One of the most iconic bikes of the yesteryear, the RX100 from Yamaha Motor India’s stable, may soon hit the roads again — this time, in a new avataar.
“We want to bring back the RX100 brand but there are two points — RX100 is two-stroke engine and complying BS6 engine in it is impossible now. But, certainly giving the name to a new model is in our plan. Having said that, once we put the RX100 on a brand/some aspiring model ... the reincarnation with modern styling/ flavour, is a big challenge,” Eishin Chihana, Chairman, Yamaha Motor India, told BusinessLine.
Probable launch: 2026
When asked about a possible launch time, Chihana said it could be possible only after 2026, as the company has other models lined up till 2025. “We have a plan, but we should not use RX100 name so easily ... it will ruin the image. RX100 cannot be a quick plan/decision ... it should be an impactful package with powerful engine and design,” Chihana added.
The bike, which was produced between 1985 and 1996, has a cult following and is still in demand in after-sales market, even after 26 years since the company stopped its production. Many users have kept the strongest 100cc motorcycle of its time, still intact because Yamaha continues to provide spare parts even now, he said.
Talking about the current business scenario, Chihana said the company is doing test runs and durability tests for its electric scooters to be launched in the next three years. “Our engineers are working on it and by 2025, we will definitely have an electric scooter in India. Yamaha already has electric scooter in Taiwan and Europe, so we can import those here, to begin with. We are looking at all options right now — to import it as completely built unit (CBU), completely knocked down unit (CKD) or assemble here with more localisation,” he said adding that the company wants to launch a ‘reliable electric scooter’.
Yamaha India manufactures its products in India with more than 90 per cent localisations at its two plants in Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh) and Tamil Nadu from where it also exports to about 30 countries.
“From the global point of view, Yamaha in India is expected to become the second biggest export hub, next to Indonesia. Currently, Indonesia exports to 55-60 countries. We want to increase the destinations, whether in the US, Europe or Japan, from the Indian hub,” Chihana added.
The company exports around three lakh two-wheelers from India right now, while Yamaha’s Indonesia plant exports around 6.50–7 lakh units a year.