Finally, the end has come and the wait is over. Yes, Yamaha is all set to launch the R3 and the MT-320 in India! After months of rumors and speculation regarding the fate of these powerful offerings from Yamaha to India, Yamaha has decided to clear their minds (and their throats too), and decided to bring in the better powered versions. This surely is a welcome move by Yamaha and should pose a 'high-level' threat to the other players in this segment.
Yamaha had launched the YZF R3 earlier this year and was brought to the European and United States markets. Critics of the biking world accredited the bike as an all-round performer and did receive much praise for being a practical mid-performance bike. The bike's design takes its cues from the monstrous R1 and R1M, a new superbike lineup launched by Yamaha, phasing out the older R1. The R3 then, is a lightweight performance bike that is styled to attract the masses. The bike was highly anticipated for its launch from Yamaha by its many fans and enthusiasts in India, however, the management at Yamaha were still scratching their heads over which bike to bring in to the subcontinent.
Yamaha had gained much respect for the R15, a bike that achieved tremendous growth for Yamaha, thanks to the being an entry-level affordable sport bike, when there were none of the kind for the taking in India, at the time. With the entry of KTM with their Duke range and Bajaj giving a boost for the Pulsar's, the competition got fierce but Yamaha wasn't yet quite ready to wake up to it. It was only until this year, after Yamaha had launched the R2 and the R3, that they started to ponder seriously over what to bring in. There were rumors and spy pictures of a Yamaha R3 that had been imported to India for testing but Yamaha still remained silent regarding this. It is safe to breathe a sigh of relief now, as Yamaha has confirmed of the launch of the R3 in August. The company would be using the CKD (completely knocked down) scheme to import the bike from its plant in Indonesia. Further details are not yet available, at the moment.
To add to the icing on the cake, Yamaha has also decided to bring in the powerful MT-320, a naked bike based on the R3 itself. Only recently did Yamaha launch the MT-025, the naked version of the R2, in Indonesia. Similar to the method to be used by Yamaha to bring in the R3, the MT-320 would be following the same route. Both the R3 and the MT-320 would be on offer from Yamaha, with all the latest gadgetry and features; ABS, color schemes and possible after-market features might be on the list. The MT-320, though, would first be showcased at the Delhi AutoExpo next year, and Yamaha would then be working on launching the bike within a few months post launch. The engine would be an in-line 321cc twin-cylinder engine, producing 42 PS of power and 29.6 Nm of Torque, married to a 6-speed gearbox for both the bikes.
If the pricing is done right, Yamaha would not have to look no further. The Indian riding community lends great regard to the Japanese bike manufacturer, and the news of the R3 and MT-320 coming to India should bring them much joy.
Yamaha will launch the R3 in August after much speculation; will bring in MT-320 by 2016
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