Yamaha had recently showcased R3, R7, MT03, MT07 and MT09 at a dealer event, which reveals the company’s intentions to bring its big bikes to India
Middleweight segment in India has been registering strong growth, a trend which is expected to continue in the future. It presents a good opportunity for OEMs to aggressively target this space. As of now, more than 3/4th market share of middleweight motorcycle segment is commanded by Royal Enfield.
Yamaha is among the brands that are actively looking to enter the middleweight segment. The highest capacity Yamaha bikes currently on offer in India are the 250cc FZ 25 and FZS 25. The middleweight segment will also witness other new entrants such as upcoming Hero-Harley and Bajaj-Triumph bikes.
Yamaha RZ350 and RZ250 trademark filed in Japan
In several global markets including India, there’s increased demand for retro-styled bikes. While several entirely new models have been created, many OEMs have resurrected iconic models from the bygone era. Yamaha seems to be working on a similar approach, as it has recently filed trademarks for RZ350 and RZ250 in Japan. Considering the craze for retro bikes in India, it is possible that Yamaha could introduce the RZ350 and RZ250 in India as well.
RD350 was available in India during the 80s and 90s. It was hugely popular for its classic design and powerful performance. Even today, quite a few enthusiasts have the RD350 in running condition. There are various RD clubs as well in several parts of the country. With such a significant fan following, it won’t be surprising if RD350 returns to Indian market. This is especially true when Yamaha is looking to introduce higher capacity bikes in India.
Trademark applications for RZ350 and RZ250 filed in Japan are under Class 12. However, other details are not available at this point of time. OEMs often trademark names, but it is not a guarantee that those products will make it to production stage. With limited information available, it is difficult to say what Yamaha is planning with the RZ350 and RZ250 trademarks.
RD350 relaunch – What to expect?
Assuming that RD350 is resurrected, it is likely to be relaunched as a modern classic. It will take on Royal Enfield 350cc range, Honda H’ness CB350, Jawa / Yezdi and upcoming Bajaj-Triumph and Hero-Harley bikes. The hardware will also be upgraded in line with current expectations and in compliance with stricter emission norms.
Original Yamaha RD350 was equipped with a 347cc air cooled engine that generated 39 bhp of max power. It was mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The two-stroke parallel twin motor was immensely popular for its pulsating performance.
In its resurrected form, RD350 is likely to get a four-stroke engine. Equipment list will also be updated. For example, the bike could get LED headlamp with DRL, digital instrument console, dual-channel ABS, Bluetooth connectivity, traction control system and assist and slipper clutch.