produced and sold only in Japan, Yamaha motorcycles entered the U.S. market in 1960.