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Why Yamaha is the Best for Powersports

Why Yamaha is the Best for Powersports

Learn why Yamaha is the best for powersports equipment and why I choose them after working with their engineers during my time at Ford.
Dave Mann
March 18, 2024
5 min read
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Why Yamaha is the Best for Powersports

Top Insights

  • In my professional experience, working with Yamaha engineers on the Ford Taurus SHO (Super High Output) vehicle, I saw Yamaha's meticulous focus on quality engineering firsthand.
  • Having owned Yamaha's since I was a teenager, I've rarely had any mechanical problems with them and have been able to maximize my enjoyment actually using their powersports products instead of repairing them.
  • When combined with AMSOIL dirt bike products, my Yamaha's experience bulletproof reliability even though I run them often and in rough conditions.

Meet The Author

“Hi, I’m Dave - a former Ford Truck/Automotive Engineer and the face behind Performance Oil Technology. My trucks, heavy equipment, farm and powersports vehicles experience extreme use, and I use AMSOIL products in every single one; learn more about me here. Have a question? Contact me here. Enjoy the site!”

From An Ex-Ford Engineer

There are many choices for powersports vehicles these days, including dirt bikes, side-by-sides, and ATVs. 

Many years ago, there were just a handful of manufacturers, and the choices were much more limited. 

Since so many choices exist, how do you determine the best powersports brand when making a purchasing decision? 

Choosing a Brand for Your Next Dirt Bike, SxS or ATV

Each person may have different parameters and things that are important to them, such as price, performance, horsepower, torque, speed, ease of maintenance, parts availability, dealer network, reliability, quality, suspension system, and many more. 

However, a few are not to be compromised. The items that I absolutely will not compromise on, at any price point, are performance, engineering, materials and manufacturing quality, reliability, durability, ease of maintenance/serviceability, and safety.

Working with Yamaha Engineers at Ford

I’ll share a short story from my days as a Ford Engineer working with Yamaha Engineers from Japan on developing the Taurus SHO (Super High Output) vehicle

Ford has a metric called TGW, Things Gone Wrong per 1000 vehicles; the numbers are established based on various criteria they target during engineering and development. 

During a meeting, while looking at a vehicle in the experimental area, we reviewed prototype parts and discussed factors essential for this engine that Yamaha would make for Ford. 

We told the Yamaha Engineers what the TGW target was. 

They stepped aside and discussed it amongst themselves in Japanese. 

Then Yamaha’s Chief Engineer said, “Sorry, we cannot make anything go wrong. There will be nothing wrong with this engine; it will be perfect.” 

And they were right. It was one of the best engines, with proven reliability, durability, and high performance over many years of production.

I was impressed with Yamaha Engineers, who were confident there would be no problems. 

My Yamaha Dirt Bikes & Other Brands

I related this to the various models and manufacturers of dirt bikes I had growing up, to what I had then, and to my current fleet of Yamahas. I thought of all the problems I have had, and the ones I had no issues with were the Yamahas and Hondas, followed very closely by the Suzukis and Kawasakis (and the problems I did have with them were minor). 

Just routine maintenance of worn items, such as chains, brake pads, tires, spark plugs, oil, filters, suspension fluids, etc. 

I have never had to replace a clutch in my Yamaha dirt bikes, and I am not easy on them. I ride them hard, and often, I have miles of my trails, making it very easy to get out and ride regularly without having to plan, pack up, and load up trucks, trailers, and fuel. 

my yamaha yz250fx parked on one of my many dirt bike trails
My YZ250FX

I’m not going to mention the brands I owned that I did have more issues and repairs with, as I have had a lot of different brands, some still around today, others out of business. 

Brands such as Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki (and I have owned them all, and still own Yamaha dirt bikes, ATVs, and SxS; Suzuki’s dirt bikes and Arctic Cat ATV, and snowmobiles with Suzuki engines) are all excellent manufacturers with similar quality to Yamaha and are my favorites. 

I recall a recent article in a popular dirt bike magazine where they did a shootout with all the popular brands of motocross bikes and ranked them according to similar factors as I have discussed in this article. Yamaha was at the top, followed closely by Kawasaki, Honda, and Suzuki. 

This is not to say all the others are not good quality machines; many are popular and perform well. However, they may have more maintenance/repair concerns than these brands.

My time is limited; I want to get my gear and machines, hit the trails, and have fun when I am ready to ride. I don’t have time for major repairs, overhauls, or replacing pistons, gears, pumps, or other internal engine parts. 

I don’t want to wrench on my machines when I could be riding, other than routine maintenance or the occasional upgrade (skid plate, brake rotor guards, steering stabilizers, hand guards, to name a few). 

I don’t see the point in purchasing a machine that will take more of my valuable time and money in maintenance and repairs. I prefer buying powersports machines engineered and manufactured for performance, durability, and reliability, so I can ride them and have more fun. 

For me, that brand is Yamaha.

Why I Use AMSOIL in My Powersports Vehicles

AMSOIL is the brand of engine oil, gear lubes, suspension fluids, and chain lube I use in my dirt bikes, ATVs, and SxSs. 

I spent many years evaluating different dirt bike oils before I decided to use AMSOIL, and this was long before I decided to become an AMSOIL Dealer; this topic is the subject of another article. 

My favorite dirt bike oils that I prefer to use are the AMSOIL 10W-40 100% Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil (used in my Suzuki and Yamaha trail bikes), AMSOIL 10W-50 100% Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil (which I use in my Yamaha YZ250FX and Yamaha YZ450F), AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Powersports 0W-40 100% Synthetic Motor Oil in my ATV’s and AMSOIL 10W-40 ATV/UTV 100% Synthetic Motor Oil in my side-by-sides.

While on the subject of rock-solid, bulletproof durability, reliability, and extreme performance, I will mention my Rokon Military Tactical Edition 2x2 ATV. 

They have been around since 1958, purchased by enthusiasts all over the world as well as the military. The only thing I have had to do with my Rokon since I bought it in 2013 is change the engine oil and gear lube. It is a fantastic machine capable of climbing a 60% grade and going where no other machines can go and never worrying about breaking down in the middle of nowhere. 

my rokon 2x2 military tactical edition in the snow
My Rokon Military Tactical Edition 2x2

I use the AMSOIL 10W-30 100% Synthetic Small Engine Oil in the Kohler 7Hp Engine and the AMSOIL 75W-90 100% Synthetic Severe Gear Lube in the front and read drive boxes and the AMSOIL Chain Lube on the front and rear chains.

Note: These are only my personal opinions and choices based on my many decades of experience as an engineer riding, maintaining, and servicing dirt bikes, ATVs, SxSs, and snowmobiles. Do your own research and make your own choices as to what is best for you. I hope you found this article useful.

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