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April 5, 2019 (Toronto, ON) – Yamaha Motor Canada is pleased to announce its roster of elite bLU cRU race teams and riders that will compete for championships in racing series across the country in 2019.

Following a successful 2018 campaign that included nine Canadian national championships, a Gold medal and a Team of the Year award, excitement is high as the 2019 season gets underway.

Yamaha’s Canadian MX teams will once again contest the full Rockstar Energy Triple Crown national series in 2019. The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha team is back in the headlining 450 Pro class with one of the country’s most serious race efforts. New York native Phil Nicoletti, signed to the team in late 2018, is looking to build on the podium finishes he produced last year; veteran Shawn Maffenbeier (Swift Current, SK) joins Nicoletti this year after a previous stint with the OTSFF squad from 2013-2015. Both riders will contest all three portions of the Triple Crown – arenacross, motocross and supercross – with their sights set squarely on the overall championship and the accompanying $100,000 payout. The team also announced the addition of support rider Sam Gaynor (Erin, ON), who will participate in all outdoor MX races and select AX/SX rounds.

The Royal Distributing FXR Yamaha team is coming in hot after two straight 250 Pro MX championships and back-to-back Team of the Year honours in 2017 and 2018, plus their first SX title last fall. Led by 2018 Rookie of the Year Marco Cannella (Hamilton, ON), the team has brought in experienced AMA rider Luke Renzland (Hewitt, NJ) and returning team member Hayden Halstead (Waterford, ON) in hopes of continuing their winning ways.

Defending two-time Canadian Pro Sport Bike champion Tomas Casas is stepping up to the feature Superbike class for the 2019 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) season aboard his new Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R1. The 19-year-old Peterborough, ON resident will spend the season acquainting himself with the increased performance of the R1 while attempting to three-peat in Pro Sport Bike aboard his YZF-R6.

Despite moving up from the Intermediate division to the Expert ranks midway through the 2018 season, Jimmy McCullough (Paris, ON) found his way to the podium by the end of the year. After announcing a partnership with the Sehl Racing team for 2019 and sourcing a new YZ450F, expectations are high for the coming season.

Representing Yamaha in the snow are bLU cRU athletes Cody Matechuk (Cochrane, AB) and Brock Hoyer (Williams Lake, BC). The Western Canadian duo brought home hardware in January at the X Games Aspen, with Matechuk winning Gold and Hoyer taking Bronze in Snow BikeCross competition on their converted YZ450F machinery.

Defending Off-Road Ontario Pro champions Connor Brogan (Bolton, ON) and Zach Lewis (Pontypool, ON) are back to tackle the trails and woods in 2019, competing in the National Enduro Championship and Off-Road Ontario series on YZ machinery.

Last year’s bLU cRU Factory Ride Award winners Jeremy McKie (motocross), Jake LeClair (road racing) and Jacob Rainville (flat track) are eager to prove themselves in 2019. These teenagers are putting forward their best efforts after winning use of a Yamaha motorcycle for the season and a $2,500 credit toward genuine Yamaha parts and accessories.

After a one-year hiatus, the Factory Ride Award program will return to Western Canada In 2019, once again giving amateur MX riders three chances across the country to win one of these coveted awards. The program will also return to road racing and flat track for the second year in a row.

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is actively engaged in racing efforts all over the world under its three main principles of raising the value of the Yamaha brand, acquiring advanced technologies, and promoting the healthy spread of motorcycle racing.

Saturday, 06 April 2019 04:08 Published in Rider and Team Releases

Yamaha NIKEN Wins 2019 Red Dot “Best of the Best” Award for Design

March 28, 2019 (Toronto, ON) - Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is proud to announce that the NIKEN motorcycle, featuring Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) technology, has been honoured with a “Best of the Best” 2019 Red Dot Award in the Product Design category. The globally-renowned Red Dot Awards are presented annually in three categories of competition: Product Design, Brand & Communication Design and Design Concept.

