We continue our series where we tell you the motorcycles that are still not available in the Indian market, despite the high potential. Today, we'll talk about the evading Yamahas.
Yamaha Star Venture
Honda has the Gold Wing; Indian Motorcycle has the Roadmaster, and Harley-Davidson has the CVO Limited. All of them are available in India. Yamaha has something similar too—the Star Venture—but it doesn't sell that here in India. It should.
The most expensive Star Venture variant is listed at $26,999 (Rs.20.40 lakh as per today's exchange rate) on the Yamaha USA website. For CVO Limited, the Harley-Davidson USA website shows that the price starts at $ 44,039 (Rs 33.28 lakh). In India, the BS4 CVO Limited's ex-showroom price was Rs 50.53 lakh. The BS6 bike isn't available yet.
Indian Motorcycle USA website shows $38,999 (Rs 29.47 lakh) for the top-end Elite variant of the Roadmaster. In India, it's the ex-showroom price was Rs 49.30 lakh for the BS4 model. Honda USA website lists the top-end Gold Wing at $27,500 (Rs 20.75 lakh) whereas in India its ex-showroom price is Rs 27.77 lakh, still making it the most affordable of the lot.
The Star Venture will also cost more, obviously, than it does in the US, but it would still be a lot cheaper than both the H-D and Indian flagships. It will also be a tad cheaper than the Gold Wing.
You can see that the Yamaha Star Venture should be the cheapest in its segment in India as well and that too without compromising on the features which make these motorcycles more luxurious than some business class travel options. For example, Yamaha's dual-zone audio control allows you and your pillion to choose different audio sources, which means that both of you don't necessarily have to listen to the same music. It also allows you to take separate phone calls simultaneously, among other things.
The Star Venture is powered by a 1,854 cc air-cooled V-twin and weighs 437 kg (top-end Transcontinental variant) with a full tank of fuel.
It's almost appalling that Yamaha doesn't sell the R6 in India. Even a cursory glance at some of the "Superbike Classifieds" will tell Yamaha how mad people are for the R6 in our country. Among all the Japanese Supersports (Honda CBR 600 RR, Yamaha YZF-R6, Kawasaki ZX-6R, and Suzuki GSX-R600), it's the YZF-R6 that commands the most premium in the grey market.
Yamaha India should capitalize on the popularity and launch what is known as the most committed supersport bike of them all.
Most might not realize but the fact is that there is just no on/off-road (adventure or dual sport) motorcycle in India for short riders. The lovely Hero XPulse 200 has a seat height of 223 mm which is high for anyone who's shorter than five and a half feet.
The RE Himalayan comes with a very reasonable seat height of 800 mm, and though people between 5'0" and 5'4" can at least tiptoe on it, it gets challenging, especially off-road, because the Himalayan is heavy (kerb weight is 199 kilograms).
It must be noted that both these motorcycles have astounding ground clearance (220 mm). For perspective, that's more than the gargantuan BMW R 1250 GS Adventure's. Just so you know, the BMW's seat height is 890 mm at its lowest setting and 910 mm at its highest.
What about the Yamaha TW200, then? It features an ultra-low (for a dual-sport motorcycle) seat height of 790 mm and still manages an unbelievable 264 mm of ground clearance! You get a decent amount of suspension travel, too—160 mm in the fork and 150 mm in the mono-shock. Also, at 126 kilograms fully fuelled, the TW200 would be the lightest dual-sport motorcycle in the country! For reference, the already light XPulse 200's kerb weight is 157 kg.
Just bring this wonder to India, Yamaha!
Yamaha V Star 250
Forget the absence of a cruiser in Yamaha India's lineup, the sad part is that there isn't a proper twin-cylinder cruiser in India under Rs 5 lakh. If you are on a budget and want to buy a cruiser, there's the single-cylinder Bajaj Avenger 220 on one end and the Harley-Davidson Street 750 (and also the Kawasaki Vulcan 650) on the other, with nothing in between.
Yamaha can fill this gap by bringing in its V Star 250—a bonafide V-twin cruiser that sells in the US for $4,349 (Rs 3.28 lakh).
It has an air-cooled 249 cc V-twin engine and is shorter in length (2189 mm) than the Avenger 220 (2210 mm). However, the Yamaha's wheelbase is still an mm longer (1491 mm) than the Avenger's.
Yamaha XSR 155
This is the motorcycle that has the highest chances of making it to India, and that too within this year. Yamaha already makes two motorcycles—YZF-R15 and MT-15—with the same underpinnings, and this would be the third motorcycle that will share the engine, gearbox, Deltabox frame, and a few more parts with the other two Yamahas.
Also, it would be the only 'neo-retro' motorcycle in the sub-two-lakh-rupee segment in India. It was launched in Indonesia recently and sells there for less than the MT-15. We are keeping our fingers crossed.
While the YZF-R3 takes a breather right now only to come back in the BS6 guise later this year, Yamaha would do well to launch the MT-03 along with it. There are many motorcyclists who want a good performing naked, but they neither want something heavy like the Dominar nor something like an always-on-the-edge KTM Duke 390. The MT-03 would be the bike for them.
Yamaha Super Tenere
Nowadays, when an ADV [short for Adventure (bike)] buyer in India posts a query on an ADV forum or social media page about which ADV to buy while listing bikes like the Africa Twin, BMW R 1250 GS, and Triumph Tiger 1200, it's always hilarious to see seasoned ADV riders from around the globe suggesting the person chuck them all and buy the Yamaha Super Tenere instead.
That should tell you something about Yamaha's flagship ADV. And that should also tell Yamaha about yet another segment that it has left untapped in India.
Like the MT-15 is more or less a naked YZF-R15, and the MT-03 a naked YZF-R3, the MT-10 is essentially a naked YZF-R1. That means it's a monster. That means we want one. That means Yamaha should bring it to India.
Yamaha used to sell it in India, and you may read all about it in our previous story. Here, we'll just say that Yamaha really needs to get the V-Max back to give a taste of raw motorcycling in its purest form to a lucky few before the soulless electrical-appliances-on-wheels take over.