Yamaha Plans New Test Facility

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is investing about $60 million in the construction of a new motorcycle test facility in Japan. The site, in Kikugawa City, will be Yamaha's fifth and largest test facility.

Construction of the Yamaha Motor Kikugawa Test Course is scheduled to begin in October 2009 and end in the second half of 2012. Six courses will be constructed over 120 acres.

Out of concern for environmental preservation, Yamaha Motor says it will plant vegetation along the perimeter of the course. The company says it also will preserve all wildlife ecosystems found in the wooded area of the current site where possible.

Yamaha Motor operates four test courses in Japan for the development of the company's motorcycles, automobile engines, ATVs and snowmobiles: the Fukuroi Test Course (Fukuroi City, Shizuoka Pref.), Trail Land Hamakita (Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Pref.), Hamaoka Test Course (Omaezaki City, Shizuoka Pref.) and the Shibetsu Test Course (Shibetsu City, Hokkaido).

Yamaha's production in Japan in 2007 totaled 430,319 units, down from 452,561 units in 2006. The company's exports from Japan totaled 362,707 units, down from 392,930 units shipped in '06.