A Yamaha designed by piano makers

We don't know why

IT’S not April 1, is it? Today’s press release from Yamaha had us checking but it does appear to be serious.

The firm has released details of a display it’s planning for the catchily-titled ‘Ninth Edition of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2015’ in which it has taken the designers from Yamaha Corporation (the bit that makes pianos, trumpets and the like) and Yamaha Motor Co, Ltd and asked them to do a job-swap.

The results seem to show that it’s a good idea to stick to what you know.

The musical instrument maestros have turned out a bike called ‘√’ (‘Root’ if you’re going to say it out loud, or type it without reaching for the special characters…). It’s an MT-07 with the bodywork stripped off, a tiny fuel tank and what looks like a melted leather ironing board attached to the top. According to the firm’s blurb, ‘By taking the meters on the instrument panel off the motorcycle rider’s view, the idea of the design is to enable him or her to be a part of the passing scenery.’

Er, isn’t that a euphemism for crashing?

They also turned out an electrically-assisted bicycle, the ‘O±O’ (that’s ‘O plus/minus O’ if you’re a journalist who’s now tearing his hair out trying to find key maps to increasingly obscure special characters.) Its key element is that you charge its battery by putting it on a special stand and pedalling you heart out.

Or you could, you know, have a normal bicycle?

Before you laugh too much at the instrument designers’ take on two-wheelers, bear in mind that musicians everywhere are probably being just as harsh on the bike stylists’ efforts in the other direction.

They’ve turned out the Raijin (yay! No special characters needed) which means ‘God of Thunder’ and is a sort of sphere of drums that’s designed to ‘allow human beings to go beyond existing methods to express themselves.’

And then there’s the Fujin (God of Wind), which is a circular, two-man marimba with a motorcycle seat in the middle.

The message here seems clear: Yamaha Motor makes great bikes. Yamaha Corporation makes great musical instruments. And it’s best that the two stay as far away from each other as possible.

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