Are Honda and Yamaha planning new small capacity adventure models?

Rumours from Japan seem to suggest that Honda and Yamaha are planning some interesting new adventure and touring models

Honda Africa Twin 250

SINCE the adventure touring segment became one of the strongest battlegrounds in the global motorcycle market, manufacturers are always looking at new ways to tap into this rich seam of customers.

Two of the global players who look like they may be about to take the plunge in the sector are Honda and Yamaha, as rumours from Japan seem to suggest they are both about to unleash new, small capacity adventure touring machines on the world.

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The whispers are emanating from Young Machine, Japan’s most well-known motorcycle websites, and one that is widely regarded to be fed information from within the big four Japanese manufacturers.

The first bike is from Honda, and the more you look at it, the more realistic the idea becomes. The theory is that the firm is planning a smaller version of the Africa Twin, with Young Machine pointing to a 250cc version of the successful adventure touring machine.

The bike would be a fairly easy bike to bring to market for the firm, as they already have a bike that would fit the bill in the form of the CRF250L Rally in its line-up. It’s not too ridiculous to imagine Honda extending the range of the bike with a larger tank, it’s currently 10.1 litres, adding a smidgen of Africa Twin styling and making the overall dynamic of the bike a bit less enduro and a bit more road-oriented.

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The other idea is the much talked about small capacity Tracer or Ténéré. Again, Yamaha has hardware that could fit the bill on this front. The 321cc engine that currently resides in the MT-03 and R3 machines could very easily be re-tuned for the less peaky and more torquey demands of light off-roading and touring use.

As with pretty much all of the musings from Young Machine, the ideas above are not officially endorsed by either manufacturer.

We can but hope though.

Images from Young Machine