Top 10 best ever Yamahas

Yamaha has been churning out bikes since 1955. But which are the best ones?

ONCE again we’re picking our selection of the best bikes from an entire manufacturer’s history. You’ll probably agree with some of them. You’re sure to disagree with others, though, so let us know what you’d choose instead in the comments.

‘Best’ is, of course, a tricky thing to define. Best selling? Best performing? Best looking? Our nebulous criteria is simply defined as bikes that simply towered above their rivals or trod new paths that others would later follow.

So here's out top 10 countdown, starting with...

10: YZF-R7 (OW-02)

There’s no doubt that the R7 is, even today, one of the most desirable things to carry a Yamaha badge. Hugely capable, made in tiny numbers, fabulous to look at, there’s a constant demand that’s pushing prices ever higher. Which is odd, since there have been far more successful homologation specials. Yes, the R7 won races, but it never took a WSB title. Conversely, Honda’s VTR1000SP1 and SP2 also tick the ‘homologation special’ box, have championships to their names, but can be bought for a fraction of the cost of an R7. The R7 was simply born with greatness – it would be a ‘want one’ bike even without its heritage.


Lushman's picture

IMO you have missed some key bikes that need a mention.

1. FZR1000
To me this is a key bike to Yamaha's Success. it introduced the deltabox chassis and in 1988/9 brought in the exup valve which is still in use almost 30 years later on the latest R1 and MT10. Yes the R1 is a leap forward from the FZR (and would probably be my number 1). but what was Yamaha's big engine sports bike before the FZR.

2. RD350YPVS
The Powervalve on 2 stroke engines changed everything and this is genesis, introduced in 1984. Yes I do prefer the original LC but the YPVS deserves a mention.

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