Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

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Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes.

The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model.

The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW — the thought is that the “M” model could be a MotoGP inspired bike, however that is just conjecture at this point.

One alternate theory is that since Yamaha internally uses letters within model names to denote different color or paint schemes for dealers and parts suppliers, we could be seeing the same trend here, with “R1S” and “R1M” being different paint jobs or liveries.

Though, we are not sure why Yamaha would all of a sudden then start trademarking those names worldwide, when it has never done so in the past, it is one logical explanation for the less-than-obvious model names.

Filed on January 17th, 2014, the US trademarks were made available to the American public on April 1st, which makes for a good April Fools conspiracy theory — if you can stretch your imagination that far. With the filings being worldwide though, it seems unlikely that Yamaha Motor go to so much effort, only to then abandon the new trademarks in order to fool overly zealous journalists.

Sometimes trademarks are filed for market-specific reasons, which would explain their use in one, maybe two, countries, but again the extensive filings would suggest that Yamaha has a product coming that will be available worldwide, rather than the motorcycle manufacturer taking a defensive position with its trademarks in a specific country.

As we chew on all that, we are still waiting to see what will come from Yamaha’s “YZF-R3” & “R3” trademark filings, especially as the tuning fork brand has held-off from releasing its second model on the RevStation launch site — which is almost surely to be the Yamaha YZF-R25 250cc sport bike.

Much ado about nothing so far, it will be interesting though to see whether Yamaha segments out its R1 platform. If it does, we will be left wondering if that is a sign that the tuning fork brand is ready to introduce an all-new superbike for 2015, as usually special models are cost-effective ways to blow out remaining inventory on a specific model.

Source: USPTO & OHIM