The Japan-based Yamaha Corporation -- in existence as a piano maker since the late 19th century -- made its first motorcycle as a means of capitalising on all the war-production machinery on its hands after World War II. Over the decades since then, Yamaha has changed its trademark motorcycle paint scheme several times. The paint colours the company chooses continue to remain distinctive from those of many other motorcycle makes and models.
Yamaha introduced its first motorcycle in 1955. This model was designated the YA-1. The bike's paint scheme was chestnut red and white. From time to time the motorcycle manufacturer has used the colour red for its paint scheme due to a belief that red is most associated with speed.
The colour scheme most identified with Yamaha is officially known as "Yamaha Pearl Blue" and white. Other colours offered by Yamaha over the years include green, black, orange and yellow.
In the 1970s Yamaha motorcycles were used to win some very prestigious world racing championships. The very formidable teams from the United States rode Yamaha motorcycles displaying yellow and black livery simply known as "Yamaha Yellow." The North American Yamaha racing teams reverted to this colour scheme in 2010 to mark the company's 50th anniversary of doing business in the States.