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-   -   Is Yamaha being left behind? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/which-bike/is-yamaha-being-left-behind-33535)

KiwiBruce 4 Mar 2008 10:52

Is Yamaha being left behind?
What is going on with Yamaha, they were once considered to be a market leader.

They seem to have lost their edge, the XT 660 R, X and Tenere all weight in at over 175 kg.

BMW make damm fine motorcycle but don't have a reputation for lightweight exciting bikes, but things are changing. The 650 X series weighs in at around 148 kg. Even the F800 GS is only 178 kg and has around 30 HP more than the XT.

Have Yamaha lost the plot???

Walkabout 4 Mar 2008 13:26

No more than Honda did a few years ago and continue to do with their latest version of the Transalp.

Lets see what Yam produce in 2009 to challenge the BMW 1200GS.

I think that Euro legislation has an influence here: the requirements for exhaust emissions.

henryuk 4 Mar 2008 13:32

They don't build 'em like they used to!
It seems in every class apart from sports bikes there is always an older/discontinued bike that everyone wants to have back. The same thing happened in cars - the MK Golf Gti is still the quickest Golf Gti

Legislation is definitely part of the problem - one of my bikes is a '68 so exempt from all that and although it's only a 250 it sounds like the world is ending everytime I fire it up.... doesn't have a front stop switch either, doesn't need it apparently!

KiwiBruce 4 Mar 2008 13:41

Hmm, interesting comments, I am not sure that legistration has anything to do with it, BMW, KTM and Husky etc bikes are all euro 3 compliant

Walkabout 4 Mar 2008 15:41


Originally Posted by KiwiBruce (Post 177947)
Hmm, interesting comments, I am not sure that legistration has anything to do with it, BMW, KTM and Husky etc bikes are all euro 3 compliant

I'm not a geek on this topic but the politicking that goes on about bikes can be slightly interesting (at times!).
Bikes that are sold in small quantities are exempt from the Euro 3 regulations - I think "small" is less than 5000 sales per year. I also recall that this well change in the future - can't be sure about that bit; as ever, the basic idea is to continue to tighten up the regs for bike manufacturers.
Therefore, the less popular (and/or smaller bikes?) don't need to have cat converters and all the other gubbins such as lambda probes, yet.

So, my point was that all of these bits and pieces add to the all up weight, just as for cars which are an even worse case study - air bags x 6 etc etc.
(Yes, every generation of Golf gets to be bigger and heavier than the Mk 1).

Sports bikes: there are classics in there as well! For example, how about a Suzi TL1000 S or R?

Bikes, as delivered in the showroom, may never be as light as models from the recent past?

KiwiBruce 4 Mar 2008 16:34

I am sure you are right, however from the BMW web site:

Emission controlClosed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-3

and nothing is mentioned on the Yamaha web site regarding Euro 3 emissions. It just looks odd to me that Yamaha seems so far behind in reducing the weight of their bikes. Is this going to mean less market share for them?

Matt Cartney 4 Mar 2008 17:30

I wouldn't have thought that weight was much of an issue for the mass market, as most people will only ever have to pick their bikes up when they accidentally drop it outside the supermarket and the average GS/ new Tenere will never see anything like proper dirt. Obviously it'll affect performance a bit, but again, most people who worry seriously about performance aren't going to buy a GS/Tenere.

I haven't checked the prices of the 800GS and the new Tenere. Yamahas are usually a fair bit cheaper than the equivalent BMW, are they not? So, you can't expect a bike made of cheaper stuff to weigh the same as a more expensive bike.

Anyway, weight isn't the only factor in what makes a good bike. Not breaking down is nice too.

Matt :)

KiwiBruce 5 Mar 2008 11:54

Maybe you're right about the mass market weight thing, I know it's not a UK model but the Suzuki DR 650 is around 150 kg, reliable as a tree stump and cheap, granted that it's not water cooler, fuel injected or high tech.

So maybe Yamaha are targeting the mass market middle ground, high tech enough for the marketing men and cheaper than the high tech competitors.

I agree that not breaking down is a big bonus and Yamaha XT’s do have a great reputation for reliability

Maybe they are not being left behind but are carefully targeting the volume sales in the mass market

Matt Cartney 5 Mar 2008 12:34


Originally Posted by KiwiBruce (Post 178120)
Maybe they are not being left behind but are carefully targeting the volume sales in the mass market [/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]

I think you've hit the nail on the head here.

Actually, for us lot it's a shame. What we really need are light (ish), tough, reliable bikes like the old XT and the DRs. Or for the upper classes, the old 1150GS and funduros.

Unfortunately bike manufacturers sell such a tiny proportion of their bikes to us (proper adventure tourers), our desires are essentially ignored. As long as a 'dualsport' has a veneer of adventure capability about it, that's enough for joe public. A big tank, or a plastic bash plate etc. that's plenty. Complicated electronics and mechanics that are a liability in the back of beyond (or even outside Europe) don't worry the mass market buyer because he's never further than an AA trailer ride from a dealership.
The marketing men (and their accountants) know that a bike doesn't actually have to be able to roll off the factory floor and be capable of a RTW. It just needs to LOOK like it can. It's unfortunate, but perfectly understandable. Why spend money equipping your bike for environments 99% of buyers will never experience. The fact most Adv. tourers buy their bikes second hand because they are saving money for their trip also affects this, after all why would the manufacturer care about anyone other than the primary buyer?

Matt :)

mollydog 5 Mar 2008 22:11

Adventure bike. After all, who would buy it?

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