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Reasons Why The Yamaha RX100 Won’t Return

Modified On Jul 21, 2022 07:00 PM By Praveen M. for Yamaha RX100

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As much as we’d love to see the Yamaha RX100 back on Indian roads, there are some factors that don’t make it a sound proposition in the current market scenario. Here’s why

[UPDATE: Yamaha has confirmed that the RX100 will be coming back to India. Check out the new details in our report]

In the 90’s, the Yamaha RX100 quickly gained popularity thanks to its blistering performance in a lightweight affordable package. Yamaha was able to make the motorcycle the sprightliest in its class, thanks to the wonders of two-stroke technology. However, due to strict modern emission norms, two-stroke motorcycles were deemed obsolete soon, and the RX100 bit the dust.

Today, we list down the reasons why the legendary RX100 wouldn't make sense in the country at the moment, should Yamaha choose to resurrect it:

2-stroke > 4-stroke

A two-stroke engine produces power in half the number of piston strokes that a four-stroke motor would require. Now that the government has banned the sale of two-stroke motorcycles, Yamaha will have to resurrect the RX with a four-stroke engine, if it chooses to. However, the engine won't be as quick-revving as its predecessor, and in order to extract an equivalent level of performance, the motor will have to be more complex, not to mention probably receive a bump in displacement as well. These things would simply increase the costs, pushing the motorcycle into a bigger engine capacity segment when it comes to pricing. And that wouldn’t be a sound move considering the fact that value for money was one of the USPs of the RX100.

Odd one out

Even if Yamaha manages to bring out a premium yet peppy motorcycle, customers who are in the market for real performance would rather go for bigger-engined bikes in the same price bracket as there are a number of options available. Bajaj already played around in the sub-150cc segment by offering a sporty motorcycle like the Pulsar 135LS. However, the motorcycle failed to garner as much sales as other commuters in the segment.

We have motorcycles like the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V and Suzuki Gixxer in the affordable sporty commuter segment, which make more sense if you’re in the market for value-for-money performance.

Dated underpinnings

The telescopic front forks and twin rear shock absorbers of the RX100 will also have to be updated as the old-school setup would feel quite crude now for a performance bike. Moreover, CBS will be compulsory for two-wheelers below 125cc from April 2019 onwards. The implementation of CBS would drive the cost further up. While the spoke wheels can be retained for the retro appeal, the tubed tyres that it would come with it wouldn’t exactly be convenient in case of punctures. This is something performance enthusiasts wouldn’t find appealing.


These factors come in the way of what could possibly be a potent motorcycle in its segment. The real problem though is that it would be something that’s extremely niche, sailing on nostalgia and not performance if a hypothetical present-day RX were to maintain the simplicity of the original. If real performance is to be added, then price would need to be as well. Quite tricky then, in what’s essentially an extremely price-conscious market catering to the masses.

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