India seems to be gradually taking to 300-350cc bikes, at least that's what the success of KTM Duke 390, RC 390, Kawasaki Ninja 300 leads us to believe. And in a bid to cash in in this rising popularity of 300cc bikes, Yamaha is also planning to launch a product in that space. However, nobody was sure about Yamaha's product strategy, i.e. if it would launch the YZF-R25, which is already on sale in some South-East Asian markets, or the new R3, which was unveiled in Europe last year. Till now.
Our sources tell us that the company might launch the R3 instead of the R25; the company has, in fact, imported two units of the bike from Indonesia for research & development. The challenge for Yamaha, however, will be pricing it competitively in India. The reason why I think achieving competitive pricing will be a challenge for the Japanese bikemaker is because the R3 features a 2-cylinder engine. Whereas, almost all of its competitors in India get single-cylinder engines that give them a price advantage. Also, if Yamaha doesn't assemble the bike locally in India and brings it in as a CBU (Completely Built-Up Unit), the bike would be far more costly than all of its rivals.
Now about the engine specs, the Yamaha YZF-R3 features a 320cc, twin-cylinder engine that is good for 41bhp and 29.5Nm. Just so you know, the R3's engines is basically a bored out version of the R25's engine. So, with slightly lower compression, the R3's engine is definitely a better performer than that of the R25. However, the R3's closest competitor - if it's launched in India, - will be the RC 390, which, despite having a single-cylinder engine, churns out more power than the R3. KTM RC 390's 373cc engine churns out a maximum power output of 43bhp.