The Bulldog-Concept


This Informations are from Yamaha Design Cafe

The new Big Twin 1100, nicknamed Bulldog, has European genes. The bike is designed and made in Yamaha’s pilot plant on the outskirts of Milan in Italy.

Product planner: Oliver Grill

Oliver Grill, product planner at Yamaha head-office in Amsterdam, can see one of his personal dreams come true: “I still own a TR 1 from 1982, which was a true multiple talent at it’s time and I always liked it’s engine pulse, torque and sound. Bulldog of course supersedes the TR1 in every aspect and and suits my more relaxed riding style perfectly well. With it’s updated V-twin from XV 1100 Drag Star it has the ideal power-plant for ‘torque surfing’ and impresses with sensational pulse and torque. The bike offers a wide range of usage, from sporty riding on smaller roads to long distance touring. But unlike other versatile concepts, the rider never feels bored on it. And I am sure, couples will appreciate the passenger comfort too.”



Sport touring with custom elements

Relaxed sportstouring-Bulldog’s key features : > shaft drive

> sporty chassis with powerful brakes
> big V-twin engine with a lot of torque 
> large fuel tank with 20 liters for touring
> comfortable but still sporty riding position

So not only Oliver’s dream will come true when the new big V-twin will hit the roads in Europe. In the past years, many re-starters have made their first renewed motorcycle experience with custom machines. They appreciate the torque and the pulse of big V-engines. However the sporty side of riding enjoyment plays a minor role in the design of these custom bikes. In discussion with riders from many European countries the product planners in Amsterdam became aware of the desire for a more sporty concept with a V-twin engine. “This combination of a custom engine feeling in a sporty road chassis gives a very nice sensation in particular when cruising on smaller roads”, says Oliver. ” You don’t need to shift a lot, since this engine pulls strongly even from lower rpm. It is a pleasure to swing from one corner to the next . The machine feels stable and controllable in every situation and you suddenly discover, that you have even seen the small chalet or the nice street cafe on the side of the road, without missing the feeling of a sporty ride. I think it fits the mood of many riders today, who are looking for a sporty machine but at the same time enjoy a cool and relaxed riding style.”

A European concept

When the concept targets were put on paper some time ago, and presented to the engineers and planners in Japan, they all felt, that this was a real European concept. So the idea came up to shift design, engineering and production to Europe. Hiromi Yamamoto moved from Yamaha factory in Iwata to Gerno di Lesmo near Milan to take over the project coordination. Together with project leader Claudio Consonni they both put a team together to develop the bike in Belgarda, Yamaha’s Italian factory . The R&D team did all the design and development work on the spot. Yamaha’s European design office at Global Design in Amsterdam, took care of the styling of Bulldog. 

Coordinator between Japan and Italy Hiromi Yamamoto

Hiromi Yamamoto says: ” We had lots of challenges during the development. More than two-third of the parts come from Italy or other European suppliers. We had to make sure, that they meet our quality standards and therefore we integrated most of them in the design process. Bulldog has a few unusual design features, like backbone chassis with a aluminum casting for the rear arm for example. So we needed to check quality and manufacturing process very carefully.

Project leader:Claudio Consonni

Claudio Consonni adds: “Although the engine comes from Japan, we did a fair amount of modification to it, to make it suit the sporty chassis setup. With new intake and mufflers we achieved higher performance of 65 HP and at the same time also made sure that the torque curve is even higher than that of the Drag Star’s base engine. With some modifications to the aircleaner and carburetors we can quite easily realize even more power, should the market require this.”

Paolo Barlaam, responsible for testing adds:” We at Belgarda put a lot of effort into quality control to achieve the same finish and quality like the bikes from Japan. We were extremely strict with suppliers and ourselves in order to make sure nothing on this machine is lower standard than our guidelines.”

The final sketch which Bart presented before the bike went into 3D phase

Bart Janssen-Groesbeek from Global Design in Amsterdam was responsible for the styling development:”A naked motorcycle like the BT 1100 is one of the most interesting projects for a motorcycle designer: Every single part has to express it’s function but put together they have to create one strong visual impression. We wanted to design a bike that appeals to both experts and newcomers. The shape should somehow capture the essence of a motorcycle, at the same time basic but not boring, modern but without gimmicks. The shapes are pure but the design has lots of movement in plan view. The design focuses on the centre of the bike: the engine,frame and fueltank together form a condensed, strong mass. This is emphasized by the light looking tail and compact head light. The overall result is a powerful silhouette. Next to strong proportions, detail design was an important part of the project. Thanks to strong support from the R&D team, we could propose some new and interesting solutions. We wanted to combine modern technology with pure shapes and materials. For example the headlight has a traditional round outline but is completely modern in it’s construction with integrated aluminium supports. Overall it has been a great experience working on this project and we had a lot of fun.”

V-twin sensation

Nobuaki Kuwata manager at Gobal Design adds:” In recent years, Yamaha’s design has become more characteristic. We try in cooperation with the product planners to reinforce Yamaha’s strong design image with every model. YAMAHA has a strong tradition of creating new categories,with V-max ,TDM, recently with the MT-01 show model for example. With the Bulldog, we try to establish a new type of street bike,
using elements of different categories like “cruiser” and ” roadstar”. For me as design manager, my main task is to make sure the final result is as close as possible to the original concept. Bulldog was developed in parallel with MT-01 ,and it has somehow the same spirit “pure V-twin sensation.”

( Note:We will have a interview about MT01 with it’s designer Jun Tamura in August at Yamaha-designcafe)

The team:: Claudio Connsoni with his European and Japanese engineers, designers and technicians

The Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog is Yamaha’s first big bike, which is created, engineered and produced in one of Yamaha’s European factories for it’s European destinations. The production for 2001 is limited, get one before others do….






Technical Specifications

BT 1100



Type V-twin, aircooled 4-stroke SOHC
Displacement 1 063 cm3
Bore & Stroke 95 mm x 75 mm
Compression ratio 8,3 : 1
Lubrication Wet sump
Carburation BSR 37/2
Clutch Wet, multiple disc
Ignition Digital
Starter Electric
Gearbox 5 speed
Transmission Shaft



Maximum power 47,8 kW (65HP) @5 500 tr/min
Maximum torque 88,2 Nm @4 500 tr/min


Type Twin tube backbone
Overall length 2 200 mm
Overall height 1 140 mm
Overall width 800 mm
Seat height 812 mm
Ground clearance 168 mm
Wheel base 1 530 mm
Dry weight 229,5 kg
Fuel tank capacity 20 litres

Front wheel

Suspension Telescopic forks
Wheel travel 130 mm
Brake Dual disc, Ø 298 mm
Tyre 120/70 ZR17

Rear wheel

Suspension Link type swing arm
Wheel travel 113 mm
Brake Single disc, Ø 267 mm
Tyre 170/60 ZR17
* Specifications are subject to change without notice, in accordance with national regulations and legislations.



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