The Yamaha MT-15 has finally been launched in the country amid much fanfare and the company had chosen India's best racetrack for the welcome ceremony of its hotly anticipated streetfighter. Enthusiasts like you and I have been waiting for the Yamaha MT-15 for the last few months and when the new model made its global debut in Thailand last year, we desperately wanted it to be in India, isn't it? India is one country where one can find a good chunk of street naked loving riders and hence, launching the MT-15 is indeed a logical step for the Japanese brand.
For starters, the Yamaha MT-15 is essentially the naked version of the R15 V3.0 as the majority of components like the engine, chassis, and suspension are shared between the two bikes. Furthermore, the MT-15 is being manufactured at the company's production facility in Surajpur, Greater Noida and the pictures from pre-launch have been suggesting multiple cost-cutting measures on the India-spec MT-15. This made us believe that the bike will indeed come with a competitive price tag, if not a killer one at least.
However, this did not happen. When Yamaha was about to announce the pricing of the MT-15, most of us were expecting to hear applauds from the crowd but the hall went in absolute silence instead. The bike has arrived at a price of Rs 1.36 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which is just Rs 3,000 lesser than its fully faired counterpart. This is despite the fact that Yamaha's new generation R15, one of its best selling products has recently seen a dual-channel ABS update that resulted in a Rs 12,000 price hike. Thanks to the safety net, the baby R1 now costs Rs 1.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Sadly, the MT-15 in comparison stays content with a single channel unit only.
Here is where the Yamaha MT-15 fits in when it comes to pricing
|Hero Xtreme 200R||Rs 89,900|
|TVS Apache RTR 200 4V||Rs 1.11 lakh|
|Bajaj Pulsar NS200||Rs 1.12 lakh|
|KTM 125 Duke||Rs 1.18 lakh|
|Yamaha FZ25||Rs 1.33 lakh|
|Yamaha MT-15||Rs 1.36 lakh|
|Yamaha YZF-R15 V3.0||Rs 1.39 lakh|
|* All are ABS equipped models, prices are ex-showroom, Delhi|
The Yamaha MT-15 is said to compete with the likes of KTM 125 Duke, TVS Apache RTR 200 4V and Bajaj Pulsar NS200 in the segment but comes at a significantly higher price than all its rivals. For instance, the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V which is the most feature loaded motorcycle in its segment is available for a price of Rs 1.11 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which is a hefty Rs 25,000 cheaper than the MT-15.
After riding the Yamaha MT-15 at the Buddh International Circuit, we can certainly say that this one is a brilliant motorcycle. Unlike the R15 V3.0 that demands commitment from the rider, the Yamaha MT-15 is a lot more relaxed and easy one offering a much higher level of comfort. While the target audience of the Yamaha YZF-R15 V3.0 and MT-15 are different, there are certain Yamaha loyalists that will go for the former keeping in mind the value for money proposition. Even the bigger displacement 250cc FZ25 for that matter offers more value for your money at Rs 1.33 lakh and gets a dual channel ABS just like the R15 V3.0
All said and done, we believe that the Yamaha MT-15 might find a limited number of buyers all because of the unrealistic pricing. So, is this the next disappointment for Yamaha after the YZF-R3? We wait for a few months to find out!