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January 24, 2008

Birth of the XV 1900 Custom “Raider” – Part 2

From early ‘protos’ to clay models to road tests in America

By John Bayliss

This is the continuing story of “How the XV 1900 was born.”

XV1900 Custom BikeBehind the scenes, extensive costing and engineering studies for the newly developed XV1900 custom bike are completed. If all goes well the project will get the green light and a development code will be issued. In the case of the new XV1900 the code was “06S” and during any and all discussions, the code name will be used until the model is released to the public.

While final detail work is under way, the engineering group will cobble together a running prototype. I used the word “cobbled” because some of the early “protos” look pretty rough. (You need to remember, the protos are for testing purposes… not styling.)

Testers from both Yamaha Japan and Yamaha USA will ride the prototype and provide feedback; everything from functionality to sound to ride comfort will be assessed.

clay1.jpgfianl-clay.jpgMeanwhile, back in Japan, clay models are painstaking carved and sanded in a special studio right at the factory. (See examples of clay models here, left and right.) The clay model will be the final styling phase before measurements are taken for moulds and dies, etc.

I have been present when some minor changes are requested and believe it or not, the “artists” can manipulate the clay model right before your eyes!

After the initial stages of testing are completed, another testing “prototype” will be produced, although in a farproto2.jpg more finished state. (See right, and below.) The test unit will be shipped to the US and tested on American roads. (Yep, right out in the public view! But from my own experience most passerbys never seem to notice.)

Every aspect of the test machine is evaluated, including suspension settings geared toward North American roads. Any issues or concerns will be reported back to Yamaha Motor Canada for improvement. Testing takes proto-final.jpg place right up until the first pre-production machines start to roll off the line.

So, if you think that Star cruisers are conceived, designed and built in Japan, think again!

Our friends south of the border can and should take most of the credit for the new XV1900 Custom (“aka) “Raider”.

Let me know if you like hearing the ‘behind the scenes’ development stuff. If you do, I’ll try to dig up some stories of previous models as well as the new ones. JB

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Cruisers,Custom,Industry Insights,Technology,Yamaha Insights   

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8 Responses to “Birth of the XV 1900 Custom “Raider” – Part 2”

  1. Rob McGinley says:

    This was the best Blog Post so far.
    Very good information.
    I always wondered how much input the (West) had on the introduction of new models.
    Love the look of that motor.
    The pipes dont work for me.


  2. Brian Hay says:

    This is fantastic info. We all love riding but some of us thrive on the deeper technical information. The conceptual thought process and the logistics to bring a new model to the marketplace, are things that we as enthusiasts would not always have access to.

    This is great stuff, keep it coming!

    Enthusiasts also love to hear from the staff that actually create and support the products they enjoy. Keep all the staff updates and intros coming.

    Great blog!


  3. M. Allan says:

    I am really enjoying Yamahas new blog, what a great way to enlighten and elucidate those of us interested in Yamaha products!

    I read with interest the thoughts and processes that go into making a Yamaha product, Mr. Bayliss has a writing style that is truly captivating. In fact there was not a poorly written story in the entire Yamaha blog!

    Keep up the great work Yamaha, as always you are once again a cutting edge company!

    M. Allan

  4. Tom Lawson says:

    I am knew to blogs and Yamaha. I like the behind the scenes stuff. The new Raider is truly inovative and beautiful. I don’t care for the pipes though. Vance and Hines make a large diameter 2 into 1 pipe that would look great on this bike. I would love to see what went into making my brand new 2007 1300. It arrives in two days. I have’nt even ridden it yet.

    Thanks Tom, being new to blogs I must commend you for leaving a comment, its all about two-way communication. I’ll pass along your suggestion to John.
    cheers cr

  5. Tim Bishop says:

    I have notice on Yamaha and other websites that the XV1900 Raider engine is described as a V-Twin. I find this very odd, since as far as I can see from the pics of the bike it has a V4 engine. The term “V-Twin” means a 2 cylinders in a V configuration, as apposed to parallel. Can someone please explain this?

    Hey Tim, the Raider is definitely a twin cylinder air-cooled, push-rod V-twin with nearly 1900 cc’s of torquey fun at the right grip…

    additional comment from John:

    Hey Tim,

    I think you maybe confusing two different flagship motorcycles that Yamaha has recently unveiled. The XV1900 … now officially known as the “Raider” is an
    air -cooled, 1854cc, V-twin. The other flagship is the incredible new VMAX … which is a liquid-cooled, 1679cc, V-4. You are correct, if the cylinders (2) are side by side it would be referred to as a “parallel twin”. However, Yamaha does not import any motorcycles into Canada with this engine design at this time. We do use it in one of our scooters … the all new 500cc TMAX. We also use a parallel twin in our Phazer snowmobile. By the way, Yamaha does produce motorcycle models for other markets with this engine design but they are not currently imported into Canada.

    As a side bar, each various engine design offers a special and unique “character or personality”, this is why we use certain engine types in specific models. Each engine type (eg. single, parallel twin, V-twin, in-line three, in-line four) has a different feel, character and power delivery. A V-twin has lots of bottom and mid range torque that is well suited to a cruiser style of motorcycle, while an in-line 4 generally makes more power and torque at higher rpms, so it is most commonly used in higher performance sport bikes. If you ever get a chance to ride a couple of different engine designs back to back you will discover the unique “feel and character ” of each. Did I mention we have the Yamaha Power Tour each spring and summer where it could be possible to try the different engine designs ….

    Here is the link to the Raider …. http://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/products.php?model=3010&class=2&group=M|&LANG=en
    Here is the link to the VMAX … http://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/products.php?model=2918&class=88&group=M|&LANG=en

    John Bayliss
    Product Manager Motorcycle

  6. Areez Mistry says:

    Nice article on the Raider, how about one for the VMax or the R1? I know there are some videos of the VMax already posted but I can’t get enough of this bike or the R1. Also would like to say that i love to talk about the technology rather than just how big is your engine and how much horsepower does it make. So keep it up. Even though my 1990 Radian does not have much hi tech stuff, but I love tinkering with it and modifying it and then beating anyone with a pulse into submission to listen to me drone on about what new thing I did.

  7. MarkRight says:

    Interesting article as for me. I’d like to read a bit more concerning that matter.

  8. http://webdesign-boston.com/ says:

    “Affordable Webdesign Doesn’t Mean Compromise”…


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