Yamaha YZF-R3 on the way

A 350LC for the two-thousand-and-teens?

YAMAHA has filed trademark applications for the name ‘YZF-R3’, suggesting the firm is planning a 300cc sports bike.

It’s likely to be a bigger version of the 249cc parallel-twin R25 concept unveiled late last year at the Tokyo show.

European and UK applications to trademark the name 'YZF-R3' were filed on January 6 this year, and an Australian application on January 7.

According to the applications, the name is applicable to 'motorcycles, scooters, three-wheeled scooters and parts for all the aforesaid goods'.

A 300cc Yamaha sports bike would go up against Kawasaki's Ninja 300 and Honda's new CBR300R in the growing market for sub-48hp bikes suitable for A2 licence holders.

Yamaha has confirmed it will launch a small parallel-twin sports bike this year. It's possible the firm will offer two versions, the R3 for Europe and Australia and the R25 elsewhere.

It's also possible, if much less likely, that the trademark application could relate to a long-rumoured 675cc inline-three replacement for the R6.