First Look: Yamaha 60th anniversary race-replicas

Published: September 21, 2021

There are lots of things that make us feel old these days – but the press release that Yamaha’s just sent out celebrating 60 years in GP racing is a new one. The tuning-fork firm first entered the blue-riband world championship in May 1961, competing with the 250cc RD48 race machine in France.

Yamaha 60th anniversary race-replicas

Two years later, Fumio Ito took the brand’s first ever GP win on the RD56 at the Belgian Grand Prix, and the company has never looked back. Just three years after its first GP entry, 1964 saw Yamaha win its first World Championship and Constructor’s title with Phil Read in the 250cc class.

Yamaha 60th anniversary race-replicas

It was the beginning of an incredible journey for everyone involved in the company’s race programme, and during the past 60 years Yamaha has established itself as one of the most successful manufacturers with over 500 Grand Prix race wins, along with 38 rider titles, 37 constructor titles and 7 team titles.

The 1964 250cc racebikes used a new white fairing with a solid red stripe and red front fender. It proved to be a good omen, and factory rider Phil Read went on to win Yamaha’s first ever world title. This bold, simple red/white colour scheme soon established itself as the instantly-recognisable Yamaha look in Grand Prix road racing, and was the forerunner to Yamaha speed block: arguably the most famous and best-loved colour scheme ever featured on a racing motorcycle.

Yamaha 60th anniversary race-replicas

A white fairing with red speed block rapidly established itself as the definitive Yamaha racing colour scheme in Europe for the next two decades right through to the Rainey and Lawson era – and the Speed Block appeared on many of the firm’s road bikes, including the legendary RD250, RD400, RD350 LC, RD350 YPVS and the RD500 GP replica.

And now, to celebrate the anniversary, the firm has released a whole range of special limited-edition versions of its current supersport bikes, with the white/red Speed Block paintwork, yellow number boards and gold wheels – just like the 1960s GP racebikes. The 2022 R1, R7, R3 and R125 models will all be available in limited-number World GP 60th Anniversary livery. The bikes all feature pure white bodywork with a bold, horizontal, red stripe and white vertical lines creating the red speed block.

Yamaha 60th anniversary race-replicas

This authentic race bike colour scheme features an all-red front fender and gold-coloured wheels just like Yamaha’s title-winning factory bikes, and this timeless look is completed with a yellow front number plate, a special 60th anniversary emblem and a red stripe running along the top of the fuel tank and the tail.

Since Yamaha made its GP debut in 1961, the company has achieved over 500 Grand Prix race wins with legendary riders including Phil Read, Bill Ivy, Jarno Saarinen, Giacomo Agostini, Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, and more recently Fabio Quartararo. And for Yamaha fans, these historic racing colours highlight the connection between Yamaha’s race bikes and every R-Series model.

Yamaha 60th anniversary race-replicas

The bikes are in dealers from November, and will be strictly limited in numbers. More info on prices when we get it!


World GP 60th Anniversary model highlights

White bodywork with red speed block graphics

Special 60th Anniversary emblem

Red stripe along top of tank and tail

Red front fender

Yellow front number plate

Golden wheels





R1 World GP 60th Anniversary highlights


998cc, 200PS, crossplane, 4-cylinder engine

6-axis IMU with Gyro/G sensors for 3D motion data

Banking sensitive Traction Control (TCS) / Slide Control (SCS)

Quick Shift System (QSS)

Two-mode brake control (BC) cornering ABS

Three-mode Engine Brake Management (EBM) system

Ride-by-wire APSG throttle

Short wheelbase aluminium Deltabox frame

Upward truss type swingarm/magnesium rear frame

Magnesium wheels and 17-litre aluminium fuel tank

Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD instruments

M1-style bodywork


R7 World GP 60th Anniversary highlights


Compact, high-torque, 689cc, CP2 crossplane technology engine

Highly aerodynamic full fairing with aluminium lower cover

High specification inverted 41 mm front forks

Link-type Monocross rear suspension with newly designed shock

Lightweight tubular frame with aluminium centre brace for tuned chassis rigidity

Clip-on handlebars and lightweight rearsets with stylish heel guards

Sporty and adaptable tucked-in riding position

Aggressive R-Series twin-eye face with LED position lights

Powerful central LED headlight

Lightweight 10-spoke cast alloy wheels

Radial mount front brake calipers with Brembo radial master cylinder

Supersport cockpit design with full LCD instruments

Central M-shaped front air duct

Powerful 298 mm front and 245 mm rear brakes

120/70 front tyre, 190/55 rear tyre


R3 World GP 60th Anniversary highlights


Ultimate Yamaha lightweight supersport

High-revving 321cc inline 2-cylinder liquid cooled DOHC 4-valve EU5 engine

Compact and lightweight, high-tensile tubular steel chassis

Radical M1 MotoGP® inspired styling

R1 style dual LED headlamps and position lamps

37 mm inverted front forks and Monocross rear shock

Multi-function LCD instruments with easy-to-read displays

Refined performance with outstanding reliability and excellent economy

Balanced 50/50 weight distribution for agile handling


R125 World GP 60th Anniversary highlights


High-tech 125 cc EU5 engine with Variable Valve Actuation

Excellent combustion efficiency

Compact Deltabox frame

Lightweight aluminum swingarm

R-series LED twin-eye body design

M1 MotoGP-inspired cockpit layout

High-visibility LCD instruments

Sporty and comfortable riding position

Wide 140-section rear tire

Outstanding braking performance

Related Content

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.