Ranking The Most Powerful Yamaha Motorcycles Ever - SUV VEHICLE

Ranking The Most Powerful Yamaha Motorcycles Ever

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Speak to those in the know, and most would agree that Yamaha’s motorcycles are best known for their handling prowess and understated ability. But outright grunt? Not so much. These, of course, are generalizations and, as it usually goes, should be taken with a grain of salt. Since Yamaha’s inception way back in 1955, it’s true that the Japanese manufacturer has produced some of the most phenomenal handlers around, but it’s not exactly been at the cost of outright grunt.


UPDATE: 2023/12/18 22:24 EST BY RAUNAK AJINKYA

Yamaha makes some of the world’s best motorcycles. And while they’re famed for a lot of things, one thing that wouldn’t instantly come to your mind about them is that some of their machines make a serious amount of grunt, which they do. Given that, we have updated this list to assemble the most powerful Yamaha motorcycles, past and present.

A closer look at some of their more serious offerings will give you just that insight. And once you combine that formidable power output with agile handling and cornering and throw in some very choice tech, you have the makings of a thoroughly modern Yamaha motorcycle. This list, then, focuses on just that. It brings together some of the most powerful Yamaha motorcycles ever made. So, without any more dilly-dallying…

How we got our model selections: To compile this list, HotCars studied Yamaha motorcycles’ entire product portfolio and picked the highest-performing motorcycles on offer in terms of power and torque outputs. It should be noted that some of the motorcycles on this list are no longer in production. That said, if you’re lucky, you could possibly find one on the used market in good nick. That’s also why they’ve been included in this list.

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13 Yamaha Star XV-1900A

Maximum Power: 98.6 hp

Modern Japanese cruiser motorbike
Reinhard Wolf Via WikimediaCommons

The XV-1900A is a Japanese muscle cruiser under Yamaha’s Star division. The bike also goes by the name of Midnight Star, Roadliner, Starliner, and Raider, with only subtle differences between the Yamaha Roadliner and Yamaha Starliner.

One thing common among the Yamaha XV-1900A bikes is the air-cooled 48-degree V-twin engine, displacing 1,854cc and barking out a monster 123 lb-ft of torque. Competing in the large-displacement cruiser market, the XV-1900A goes head-to-head against the Honda VTX1800 within the Honda cruiser bikes lineup, as well as the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 within the Kawasaki Vulcan family.

2006 Yamaha Star XV-1900A Engine Specs

Production Years

2006-2017

Configuration

V-Twin

Displacement

1,853cc

Power

98.6 hp

Torque

123 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

12 Yamaha R7 OW-02

Maximum Power: 106 hp

Classic Japanese sportbike

The Yamaha R7 was a homologation special model for 1999, the second homologation special bike ever produced by Yamaha after the FZR-750RR OW-01 bike. The Yamaha R7 OW-02 was a race bike in street bike clothing and featured all the best bike technology Yamaha had to offer at that time.

The OW-02 featured a 749cc inline-4 engine that, in stock form, put out just 106 hp due to EU regulations, but with mods to fueling and some ECU tuning, the true potential of the motor got unleashed, with power figures quoted as 133 hp and 53 lb-ft of torque. Yamaha produced just 500 OW-02 bikes in total, making it one of the rarest Yamaha models ever.

1999 Yamaha R7 OW-02 Engine Specs

Production Years

1999

Configuration

Inline-4

Displacement

749cc

Power

106 hp

Torque

53.1 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

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11 Yamaha XT-1200Z Super Tenere

Maximum Power: 110 hp

Blue and silver Japanese sport touring bike
Witold Grzesiek Via Wikimedia Commons

The Yamaha XT-1200Z Super Tenere is powered by a 1,199cc parallel-twin engine with a cross-plane crankshaft, aiding the big-bore thumper with off-road traction. The 270-degree cross-plane crank in the parallel twin motor configuration also provides a low-vibration, narrow overall engine package.

The Yamaha XT-1200Z Super Tenere puts 110 hp and 84 lb-ft of torque in the ES model. While that power is impressive, some riders may view the Yamaha Tenere 700 as the perfect enduro motorcycle, striking a balance between usable power and the same high-tech features of the Yamaha Super Tenere.

