The Yamaha Motor Company began production of Yamaha Scooters in 1955 and started exported the first models of Yamaha Scooters to the United States in 1960. At first Yamaha’s were little more than scooters of a style that was familiar in movies of the period. The company has produced ever greater examples of excellence in engineering ever since.
Through the years Yamaha has worked to refine their scooters to fit the end consumers. For the most part they have been very successful. Producing models that are lightweight and could stand up to the elements. The Yamaha 125cc and 250cc models were ridden by a million people in the 1970s. But even as early as 1970 Yamaha produced a four-stroke 650cc, the XS-1, that was a beauty to behold.
Today, Yamaha makes a broad line of bikes and scooters that encompass all types and sizes. Models range from the 50cc scooters to the 249cc Virago all the way up to the 113ci (1854cc) Stratoliner S and the V-4 Royal Star Venture. The latter is ‘only’ 70ci (1147cc), but its liquid-cooled engine puts out a throaty roar, and the ride is as smooth as a Jaguar.
Be prepared to put out some serious cash for the larger Yamaha motorcycles models. These cruisers and touring bikes start at $15,000 and with accessories and customization can easily run $20,000 or more. Fortunately, like Harley-Davidsons, a well-maintained Yamaha can keep its value year after year. Many older models sell for more than new bikes.
But in contrast, Yamaha scooters are very economical. On the low end you could spend as little as $2000 dollars for a brand new Yamaha scooter. But on the high end you could spend as much as $8000 to $9000 dollars. The higher end models have more bells and whistles. They also have larger engines allowing them to be very good resources in urban cities.
The 49cc Vino Classic is a great starter scooter for younger riders, but would be appreciated by women and others as well. This is a European classic retro style, straight out of the movies scooter. Weighing 166lbs it may be small but it delivers plenty of power for zooming along the streets or hill climbing off-road.