Yamaha is known in motorcycling communities all across the world as a manufacturer of high performance motorcycles, both at the entry level and also at the premium superbike level. The Japanese brand has made its presence felt in the international motorcycle market for a few decades now, and has a wide range of performance motorcycles in its product portfolio, but we have not seen the performance motorcycles from Yamaha being launched in India for quite some time now.
In India Yamaha has been concentrating more on scooters and entry level commuter motorcycles of late and the last proper entry level performance motorcycle Yamaha launched in India was the YZF-R15. The FZ series and the Fazer are not bad, but are more of commuter motorcycles than performance machines.
It looks like Yamaha has learnt their lesson over the past few months, with a steep increase in the sales of entry-level as well as premium performance motorcycles of their competitors. The effect of this bitter lesson learnt by Yamaha has increased after European competitors like Triumph and Benelli began selling their motorcycles in the Indian market.
As a result of this, the good folks at Yamaha have decided to start concentrating on launching performance motorcycles in India again. Over the period of the next two years, Yamaha will be launching a number of performance motorcycles in the Indian market, in the low-capacity high performance segment as well as in the premium 600cc+ superbike segment.
One of the first motorcycles to be launched in India by Yamaha under this plan will be, the Yamaha YZF-R3. Yamaha has decided not to launch the YZF-R25 in the Indian market, but instead they have decided to launch the bigger YZF-R3 here which was developed for the European market. We suspect this move by Yamaha is so that they may have a more effective competitor to the KTM RC390.
The 321cc parallel-twin engine in the Yamaha R3 produces 42 PS of maximum power and a peak torque of 29.6 NM. By launching the R3, Yamaha will be going head to head against Kawasaki, with their Ninja 300R. The Yamaha YZF-R3 is expected to be priced at around Rs. 3 lakhs and will be launched later this year, around the festive season.
The next performance motorcycle that Yamaha will be launching in India is the MT-25, a low capacity, high performance naked bike. The MT-25 has not yet been launched globally and the production ready prototype has not even been displayed at any motorcycle show, but it has been spotted testing on numerous occasions in the past few months.
The MT-25 is powered by a 250cc parallel twin engine, which also does duty in the YZF-R25. The high-revving 250cc parallel twin engine has a maximum power output of 36 PS and a maximum torque figure of 22.6 NM. With these figures, the MT-25 will leave its nearest competitors, the KTM Duke 200 and the Kawasaki Z250 in its dust and will definitely threaten the Benelli TNT 300.
Moving-up in the performance scale, Yamaha has already launched its flagship range – YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M in India, the company will also be launching the new MT-07 naked motorcycle soon. Looks like Indian performance biking enthusiasts who like Yamaha and its products are in for a treat, they just have to wait with patience till the launches actually happen.
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Also see: Yamaha imports two units of R3 for R&D