When it comes to outright reliability and value for money, it’s hard to beat what the Japanese big four have to offer. It really isn’t a surprise that big bikes by Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Honda are among the most popular, not just in the Philippine market, but across the globe. While you really can’t go wrong with picking any big bike from any of these four manufacturers, let’s take a closer look at one of the most popular: Yamaha.
Yamaha has a good number of big bikes in its model lineup—each of which are suited to different types of riding styles. One thing all these bikes have in common, however, is incredible performance, value-for-money, and an impressive track record when it comes to reliability and dependability. Let’s take a closer look at a few of Yamaha’s big bikes, so we can determine which one is the best fit for your lifestyle.
The daily rider - Yamaha MT-07
The Yamaha MT-07 is what many would consider a true Jack of all trades. This middleweight naked machine is built upon an extremely versatile chassis that can be modified to suit a variety of applications. It can very well be ridden on a daily basis thanks to its lightweight construction. On top of that, its power output of 72 horsepower from its 689cc crossplane parallel-twin engine is the highest in the twin-cylinder 650cc class.
In Europe, the Yamaha MT-07 has received the distinction of being the most reliable motorcycle in the market, according to numerous reports. Additionally, its rather attainable price tag of P439,000 gives it incredible value for money, especially given how much performance and versatility this bike brings to the table.
The laid-back cruiser - Yamaha Bolt R
Those of you who enjoy the cruiser lifestyle but don’t really want to deal with the rigors of owning a Harley-Davidson machine may want to consider the Yamaha Bolt R. In many ways, the Bolt was Yamaha’s answer to the ever-popular American cruiser segment. It does, however, ditch some of the stiffness and harshness of an American V-twin cruiser, in favor of smooth and refined Japanese engineering.
Powering the Bolt R is a 942cc air-cooled V-twin motor which delivers extremely smooth and confidence-inspiring power and torque down low. The engine is mated to a rather lazy, yet crisp five-speed manual transmission. It retails for a sticker price of P569,000. Surely, with the Bolt R, you’ll just want to cruise down the highway in utmost style and comfort.
The track rat - Yamaha YZF-R1
The next bike on our list is by far the most performance-oriented machine in Yamaha’s stable. The YZF-R1 carries with it decades of racing heritage, and is currently in contention of winning the world championship in the WorldSBK. It comes equipped with loads of race-oriented features such as a quick shifter, as well as a full suite of advanced rider aids.
Propelling this liter-class supersport is a 998cc inline four-cylinder engine equipped with a crossplane crankshaft. This unique engine configuration delivers power and sound like a V4, but with the compact construction of a traditional inline four-cylinder power plant. It retails for P1,099,000, making it one of the more expensive bikes in Yamaha’s stable.
The sporty street rider - Yamaha XSR900/ MT-09
The Yamaha XSR900 is derived from its modern-styled sibling, the MT-09. It’s basically the MT-09, except dressed up in retro attire. As such, it’s equally capable thanks to its powerful three-cylinder motor, lightweight chassis, and premium underpinnings. Both the XSR900 and MT-09 make for truly engaging machines to ride, be it on the street, twisty roads, or even on the race track.
The new generation MT-09 and XSR900 are both powered by an 890cc inline three-cylinder motor designated CP3–again, employing Yamaha’s famed crossplane crankshaft. With 117 horsepower on tap, you’ll have to be mindful when you twist the throttle, as it certainly makes for one punchy ride. It comes equipped with multiple riding modes, as well as IMU-activated electronics. While the pricing of the new XSR900 has yet to be announced, the 2021 MT-09 retails for P639,000.
The rugged adventurer - Yamaha Ténéré 700
The last bike on our list is arguably the most capable middleweight ADV in the market today. Bested only by the KTM 790 Adventure in terms of sheer performance and technology, the Ténéré 700 is an honest to goodness, barebones adventure bike. It’s equipped with everything you could possibly need in an adventure-ready machine—with a tall windscreen, long-travel suspension, wire-spoke wheels, and a lightweight frame as standard.
The Yamaha Ténéré 700 shares the same engine as the MT-07—a 689cc crossplane parallel-twin engine. It does, however, get revised gear ratios for optimized power delivery off-road. Yamaha has intentionally left the bike without any advanced rider aids in order to maintain the raw, visceral feeling of a powerful adventure bike. The Ténéré 700, in many ways, harkens back to the days of Dakar-inspired rally machines. It retails for P619,000.