The 2020 Yamaha Motorcycle Lineup + Our Take on Each Model
The Yamaha Lineup Is Diverse and Interesting in 2020
Yamaha’s lineup of motorcycles gets more interesting every year. The company has made headlines with the Niken in the past and this year they added some new models to the lineup. The high-powered motorcycles are at the peak of the performance spectrum.
The company has several new models and many very good returning bikes. There are some that are less exciting than others, but there’s a place in the market for all of these models. With that in mind, let’s take a look.
Note: we have also included bikes from Yamaha’s naked lineup under the “sportbike” designation for ease of categorization (and because every brand seems to do things a bit differently and we’re trying to make an apples to apples comparison).
2020 Yamaha YZF-R3
The 2020 YZF-R3 is the entry-level Yamaha sportbike. It offers next-generation styling that features all up the sportbike R-series line. The R3 is a good bike for the new rider who wants a sporty machine that’s also rider-friendly.
The R3 offers a good 321cc parallel-twin that’s liquid-cooled. The bike is perfect for commuting, for a twisty road, and even more than competent on the highway. The bike features a lightweight diamond type steel frame, with a narrow and compact footprint overall. It’s nimble, quick, and a lot of fun.
The 2020 YZF-R3 Monster Energy MotoGP Edition takes the racing spirit of Yamaha’s MotoGP team and combines it with the R3’s sporty body and specifications. The bike offers up the Monster Energy MotoGP styling.
The motorcycle features a 321cc liquid-cooled inline twin-cylinder engine. It’s the same that’s int the regular R3, and it is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. If you’re a huge fan of the racing team, then this limited edition model is the one for you.
The 2020 YZF-R6 is the step up to the middle-grade sportbike in the Yamaha lineup. It takes what Yamaha has done with the YZF-R3 and upgrades it. It’s an iconic design that has a proven AMA Championship winning track record.
The YZF-R6 comes with a 599cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine that comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission with a slipper clutch. The bike debuted in 1999, but Yamaha has continued to keep up on its development to keep it competitive in the segment.
The 2020 YZF-R1 is one of the most-extreme sportbikes on the market now. It’s known as one of the most sought-after supersport motorcycles out there with tons of wins in MotoGP. The R1 is an extremely fast bike that only the most advanced riders can fully experience.
The motorcycle features a 998cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine. The bike also comes with a six-speed manual transmission. The engine features a cross-plane crankshaft and revolutionary electronics like the six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit.
The YZF-R1 is a seriously fast and advanced motorcycle, but the YZF-R1M takes that model even further. The bike features aerodynamic carbon-fiber bodywork and a racing-focused design overall.
The bike features the same 998cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The bike also features Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension, a brake control system, and a three-mode engine brake management system.
The 2020 MT-03 is the entry-level to the Yamaha motorcycle naked line. It offers an aggressive style and nimble handling to be one of the best smaller motorcycles in the company’s lineup. The bike is perfect for the commuter or the in-town rider.
The MT-03 features a 321cc liquid-cooled twin-cylinder engine that is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The model is lightweight, powerful for its size, and efficient. This is an aggressive-looking bike that will turn some heads.
If the MT-03 is a little too small for you and you need something that offers a little more, the middle-weight MT-07 is the right bike. The bike offers plenty of power at an affordable price. It’s a naked roadster that is a good machine for just about any road, whether it be city streets or highways.
The motorcycle features a 698cc liquid-cooled twin-cylinder engine that’s fuel-injected and the engine features a six-speed manual transmission. The bike keeps with the MT family styling but it ups the ante way more than the MT-03 ever could.
A step above the MT-07 is the MT-09 is what the FZ-09 that came out in 2014 was. It’s still the same bike. With that said, it’s a darn good bike. The motorcycle is a serious bargain. The bike is a naked bike with sporty inclinations and equipment that’s ready for anything.
The motorcycle features a unique three-cylinder engine that’s liquid-cooled and fuel-injected. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The bike is a good commuter bike and it’s perfect for tearing up a twisty road on the weekend or taking on a highway run when needed.
If you’re really interested in a naked sportbike of the highest level, then you should take a look at the Yamaha MT-10. The motorcycle is aimed at the experienced motorcyclist who wants the best in on-road performance.
