Several Asian motorcycle blogs are posting photos of what they claim is Yamaha’s latest naked bike, the MT25 -a bike that might come into our market as the FZ3.
For a while now, it’s been rumoured that Yamaha plans to build a naked version of the R3 sportbike (or, as it’s known in Asian markets, the R25, due to its smaller displacement). The FZ-07 and FZ-09 nakeds have sold very well, and the fully-faired R3/R25 has also garnered lots of positive press since its introduction. See CMG’s reviews here and here!
Now, Asian news sources like Mansarpost.com, Iwanbanaran.com and the usually-reliable TMC Blog all say the same thing: There’s a naked version of the R3 en route. They have pictures which seem to prove it too – see the composite image above.
There’s no guarantee this machine will make it to North America, even if it does debut successfully in Asia. The Japanese have been burned enough by slow-moving models in the entry-level market that they’re usually reluctant to diversify things much in the 250-400 cc range. A good example of this is Kawasaki’s Z300 – not coming to Canada, no matter how much you want one.
However, this trend does seem to be changing, and Yamaha already has seen success with naked bikes in North America that originally seemed a long shot for this market.
If the FZ3 does come to Canada, it could occupy a niche in the market. Honda has the CB300F, but the Yamaha should out-muscle that machine handily. Kawasaki has decided to focus on entry-level sportbikes, not nakeds. Suzuki’s GW250 is priced right, but doesn’t have comparable power.
Indeed, the FZ3’s closest competitor might be the KTM Duke 390, which would set up an interesting showdown between Euro flash and Japanese precision. Comparo, anyone?