A Life with Yamaha

Lovable Manufacturing Philosophy

Ms. Miho Kato (Tokyo)

Ms. Miho Kato works in the Design Division of Tanita Corporation. She said she used to enjoy riding a 400cc motorcycle mainly on the street in her 20s. While she then stopped riding motorcycles for a while, she bought an MT-09 in June 2014. Since then, she has been enjoying touring and rides on circuits.

Impulsively Bought a Motorcycle

While I was away from motorcycles for some time, motorcycle users increased in my company several years ago and they started to talk to me often. We occasionally got excited over talking about motorcycles and they asked me why I did not ride motorcycles and said it was a waste that I stopped riding them. Then, I was unintentionally motivated to ride motorcycles again around the spring of 2014. It was also when I was feeling that various manufacturers were introducing motorcycles with novel and bold designs, and I was especially attracted to MT-07 and MT-09.

I thought at first that it would be difficult to own an 800cc motorcycle even if I had a driver's license for large-sized motorcycles because I felt that the size was too big when I actually saw an 800cc motorcycle and a large parking space would be needed. But I wondered that I might be able to ride MT-07 or MT-09 because their size and weight are those of 400cc motorcycles despite that they are categorized as large-sized ones. I was convinced of this idea when I actually climbed onto them at a motorcycle show in 2014.

Although I was told that it would take time to deliver the products due to their popularity, I heard that a YSP shop in my neighborhood happened to have an MT-09 that could be delivered instantly. Also because it was just before a bonus was paid (ha-ha), I bought it almost impulsively (ha-ha).

YAMAHA Is Exactly a Company of Design

When I was learning design and branding at a basic design department in my college days, I was strongly impressed by reading "Spirit of Yamaha motorcycle design" (*). The book was so impressive that I wanted to read it again at any cost. So I searched for and bought the book a short time ago after finding it in a second-hand book store in Niigata.

YAMAHA has engaged in manufacturing with a design philosophy since its foundation. It is admirable that I can feel something unchangeable and unshakable in the foundation even if time has passed and the staff in charge and organization have changed. I hope that it remains unchanged in the future. While sport motorcycles are not daily essentials but hobby goods, I also feel amazed that YAMAHA specializes in them and keeps manufacturing them.

(*) "Spirit of Yamaha motorcycle design" is a book published in 1989 into which GK Dynamics compiled the design concepts of YAMAHA motorcycles, which had been designed by the company for over 30 years.

Products Evolve

After I bought the MT-09, I often find time on holidays to take a motorcycle trip to Izu, Boso and other places with company colleagues. It helps me change my mood between working days and days off and to refresh myself.

I expected that it would take time to learn to handle the motorcycle because it is still large even if the weight is light and the size is compact. But, with the help of the light body, ABS and computerized control, I have been able to enjoy the ride without any engine failure or falling down. It also gave me a good opportunity to directly experience and learn how products evolved over about seven years while I stopped riding a motorcycle as a person who is also involved in manufacturing.


Released in April 2014, the MT-09 is equipped with a compact and lightweight, water-cooled, 4-stroke, in-line 3-cylinder DOHC engine, which was newly developed based on the crossplane concept. Its features include a vehicle weight of 188 kg, which was realized through the thorough pursuit of weight reduction in the design, as well as a design called "Crossbreeding Molding," which is a hybrid of a naked machine and a supermotard machine, attracted public attention, and the model became so popular that it took time from purchase to delivery.

A Word from Yamaha Staff
Motorcycle Selected by Customers with Good Sense

Mr. Shinichiro Nishimura, Design Planning Group, Product Design Division

I feel very proud that a creative designer like Ms. Kato selected MT-09, in which every aspect is characteristic. While health support products and services are apparently the opposite of motorcycles, they may be related to each other in a sense that both connect to improve the condition of a body with that of a machine to develop physical and mental health.