The most asked question at BikeWale’s weekly YouTube show ‘All About Bikes’ is “When will Yamaha launch the XSR 155 in India’? Our answer to all of these questions were always been ‘Not anytime soon’ or ‘Yamaha is focusing on scooters’ and sometimes we say ‘Wish Yamaha was reading the comments here’. We even contacted Yamaha to check on this bike and all the time our queries on XSR 155 went unanswered. This made us believe that the Japanese brand is surely working on bringing the XSR 155 to India and here are the reasons why.
Temptation! The XSR 155 belongs to a genre of motorcycles that are a lot more aspirational than the street or supersport. There’s a different charm of owning a modern retro motorcycles as they are more aspirational and also churns out a nice style statement. With almost all motorcycle brands jumping into this segment, there’s a clear indication that this genre of bikes are bound to grow in the future. This is why you will see brands taking the top-down launch approach – launch a big modern retro bikes first and then slowly come down the displacement. This strategy helps brand to focus first on developed markets and while the segment continues to grow, get some of these models to developing markets where small displacement motorcycles works the most.
YZF-R15, MT-15 connection The base platform of the XSR 155 is already made in India for the YZF-R15 and the MT-15. So in a way, the XSR 155 is already made in India. The deltabox frame. The engine. The suspension and the brake setups. Yamaha would have to work on the production line a bit to assemble a few other things like different body panels, separate sub-frame and swingarm. The instrument cluster would also need some labour work. But what we are trying to say here is, Yamaha already has 50 per cent work ready for the XSR 155. It just needs to put some effort and time with its suppliers, and we can easily have that bike ready. Everyone will be happy then. Yamaha India. Customers. Dealers.
Segment creation Yamaha likes to create new segments. It did with the FZ when it was launched almost a decade ago. It then did it with the YZF-R15 and then entered the premium 150cc segment with the MT-15 with a price point that made it more expensive than the potent FZ 25. So with the XSR 155, Yamaha has yet another chance to create a new segment. Currently, 150cc bikes in India are all about commuters, some supersports. Imagine 155cc cool looking motorcycle that makes you look the coolest in your friends circle.
Listening to your people These days, two-wheeler brands in India don’t want their customers to move away from their brand. This is why they are creating new larger displacement bikes. For example, FZ customers can upgrade to FZ 25. KTM 200 Duke customer can upgrade to 390 Duke. TVS Apache 160 customer can upgrade to Apache RTR 200 4V. It is an expensive proposition when an Indian customer switches to a different brand. So here, Yamaha should listen to online chatter about the XSR 155. I’m sure they have done the market research and also some feasibility studies, but it is also important to give them something soon.