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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Does Yamaha’s “Faster Wasp” Concept Portend a Protection Retro ? (With Video)


Following up on last week’s video teaser, Yamaha has produced another video (see below), several photographs and the following press release on a 3-cylinder retro designed by Roland Sands Designs. The powerplant is based on the FZ-09 849 cc triple, enhanced with custom and RSD hardware, as specified in the press release below.  According to an article on the Visor Down web site, various trademark and domain name reservations by Yamaha confirm a production model is on its way derived from this concept.  We shall see.

Here is the press release from Yamaha:

Following in the footsteps of Shinya Kimura, Roland Sands has stepped up and collaborated with Yamaha to create an exciting new chapter in the ‘Faster Sons’ story. Taking everything cool and iconic from Yamaha’s Sport Heritage bike building philosophy and taking it to the next level with pure sports DNA running through its veins.

The ‘Faster Wasp’, is Californian custom builder Roland Sands’ fifth Yamaha collaboration, and is a thoroughbred concept with more than a hint of legend Kenny Roberts in its design.

A professional racer himself, Roland Sands embraced the ‘Faster Sons’ philosophy of classic timeless style blended with cutting edge Yamaha technology and added a third element, infusing Yamaha’s racing pedigree into the mix. The result is a machine with massive impact, paying tribute to Kenny Roberts’ iconic TZ750 in instantly recognisable yellow and black ‘bumblebee’ colour scheme with just as much bite. Taking Yamaha’s latest 850cc in-line 3-cylinder engine with a lightweight aluminium frame, the ‘Faster Wasp’ has a serious sting in its tail with powerful performance wrapped in a classic package.

“Faster Sons is a mind-set to respect what comes from the old days, pureness, quality materials and design simplicity, blended with cutting edge technology”, commented Yamaha Motor Europe Product Manager, Shun Miyazawa. “Roland did a fantastic job with this build, respecting this philosophy in great detail. This has given us a huge confidence and, as with Shinya Kimura’s concept, has again confirmed our direction and bike building philosophy. We are working on future Faster Sons products and this concept is going to help us to accelerate bringing future products to the market.”


“I go way back with Yamaha,” said Roland Sands. “I used to race TZ250 race bikes and ride a lot of Yamaha dirt bikes off-road so I have a lot of history. When I see what the Yamaha brand has done and where they want to go I find it really inspiring. We’ve built quite a few bikes together already. The triple package is really lightweight and performs really well. It’s not a race bike but it brings that level of race performance into a consumer friendly bike, which is great because it brings the fun factor. For me, that’s a great platform to build a custom on, I feel a bike needs to be fun, so you can have a good time but have good performance as well. This Faster Sons concept we’ve worked together on, bringing my racing heritage together with Kenny Roberts, one of my heroes and smashing it together with the triple has made a fun project to work on and I’m really happy with the end result.”

The concept build features numerous parts by Roland Sands Designs, including the hand-fabricated aluminum gas tank, tail section, intake scoops, radiator covers, front number plate & front fender. There’s also a prototype Clarity timing cover, prototype rearsets, rear brake reservoir and prototype case guards. The chain guard, timing plug, axle sliders and gas cap are also all prototype RSD items.

The ‘Faster Wasp’ rolls on RSD Morris forged aluminium wheels (17×3.5” front & 17×6.0” rear) wrapped in Dunlop Q3 tyres. The screaming triple sound track comes courtesy of Two Bros Racing stainless steel headers with an RSD Slant muffler. The power is transferred to the back wheel with Renthal sprockets and stopping power comes from RSD custom superbike front brake rotors, Performance Machine radial brake calipers, an RSD Radial brake master cylinder and Spiegler brake lines.


An RSD cable clutch perch and Barnett custom clutch cable keep the gears in check and RSD Nostalgia handlebar risers, Renthal FATbar handlebars and RSD Traction grips give the rider total control. An Öhlins front fork cartridge kit and Öhlins rear shock keep the ride tight and Samco cooling lines adds a race level touch of detail.

