The Evolution of Japanese Sports, Its Boom in The Modern Era

In the first part of the evolution of the Japanese sports we stayed in the first generation, reaching age 80 or so. In this second and penultimate installment of the special sport bikes that focuses on Japanese sports, try to play some of the most emblematic models that came from Japan from the 80s onwards.

The modern era, i.e. the Decade of 80, 90 and 2000 It was the era in which Japanese makers lived the boom and his greatest hits. Server with twenty-odd Springs remembers as if it were yesterday the tremendous pitch that were many sporting models of all brands that we know today: Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki o Kawasaki. So many have much cost me make a selection as representative enough to not turn the post into a genuine encyclopedia. I hope that we are satisfied with it and a tasty epilogue all.


Inevitably we have to start talking about the great Yamaha. Iwata have credited a good string of models of successful, that at the time (and still today) are true gems of technology in sports and benefits aspect. From the 80s onwards gave more than one chime with models that still ragged hair to millions of fans around the world (and if it does not it should). Exactly in 1985 Yamaha amazed friends and strangers with the FZ series 7xx. Pictured above is the FZ 750 Genesis, which would trigger a revolution in sports of the brand in the next two decades. He surrendered himself about 104 HP at 10,500 rpm (about 90 to wheel), available 6-speed being able to overcome the 230 km/h.

A sport of race, than with a tetracilindrico in line with the recent Genesis technology House (5 valves per cylinder, 2 exhaust, admission 3, running the third of the latter at high regime) marked a before and an after in Yamaha. Benefits offered by fell in love with friends and strangers, both in strength and character that wasted mechanically by the explosive of the same. With a spectacular aluminum Deltabox frame I began to go down in history, the myth of Japanese sport: long engine and low chassis. In the picture have the greatest exponent of the brand in 750, the Yamaha FZR 750 R 1989. The mythical OW-01, It shows the famous management Exup exhaust valve. The FZR 750 R came to something more than the 120 HP at 12,000 rpm and rubbed the 260 km/h top speed.

With the base and experience of the FZR750, Yamaha applied same formula on its flagship commercial catalogue of sports: the popular Yamaha FZR 1000 Exup. With the extra displacement, the biggest sports in the 80s and 90s Iwata firm surpassed with amplitude the 130 HP, reaching an impressive 145 HP at 10,000 rpm in the Yamaha FZR 1000 R Exup 1994 (pictured). With a speed less than the FZR 750 (5 speeds for the 1000) was enough to overcome the 270 km/h. Such was the success and acceptance of the model that endured with few changes and updates until well into the 2000s, with the Yamaha YZF 1000 R Thunderace.


In the small firm of Hamamatsu, Suzuki, the spectacular Suzuki Katana which already spoke you L Font marked the point of inflection between their sports. The GS and GSX Suzuki family gave many war from 1980 onwards. But in 1985 came between his Sports revolution, the Suzuki GSX-R 750. A sport that with the cold numbers not highlighted against its rivals.

With a power that was around the hundred or so horses, a weight of nearly 190 kg They reported a very outstanding dynamic qualities, that forged the legend altogether. Sporting achievements were soon to arrive, and still today, with more than 130 CV declared from the 90s (and more than 150 HP at high speed thanks to the RAM-AIR) can give scare to more than one, using as always his great balance power in curves and the high degree of refinement of your engine.


Kawasaki sports family began to have its boom in the 80’s with the GPZ, the family which would be the germ of the well known sports Ninja saga. In the picture we have the Kawasaki GPZ 900 R (ZX900 Ninja in Japan). The GPZ were highly successful in their different sizes (there were up to 250) the reliability of the same, capable of offering excellent benefits and its unique and advanced design at the time, with the bike faired partially leaving view engine.

But among others many models that have seen emerge the family Ninja, as sports radical and minimal concessions have to stay with which opened in Akashi brand acronym ZX-r the Kawasaki ZX-7R. A tetracilindrica in line that came to surrender up to 130 HP version of the series, with an imposing aluminium perimeter frame chassis (House brand) and a design that still today leaves no one indifferent. He released the air intakes RAM-AIR, took the brand to which long party taking advantage of experience in aerodynamics of the Japanese group, marking much to the Sports House until today.

