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TDM850 1988 - The first generation TDM850. In 1988, I spent several weeks in Japan building the initial clay model with GK Design. Quite a lot got changed after I left. The pipes were originally much higher, but the engineers were worried about heat dissipation, so they went for a more conventional location. These days, under-seat pipes are pretty common. Back then, it was mainly applicable to 2-strokes, where exhaust gas temperatures are 1/4 those of a 4-stroke.
TDR125 1987 - 1987 may be before some visitors to this site were born, but it was the year this Yamaha TDR125 was finalized - my first complete production bike design. Bits and pieces had gone into production during my time at BMW from 1984-6, but none of the complete models ever made it. Looking back, that was probably a good thing.
TDR125 painted clay 1987 - The painted clay model. Behind is a 50cc proposal that was cancelled.
TDR125 painted clay 1987 - Reworking the side panels after a presentation.
TDR125 series 2 concept sketch 1989/90 - The last of 8 proposals. Rough sketches were enough to show the concept. The brief stated that under no circumstances were we to use a Deltabox frame. I was disobedient on one sketch, and look what went into production.
TDR125 series 2 1991 - The second generation was modeled in Japan by GK Design around some sketches I'd made for them in Europe. The TDM850 influence was deliberate.
Hydra design study 1990 - Yamaha FZR1000 meets Star Trek. Okay, think back 21 years (those that can) - we have a product planning department that is convinced the newly-established race-replica market will be short-lived, and is looking for the next evolution of the species. Honda came up with the NR750. We came up with this baby. Hydraulic two-wheel drive and two-wheel steering - well, that's what the spec sheet said. The rest is foam and Bondo.
Hydra design study 1990
Hydra design study 1990 - The 'tank' was actually a storage area that could accept a full-face helmet. The real fuel tank was under the seat.
Hydra design study 1990 - Think 'Porsche 959', which had just been released.
MBK 50 Sports ca. 1987 - At the opposite end of the drawing techniques scale... here's a quick sketch done for MBK (Yamaha) around 1987 for a new 50cc moped range. The same layout was used as a basis for three very different versions. This is the sports model.
750 parallel twin sketch, 1988 - Supertenere-based naked twin proposal, although the project eventually morphed into the sportier TDM-based 850 TRX (anyone remember that one?). This was a development of an original concept by m'colleague Italo Cammarata.
Sketch proposal for the first generation Fazer 1000, 1998 - Sketch for the very first Fazer photoshopped on an FZR chassis . Interesting to see I'd badged it as an 1100 - this could have been deliberate misinformation from Yamaha to keep we freelancers in the dark. Date is 1998.
Proposal for the TDM 900, 1998
Published in Performance Bikes magazine (UK) in June 1989, this sketch was part of a series of advanced concepts for Yamaha during the GTS/Morpho II program. It was done very much in the style of Syd Mead, which is maybe why I left it unsigned. The flip-body idea would have worked well on the low Omega chassis and steering linkage system.
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Yamaha production designs

Work completed as Chief Designer with Global Design bv, Amsterdam (now GK Design Europe) 1987-90, and later as an independent consultant. TDM850 & TDR125 were the most notable models. With the exception of the Italian-produced TDR, most designs were finalized by GK Design in Japan.

Comments (4)
  • Hey!!! the Speed Triple!!! :)

    9 years ago

  • Sure that it must be very funny for you to hear that with the Crossrunner, Honda has invented a new motorcycle type ;)

    9 years ago

  • This was one of the actual design sketches for the current TDM 900, produced in 1998.

    9 years ago

  • a sporty evolved TDM , cool !

    9 years ago

  • a sporty evolved TDM , cool !

    9 years ago

  • This was one of the actual design sketches for the current TDM 900, produced in 1998.

    9 years ago

  • Sure that it must be very funny for you to hear that with the Crossrunner, Honda has invented a new motorcycle type ;)

    9 years ago

  • Hey!!! the Speed Triple!!! :)

    9 years ago

Glynn Kerr
Independent Motorcycle Designer Loomis, CA