The thing with expanding markets is that, more the number of products come in a market, more the desirability to get something new evolves in customers. The motorcycle market in our country is no different, in a way that each manufacturer is aggressively making its move to place products in every market segment they can think of. With big players taking cues from smaller motorcycles and smaller ones upping the ante to match with bigger motorcycles, the heat has just begun.
Then, there is this market segment, which is, ruled by one manufacturer since its inception, the segment being, Modern Classics and the manufacturer is none other than The Royal Enfield. The iconic stature of Royal Enfield and its true to olden days styled motorcycles with modern technology, over the years made it one incredible story of its own. With unheard of desirability and waiting periods up to a year, the entire portfolio of Royal Enfield makes other manufacturers' envious big time.
The number of Royal Enfields you can look around, has risen up to commanding numbers and they are increasing with every passing moment. With the company achieving production of 2 Lakh units for the first time in their history, with still, more than 3 months remaining in this year, it is a clear signal that this segment is just too tempting for the customers, and it is about the time others jump in and bring their version of Modern Classics for the masses.
This is where the Yamaha SR400 fits perfectly, taking fight to this segment, with iconic lines of late 70’s. “When you ride it, it will take you back a few years,” explains Yamaha’s Bob Starr, who calls the SR “a real motorcycle that does not feel like some cheap beginner’s bike.” Although the chrome-intensive new SR400 does indeed look very much like a classic steed from the 1970s, but with old-style switchgear, metal fenders and simple analogue gauges (a 100-mph Speedo and a 9,000-RPM Tacho) makes the bike stand out.
With Motorcycles like the RD 350, R15 and FZ series, Yamaha has always been the spearhead in changing the dynamics of Indian Motorcycling Industry. Making it almost mandatory for Yamaha to bring the SR400 to India and generate competition in a segment, which will always be young. Yamaha retails this bike at around $5,990, which is about the same price that Royal Enfield Motorcycles such as Classic 500 commands in the US market. It is clear that it suits our markets as well as the RE Classic 500 does.
As they say, Vintage never goes out of Fashion. Bring it on Yamaha. We are waiting!