The motorcycle features a 998cc liquid-cooled with an inline four-cylinder engine that’s fuel-injected. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The engine features the same engine in the R1 with its cross plane-crankshaft.
If you’re looking for a true transcontinental luxury tourer, then the Star Venture is the Yamaha to get. The bike offers a lot of features, good luggage space, a comfy saddle, and strong V-twin engine performance.
The motorcycle comes with a 1,854cc air-cooled V-twin engine that is fuel-injected. The engine uses a six-speed manual transmission with a slipper clutch. The bike also features a belt final drive.
If you’re looking for a rugged and durable adventure touring motorcycle that’s ready to take on any road or trail, the Super Tenere ES is the bike that you want. The Super Tenere ES offers sophisticated technology, too, like adjustable suspension, heated grips, and a cruise control system among other technology.
The bike features a 1,199cc liquid-cooled inline two-cylinder engine with fuel injection. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission with a shaft drive. The bike is one of the best adventure touring machines out there.
Don’t hate me for putting this one in here. If you’re in North America, you can’t buy this bike yet. The motorcycle is a Europe-only model for 2020, but in 2021 the bike will be available to the masses of North America, and it’ll give you one of the best adventure touring motorcycles Yamaha has ever produced.
The bike features a 689cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine that’s fuel-injected. That engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission that sends power to a chain final drive. This bike can’t hit North American shores soon enough. People are chomping at the bit to get on this bike.
The FJR1300ES is the peak of the sport-touring line for Yamaha. The motorcycle features sporty styling with ample luggage space and a fairly long wheelbase. The bike also offers top-of-the-line technology like electronic suspension and LED cornering headlights.
The motorcycle is powered by a strong 1,298cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine with fuel injection. The engine mates to a six-speed manual transmission that connects to a slipper clutch. This is a bike that’s known for its performance and reliability.
The Tracer 900 GT is one of the most versatile motorcycles in the entire Yamaha lineup. It offers class-leading touring features and amenities like saddlebags, heated grips, and cruise control. Pair that with the TFT instrument screen, different rider modes, and traction control.
The bike features the same liquid-cooled 847cc inline three-cylinder engine with fuel injection. The engine mates to a six-speed transmission with a slipper clutch. This is one of the best all-around motorcycles on the market today.
If you don’t need the saddlebags and some of the other special equipment that comes with the Tracer 900 GT, then you can get the Tracer 900. This is the same bike, essentially but it is just a little more stripped down and simple than the GT version.
The Tracer 900 has a liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder engine with a displacement of 847cc. The engine is fuel injected and mated to a six-speed manual transmission with a slipper clutch. The Tracer 900 is another great choice if you need an awesome all-around bike.
The Yamaha Niken is a three-wheeled motorcycle. It leans like a motorcycle so you can’t really call it a trike or an autocycle. The bike is a super unique machine, and there’s not really anything else out on the market like it right now.
The bike features the same liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder with a displacement of 847cc that is in the Tracer 900 motorcycle. The Niken’s engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission with a slipper clutch.
The 2020 Niken GT is an up-fitted version of the Niken. It still offers three wheels. It still offers the ability to lean like a typical motorcycle. The bike gets a few more accessories and features than the standard bike, including some luggage bags to either side of the bike.
The motorcycle again features the same liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder engine with a displacement of 847cc with fuel injection that is used on the Tracer 900. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission with a slipper clutch.
The 2020 XSR700 is based on the MT-07. However, as you can see, the bike features retro styling that sets it apart not only from the MT-07 but the rest of the Yamaha lineup overall. The XSR700 features a natural riding position with a short swingarm and a lightweight design.
The motorcycle features a 689cc liquid-cooled inline twin-cylinder engine with fuel injection. It’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission. If you’re not interested in plastic body panels and hidden engine parts, then you’re going to love the styling of this bike.
If the 2020 XSR700 is something you really like but it’s not quite what you want, then you should check out the XSR900. The motorcycle features similar styling to the XSR700 but it’s a very different motorcycle. It’s based on the MT-09 naked motorcycle.
The bike gets the MT-09’s 847cc liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder engine that’s fuel-injected and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The XSR900 might look like a vintage ride, but it offers some cutting-edge electronics like ride-by-wire engine control, adjustable throttle response, and an adjustable traction control system.
