Wherefore art thou, Yamaha 250?

Long-planned 2014 sports 250 still not shown

ONE bike conspicuously missing from the torrent of new models at the EICMA show in Milan last week was the long-awaited Yamaha 250cc sports bike. So where is it?

The bike, speculated to be called the YZF-R250 when launched and believed to be under development with the codename “1WD” has been the subject of rumours for years, and during 2012 Yamaha India boss Hiroyuki Suzuki appeared to confirm it would be coming to the Indian market as a 2014 model during an interview with India’s Financial Chronicle.

However, as we near the end of 2013 there’s still little sign of the rumoured 250, even though other firms – not least Triumph – have revealed plans to make similar machines with the Indian market, which is hungry for sporty bikes in the region of 250cc, in mind.

Speculation over the Yamaha has been rife, with stories suggesting everything from a simple, single-cylinder machine to a high-spec DOHC parallel twin, but hard evidence of the bike’s technical details have been thin on the ground.

As 2013 draws to a close, the chances are that the bike may now be unveiled as late as February next year, with the Indian Motor Show a likely venue. Meanwhile we’re left still wondering whether it will turn out to be a bike destined purely for the Indian market or one that will also go on sale over here to rival the likes of the CBR250R, Kawasaki Ninja 300 and even the stunning new KTM RC200 and RC390.

What’s your take? Do you think the market for small sports bikes in the UK and Europe can sustain a war between all the major manufacturers, or will it simply result in each taking a smaller slice of an already small pie?