The ZX-7R was the basis for competitions of Superbikes (especially in the version ZX-7RR single-seater and more radical), achieving several successes in resistance and the unique World Superbike world of the House in 1993. Unfortunately the model with over the years was less effective, to the extent that arrived at the end of its production in 2003 working with Carburetors, although it was still let good performances in his later years in Superbike. But it will always be one of the most representative and remembered Kawasaki models. On the street, the ZX-6R, the singular ZX-636R and the ZX-9R are that carried the baton of the success of the brand, especially since its appearance in the 90’s until 2002, since they were a very capable sporting but also of the more user friendly in everyday use.


We arrived at the signing of Soichiro Honda, and in this you will be with me in that the sports representation is simple and clear. The Honda VFR 750 (RVF-R in competition) and the CB-R series have been the strengths in sports for the brand. The Honda VFR 750 R It was a smash hit since its inception in 1987. They left traces its exceptional mechanical V4, as well as such personal details and yours as the rear swingarm. A great sport and more rational version was a great sport-turismo. All a beast of the circuits, internationally well-known and RC30, RC45, highlighting greatly in the first decade of the Superbike World Championship and in resistance. Although the RC30 and RC45 were very limited series versions, they had enough decaffeinated series benefits both in terms of weight and power. To get more, it was a matter of money and preparation.

The CB-R achieved successes even entered the 80. But it was not until the emergence of the Honda CBR 600 F When the acronym began to acquire the weight they have today. It was followed by the Honda CBR 600 F2 and F3, F4i RR. In higher-displacement versions, the Honda CBR 900 RR Fireblade (in the photo, the 2003, better known as the 954 by their exact displacement), CBR 1000 and CBR 1000 RR They also left Nick, always standing out for being a sport with a behavior somewhat less radical and more enjoyable on the street, such as the Kawasaki GPZ and ZX-R. They stood out by offering a very acceptable performance without being either a mechanical excessively complex compared to the competition. Also for this reason the CBR nor were those that dazzle by pure performance, but Yes by your balance.


No doubt missing many more models, that I did not want to reel off here to do endless post. But what less mention how strong that today sound Yamaha YZF-R stands for example. The appearance of the Yamaha YZF-R1 1998 (pictured) was a tremendous change to the sports family of Iwata. Is redicalizo more imagining, reaching his character be compared the explosive GP500. His scheme and formula moved to the Yamaha YZF-R6 repeating the same leap between her and the previous 600 Thundercat. In the extremely limited and exclusive Yamaha YZF-R7 the concept came to my mind to its maximum expression. It was the last released last under a limited series.

At Honda during the era of the rabid RC30 and RC45 to see its most widespread sport with a more radical plus, the CBR 600 F, you had to look to the circuits. In 2001 Honda launched along with an update of the 1999 CBR 600 F a double version: the Honda CBR 600 F4i Sport (in the picture). This version brought more radical touch that many users were asking the better-known CBR 600 F, standing for the seat in two heights (with cover for the tiny for passenger) instead of the earlier displaced and some lower ploughshare. To such an extent succeeded his host, who made history in the CBR 600 F as in a few years. It was without a doubt the key moment in which Honda decided it was time to radicalize the CBR family of great series, being from 2004 when would give light current CBR 600 1000 RR, taking much of the MotoGP brand image.

And would still be a few for comment: exclusivisima Honda NR750 ending printing character to the design of the VFR’s 92 hereinafter the 4t Honda VTR 1000 SP1, SP2 and Suzuki TL 1000 R, The Honda CBR 1100 XX Super Blackbird, the brutal Kawasaki ZZR 1100 Tomcat, ZX-10R, ZX-12R and ZZR 1400, The Suzuki GSX-R 1300 Hayabusa (first moto of great series on surpassing the 300 km/h) or even, why not, the exotic Yamaha RD500 LC y Suzuki RGV250 R y RG500 Gamma, of the few sports 2-stroke that have existed in series in the last two decades. Two decades of sports Nippon too fruitful to condense them in a couple of posts.