2019 marks the eighths consecutive year that Yamaha has achieved a Red Dot Award and the fourth time the company has earned “Best of the Best” distinction. In addition, this achievement marks the second design award received by the NIKEN after earning the GOOD DESIGN Award in 2018.

The NIKEN is a full-size motorcycle with an 847 cc, liquid-cooled, inline three-cylinder engine. It was developed using a design that brings unprecedented riding, taking advantage of the features produced by LMW technology to make the NIKEN less susceptible to changes in the riding environment and provide a higher degree of stability during turns.

At the core of the design is a look that shows solid ground contact with the front two wheels, which further emphasizes the NIKEN’s sturdy undercarriage. The combination of a muscular front end and slim tank, designed for knee gripping, creates a feeling of greater dynamic movement. With its distinctive body design comes the realization of sporty, athletic performance that challenges the rider to want to take on each curve.

The 2019 Yamaha NIKEN GT is available in Canada with an MSRP of $20,999. To learn more about Yamaha’s Leaning Multi-Wheel technology and the feature-rich NIKEN GT, please visit

The Red Dot Design Awards, organized by Germany's Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, are widely recognized as one of the most prestigious design awards in the world.

Thursday, 28 March 2019 16:53 Published in News

Inside Motorcycles Commuter Series - Yamaha YZF-R3

Welcome back to Inside Motorcycles’ online Commuter Bike series and a look at the Yamaha YZF-R3

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 21:21 Published in Multimedia

R World is Calling with the New 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3

October 10, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – Summoning those in search of exhilarating experiences, Yamaha Motor Canada has launched a new YZF-R3 for the 2019 model year. Serving as the entry point to the company’s 2019 supersport lineup that includes the YZF-R6, YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M, the new R3 boasts next-generation R-series styling and updated handling features to bring it more in line with its R World stablemates.

Friday, 12 October 2018 10:53 Published in Industry News

Yamaha Rider Appreciation Day Coming to Quebec’s SMX this Saturday

September 18, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – This coming Saturday, September 22, Yamaha Motor Canada is bringing its popular bLU cRU Rider Appreciation Day to the province of Quebec for the first time.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 12:02 Published in Industry News

Yamaha's Sporty new Tracer Triples

IT is often said that the key to a great motorcycle design is an appealing, distinctive power plant. In the case of Yamaha’s new for 2018 Tracer 900, the tuning fork company are off to a good start – the engine is the 847cc Crossplane concept triple, a delightful and proven design established with the FJ09. The engine design is very compact, with the racer-style “Tri-Axis” stacking of the crank, main and drive shafts.

At the recent Canadian launch for the Tracer 900 and the more travel-ready 2019 Tracer 900 GT, Product Specialist Andrew Scott explained that the Tracer is a Sports Touring design, aimed at experienced riders in the age 35 to 55 range. Both Tracer’s engines are essentially unchanged from the earlier FJ, and the more expensive GT version has a host of additions to provide impressive versatility.

The engine is one of the most distinctive and enjoyable designs available, a sporty three cylinder with Yamaha’s distinctive “CP3” Crossplane that delivers both a strong mid-range and an appealing growl. Throttle control is fly-by-wire or Yamaha’s Chip Control Throttle (YCC-T), with two traction control modes as well as an “off” position.

Both Tracers start with revised bodywork and a revised, reshaped wind screen. The screen is now easily adjusted on the fly, with just one hand. The handle bars are slightly narrower, connected to narrower and lighter hand guards.

Both front and rear seats are redesigned, the alloy swing arm is significantly longer, and the rear end is generally tidied with a new fender, passenger peg mounts and better-integrated side case mounts.

The base Tracer comes with ABS, as well as the most helpful of often overlooked sometimes-accessories, the centre stand, a suitable feature somehow missing from the earlier FZ.

The obvious difference with the GT version beyond the well-integrated hard luggage is the larger, Thin Filament Transistor (TFT) instrument screen, offering a wide range of performance and status data. The GT gets a Quick Shifter, and that works well with the standard slipper clutch shared by both Tracers’ six speed transmissions. Heated grips are standard as is Cruise Control.

