The GTS1000A was supposed to be an early '90s sports-touring flagship for Yamaha.
The GTS1000A was supposed to be an early '90s sports-touring flagship for Yamaha, but it turned into an embarrassing farce.
Ironically, the best part of a decade later we see the goodly FJR1300 doing a much better job for half the price and with half the technology.
In 1992 the GTS was announced and Yamaha deemed it so important it had two launches. Launch one... and our very own Grant Leonard is whisked to Hotel Don Carlos down in Marbella. Next is a four-day 'unveiling', involving a £100k laser show and promo film, which showed how the bike hatched from an egg from another planet. Then Yamaha chucked in a piss-about on free jetskis, a trip to the Seville Expo and a gift of a £100 CD player with a Yamaha logo on it. A big deal at the time...
The actual riding launch was in Marrakech. To his delight, Grant (again) scores a room bill personal best of a full £400. What followed was some fantastic riding up to the Atlas mountains, miles of endless red desert, with the bikes nose to tail, slipstreaming, flat-out.
So the GTS sounded like a bike from heaven, but it wasn't. It featured a de-tuned FZR1000 EXUP motor, which was strangled to just 100bhp in anticipation of a blanket Euro law which never happened. It also had fuel-injection, a catalyser, novel 'Omega' chassis and a funny front end which never dived. These all worked, but what was the point? They should have just covered an EXUP with bacofoil and charged an extra three grand for it. The GTS had an £11,000 price tag and did the job less well than a Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 which was faster and two grand cheaper. The Yam also had chain drive, which wasn't the best thing to have on something which was more tourer than sports tourer...
When the bike hit the shops people didn't. And the GTS died a death in three short years... see ya later, overblown, over-egged, over-before-it-began beast!
Could've been so much different if they hadn't restricted the engine to 100bhp. It was good enough for Steve Linsdell to lap the TT circuit (with a 750 engine in place of the 1000) at 118mph.
It's a shame Yamaha never pursued the project further. I still quite fancy one.
Posted: 13/08/2008 at 16:02
Posted: 15/08/2008 at 12:38
Posted: 15/08/2008 at 13:29
Posted: 15/08/2008 at 13:59
Actually its a good thing, why?. The problem with the Japanese is that they never really invent anything, they get something make it more compact, make it better, improve it in every aspect, but never really invent anything new, this isnt a genetic flaw or some inferior flaw but the nature of the Japanese, historically they haven't had materials to invent with.
So its good to atleast see one Japanese do something very western and try to do something differently whether it works or cocks up dramatically, Yamaha have invented some pretty odd and bad motorcycles, but at the same time they have done much more in introducing new things into the market.
SZR650, Bulldog are to name a couple of their failures, but Kudos to them atleast they try to do something different.
Posted: 15/08/2008 at 17:15
T509Speedy wrote (see)
SZR650, Bulldog are to name a couple of their failures,
Posted: 15/08/2008 at 18:54
I fancied getting a bulldog when they released them, until I read how badly they lack in power, mind you I nearly got one on a couple of occasions.
My mate bought a brand new SZR650 when they came out, that bike was aggro, it broke down on a regular basis and spent most of its time in the shop, apart from that it really wasn't very good.
Posted: 15/08/2008 at 19:03
Posted: 19/09/2008 at 16:50
Posted: 19/09/2008 at 16:58
easy to scoff now but the investment must have been tremendous
give credit to yamaha as a company for trying!
Posted: 19/11/2008 at 18:31
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