There’s nothing like a good muscle cruiser, and the Yamaha VMAX is one of the best out there. While there are more powerful and new power cruisers out there, the VMAX was one of the first of its kind and it deserves some respect.
The VMAX features a 1,679cc liquid-cooled V-four engine with fuel-injection and a five-speed manual transmission with a slipper clutch. The bike also features a low-maintenance shaft drive. The VMAX is one of the most interesting motorcycles in the lineup.
The V Star 250 has been out for quite a while now, and it’s one of the better beginner bikes out there. If you like the classic cruiser style but you want a cruiser that has an actual V-twin engine, then this is the model for you.
The V-twin engine in the V Star 250 is, as you can probably imagine, a 249cc displacement air-cooled engine. It features a simple Mikuni carburetor and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. It’s a simple bike built for a simple purpose. To show beginner riders how to ride.
If you like the fact that the V Star 250 is an affordable machine with some bad-ass cruiser styling, then you’ll like the Bolt. Pair the cruiser styling with performance suspension and a torque-heavy powerband and you have one of the best retro-styled bikes out there.
The motorcycle features an air-cooled fuel-injected V-twin engine with a displacement of 942cc. The engine mates to a five-speed manual transmission. From there, power goes to the wheel via a belt drive.
If the Bolt is close to what you want but not quite there yet, the Bolt R-Spec is the next step up. It features everything that the Bolt has but the R-Spec improves on the package with rear shocks, 12-spoke cast alloy wheels, and updated paint schemes.
The engine on the Bolt R-Spec is the same as the one on the regular Bolt. The 942cc V-twin packs plenty of power and a five-speed manual transmission. The Bolt R-Spec’s upgrades are pretty minor but the bike looks wicked cool.
The Yamaha WR250R is the dual-sport motorcycle that is just one of the dual-sport machines Yamaha has on the market, but it’s a good one. The bike is seriously focused on the off-road, but it has more than enough capability on the road.
The WR250R features a liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that’s fuel-injected and has a displacement of 250cc. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The motorcycle is known for its reliability and toughness.
The TW200 has been out for a long while now, and it’s one of the best do-it-all bikes out there, other than highway runs. The bike’s key characteristic is its fat tires. The motorcycle is one of the few with some good, chunky tires. If you need a good farm bike, here you go.
The motorcycle features a super reliable 196cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine with plenty of low-end and mid-range torque. The engine features a five-speed manual transmission. It’s a perfect bike for off-road or around town.
Another good dual sport with a low displacement engine is the XT250. This is another model that’s been around for a while now. The bike is light and nimble, with a low seat height. The motorcycle is another great option for around-town riding and off-road riding.
The motorcycle features a 249cc air-cooled, fuel-injected single-cylinder engine. It produces predictable torque across the rev range, making it more suitable for a wider range of roads than the TW200.
The XMAX is the ultimate sport scooter that combines sporty riding with the practicality of a scooter. The scooter was an important model in Europe and Yamaha thought it was a good idea to bring it to the U.S.
The liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine with a displacement of 292cc and it’s fuel injected. The engine is connected to an automatic CVT that makes for a smooth accelerating vehicle. The bike is one of the best sub 300cc scooters on the market.
If the XMAX is a little too much scooter for your needs then maybe the Yamaha SMAX is a better option for you. This scooter still offers sporty performance for zipping around town, but it’s also ready to hit the open road when needed.
The bike features a fuel-injected liquid-cooled four-stroke single-cylinder with a displacement of 155cc. The engine is connected to an automatic CVT with a V-Belt final drive. The scooter fills the gap between Yamaha’s popular Zuma and the Xmax shown above.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the Zuma 125. The smallest scooter in the Yamaha lineup, but it’s one of the most popular models out there in the 125cc class. The bike is perfect for zipping around the city, and if you need one of these sized bikes, then you’ll be very happy with the Zuma 125.
The bike features an air-cooled 125cc single-cylinder engine with fuel injection. The engine connects to a V-Belt automatic transmission. The bike is a quick and nimble little bike with a twist-n-go throttle. It’s fun, easy, and ready for any urban environment.