Extravagance has its place... if you're a small-percentage of motorcyclists. But for the rest of the population, Ducati Panigale, Honda CBR1000RR, Kawasaki Z1000 or Yamaha FZ8 just don't fit with economic realities.
Thankfully, the motorcycle industry has listened. In particular, the Japanese, who have taken quite a beating in the press the for the last few years for not matching the technological advances of European manufacturers.
Despite appearing to have been overly cautious while weathering the financial maelstrom of the past several years, Kawasaki and Honda now seem to be quite savvy for attacking the opposite end of the motorcycle market with motorcycles like the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, D-Tracker 250, KLX250, CBR250R and the recently introduced Honda CRF250L.
'The entry-level market is very important to Honda and a segment where we're seeing a lot of growth worldwide', said a Honda Public Relation representative. 'A lot of the younger buyers are coming in and looking for high-quality, inexpensive, fuel-efficient machines like the Honda CBR250R and CRF250L. But we are also seeing a lot of people re-entering the market after being off of motorcycles for years. These 250s and motorcycles like the new Honda NC700X are key to getting both types of customers riding. When we asked the Honda representative about any upcoming Thai made budget big bike the question was answered with a wellknown smile which somehow says 'I know more but I'm not going to tell you'...
Future options for these consumers appear to be quickly expanding. We predict that the following machines will soon be joining the affordable motorcycle market. It appears that Kawasaki is upping the ante with an all-new Ninja 250R or perhaps completely replacing it with a Ninja 300R, depending on which rumors we are to believe. In August, Kawasaki Japan's home-market website released information and images of a new 250cc Kawasaki Ninja 250R after which it was soon introduced on the Indonesian market.
For Suzuki and 250cc we all know that Suzuki now has the 250 Inazuma, which is introduced in the Japanese home-market as the GSR250, Suzuki Thailand also declined to inform us about the possible Thai introduction date, but the year 2013 was called in association with the Suzuki 250 Inazuma.
With all the movement in the 250cc market, we predict that Yamaha is planning to get in on the action sooner or later. If Yamaha decides to go the single-cylinder route, it ready has the fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, 250cc four-valve engine form available. The 249cc single-cylinder from Yamaha's WR250R would make an excellent basis for the Yamaha YZF-R25.