The popularity of entry-level modern-classic motorcycles isn’t exactly hidden from the sole surviving Royal Enfield, we now have Benelli, Jawa and even Honda making in-roads into the segment. The volumes are definitely one of the elements that attract manufacturers, not to forget this is in the high displacement category where margins also remain higher. Keeping the momentum alive, it now seems Yamaha Motor India is planning to make its way in this segment as well with the XSR 250.
A recent test mule spotted on the Yamuna Expressway near Delhi has sparked rumours of Yamaha India developing the XSR 250 specifically for the domestic market. While there have been no confirmations from the brand about this, the company does have the XSR 155 on sale globally, which shares its underpinnings with the YZF-R15 V3.0 and the MT-15 that are sold in India. Interestingly, there were rumours of the Yamaha XSR 155 making its way to India in 2019, but the company eventually cleared that its focus will be on scooters at the time.
The camouflaged test mule points at retro styling with modern underpinnings and is quite similar to the XSR 250 prototype that was spotted testing in 2019 by an Indonesian auto magazine. The test mule is wearing similar alloy wheels, large seat, and a larger fuel tank, all of which will make it apt for highway runs.
Going by the Yamaha XSR 750 and the smaller 155, expect to see a round headlamp, retro-styled fuel tank, digital instrument console and a step-up style seat. If Yamaha is building the XSR 250 for India, the bike could share its underpinnings with the FZ25 series. Not only will it help keep the costs in check, but also make for a likeable package.
The Yamaha FZ25 is offered with a 249 cc single-cylinder engine that develops 21PS and 20Nm of peak torque. It is paired with a 5-speed gearbox. The bike comes with telescopic forks at the front and a seven-step adjustable monoshock at the rear. Braking performance comes from 282mm front and a 280mm rear disc brake with dual-channel ABS.
The Yamaha FZ25 is a nice bike and gets a lot of things right but does lack that wow factor that you would like from the model. The XSR 250 would be a nice twist on this platform and will bring more attention to Yamaha’s premium line-up of motorcycles. There is of course, the export market that the company can cater given the demand for such motorcycles is global.
There’s no word on the launch or pricing yet. The Yamaha FZ25 is priced from Rs. 1.59 lakh onwards (ex-showroom, Delhi), and you can expect the XSR 250 to command a premium starting around Rs. 1.67 lakh. However, all of this is wishful thinking and we will have to wait and see if the project has indeed got the green light from the company.
Upon launch, the Yamaha XSR 250 will compete against the Bajaj Dominar 250, Suzuki Gixxer 250, and even the thoroughbred classics like the Honda H’ness CB350 and the Royal Enfield Classic 350.