From The World's Research & Development Base

Akiko Nakaspan (photo, left)
Engineering Promotion Division
Akiko Shimizu
Cost Planning Division
to you!

Manufacturing attractive motorcycles featuring
European refinement and Japanese quality

  • Exterior photo showing the base
  • The brilliant YAMAHA logo was added to this rotary.
    Once you see the logo, you are near YMRE.
  • Members of the Engineering Promotion Group
  • MT-125, X-MAX, and TRACER 700 (from left to right)

A European Research & Development location comprised of a diverse workforce

Yamaha Motor Research & Development Europe s.r.l. (YMRE) is one of our research & development centers located in Lesmo, a small municipality near Monza, a city which is known for its F1 Grand Prix circuit. Since it was established approximately ten years ago, it has grown along with its diverse staff from Japan, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, UK, Portugal, and Taiwan. During this time, there have been, in addition to our staff, many people working at locations around the world involved in product model development, including Takuya Kinoshita, Senior General Manager for Integrated Planning Section of Motorcycle Business Operations, YMC, and Olivier Prevost, Deputy Chief General Manager, Procurement Center, YMC.

Involved in the development of a wide range of product models

From Neo's and Aerox 50 cc scooter models to Yamaha's Tenere Adventure bike, YMRE is involved with the development of a wide range of product models. It can most likely be said that YMRE's best product models are our X-MAX series scooters, which are at the top of the scooter market with their elegance and sporty appearance, and the YZF-R125 which is the best selling 125 cc motorcycle in Europe.

A unified effort

YMRE's biggest recent development was its release of the Tracer 700 and XSR700, marking the first time that the company brought large platform models to the market. However, this was not a solo effort but rather a large unified effort by the Yamaha group in Europe. The motorcycles were developed by YMRE/Minarelli (Italy), manufactured by MBK Industrie (France) with YME (Netherlands) handling product planning and sales. The models are based on the MT-07 platform (made in Japan). This means that all staff can take pride in the fact these motorcycle models through a global effort. Until now, the models have been mainly designed for Europe. Since Europe has diverse cultures and nationalities, it is not ordinary to continue creating "products demanded by customers." However, it is worth doing since it is not easy to accomplish. YMRE staff work together with other Yamaha locations in Europe and together constantly take on challenges. In the future, the models will probably be developed for other countries/regions as well. It is though that the platform model development scheme will become more diversified. The incorporation of European elegance and refinement as well as Japanese high technology and quality is made possible by YMRE, a fusion of two different cultures. We believe that this serves as an advantage for YMRE, providing added value.

A look at YMRE

Staff having a hot discussion in front of modeling clay

Impressing the strictest of customers

Ducati, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Fiat, and Alpha Romeo also have company locations in northern Italy where YMRE is located. In addition to many part manufacturers and prototype outsourcing companies, the region is rich with excellent engineers. The challenge that YMRE faces being located in such a "strategic area" is how to add higher added value to products. Therefore, we are carrying out special activities which are listed on the right.

  • 1. Combining of Design and Development

    Our customers focus more on design than anything else. One can probably say that design creation is the most important development process in Europe. So how do we make it work and integrate it? We plan to do this by bringing in professional coordinators to further combine design and development together.

  • 2. Deep focus on accessories

    Our customers are also deeply focused on product accessories. They are not satisfied with conventional accessories. Therefore, from the initial development stage we seek out how to give our products and accessories a unified appearance.

  • 3. Pursuit of a high-quality texture

    Our customers also want a high-quality appearance and texture. They do not tolerate any compromise when it comes to seat stitching, coordination of design elements, and details such as bolts that are visible. Therefore, we will always look at our products from a customer perspective and strive to develop high-quality products which will satisfy them.

There are people out there who can identify a motorcycle model just by quickly hearing the sound of its engine and people who can identify a racing circuit just by looking at a section of a photo. I was trembling with fear thinking "What kind of company did I enter?!" when I initially entered the company due to coworkers like this who I didn't even want to approach. However, now I feel that their passion is the treasure of YMRE.

Making separate parting salutations to the "positivists" and the "negativists"

Afraid of the Italian custom of cheek kissing when greeting each other

Difficulties also arise due to cultural differences with staff from different cultures and of different nationalities working together. Long vacations are popular in Italy, so staff feel sorry to part ways for a while. There is an unnamed foreign worker in the company who actually does not like dealing with such goodbyes because of all the kisses on the cheeks that are involved, so he hid in the bathroom. Since it takes over two hours to say goodbye to all the other employees, it was difficult for that foreign worker to stay in the bathroom. Eventually he had to come out to receive goodbye kisses from other employees while blushing from embarrassment.