Yes, you read that correctly – a motorcycle for $825. For that kind of cash, the 2015 Yamaha Saluto would likely be of interest to any American resident, especially city dwellers in need of cheap transportation.
Unfortunately, the 125cc Saluto – marketed as a “family-use motorcycle” and claimed to have the lightest weight in its class at 247 lbs. – will only be available in the world’s largest motorcycle market, India.
The Saluto is Yamaha’s first serious attempt in a long time to entertain the two-wheel crowd in India, which was 16-million units strong in 2014.
There’s a slim chance – on second thought, no chance – of Yamaha bringing this to America, but the marketing possibilities would be tasteful. Would Yamaha have the ultimate Honda Grom killer? This is obviously out-there thinking – bikes built for Indian consumerism never make it stateside. Many OEMs are missing out on the unique underground market that the Grom solely controls, and the Saluto may Yamaha’s answer.
Of course, if offered stateside the Saluto wouldn’t be priced at $825; this is the Delhi MSRP of 52,000 Indian Rupees converted to US currency.
So what is the Saluto? Yamaha says it developed the 9-horsepower bike using the “Economical & Practical Indian Family Motorcycle” concept. It was designed for India’s largest motorcycle market – the 125cc class.
Yamaha says “Intended for family use, the new model is fuel efficient, practical for everyday use, and has a stylish design. The new Saluto is powered by a new engine with a more compact combustion chamber than previous 125cc models released by Yamaha Motor.
“Thanks to its thoroughly-lightweight design, the new model has the lightest weight in its class at 112kg (247 lbs.), which in turn improves fuel economy by approximately 10 percent as compared to Yamaha Motor’s previous models in its class.
“Catering to the needs of the Indian market, where carrying pillion passengers is frequent, the new Saluto’s suspension, footrests and seat are setup to enhance comfort. The new model has a resin tank cover, which adds to the motorcycle’s dynamic styling.”
As India’s motorcycle market continues to grow dominate, Yamaha has offered more and more motorcycles there, including the new YZF-R15, and the FZ and SZ series. Now there’s the Saluto, which Yamaha says will offer the best fuel economy in the 125cc class.
Yamaha says 110,000 Salutos will be built in its first year. Can we get a handful stateside, please? And can we get some with front brakes for some hooligan stoppies?