Yamaha is developing a low cost bike in India. This motorcycle will be the cheapest bike in the world, somewhat like the Tata Nano of the bike world. The low cost bike project is named INDRA. INDRA stands for Innovative and New Development based on Responsible Analysis, and this project will be collaboration between Yamaha’s Indian R&D center and its Japanese development center.
The bike is meant for countries in Asia, South America and Africa, where low cost bikes are popular. The INDRA project may lead to the finished low cost bike by 2016 or 2017 but Yamaha has not revealed when it will launch this bike in India. The company is setting up a new factory near Chennai.
The factory in Chennai will manufacture automatic scooters from next year but will also manufacture the INDRA low cost bike once the R&D team finalizes the bike. Yamaha has asked vendors to set up base near the Chennai factory so that it can save costs of transporting parts for making the INDRA low cost bike.
The company is trying to achieve a price of $500 for the INDRA low cost bike. A $500 price tag or around Rs. 30000 will make the INDRA the cheapest bike in India also. Yamaha has not succeeded in the budget bike 100cc bike market of India. Hero Motocorp, TVS Motors, Bajaj and Honda still rule this area with their 100-110cc commuter bikes.
Yamaha launched bikes like the Crux, Crux R and Alba in the 100-110cc bike segment but the company never tasted success. Yamaha succeeded in the 100cc bike segment when it made two stroke engined bikes like the RX100 and the RX135. The new 100cc INDRA bike won’t be a two stroke though. Yamaha will use a four stroke engine as mileage given by such an engine is more and also the emissions are lower.