Yamaha has gotten ahead of its Japanese competitors in its environmental efforts. The company has become the first moto manufacturer in Japan to introduce green aluminum to motorcycles.
Yamaha has been using green aluminum as a raw material in its bike parts since February 2023. Although it didn’t disclose models, the firm said it’s initially using the metal for certain parts in large-displacement and off-road competition motorcycles.
The company plans to eventually introduce green aluminum to a broader range of bikes if it can source sufficient amounts, Yamaha said in a statement.
Some bikes that will likely feature sustainable aluminum parts in the future include the Yamaha MT-09 SP and YZ450F. The aluminum is set to find its way to, among others, wheels, swingarms, frames, and brackets.
“Through the development of its engineering and production technologies and expertise, Yamaha Motor has actively pushed the use of recycled aluminum, which now comprises some 80% of Yamaha Motor's aluminum usage. This introduction of green aluminum is meant to complement this and will be employed for parts that still cannot be manufactured with recycled materials,” the company said.
Green aluminum is aluminum that uses renewable energy in its refinement process, cutting carbon emissions from manufacturing by up to 60%, depending on the specific manufacturer. As aluminum parts can make up anything from a tenth to a third of a motorcycle's components, Yamaha states green aluminum is an effective method to lower a bike’s lifetime carbon emissions.
The move to green aluminum is part of Yamaha’s wider Environmental Plan 2050, which aims to achieve total carbon neutrality across all of Yahama Motors’ business activities by 2050. By that year, Yamaha hopes to be using 100% sustainable materials in its bikes, including plant-based resins, recyclable polypropylene, and other green materials.