Yamaha India to export the R15 Version 2.0 sports motorcycle to Japan
Once upon a time, made-in-Japan motorcycles or motorcycle parts were much sought after by Indian motorcycle enthusiasts. So much so that made-in-Japan products like piston kits, to this day, command much higher prices than other replacement kits due to the higher quality associated with Japan made goods. The wheel, it seems has come full circle, even as Indian Yamaha Motor, a subsidiary of Japanese motorcycle company, Yamaha, all set to export 300 examples of the made-in-India R15 sports motorcycle. The motorcycle will sell in Japan for an Indian equivalent of about INR 2.45 lakh rupees. In India, the motorcycle is sold for lesser than half that price.
The R15 Version 2.0 exported to Japan is expected to be used as an entry level motorcycle, to initiate Japanese youth into motorcycle racing. This move by Yamaha India is a testament to the high levels of quality offered on the R15 Version 2.0, a trait that makes it suitable for export to one of the most demanding motorcycle markets in the world. The 150cc liquid cooled engine of the R15 produces 17 Bhp of peak power and 15 Nm of peak torque. The SOHC, 4 valve, four stroke engine is fuel injected and mated to a six speed manual gearbox. Its ergonomics are quite radical and suit the track more than the road.
Despite this, the R15 Version 2.0 has been very well received by posers as well as track and touring enthusiasts. If the initial lot of R15s finds success in the Japanese motorcycle market, more such shipments are expected to be bound to Japan, from India. Also, the Yamaha FZ16 could join the R15 in future. Japan’s roads are dominated by powerful, high displacement motorcycle manufactured by the big four of the motorcycle world, comprising of Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki. That said, the Japanese government taxes the bigger displacement motorcycles heavily.
Therefore, smaller capacity Japanese domestic models in the ranging between 250cc-400cc are big sellers in the country. This regulation has spawned some legendary motorcycles like the Honda CBR400RR and the Kawasaki Balius II, to name a couple. Coming back to the Yamaha R15 being exported to Japan, this reflects the change in tide when it comes to manufacturing excellence being achieved by developing nations like India and Brazil. Japanese built goods, in the 1960s were considered inferior to European goods until the Japanese through their sheer hard work and brilliant manufacturing processes managed to make made-in-Japan goods the gold standard in manufacturing. Now, the tide has turned for developing countries like India and China to match the Japanese’s manufacturing tolerances, which says a lot about the advancement of manufacturing capabilities of these countries.