2014 Yamaha XTZ150S Crosser BlueFlex
Fuels blended with Ethanol, a grain alcohol fermented from sources such as corn and wheat, has caused some issues for motorcyclists across many countries.
One of the biggest problems with Ethanol is it leans out a motorcycle’s air-fuel mixture, which can cause major damage. Many newer cars arrive with fuel-injection systems that can compensate for the leaning, known as “Flex-Fuel” or “Yellow-Cap” automobiles. These cars are able to run gasoline blended with Ethanol, such as the E15 (15% ethanol blend) offered in the states.
The positives for the blended-fuels use are simple – 1.) ethanol can be created in every country’s backyard, minimizing the need to import fuel, and 2.) the blended fuels reduce greenhouse gases.
Yamaha took notice, and released last year the YS150 Fazer BlueFlex street motorcycle in Brazilian markets. Like America’s Flex-Fuel cars, the BlueFlex motorcycles are compatible with gasoline, ethanol or both.
The model did well in the 150cc class, which is in highest demand in the Brazilian motorcycle market (Yamaha reports the 150cc class accounted for approximately 1.52 million units in Brazil, 2013). And the success now prompted the release of the 2014 Yamaha the XTZ150S Crosser BlueFlex – a dual-sport ethanol compatible offering for Brazilian motorcyclists.
Yamaha says when fueled by gasoline, the XTZ150S, which has a “SUV Feel,” will produce 12 horsepower at 7500 rpm, and 9.2 ft.-lb. of torque at 6000 rpm. But when fueled with ethanol, the horsepower bumps to 12.2, and the torque 9.3.
Besides the air-cooled, fuel-injected ethanol-compatible engine, the XTZ150S features a link-type Monocross suspension, which is a first in its class.
Yamaha says “these and other features are in response to customers’ feedback wanting acceleration performance with ample power reserves, sufficient cushioning to compensate for bumpy roads, and comfort from street riding to long-distance travel. In addition to the above, the front brakes are available in drum or disc specs.”
The XTZ150S will be launched in March, with manufacturing and sales to be carried out by Yamaha Motor da Amazonia Ltda. Yamaha says its first production run should be around 50,000 units. This may sound like many, but Yamaha plans on selling 74,000 of its Fazer BlueFlex motorcycles by the end of March.
Yamaha is looking to gain more of a hold on the overall market share in Brazil. According to data released in late October 2012, eight in 10 motorcycles sold yearly in Brazil were Hondas, who held over 80 percent of the market share. Yamaha held 9.66 percent of the market.
The 150-cc class accounted for the largest share of the some 1.65 million motorcycles sold in Brazil in 2012, according to Yamaha Motor research.
Yamaha Motor believes its new XTZ150S models, which will market for just over 9,000 Brazilian real (about $3,700) will help the company increase sales in Brazil. In the longer term, the model is expected to contribute significantly to expanded business and improved profitability targeted by Yamaha Motor over the next few years.