Even after more than 25 years of its discontinuation, the Yamaha RX100 still holds an iconic status in India. Its demand in the used two-wheeler market has been too high, with many owners asking even more than a lakh of rupees for their RX100s. Until now, Yamaha had been silent on the revival of the RX100 nameplate in India. However, in a recent media interaction, Yamaha India Chairman, Eishin Chihana, confirmed to Zigwheels that Yamaha will bring back the RX100 nameplate with a new motorcycle soon.
According to Chihana, Yamaha is evaluating several options for using the RX100 nameplate on a new motorcycle. However, he also confirmed that the new motorcycle will be a performance-oriented machine, considering the cult status of RX100 as a fast commuter. However, unlike the previous-generation RX100, the new motorcycle will not have a two-stroke engine, considering the stringent BS6 emission norms which do not allow the use of a two-stroke motorcycle for road purposes.
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For the new Yamaha RX100, in all possibilities, the Japanese marquee might choose the route of offering a modern neo-retro design theme to match the old-school essence of the original model. The demand for neo-retro roadsters in recent times has been quite high, with motorcycles like Royal Enfield Hunter 350 and Classic 350, Jawa 42, Yezdi Roadster and Honda CB350 H’ness being the chief players in the space. There’s also a possibility that Yamaha might launch the new RX100 with a bigger four-stroke engine, and not a 100cc engine to keep its image as a fast motorcycle intact.
Yamaha Motor Corp and Escorts joined hands in 1983 and the first product to come out from the brand was the RD350. It was the India-spec RD350B, which was sold in the international markets. Around the same time, IND-Suzuki came to the market with the AX100, which grabbed a lot of attention from the market. Powered by a small engine, the AX100 became popular among youngsters.
Yamaha studied the success of the AX100 and bought the RX100 to the market in the latter half of 1983. The RX100 became instantly popular as it was more powerful than the AX100 and was affordable too. With the 8.25 Bhp generated by the AX100, the RX100 customers enjoyed the 11 Bhp power. Yamaha never made significant upgrades to the bike over its lifetime, which was more than a decade.
The original Yamaha RX100 was powered by a two-stroke, single-cylinder, 98cc engine, which made 11 PS of maximum power and 10.39 Nm of maximum torque. Even after so many years of its discontinuation, there has been no other 100cc motorcycle which has matched these specifications. With a kerb weight of just 103 kg, the RX100 had a tremendous power-to-weight ratio for a motorcycle of its size and class, which makes it as fast as any other modern 150-160cc motorcycle.
Currently, Yamaha’s portfolio in India is restricted to only 150cc and 250cc platforms, with motorcycles like FZ, FZ-S, FZ-X, FZ-25, MT-15 and YZF-R15. Apart from the niche Aerox 155, Yamaha also has 125cc scooters like Ray-ZR and Fascino in its line-up. Yamaha had pulled off from the 110cc and 125cc commuter segments in India before the BS6 emission norms deadline in March 2020.