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Ultra-Realistic Paper Crafts: YA-1 - Second Preview

Yamaha Motor’s first motorcycle, the YA-1, will be recreated as an Ultra-Realistic Paper Craft and be available at the end of 2017.

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Yamaha Motor's first motorcycle YA-1. added to our Ultra-Realistic Paper Crafts. A Record of the Inspiring Photoshoot on Famed Mt. Asama. Second Preview. Available at the end of 2017.

See the details and learn the origins of the legendary YA-1.


1. Where It All Began


A single poster

On November 5, 1955, YA-1s put on a dominant display at the 1st Asama Highlands Race, not only winning it but also finishing in 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
In creating a poster to celebrate our 60th anniversary, we took the YA-1 back to Asama and captured an inspiring photo to adorn it with, complete with the words:
“Invoking passion for the past 60 years.”
The origins of Yamaha Motor’s corporate philosophy of creating Kando* and our Spirit of Challenge lie with the struggles we faced and the glory we won six decades ago.

*Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value.

So let’s take the YA-1 back to Mt. Asama!

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of our paper craft range, we decided to add the YA-1 to our range of Ultra-Realistic Paper Craft models. By “reincarnating” it in paper form, we wanted to have it represent the passion that drove our efforts in 1955 and be a powerful declaration of our determination to keep that Spirit of Challenge alive today.

So, to express this more clearly, we decided we needed to also bring the paper craft YA-1 back to where everything began!

2. The Shoot on Mt. Asama

However, the rocky ground where the poster’s original photo was shot was now a neatly paved parking lot with no sign of what it once was like.

We arrived at the parking lot located at the base of Mt. Asama for the shoot just before 5 a.m. as the sky was only just beginning to grow lighter. Relying on our handheld flashlights, we began preparing for the shoot at the points we’d decided on the day before while the paper YA-1 waited patiently for its “debut.”

But we couldn’t have the mountain ridge hidden by the clouds overhead. The weather in Japan during the summer of 2017 was unusual. With sudden rainstorms appearing all over the country, it was hard to read the weather and the weekly forecast wasn’t of much assistance in deciding the day for the shoot either. Even when trying to plan a day to check out possible spots for the shoot, we had to postpone everything several times due to bad weather. So from here onward, we’d need some luck and Mother Nature to look down kindly upon us.

3. Using Special Photography Techniques

In order to better reproduce the simple shape and form of the original model, the YA-1 Ultra-Realistic Paper Craft
was designed at a slightly larger scale than others, and is 49.5 cm in length when complete.

We built a miniature “set” and positioned it in the frame
in front of the magnificent mountain backdrop.

All photography was conducted with prior permission.

All that remained was to patiently wait for the clouds to leave Mt. Asama!

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