I wax on about the importance of the Indian market with far too much regularity to regurgitate it yet another time, but its suffices to say that like Ron Burgundy, India is a pretty big deal. With two of the three largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world coming from India, and the country continuing to account for a massive amount of the world’s two-wheeler consumption (India is the second largest consumer of motorcycles in the world, by volume), it should come with little surprise then that Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha wants a bigger piece of the pie.

Yamaha currently accounts for roughly 500,000 of the 10+ million units sold per year in India (read: less than 5% of the total Indian motorcycle market), and the Japanese company is already offering several cheap motorcycle options in India. However, hoping to increase that figure to 600,000 next year, and to continue future growth in the market down the line, the tuning-fork brand has let it slip that a $500 motorcycle is in the works. Game on Honda.

The new $500 model is a part of Yamaha’s overall strategy to gain a larger foothold in the Indian market, as the Japanese company hopes to increase its marketshare to 10% of the Indian motorcycle market by the year 2016. With roughly 70% of all motorcycle sales in India occurring in the 100cc-125cc range, Yamaha is feeling the pressure to bring more entry-level machines to its Indian offering. For instance, rival and Indian-market sales dominator Hero MotoCorp offers six entry-level models to Indian riders.

With the Indian motorcycle market growing 12% in the last fiscal year through March 2012, and nearly 1 in 25 citizens a motorcycle rider, the Indian market is the happy hunting ground for motorcycle manufacturers who are watching their American and European sales continue to dwindle. The only question that remains is why other large motorcycle OEMs aren’t bringing more smaller-displacement offerings to India.

Source: Wall Street Journal

  • Damo



  • @Damo: ROTFLMAO!

    Actually, it’s a sharp looking little bike. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to ride one. Then again, I thoroughly enjoyed a loaner KZ125 one weekend while my 650 was in the shop. For me, riding itself is more important than what I’m riding. And, frankly, it’s just fun rowing a gearbox in order to achieve 70 kph. *GRIN*

  • MikeD

    U heard that Boys ? Yes, is the sounds of things coming….and more still to come…as in…..screw the West Markets and their 600 and 1000 and it’s BLOOD($) SUCKING Heavy R&D and refresh cycles …those guys are dead and dry….let’s focus on milking the CASH COW emerging East Markets….more R&D on small fries sold by the “Ship Load”.

    I totally understand, is a bussiness…profit MUST BE MADE one way or another or else.

    Another case of ” If is rainings lemons…well, let’s make lemonade”…’till it rains something else.

  • Johndo

    Strange that Yamaha can build a complete bike for 500$, yet a plastic exhaust cover on my MT-01 cost 340$. I love the bike, but really their parts are crazy expensive…if they do this in India, chances are people won’t go for that 500$ bike the year after cause they’ll have figured out that replacing parts will add up to the price of the bike in no time!

  • Johndo

    …Reminds me of inkjet printers…where it’s often cheaper to buy another printer, then buying ink cartridges.

  • Random

    Actually, YBR is a denomination which applied first to Brazilian engineered/produced bikes which were later exported to other countries.

    Production of the 125cc variant started in 2000 in Brazil, and the need for a small displacement bike in other markets took use of the existing project with adaptations such as fairings and FI in some countries. Even if it is no longer manufactured only here it shows its roots.

  • Jimmy Smith Jr.

    That’s right on budget for India.

  • Bob

    I don’t know how they can procure the raw materials for one bike for $500, let alone transform that material into something. And what about paying for a facility, wages, marketing, shipping?

    There has to be some form of government subsidizing in order to produce a whole bike for that price.

    I wonder what it would cost to buy one and ship it here.

  • Bob

    Ditto everyone that mentioned price of parts. The last 17 x 3.5 wheel I bought cost me $900. The freaking heated grip for my Ninja 1000 cost $300. $300 for grips!!!!!

  • Bob

    Gotta feel sorry for Honda now. They want to sell theirs for $810.

    “Lets see,” said the Indian person. “$500 for a Yamahahahaha or $810 for a Honda? I could feed my family of 4 generations for 6 months with that $310 saved.”

  • MikeD

    @Johndo & Bob:

    Were u guys offered some form of “sex toy lubricant” with those prices ? (o_O)

    Man ! That’s just WRONG.