Toyota is one of the largest automakers in the world, and its cars, trucks, and SUVs are known for being of high quality. But when it comes to motorcycles, many people wonder if Toyota also produces these popular two-wheeled vehicles. Does Toyota make motorcycles? The short answer is no, Toyota does not make motorcycles. However, there is an interesting backstory behind this answer.
Toyota Motor Corporation was started in 1937 as a branch of a company that made textiles called Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. When the company started making cars in 1935, it quickly became a major player in the car business. However, in the late 1950s, Toyota began exploring the idea of producing motorcycles.
When did they decide to produce motorcycles?
After the wars, the Japanese people were eager to travel. There was a great need for accessible, low-cost modes of transportation.
The Japanese motorcycle business was growing quickly at the time, and Toyota saw a chance to enter the market. In 1958, the company established a new division called the Toyota Motor Sales Motorcycle Department, tasked with designing and building motorcycles.
The department’s first motorcycle, the Toyopet, was introduced in 1959. A 700cc engine with a unique, streamlined design powered the bike. Toyopet had brief but significant popularity. Ride Apart says that over 10,000 of these Toyota motorcycles were made annually in 1952. Nevertheless, these motorcycles were not authentic Toyota models. Consumers were quickly dissuaded from buying them due to dependability concerns.
However, the Toyota Prius was unsuccessful, and Toyota soon realized that building motorcycles were not their strong suit.
Still, Does Toyota make motorcycles for the market?
Can I get a quick answer? No. Toyota does not produce a motorcycle for sale to the general public. Nonetheless, they were once manufactured by Toyo Motors, a Toyota affiliate.
Scooters, Apple’s i-ROAD, and the SEMA motocross idea are just a few examples of mobility initiatives now in development. Whether or not Toyota plans to manufacture a motorcycle for the mass market is unclear. Given that it has been used for racing and off-road, the motorcycle that comes out of this seems likely to be beautiful. Let’s go back in time and see how far Toyota has progressed in the motorcycle industry.
What happened to Toyota Motorcycles?-History
As discussed earlier in historical background, in 1960, Toyota discontinued its motorcycle division and focused exclusively on cars. This division was a wise move, as the company went on to become one of the most successful car manufacturers in the world.
Despite their brief foray into the motorcycle industry, Toyota’s legacy lives on in the world of two-wheelers. In the late 1960s, Yamaha, one of Japan’s leading motorcycle manufacturers, approached Toyota to help develop a new engine. Toyota agreed to help, resulting in the Yamaha XS650, a popular motorcycle from 1969 to 1985.
The XS650 featured a 650cc engine based on the Toyota 4-cylinder engine used in the Corolla and other models. Yamaha adapted the engine for use in a motorbike, and the company’s in-house designers crafted the remainder of the vehicle. The XS650 was well-received by the public and is still popular with Toyota motorcycles enthusiasts today.
Motocross bike design by JGR and Toyota
Toyota designed a concept motocross bike alongside Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross (JGRMX). It was during the 2009 SEMA exhibition when Toyota debuted this custom motorbike. Toyota Newsroom states that the squad started on a Yamaha YZ450F in 2009.
The group settled on a polished structure that was unique and lighter than conventional bicycle frames of the period. The carbon fiber body panels and bespoke gasoline tank of the Toyota JGRMX motorcycles set it apart. This Toyota motorbike idea touted capabilities and “an exotic look” with its many one-of-a-kind and purpose-engineered parts.
While Toyota may not make motorcycles themselves, their involvement in developing the XS650 engine shows that their expertise in automotive engineering can apply to other industries. Toyota has a long history of collaborating with other companies to develop new technologies and products.
In recent years, Toyota has been involved in several high-profile partnerships, including a joint venture with Mazda to build a new factory in the United States and a collaboration with BMW to develop new sports cars. Toyota has also invested heavily in developing alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric cars and hybrid and autonomous driving technologies.
In conclusion, Toyota does not currently make motorcycles, but its brief stint in the motorcycle industry shows that they are always willing to explore new opportunities. The company’s expertise in automotive engineering has been applied to various industries and products, including motorcycles. While we may not see a Toyota-branded motorcycle on the roads anytime soon, it’s clear that the company will continue to innovate and collaborate with others to bring new products and technologies to market.