The GT’s Front forks are now fully adjustable while the rear shock is upgraded too, getting the luggage and passenger-friendly remote preload adjuster.   

The stock side cases are color matched to the other bodywork, the overall presentation tidied up if somewhat subdued. There is even a 12-volt plug on the side of the GT’s fancy TFT display.

On the road, the new Tracer is certainly comfortable, the revised screen and roomier, firmer seat immediately attracting positive comments. The riding position is relaxed, fairly upright, with lots of space to relocate to change pressure points over a full day in the adjustable saddle.

I started off with the throttle setting in standard, and this seemed to provide a somewhat deadened response at low revs and low road speed. A quick and easy to follow switch to the “A” mode gave the direct response I was looking for, and got the triple snapping to attention in style. On our dry test, I didn’t bother with “B,” but that looks like a rough road or hard rain option.

The huge flexibility of the engine and broad power band mean gear selection is not a big deal, and the transmission shifts well, although it prefers some revs for the long throw controls. Horsepower is in the one hundred range on a rear wheel dyno, and there is certainly enough urge to have fun.

Chassis-wise, the steering is a little slower than I remembered, possibly due to the longer swing arm. Still the new Tracer steers well and is very stable while cornering, and has good ground clearance, even with the extended “curb feelers” mounted to the stock pegs.

Overall, we enjoyed both Tracers, and admit we would first recommend the GT. When you factor in the cost of the hard luggage and look at the convenience of the GT’s added features, the more expensive bike wins out, but both are friendly, strong performers.

Thursday, 30 August 2018 13:38 Published in News

LeClair Wins Yamaha Factory Ride for 2019

August 24, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – The honour of winning the very first Yamaha bLU cRU Factory Ride Award in the discipline of road racing has gone to Mopar CSBK Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike champion Jake LeClair. LeClair, age 16, was presented the award at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after claiming the class title on his Yamaha YZF-R3.

Friday, 24 August 2018 14:42 Published in Rider and Team Releases


June 6, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – For Canadian motorcyclists looking for a premium sport touring experience without the premium cost, Yamaha has introduced the 2019 Tracer 900 GT.

Wednesday, 06 June 2018 18:34 Published in Products

New XSR700 Twin Shows Well for Yamaha in Tennessee

On day two of Yamaha Motor Canada’s American spring Press event, the assembled Canuk scribes headed out on a cool and overcast morning aboard the 2018 XSR700 liquid-cooled twin. This “Sport Heritage” model is based on the successful MT-07 (and the previous FZ-07), using the existing engine, frame and slightly revised KYB suspension.

Yamaha have taken the workhorse twin and given it a circular makeover. The theme of the retro redo is expressed with the retro round headlight, tail light, instruments, exhaust canister as well as a restyled gas tank and short tail section, complete with leather accent on the tail.

This new XSR gets a new removable tail sub-frame section, a give-away that this bike will be the Yamaha 700 twin of choice for custom-oriented builders. Based on a Euro model, the XSR has front turn signals mounted on extenders to meet North American requirements – maybe the first part that will get revamped!

Yamaha showed a few accessories that suit the handsome XSR700, including a mini wind screen, radiator guards, small beige leather saddle bags and swing arm spools for a race/service central stand. All looked right at home with the 1970s-styled 698 cc Twin.

Yamaha see the XSR as a potential step-up model, for newer riders looking for more machine. Riders who want an around-town, versatile commuter will also like the XSR, and the traditional, upright riding position (and wider handlebar) offers good comfort and visibility for traffic work.

The round instrument pod is clearly marked and easy to use, but sits well down in my six-footer’s field of view, while the key is located in at the very front of the bike, a bit of an odd spot. The seat is somewhat high and fairly soft, OK for a couple of hours but not ideal for touring.

An iffy morning gave way to a gorgeous afternoon, and the roads north east of Nashville are among the best for sports riding. The XSR was in it’s element, the slightly stiffer chassis set-up a defiant improvement in terms of stabilizing the bike in aggressive riding situations.

