The entry-level performance bike segment in India has started to gain traction as some manufacturers have started introducing their quarter-litre and above offerings. Yamaha, although expected to be at the forefront of the game mainly due to its long presence in the Indian two-wheeler space, has not been that active in this segment until now. But all that is going to change, with early indications suggesting that imminent launch of the Yamaha FZ-250, the first naked quarter-litre motorcycle from the famed Japanese automaker made for India.
Yamaha Motors has always enjoyed a stable fan base and this is evident from the fact that their R15 and FZ series have tasted a lot of success despite having tough competition from indigenous manufacturers. The company was expected to bring the MT-03 somewhere around Diwali but there have been no announcements related to its launch. So far. But now, a new bike sporting a naked design has been spotted while on a testing spree in the NCR region. The design looks similar to the FZ style of naked bikes from Yamaha and it could be the FZ 200/ 250. Yamaha may even manufacture this motorcycle in India and at a later stage, export them to other countries.
The bike is equipped with a single cylinder engine along with steel braided wires coming out of it which is usually found in an oil and air cooled motor, which experts say shares its underpinnings with the Fazer 250 that is currently sold in the Brazilian market. That coincidence definitely makes it look like an evolution of the current FZ .The tank is larger, while the rest of the body panels including the heat shield for the exhaust bear close resemblance to the 149cc motorcycle. The tank extensions and the front guard are finished in matte black.The demo model spotted has LED head and tail lights and what seems like a fully digital instrument panel. The disc brakes at the front and rearlook like they are from the existing Yamaha motorcycles in India.The riding position is upright with mildly rear-set foot pegs and slightly raised single piece handlebar, suggesting street bike credentials.
Should the rumours be true, the motor could be the same 249cc oil-cooled, single-cylinder, fuel-injected mill that develops 20.7PS of max power and 20.4Nm of peak torque. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a 5-speed gearbox. The single-pot motor will be BS-IV ready and will allow Yamaha to price the bike aggressively;expect the bike to carry a sticker tag between Rs 1.5 to Rs 1.7 lakh, ex-showroom, slotting this 200/250cc model in between the 2017 R15 and R3. Competition-wise, the 250cc offering with lock horns against the Honda CBR 250R, KTM 200 Duke and the upcoming Bajaj CS400/Kratos.
The overall form of the camouflaged bike confirmed that the bike is close to production standards, hinting its launch to be by the first half of 2017. Yamaha enthusiasts would be happy to see a new bike bridge the huge gap between the Yamaha YZF – R15 and Yamaha YZF- R3. Yamaha is also likely to export the made in India FZ 250 motorcycle to other international markets.