Honda Motor Co. and Yamaha Motor Co. are exploring opportunities to develop and produce "Class-1 category" models to create production efficiency and meet more stringent safety and emissions standards in the Japanese domestic motorcycle market.

“Through this collaboration with Yamaha, we will continue to offer Class-1 category products that go beyond the expectations of our customers. With that, we will devote all of our efforts to revitalize the motorcycle market in Japan and establish a market environment that enables the popularization of electric motorcycles at the earliest possible timing,” said Shinji Aoyama/Operating Officer and Director, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Yamaha is looking to outsource production of its 50 cc scooter model from Honda's Kumamoto facility which manufactures the Honda TACT and Giorno 50 cc scooter models for the Japanese domestic market. Yamaha is planning to sell models rebadged as the Jog and Vino before the end of 2018.

Both companies are looking to jointly develop a new 50 cc business scooter model. Currently, Honda markets a Benly, while Yamaha has its Gear model. Jointly developing will allow both companies to achieve better economies of scale as well as save on R&D costs to meet increasingly stringent regulations. Honda is being eyed as the production supplier for both makers.

“We believe that our collaborative activities, which will start with an OEM alliance, will go beyond the framework of a mere product supply alliance and carve out a future motorcycle culture in Japan,” said Katsuaki Watanabe/Managing Executive Officer and Director, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.

While the Honda-Yamaha partnership is exclusive to Japan, both companies have revealed that they will work together on the development in promoting Class-1 category electric motorcycles. Both makers are looking to address various issues relevant to electric motorcycles such as range, charging time, performance and cost. The end goal is to make afforable zero emission electric motorcycles to initially offer for the domestic market.