The liquid-cooled vertical twin is a strong mill, and while it revs out to 10,000 RPM, power peaks at nine grand, so there is no need to chase the over-rev. Good power comes into play around 5,550 RPM, and the Dynojet Dyno indicates a maximum output of 67.9 horsepower, with a solid 47.4 foot/pounds of torque to entertain as you drive out of turns and get ready to work the smooth-shifting six-speed.

However, these good specs do not do the Yamaha justice. This is a machine that reminds me of the first couple of versions of Suzuki’s all-round vee-twin SV650, a willing and safe platform for rider’s looking to build and sharpen their skills. The XSR700 might not be an R series SuperSport, but it is plenty of fun for sporty activity.

At more than one thousand dollars more than the strong MT-07 offering, the XST700 might not be the best choice for everyone. However, if you enjoy the performance and are drawn by the looks, you won’t be disapointed.  

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 23:16 Published in News

Yamaha Launches Venture and Eluder in Nashville, Tennessee

Yamaha Motor Canada launched their 2018 Star Venture TC and Star Eluder big twins this morning in Nashville, Tennessee, with northern media taking advantage of cool but dry conditions on some exceptional secondary roads. The two new 1854cc air-cooled vee-twins are built in Japan and share underpinnings, but the Venture TC is billed as a “Transcontinental Tourer,” the bagger Eluder the stripped-down sibling.

The engine is based on the performance-oriented Raider, but revised for smoother power delivery and more versatile, low-RPM rideability, with a claimed 126 ft-lbs of torque. Cams are new, the crank is now single pin, the counter balancers are updated and the six speed transmission now has two overdrive gears. The engine gets new cases, a hydraulic, assisted slipper-clutch and dry sump oiling with a lubricant tank in the sub-frame, as well as an oil cooler.

The Mikuni fuel-injection has 45mm throttle bodies, with a YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) ride-by-wire throttle. The adoption of YCC-T allows for various rider modes, including Traction Control (a first for this style of machine), two throttle modes (Sports and Touring) and Cruise Control.

The twin muffler design features a distinct big twin sound, and Yamaha music pitched in the fine-tune the audio track.

Paired alternators are mounted low at the front of the engine cases, powering the heated seat, backrest and grips, audio and 7-inch LCD infotainment systems, as well as the Sure-Park system. Sure-Park allows low speed (1 km/hr) maneuvering, forward and backwards, powered by a lever-actuated electric motor – not the starter.

The chassis has a steel frame with rubber engine mounts, and a detachable alloy sub frame. The seat is narrow at the front and low at 695cm, and works with the low C of G to provide the big bike with surprising maneuverability and agility at speed.

We checked out the handling once we cleared heavy morning city traffic and tackled the perfect pavement and sweeping turns of the Backbone Ridge. Both twins handle well and are stable and predictable for machines of their size, but you might not call them nimble!

Power is ample, but fourth gear is best for spirited riding. The Sport mode offers great throttle response, but the Touring mode is less aggressive for general use. The soft rev limiter comes in around 4,500 RPM, but with so much mid-range, it isn’t necessary to spin the big twin all the way in every gear.

Both bikes are predictable when hustled, and only the eventual drag of the reinforced floor boards manages the fun. Suspension control is solid, and the linked brakes are powerful, predictable, and don’t affect turning angle even when applied when leaned over.

The Venture is very well appointed, but the long floor boards are somewhat spoiled by the left side rocker shifter that limits foot position. The Eluder benefits from a lower (80 pounds) weight, but doesn’t get the heated grips, Sure Park and the adjustable wind protection, and has only half of the storage.

Venture air flow is well managed with a good envelope of stable air for the pilot. On the Eluder, even with the slightly taller optional screen, the wind blast increases and turbulence is also an issue – but the Eluder is not the touring version.

The riding position is comfortable, with room to move to vary pressure points. Passenger accommodations are above average, with adjustable floor boards. Both versions work, but the Venture is the versatile workhorse.  

Monday, 26 March 2018 23:16 Published in News

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