Yamaha Archives: A Motorcycle With A Musical Twist


a side view of the √(root) motorcycle from Project A AH MAY

It’s Tuesday. 

The coffee has brewed, Vivaldi is playing, and I’m hankering for something a little different. 

We ask you to recall the recent past where Yamaha was making the usual boatloads of money and decided to start a partnership with the musical side of the street.

The result?

A poster for Yamaha's Project A AH MAY

Project AH A MAY (“Yamaha,” spelled backward) – a synchronization of efforts from Yamaha Motor Ltd. and Yamaha Corporation, both companies currently owned by mega mogul Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. 

According to a report from Spoon-Tamago, the Anno-2015 project was originally created to harken back to the roots of a more musical Yamaha when it was founded in 1887 as a piano manufacturer. 

Yamaha Motor Ltd. Logo

The proof of heritage is in the Yamaha logo today, where three musical tuning forks create the symbol we have come to recognize and love. 

Several projects were released as a result of the project; a circular marimba, a globe-shaped drum set (don’t ask), a bicycle, and a motorcycle.

the musical brainchildren of Project A AH MAY

The moto brainchild of the Yamaha² partnership, christened “√,” or “Root,” was designed with the landscape in mind – an effort to get the rider as close to the surrounding scenery as possible…without the bloke falling off, of course. 

a side view of the √(root) motorcycle from Project A AH MAY

To get the rider as near a part of nature as was natural, designer Kazuki Kashiwase of Yamaha Corporation removed all dials and screens for “√” (Root). 

Anything to be kept in view for legal riding purposes was linked to a watch that the rider could wear on either hand.

Eat your heart out, Timex.

a side view of the √(root) motorcycle from Project A AH MAY

To quote the explanation on the company’s advert video, “By taking the meters on the instrument panel off the motorcycle rider’s view, the idea of the design is to enable [the rider] to be a part of the passing scenery.”

a view from the back of the √(root) motorcycle from Project A AH MAY

“The form was created to flow from the seat to the fuel tank and was inspired by a horse motif that aims to give a sense of unity among people, nature, and the vehicle.”

The view appears, admittedly, stunning.

a view from above of the √(root) motorcycle from Project A AH MAY

While not necessarily practical, Yamaha succeeded in creating a work of art that still pops up in Google searches today – and I’m hooked on the concept. 

For more functional motorcycles, check out wBW’s 2021 Lineups.

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