The stunning look of the ‘Faster Wasp’ is perfectly detailed with a custom leather seat by Bitchin Seat Co., that amazing yellow and black colour scheme by Airtrix and Cerakote by Specialized Coatings.


See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Norm G. says:

    i love it. this is all me with the OG superbike style. give me morris mags with those solid rotors or give me death…!

  2. bmbktmracer says:

    The design is not good. Tank shape is hideous. Number plates are hideous. The paint and gold wheels are cool, but they’re takeaways from the Kenny Roberts era of the late 70s. I love the idea and many of the details are cool, but I feel like this one really misses the mark. Also, why is Roland Sands attempting to talk like Jesse James? Very funny.

  3. Earl Waitman says:

    I just called Yamaha Sports only customer contact number. Got connected to 2 Susie Senseless types who had no idea wtf I was even talking about. I even asked for someone in Product Development and still could only converse with these 2 superb Customer Service Reps. I just wanted to register my positive comments on a production (or is that “protection”) version (apologies for smart a** remark). I don’t know why, after 66 years, I still believe I can advance the cause of intelligent interchange between consumers and large corporations. Ain’t Happenin’. Maybe they’ll read it here: “Yamaha, Please, Please, Please build this bike just like Roland built it. Just make it barely legal and we Old Guys will buy in volume.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I don’t know why, after 66 years, I still believe I can advance the cause of intelligent interchange between consumers and large corporations.”

      you’re so silly.

  4. Denis says:

    3 cylinders is just plain stupid.

  5. Grover says:

    Me like!

  6. Neil says:

    I like it. Nothing like a really good naked bike. The essence of the ride. Great motor with a nice build around it. I’m in.

  7. Blackcayman says:

    I really fell for the DT-07 styling….this, not so much

  8. Buzz says:

    Maybe a Protection Retro will only be sold to aging bodyguards.

  9. Wendy says:

    This is a great idea, let’s hope that Yamaha builds a close version of it.

  10. Sean says:

    Finally a modern bike with retro influences that will actually perform. I like it.

  11. jimmihaffa says:

    One of the few RSD designs that doesn’t have that “Mad Max to the max” look. It’s certainly aesthetically pleasing in this trim, but I wonder if much of its appeal wouldn’t get lost in translation to a production-spec, price point-defined machine.

  12. Provologna says:

    Title: “Protection?” Did you mean “Production?”

  13. JimS says:

    I was a teenager in the seventies and this made my blood run wild. I love this bike! I hated it when Yamaha went away from their yellow/black scheme for their race bikes. Now if Honda would just become passionate about motorcycles again I’d really be happy.

  14. Jeremy in TX says:

    I’d be very surprised if Yamaha produces a variation of the FZ-09 that largely resembles this. I hope they surprise me.

    • falcodoug says:

      If Yamaha made this I would sell my Tuono. Started out in the 70’s riding a DR350 so I could go back.

  15. HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

    The Yamaha yellow and black is a great color scheme and I usually like Roland’s work. But, every flat track inspired bike in history is much nicer than this one. The proportions, lines, and everything else is just really wrong.

    • mickey says:

      I don’t see it as so much flat track inspired but more as TZ road racer inspired. Tank shape, tail shape fender shape, Goodyear eagle logo all says road racer not flat tracker.

      • Doc says:

        It’s definitely TZ inspired. With that as a basis and the yellow and black paint and some other details, it’s way better looking than an FZ-09. Origami is not my thing and will not age well. This is much better. Too bad it’s a Yamaha.

        • TimC says:

          Uh apparently my comment didn’t make it past “moderation.” So I’ll rephrase – what specifically is wrong with Yamaha?

      • GKS says:

        My thoughts exactly. That tail section is most definitely TZ not flat tracker.

  16. todd says:

    I’d take that bike even with a 660 single in it.

    • CB says:

      No doubt. I’d take it and just push it around… Well done!

    • mickey says:

      Sorry Todd went to reply and fat finger hit report… Man I wish theyd move those further apart for us Impad users..anyhow what I was going to say was that thumper you posted was awesome. I could never reach the clip ons and still see the road, but if I were 30 again, I’d tear it up on that thing. Very cool.

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