No, that headline isn’t an April Fools joke. K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) has learned of the following press release from Yamaha Motor Company unveiling plans to produce a $500 100 cc motorcycle and inexpensive repair part too. Of course the U.S. will not be at the front of the receiving line but Yamaha does plan to eventually bring them to the U.S. Market.
Dateline April 10, 2013 Yamaha Motor Company – The motorcycle division of the Yamaha Motor Company has been quite busy lately. First they unveiled the Bolt, and Bolt R-Spec minimalist bikes that will hit the market in the coming months, and now they have announced plans to design and build the world’s cheapest motorcycle.
The new model will be developed in India by the recently created new arm of Yamaha; Yamaha Motor Research and Development Ltd.. The company sees an opportunity for a low cost entry unit and a targeted retail of only $500 US dollars a unit would certainly deliver. “Our objective is to develop the lowest cost model in the world and lowest cost parts. Our target is to develop the cheapest bike at around USD 500 for both India and export markets,” said Yamaha Motor Research and Development India Managing Director Toshikazu Kobayashi.
The yet to be named bike is to be outfitted with a 100cc engine and be capable of a larger power plant if necessary as Kobayashi has stated that “smaller bikes with smaller engines do not have proper balance”. Yamaha plans to first launch the bike in India, near its Research and Development base in Surajpur, with future exports planned globally within a couple years of the India launch. They’re not done there though, as the company is planning on creating an Indian centric bike from the Surajpur base, as well from a new base that is located in Chennai.
When discussing the new facility at Chennai, Kobayashi said that “We have around 80 engineers at the Surajpur centers. We will set up another R&D center by 2015 at our upcoming Chennai facility. The Indian centers will be used for developing low-cost models, while the high-end bikes will continue to be developed in Japan”. He also went on to state that the Chennai facility will be used to export their products, including the “world’s cheapest bike” to locations around the globe, including the United States of America in the future.
While the plans for this bike are still in their infancy, Yamaha is dead set on ensuring that the idea becomes a reality very soon. While there likely won’t be much more news on the bike until shortly before its release, it will certainly be something to keep an eye on as it could prove to mark a turning point in the way motorcycles are sold and priced. Until that day comes however, we must sit and wait patiently until we too may have the chance to get our hands on a bike that will only cost $500.