Yamaha begins testing the Ray automatic scooter in India
By the end of 2012, Japanese two wheeler major Yamaha will launch its maiden offering for the Indian automatic scooter market, in the form of the Ray 125cc scooter. This very scooter, replete with UP number plates has been spotted testing down south in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. While it is unclear as to why a test mule of the Yamaha Ray 125 automatic scooter has been spotted so far down south, by the looks of it, the scooter looks production ready. The Yamaha Ray Scooter will be produced at Yamaha’s plant up north, at Surajpur, alongside the brand’s various motorcycle models.
While Yamaha is coming up with a new plant in Tamil Nadu to increase capacity, the new plant is still a couple of years away from being ready for production. Yamaha is quite bullish about the automatic scooter market in India, which continues to outgrow the rest of the two wheeler industry. Going forward, Yamaha plans to launch many more automatic scooters in the Indian market. For now though, the Ray 125 will be aimed at the fairer sex. This explains the more petite dimensions of the Ray 125, which could suit smaller frames better. The scooter is said to be powered by a 125cc four stroke engine outputting about 9 Bhp of peak power.
Petite in dimensions it may be, but the styling of the Yamaha Ray is quite radical. The Ray 125 could be the spiritual successor of the original Honda Dio, whose sharp design lines were unlike anything the Indian market had ever seen before. While the new 2012 Honda Dio’s design is a big let down, it seems like the Yamaha Ray will fill this void quite well. Apart from the sharp styling, the Yamaha Ray also gets telescopic front forks, which are soon becoming widespread in the automatic scooter space. These forks provide for better handling as well as tackle broken surfaces in a more surefooted manner inspiring confidence in the rider.
From the spyshot, we can make out that the Ray comes with a storage area upfront, which will allow the storage of a bottle of water and other sundries. Also, the scooter seems to retain most of the lines from the concept version showcased at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo albeit with the lights and indicators getting a clear lens treatment as opposed to the smoked out looks of the concept version. Expect the Ray 125 to compete with the likes of the Suzuki Access 125 and the Honda Aviator 110 in terms of price and positioning.