Aug 19, 2010

People are calling Yamaha's bluff. Why don't they seem to get it?

Yamaha just introduced YBR 110 and SS 125. If I were to summarize the instant reaction of motorcyclists online, it would be:

"YBR 110 is a rehashed ALBA and SS 125 is a rehashed Gladiator!"

And in essence, this reaction sounds so true. Why? Just when you look at the pics or the actual bikes you get it. The upper pic is Alba, the lower one is YBR. Also, why did Yamaha launch YBR? Coz Alba wasn't selling. But people can see they are both the same! So YBR might also have a tough time selling.

Now motorcycles and motorcycling is a hot topic online in India. And thousands and lacs of motorcyclists or prospective motorcycle-buyers are active online seeking guidance, sharing info and in turn guiding others in what to choose and what not to. People can see what's the truth.

Pitch all the interactive noise online against the monologuish claims in mass-media advertising and check what wins. Why do you think Yamaha's motorcycles commuter/executive commuter segment do not work?

One might say, Hero Honda has also been an active rehasher and has been doing it successfully. My guess is, Yamaha rides on a premium image and Hero Honda is just too massy. A huge chunk of Hero Honda owners might not be aware or even interested in the buzz online. Yamaha prospects though would be keen to know what people are saying online simply because of the stakes involved.

Yamaha needs to acknowledge this fact and draw inspiration from their FZ16 and R15 efforts. They need to offer something genuinely new instead of just changed names and whistles and color-schemes.

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