2010 Yamaha XT-1200Z Super Tenere Engine Specs

Production Years

2010-present

Configuration

Parallel-Twin

Displacement

1,199cc

Power

110 hp

Torque

84 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

10 Yamaha YZF-R6

Maximum Power: 116.7 hp

2021 Yamaha YZF-R6
Yamaha

Yamaha’s middleweight supersport bike needs no introduction to most motorcyclists, as even casual riders have at least heard of the high-revving bike that consistently performs at the top of the 600cc class. The Yamaha R6 is one of the most popular sportbikes of all time, with the 599cc inline-4 screamer engine being the main reason.

Putting down 116.7 hp at 14,500 RPM and 45.5 lb-ft of torque at 10,500 rpm, the engine begs to rev up to the redline, making the bike an absolute track day weapon, but the Yamaha R6 is not the best bike to commute on, ​​​​arguably. With the R6 offered as a track-only model as of 2020, the R6 “RACE” model gets geared even more towards outright performance than comfortable ergonomics and street manners.

2019 Yamaha YZF-R6 Engine Specs

Production Years

1999-present

Configuration

Inline-4

Displacement

599cc

Power

116.7 hp

Torque

45.5 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

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9 Yamaha Tracer 9

Maximum Power: 117 hp

Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
Yamaha

The Yamaha Tracer 9 marks itself out as a seriously capable adventure motorcycle. That said, given its characteristics, it wouldn’t be out of the question to consider it a sport-tourer or even for a spot of trail riding if you’re feeling up to it.

What’s going in its favor are rider aids in the form of the KYB Actimatic Damper System, along with the electronic cruise control and linked braking system, among many others. Its inline 3-cylinder engine puts out 117 horsepower and 68.6 lb-ft of torque, which is more than adequate for the kind of use case it will be put through.

2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 Engine Specs

Production Years

2015-Now

Configuration

Inline 3-cylinder

Displacement

890cc

Power

117 hp

Torque

68.6 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

8 Yamaha XSR900

Maximum Power: 117.4 hp

2023 Yamaha XSR900 front third quarter hd wallpaper view
Yamaha

The Yamaha XSR-900 got a major upgrade in 2022, with the original 849cc engine getting bumped up to the 889cc inline-triple engine with the crossplane crankshaft known as the CP3. This is the same powerplant used in the popular Yamaha MT-09 model as well as one of the best features of the Yamaha Tracer 9 and Tracer 9 GT models.

The XSR-900 is a lightweight, modern-performing cafe-racer with old-school style and is part of Yamaha’s Sport Heritage series. The 117.4 hp and 68.6 lb-ft of torque from the CP3 engine gets dished out via Yamaha’s high-tech six-axis IMU electronic control system. This allows riders to enjoy Yamaha’s newest bike technology while retaining the slick cafe-racer style.

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Engine Specs

Production Years

2016-present

Configuration

Inline 3-cylinder

Displacement

889cc

Power

117.4 hp

Torque

68.6 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

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7 Yamaha MT-09

Maximum Power: 117.4 hp

Japanese naked motorcycle
Yamaha

Originally known as the FZ-09 in America and the MT-09 as of 2018, Yamaha’s sporty inline-triple middleweight bike saw instant success as it struck the perfect balance between performance and price point.

Upgraded in 2020 to the 890cc CP3 inline-three motor, the MT-09 puts out a healthy 117.4 hp and 68.6 lb-ft of torque. That power, combined with the many features of the Yamaha MT-09 SP, equates to a motorcycle that is smooth and comfortable to ride but easily transforms into a high-revving sportier experience when desired.

2021 Yamaha MT-09 Engine Specs

Production Years

2014-present

Configuration

Inline 3-cylinder

Displacement

889cc

Power

117.4 hp

Torque

68.6 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

6 Yamaha FZR 750RR (OW-01)

Maximum Power: 121 hp

1991 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 front third quarter view
Iconic Motorcycle Auctions

As far as special motorcycles go, the Yamaha FZR 750RR is right up there with the best. This homologation special was built specifically so that Yamaha could take on Honda’s might in the World Superbike series.

The FZR 750RR was about as close as you could get to a motorcycle ready to race, and once you fit the optional race kit, you were good to go. Its four-stroke, inline 4-cylinder 749cc unit made a healthy 121 horsepower and 51.3 lb-ft of torque, and it was known to have a great top end, along with quick steering. Thinking of scouting for one? They were rare: only 1000 were built for public consumption.

1989 Yamaha FZR 750RR (OW-01) Engine Specs

Production Years

1989

Configuration

Inline 4-cylinder

Displacement

749cc

Power

121 hp

Torque

51.3 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

5 Yamaha FZR1000

Maximum Power: 135 hp

Yamaha FZR1000
Mecum Auctions

Launched in 1987, the Yamaha FZR1000 immediately rocketed its way to the top of the sports bike pile. Many regarded it as one of the world’s finest production sports bikes of the time until the Honda FireBlade showed up a few years later.

