Yamaha R400 and R650 rumoured

Japanese magazine mocks-up new bikes

JAPANESE magazine ‘Young Machine’ says Yamaha is planning two new middleweight sports bikes – the YZF-R400 and YZF-R650 – in competition with machines like the Honda CBR500R and Kawasaki ER-6F.

Weight is added to the idea by the fact that the firm has recently shown journalists a new twin-cylinder engine which might prove ideal to power such bikes. The firm gave no clues to the motor’s capacity or performance, but it could easily be in the region of 650cc, with the possibility of sleeving it down to 400cc for some markets. Kawasaki does a similar thing with its 650cc ER-6, which is offered as a 400 in some countries including Japan to suit local licence laws.

Any such bikes will be aimed far lower down the market than Yamaha’s existing R6, filling the yawning chasm between that bike and the entry-level R125 sports bike. Earlier this year Yamaha execs also confirmed that the company will be making a 250cc sports bike rivalling the CBR250R, although it will primarily be aimed at markets like India and Indonesia.