Yamaha Golf Car
Yamaha golf cars are presently manufactured at two factories, the Kakegawa factory in Japan, and the Atlanta factory in the USA. In 2000 the factories produced 8,000 and 40,000 carts, respectively. Yamaha has maintained a domestic market share of about 57% in Japan. In the USA Yamaha ranks behind Club Car and E-Z-GO who each have 37% and 35% market share.
The first model, G-1, was produced in 1979 with a gas engine. An electric version was later available in 1980. The last of the G-series was the G22. Their newest platform is "The Drive" golf car (YDR) available in 2007.
The Yamaha G1 had a 2-stroke engine. The G2-G9 models had a Yamaha-built 4-stroke 285cc 8.5 hp, single-cylinder engine. It has been said to have been a basic copy of Yamaha's motorcycle engine. After the 285 grew long-in-the-tooth, a 300cc was built on the same design platform, but it pumped out 9.5 hp. Next came a 301cc engine built on a new platform. It produced 10.0 hp, and is the design platform for the next 357cc engine. The newest engine of the Yamaha engine lineup is a 357cc, named the 357F, 11.4 hp engine. All of Yamaha's engine except the G1's are 4-stroke, overhead valve (OHV) engines. The Yamaha engine features a splash-style lubrication, in turn eliminating an oil pump and eliminating the need for an oil filter. This saves the cost of oil filter replacement at each tune-up. All Yamaha carts except the YDR ("The Drive") have a Dana/Spicer rear transaxle. The YDR uses TEAM clutch systems and a TEAM transaxle with its brakes housed in the casing, eliminating drum brakes on the two rear wheels.
All Yamahas have had a steel, tubular, whether in full or in part, frame.
Ever since the G2, Yamaha golf cars have had a strut front suspension/coilover swingarm rear. Up until the G22, they were live control arms with coilover struts mounting on the arm and to a tower welded to the frame. The G22 and The Drive models have an actual, automobile-like strut setup; in which it keeps the front wheels virtually vertical at all times. This design, is better handling and riding than a leaf spring suspension and or a fixed front axle used by some manufacturers. The rear suspension has a dual coilover shock, live axle/swingarm setup.