Nevertheless, despite being slightly portly, plenty was going right for the FZR1000. It was the first time we saw Yamaha’s Deltabox aluminum perimeter frame, and its liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder engine made a credible 135 horsepower and 75.2 lb-ft of torque. So, needless to say, it was seriously quick.

1987 Yamaha FZR1000 Engine Specs

Production Years

1987-1995

Configuration

Inline 4-cylinder

Displacement

989cc

Power

135 hp

Torque

75.2 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

4 Yamaha FJR-1300

Maximum Power: 146.2 hp

White and blue highway patrol bike
Highway Patrol Images Via Flickr

Introduced to the world in 2001 and to the U.S. in 2002, the Yamaha FJR-1300 has evolved into a proper sport-touring weapon. The outstanding 1,298cc inline-4 engine puts out 146.2 hp and 101.8 lb-ft of torque, providing usable power throughout the rev range, and is the heart and soul of the bike.

The Yamaha FJR-1300’s impressive spec sheet adds up to a bike that does almost everything one could want from a sport touring bike, so much so that the bike got used as a Police bike from 2018 onwards. Compared to previous cop-bikes, the FJR was chosen for its superior comfort, handling, and acceleration.

2020 Yamaha FJR-1300 Engine Specs

Production Years

2001-present

Configuration

Inline-4

Displacement

1,298cc

Power

146.2 hp

Torque

101.8 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

3 Yamaha MT-10

Maximum Power: 165.8 hp

2023 Yamaha MT-10 SP on the road side profile view
Yamaha

The Yamaha MT-10 features a 998cc inline-4 engine with a cross-plane crank borrowed from a previous-gen YZF-R1. The CP4 engine puts down a mighty 165.8 hp and 82.6 lb-ft of torque, with Yamaha’s six-axis IMU dishing out power according to the selected ride mode.

The newest model, MT-10, also sports new fuel-injection settings, as well as intake and exhaust mods that move the torque lower in the rpm range compared to the previous-generation model. This provides a superbike top end but is slightly de-tuned for more low and mid-range torque.

The added features of the Yamaha MT-10 SP model make up Yamaha’s premier naked bike offering, but the base model MT-10 gives you the same engine spec at a lower MSRP, which may provide a better value for some.

2022 Yamaha MT-10 Engine Specs

Production Years

2016-present

Configuration

Inline 4-cylinder

Displacement

998cc

Power

165.8 hp

Torque

82.6 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

2 Yamaha YZF-R1M

Maximum Power: 197 hp

Japanese superbike motorcycle
Yamaha

Yamaha’s YZF series is the company’s highest-performance four-stroke sportbike line, with the YZF-R1 at the very top of the line. With the R1 model over 25 years old now, its performance continues to rise, and the bike is still performing at the top of its class with current National championship titles and World championship titles in recent years.

The heart of the beast is the 998cc inline-4 engine, boasting 197 hp and 83 lb-ft of torque. The Yamaha R1M features all the technology from Yamaha’s MotoGP program, including a full suite of electronic aids, helping the monster power translate to earth-shattering acceleration and usable power.

2022 Yamaha YZF-R1M Engine Specs

Production Years

1998-present

Configuration

Inline 4-cylinder

Displacement

998cc

Power

197 hp

Torque

83 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

1 Yamaha V-Max

Maximum Power: 200 hp

Yamah V-Max accelerating side profile view
Yamaha

Yamaha’s much-loved muscle cruiser offering, the V-Max, has seen many evolutions since its inception in 1985. With its demise in 2020, the latest generation V-Max will go down as one of the most technologically advanced muscle cruisers of its time.

The 2020 Yamaha V-Max has incredible features, with fully adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes, and above-average handling, pushing the V-Max to compete at the top of its class with the likes of the Ducati Diavel, Harley Street Rod, and Triumph Rocket 3.

The 1,679cc, 65-degree V4 engine puts down 200 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque, allowing top speeds around 140 mph and powering the heavy cruiser to a 1/4-mile time of just 10.86 seconds.

2010 Yamaha V-Max Engine Specs

Production Years

1985-2020

Configuration

V4

Displacement

1,679cc

Power

200 hp

Torque

123 lb-ft

Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs

Source: Respective manufacturer websites and Motorcycle Specs

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