A new test mule has been spotted on Yamuna Expressway – Believed to be Yamaha XSR 250 for the Indian market
In recent years, the popularity of retro classic motorcycles has found a new resurgence in India with new players other than Royal Enfield like Jawa, Benelli and Honda making an entry into this segment and garnering the attention of traditional motorcyclists. However, mass-selling manufacturers haven’t yet shown any interest in venturing into this space anytime soon.
However, it seems Yamaha might be making some progress in this regard. It is already known that the Japanese bikemaker retails XSR 155 retro-style motorcycle in international markets. This bike is based on the same underpinnings and powertrain as YZF R15 V3 and its naked sibling MT15.
XSR 250 in making?
As of now, the launch of XSR 155 has not been confirmed by Yamaha but we think the company might want to build a retro motorcycle at a higher segment for the Indian market. This model might cater to the competitive quarter-litre class of motorcycles and might wear the ‘XSR’ branding. In fact, earlier in 2019, it was reported that the Japanese manufacturer was indeed planning to extend its XSR lineup in its global lineup of products.
Now, spy images of a test motorcycle have been clicked on Yamuna Expressway by automotive enthusiast Junaid. Though there is no branding seen on the said motorcycle, Yamaha has been known to test their upcoming motorcycles on this highway often.
At this point in time, it is very difficult to make an accurate presumption about this bike. However, going by these spy shots, the silhouette is very similar to images of the possible XSR 250 prototype which made its appearance in an Indonesian auto magazine in 2019.
The test mule is wearing similar alloys, front suspension to those of existing Yamaha motorcycles like the FZ series. The engine unit also looks similar. It delivers a more relaxed riding position with large seat and good cushioning. It also seems to have a larger fuel tank – all points indicating towards this new motorcycle being a highway cruiser. Instrument cluster seen is a digital unit.
The motorcycle’s design is expected to feature retro bodywork along the lines of XSR family and positioned between XSR 155 and XSR 750. It is likely to be powered by the same 250cc engine which powers the FZ25 in India. This unit delivers about 21 PS and 20 Nm via 5 speed gearbox.
Suspension setup is likely to comprise inverted telescopic forks at front and mono-shock at rear. Braking duties will be handled by a single disc at each end assisted by dual-channel ABS as standard. A prototype of this was earlier speculated to make its debut at last year’s Auto Expo, however, that didn’t happen. With test mule now on the road, expect the launch of this new Yamaha XSR motorcycle to take place in a few months.
If not the 250, this new Yamaha motorcycle could be powered by a 149cc unit, which powers the FZ FI and FZS FI currently. If that is the case, this test mule could be the Indianized version of XSR 155 which is currently on sale in the international market. Yamaha India has already launched R15, MT15 in similar style – lower features to keep costs in check. Yamaha has stronger sales in the 150 cc segment and launching a 150cc XSR will definitely help the company further strengthen their market share in the segment.
Yamaha 250cc Sales
The 250cc segment is growing rapidly. Recently, Bajaj launched multiple motorcycles in this segment, and has plans to launch even more. Yamaha already have a localized 250cc engine, which makes it a more logical choice for this upcoming motorcycle.
FZ25 sales have been below expectations (0 units sold in Feb 2021) and launching more motorcycles in 250cc segment, will help Yamaha benefit better from this engine that has been specially developed for India. It is highly localized, allowing Yamaha to price the FZ25 competitively in the Rs 1.6 lakh range (ex-sh). Expect the Yamaha XSR250 to be priced in a similar range. Once launched, it could take on the likes of Bajaj Dominar 250 as well as could be a more affordable option against the likes of Honda CB350 and Royal Enfield Classic 350.