cool things with wheels, since 2006
It's for testing tires. The tire companies have riders whose skills are to test tires under different conditions, but also have to be able to repeat over and over again a specific riding pattern. These are the people who can tell you what brand tire a bike has, and how used and old it is, by merely doing a lap or two, not having seen the tires.A robot rider will be able to do test riding even more consistenly.Honda is developing all sorts of robots too, and it's possible that Yamaha also sees a market there too. And then of course there the coolness factor of it all, and the publicity Yamaha gets by building such stuff, and getting featured everywhere, up to and including on this blog.
Well, darn it that makes sense.