Yamaha Introduces YZF-R15

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Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. plans to market a new lightweight supersport bike in India as part of a corporate priority to build the brand?s business there.

The YZF-R15 features a newly designed 150cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC single-cylinder, 4-valve fuel-injected engine on a Deltabox frame. Yamaha is displaying the bike for the first time at Auto Expo 2008, Jan. 10-17, in New Delhi. Plans are to release the model in the second quarter.

Yamaha says the development concept was to build a bike to serve as the first true supersport to be designed solely for the Indian market.

Building the motorcycle business in India has been designated as one of top priorities in Yamaha?s new three-year medium term management plan that begins this year and runs through 2010.

The second largest motorcycle market in the world, India supports sales of about 8 million units annually. Nearly 80 percent of the market is in the 100cc to 200cc motorcycle category, and a large part of the remainder is in the 125cc and under scooter category.

Yamaha, basing it forecasts on the country?s demographics and progress in development of the road system, says it expects continued stable growth on the subcontinent.

Motorcycle demand in India is driven mainly by 20-something users, and there is an increasing trend toward European style tastes as seen in the preference for luxury products. Also, in surveys, many 20-something users say their dream bike is a 1000cc supersport model, indicating a growing interest in sport bikes.