Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is striving to reduce the use of substances in motorcycles that can have an environmental impact, in line with the Year 2010 Environmental Action Plan. As part of the effort, the Company has decided to discontinue the use of lead for motorcycle wheel balance weights by October 2003. Yamaha Motor will become the first motorcycle manufacturer to stop using the lead wheel balance weights.
The amount of lead presently used in a single motorcycle totals 80 grams maximum, which is within the guideline range. It is used mainly in solder, free-cutting steel, and especially the wheel balance weights, where about 20 grams, or 25% of the total, is incorporated. Therefore, reducing this lead has been a priority issue in the industry.
In 1998, Yamaha Motor began seeking a more environmentally friendly material for wheel balance weights, and was the first in the motorcycle industry to successfully develop alternative materials (iron and tin) for the purpose, in September 2000. Since then, the Company has been expanding the use of the new materials in its motorcycle lineup. By completing the switchover to the alternative wheel balance weights in October 2003, the Company will have achieved total discontinuation of lead in this application, about two years ahead of the original 2005 target.