Yamaha’s press conference didn’t bring prices for the Ray-ZR scooter but it did set the ball rolling on the new Saluto RX, Yamaha’s new 110cc commuter. The Yamaha Ray-ZR is expected to go on sale in a couple of days, says Yamaha. Now back to the new motorcycle. The Yamaha is named by the joining of the Saluto 125’s name to a reference to Yamaha’s big milestone motorcycle in Indian history, the legendary RX100 from the late ’80s and ’90s. The first ride on the RX-100 inspired commuter, yes, is still to happen but here is everything we know about Yamaha India’s new motorcycle.
Doesn’t it look similar to the bigger Saluto 125? As a matter of fact, it does. It also takes design cues from the not-so-successful Alba series and perhaps just a hint from the Gladiator as well. Yamaha says that they wanted a plain, inoffensive design for the youth from rural India. The target audience are those under the age of 30. In fact, the colours on offer, four of them, have two flashy bright colours while the other two are more subdued. Yamaha clearly is attempting to woo both young and old rural customers. There is a simple bikini fairing and behind it sits the analogue speedo, fuel gauge and tell-tale lights. Yamaha have integrated a smoothly shaped fuel tank into the equation. The side panels with shiny graphics point to the Saluto but appear much sleeker here. The rear uses a tubular grab rail and a simple lamp. The turn indicators have amber covers.
There is only one trim, however Yamaha officials did say that a base Saluto RX at a lower price point without the self start might be a good idea. A disc brake isn’t what the typical rural youth needs according to Yamaha’s surveys at the moment. If the need arises, Yamaha India is well-equipped to add it to the Saluto RX package. The fuel cap is an unhinged unit, typical of the motorcycles in this category.
The seat is a broad and long unit while the rear twin non-adjustable shock absorbers have a long travel and should be helpful in those nearly non-existent village roads. The Yamaha Saluto RX is light at 98kg and should be easy to put up on the centre stand and to use in general. This light kerb weight will be an added performance (read mileage) booster but we will discuss this at a later stage.
Yamaha’s first BS4 engine in the 110cc category debuts in the Saluto RX. This engine, Yamaha says, has been built from ground-up. This is also the company’s first transistor controlled ignition motorcycle. Along with the BlueCore tech, this helps in efficient combustion and also the performance of the motorcycle. Also the first carburetor model from Yamaha’s motorcycle line to have received the BlueCore where ideally the company prefers to use fuel injected versions for this technology, barring the scooter lineup.
To recap, Blue Core (like Suzuki’ SEP and Honda’s HET) is a suite of technology and tweaks that leads to improved performance and economy and lighter weight. While 7.5PS and 8.5Nm may seem low considering that most of the 100cc motorcycles make as much or more power, Yamaha is quick to point out that they believe an unstressed 110cc engine makes more sense in rural conditions for rural youth.
This engine will also probably be used in other motorcycles from the Yamaha portfolio at a later stage. BlueCore will eventually trickle down to all of Yamaha’s products. An interesting fact that not many are aware of is that many of the technologies used in the current YZF-R15 are indeed part of BlueCore. It was refined to be used in the FZ Fi range and thereafter in the scooters. Yamaha says that the Saluto 125 has been doing well for the company with around 5,000 units sold in a month. The Saluto RX is expected to contribute around 60,000 units in a year and overall seven per cent of the company’s sales.
Finally, the Saluto RX is on sale right now at Rs 46,400 ex-showroom Delhi and we await the arrival of the test bike so we can tell you more about Yamaha’s new foray into the mass-market segment. And about the soul of the RX100 that evidently resides in the new Yamaha Saluto RX.
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