From Musical Instruments to Outboard Motors

Whether you are an angler, skier, or party boater, you are may not be familiar that the early history of Yamaha outboard motors did not begin with boats. The company started when its founder, Torakusu Yamaha, who repaired watches and medical equipment, was asked to try his hand repairing a broken reed organ. His skills were the closest match in the remote city of Hamamatsu, Japan, so when the school principal asked him to fix the school’s beloved reed organ, he agreed to give it a try. On July 15, 1887, Yamaha successfully repaired the precious organ. Recognizing the lack of quality musical instruments, Torakusu decided to create a prototype reed organ of his own and established the Nippon Gakki Company (or Japan Musical Instrument Company), where he began producing portable reed organs. His company had 100 employees turning out approximately 250 instruments a year within two years.
If you are looking for outboard engines for sale in Palm Beach Gardens, you may not imagine that Yamaha had any relation to pianos, harmonicas, or motorcycles. In fact, at the turn of the century, Japan’s education ministry sent Torakusu to the United States to learn how to build pianos. This knowledge allowed Nippon Gakki to begin manufacturing upright pianos and grand pianos by 1902. In 1914, they introduced their first harmonica and started a worldwide export trade. By 1953, the business had a new name and was established as a motorcycle engine company – Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
Over the next five years, as Yamaha built motorcycles, they also expanded to produce sports equipment and electronic organs. By 1960, Yamaha International Corporation formed, now known as Yamaha Corporation of America. With a worldwide brand, the company soon developed its recreation business, produced lifestyle-related products, wind instruments, semiconductors, and established subsidiaries to produce musical instruments and audio equipment.
Motorcycle engines, though, are what proved to be the springboard for the company’s future. Their approach was building a four-gear transmission instead of three, which had been typical of engines in the late 1940s. The genius putting the gear-change pedal and kickstart pedal on the same axle so the engine could start no matter what gear the bike was in as long as the clutch is disengaged. This move was the groundbreaking design that made the motorcycle much easier to operate. 
New ventures continued, including a department that handled research and development for high-performance sports cars. Cars would not emerge until a later partnership with Toyota, but that early research cultivated Yamaha’s innovation in motorcycles, powerboats, sailboats, and outboard motors. 
The 1960s U.S. market experienced tremendous growth in boat ownership. At that time, Yamaha began experimenting with a new product called fiberglass reinforced plastic, which consisted of glass fibers woven into a cloth mixed with polyester resin. With its new runabout boat production in July 1960, the company also manufactured an outboard motor to adequately power the new lightweight material of which it was made. It was almost another 30 years before the company saw gains in the U.S. market with the demand for fuel injected outboard motors. Still, it was not long before Yamaha was soon competing as a worldwide brand in the outboard motor industry. 
ARG Marine is one of the reputed Yamaha outboards dealers in Riviera Beach. Stop in today to check out our latest collection of Yamaha outboards or contact us by phone or email to know more about buying a new or used Yamaha boat motor.