This is Yamaha’s re-entry in the ever evolving 125cc segment. But does it have what it takes to beat the establishment? We find out if the Japanese manufacturer has managed to instil the fun quotient in this new commuter bike.
Yamaha has been in the news for the last few weeks for their new pocket friendly 125cc motorcycle, Saluto. The bike did attract some attention while parked outside our office, which validates the fact that it does look nice when compared to others in the segment. To succeed in this segment, though, you either need a legacy to bank on or you better have dynamic performance to back you up. That’s the reason why the Honda CB Shine is still the ruler of the segment, closely followed by the Bajaj Discover 125. Off late, however, Yamaha has decided to move away from ‘performance’ and focus more on ‘fuel efficiency’ in order to boost its sales – and this motorcycle falls perfectly in line with that school of thought.
The bike looks pretty good, but there’s nothing as such that’ll make your head turn. In fact, one look at the bike makes you wonder how this can be a motorcycle from the same manufacturer that made the R15 and the highly successful FZ series. The new front faring, fuel tank and ‘better looking’ side panels don’t do much to make the bike stand out from the crowd. The instrument cluster is well equipped though, despite the fact that it’s missing an engine kill switch.
The build quality, on the other hand, is good – and there’s no sign of cost cutting on this bike. The bike has five-spoke alloy wheels, and an electric start as standard that make it look good and easy to use. The rear end of the Saluto looks attractive as well, with the LED tail lamp and silver grab rail.
The engine of the Yamaha Saluto is a 125cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled mill that produces 8.2bhp and 9.8Nm of torque. These figures are not exactly staggering, as the Bajaj Discover 125 produces 11.3bhp, while the Honda CB Shine delivers 10.5bhp, and the Hero Super Splendor produces 9bhp. However, the four-speed gearbox, an efficient carburettor, and better power delivery at lower revs work in unison to deliver the ARAI claimed fuel efficiency of 78km/l.
This bike has been developed from scratch by Yamaha, which means that it doesn’t use too many parts from other bikes in the Yamaha family. The single downtube frame and the new swingarm have been newly developed, and are lighter than before. The suspension consists of two telescopic forks at the front and two coiled shockers at the back, which have been retuned for comfort.
The seating position is comfortable too. The rider sits back comfortably thanks to the pulled back handlebar – and so does the pillion due to the nicely laid single seat. Braking is in the form of drum brakes at both ends, which isn’t very inspiring on a daily basis. If nothing else, a disc at the front would have been nice – if not standard, then at least as an option. The Ceat Secura tyres work fairly well though, and make the motorcycle feel planted on the road.
The bike is available in two colour schemes – Victory Red and Brave Black. Both these variants come with a price tag of Rs. 52,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Bajaj Discover 125M (Drum Brake) is priced at Rs. 52,000 and the Honda CB Shine costs Rs.55,560 (ex-showroom, Delhi), and both these bikes have attained the status of being cult figures in this segment. So, we believe that Yamaha should have priced the Saluto a little more aggressively. But, apart from that, we don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t shake up the segment – even if it’s just ever so slightly!
- Yamaha Saluto
Engine: 125cc / Air Cooled / Single Cylinder / Carbureted
Transmission:4-Speed Constant Mesh
Power: 8.2bhp @ 7,000rpm
Torque: 10.1Nm @ 4,500rpm
Price: Rs. 52,000