Yamaha RX100 Launch Difficult, Here’s Why

  • Jun 17, 2024
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Recreating the 2-stroke engine’s characteristics with a 4-stroke engine will be very hard, says Eishin Chihana, Yamaha Motor India’s chairman

Yamaha RX100 Launch Difficult, Here’s Why

Yamaha RX100 Launch -- Quick Highlights:

  • Yamaha’s Chairman talks about the challenges in making a bike that lives up to the Yamaha RX100’s heritage.

  • RX100’s unique sound and performance from the 2-stroke engine is challenging to replicate in a 4-stroke guise.

  • Yamaha is still working on getting things right for the RX100 successor. It cannot afford to make any mistakes as the RX100 has a rich legacy behind it.

  • Initially planned post-2026 launch might be pushed, launch possible only 3-4 years from now.

‘Yamaha RX100 launch date’ - this is arguably one of the most googled queries among RX100 fans. It isn’t surprising considering Yamaha is indeed working on it. But now, Eishin Chihana (Chairman, Yamaha Motor India) has updated on the project, and the difficulties that are faced around the Yamaha RX100 relaunch. 

Yamaha RX100 Launch Details

Chihana addressed the fact that the Yamaha RX100 was an absolute legend back in the day, and is still adored by many. And that’s exactly why its revival process gets a bit tricky. For perspective, people loved the RX100 for its sound, styling, lightweight, and of course performance. 

Yamaha RX100 Launch

First things first, the RX100’s iconic sound was because it was a 2-stroke engine. However, given how much pollution 2-stroke engines cause, they were eventually discontinued a long time ago and were replaced by 4-stroke engines, which were obviously more eco-friendly. The issue is that it’s borderline impossible for any brand to make a 4-stroke engine with the iconic ‘ring-ding-ding’ soundtrack because the combustion cycle is completely different compared to a 2-stroke bike.    

Yamaha RX100

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Now the styling part isn’t the biggest issue since the RX100’s modern avatar can also be given old-school styling. Even making a fairly light bike wouldn’t be a challenge for Yamaha as it managed to make 125cc scooters (RayZR 125 Hybrid & Fascino 125) that too with mild-hybrid tech light enough to tip the scales at just 99kg kerb. 

Yamaha RX100 Launch Details

However, making a bike that offers similar levels of exciting performance might be an issue. Given modern day emission norms, that much performance on a 100cc bike will be impossible. Chihana said that they’d need at least a 200cc bike to do the same. In fact, we even discussed in our previous story why the rumoured 225cc engine might not make sense. But then as you start going up the ladder in terms of engine capacity, that’ll also bring around more weight. In sum, striking a good balance between all these aspects is something that Yamaha is finding tricky. And given the sheer fanbase that the RX100 has, Yamaha definitely doesn’t want to get things wrong and affect the RX100’s famed legacy. 

Earlier, in our exclusive interview with Chihana, he said that it’d make the most sense for the RX 100 to make a comeback with a bigger displacement  engine. A rebadged Yamaha XSR 155 then? That’s exactly what us Indians have been waiting for as it is the closest option that could justify the RX100’s legacy. Earlier in 2022, Chihana said that the next-gen Yamaha RX100 launch might only happen after 2026. Considering we’re already in 2024, we feel seeing a production-ready version of the RX100 is at least 3-4 more years away. 

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