The History of the Yamaha YZF 750

by Rob Wagner

The Yamaha YZF750 R and YZF750 SP were short-lived sport street bikes produced from 1993 to 1998. Yamaha sold YZF750 R model only in the United States, although some ended up in the United Kingdom. The YZF750 SP limited edition featured different carburetion and other minor mechanical changes. Few changes were made during YZF750s' lifespan. By the end of the 1990s, it had become outdated, couldn't match the power of its competitors, and ceased production.


Yamaha based the YZF750s on its world-class competition bike, the OWO1, but they did not share any mechanical components. It quickly gained a reputation for its nimble handling and sharp steering. Its handling on curvy roads was more like a bike in the 600 cc range instead of the bigger 750s, but over long distances it performed like a 750 with a fully adjustable --hlins suspension system. Yamaha employed its Exhaust Ultimate Powervalve system, which featured a valve in the exhaust pipe that opened and closed at pre-set rpms to enhance mid-range power. This feature helped it reach the quarter mile in 10.6 seconds at 129 mph. Its top speed was 160 mph.

YZF750 R

The standard R model was Yamaha's first upgrade of the 750 cc class bike in about a decade, as the motorcycle maker had focused on 600 cc and 1000 cc racing competition. The R model's Exhaust Ultimate Powervalve system was the biggest improvement over the previous FZ750 models. The R also featured bigger bore carbs and a higher compression ratio. Further upgrades over the FZ750 were the YZF750's new aluminum Delta-box frame placed on a short 55.9-inch wheelbase. This compact and ultra-lightweight frame accommodated a forward sloping engine that took its design cues from high-performance superbikes.

YZF750 R Specs

The 1993 and 1994 R models featured a liquid-cooled four-cylinder, four-stroke engine with five valves per cylinder. The engine's bore was 2.8 inches and the stroke measured 1.8 inches. The compression ratio was 11.5-to-1. Four Mikuni BDST38 carbs delivered fuel from the tank to help the engine deliver 125 horsepower. A chain-driven six-speed transmission matched the engine. The front suspension featured an adjustable preload rebound and compression system, and the rear was a single-shock with adjustable preload. Stopping power came from dual front 12.5-inch disc brakes with six-piston calipers, while the rear was a single 9.6-inch disc brake with a two-piston caliper. The bike rode on 17-inch wheels. Its dry weight was 494 lbs.


The YZF750 SP was the racing version of the standard R model. It featured the front and rear --hlins suspension system later adopted by the R model, a larger 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide carburetor, an improved valve gear, different cams and a lower windscreen. Its most noticeable feature was the single rider seat. Thanks to the stiffer sport suspension, it rode harder than the R model, making navigation of bumpy roads or twisting through slow traffic a sometimes back-aching chore. Although the bigger Keihin carb sucked in more fuel, the overall engine performance differed little from the YZF750 R.

About the Author

Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.