It's thought that the R3 could make its way into the Indian market as well. The rationale hinges on the market differences between India and the rest of SE Asia.
The R3 in India will breach the 1 lakh mark, no surprises there, while there is some appetite for bikes above the 1 lakh mark, the segment is still relatively small compared to volume grabbing commuter segment.
However one of the major hurdles Yamaha will run into is the issue of local production. Without local facilities straight importation would result in a price north of 4 lakhs, which comparatively would make the 2.3 lakhs KTM RC390 look like a steal (locally produced). However for Yamaha to set up a local production facility they would need a guarantee that volume would follow.
The popularity of the R15 in India is a promising sign, Indians can be quite brand loyal consumers, so an appropriately priced R3 could provide the proper catalyst for riders to trade their R15's in on the larger R3. Yamaha in fact will need to count on that to ensure any type of success. Twin cylinders are more expensive to product than a single is (CBR300, KTM RC) so even if locally produced the R3 is still likely to come with a price tag in the 2.5-3.2 lakhs territory.
Yamaha must currently weigh the potential scenarios
- North of 4 lakh, R3 320cc twin, produced in Indonesia and shipped in CKD
- 2-2.3 lakh, 300cc single, locally made, but this now asks for Yamaha to produce a third engine design specifically for the Indian market
- 2-3 lakh, 250cc twin, locally made, which would not in fact be R3 but R25
- 3+ lakh , 320cc twin, locally made, which would require the same infrastructure investments as above but would need to be weighed vs the 250cc option in terms of cost vs sales.
Either way India will get ONE of them...