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The Yamaha MT-03 has landed
Predicting this one was as easy as switching on the telly and predicting about finding 'breaking news' flashing on a news channel. The R25 came first, next in line was the R3. Then came the MT-25 not so long ago, and now, less than a month after Yamaha launched the R3 in our land, here's the naked version of it: the MT-03.
The formula for the MT-03, as it was with the MT-25, is simple. Undo the screws holding the fairing in place, swap the shark nose for a softer-looking single headlight (sitting below the twin LED pilot lights), insert a tiny speed screen, air inlets either side of the fuel tank, a belly pan to shield the parallel-twin's bottom half, and there you are. All-new MT-series motorcycle for markets where 250s don't cut it any more.
If someone ripped the name stickers off the MT-25 and the MT-03 and placed them next to each other, you'd really struggle to tell one from the other. They're similar in terms of appearance, and even on the spec sheet, they're almost the same. Dimensionally, they're identical, both bikes weigh 165kg, and have a 14-litre fuel tank. Plus, though they get single disc brakes at both ends, they're both deprived of ABS.
But what looking at both bikes won't tell you is that the MT-03's engine packs more punch. Like the R3, the MT-03's 320cc twin develops 41.5bhp and 30Nm of torque, and is paired to the same six-speed gearbox. The MT, being a street bike, receives a higher-set handlebar, and the riding position has been altered to make it more comfortable for rides around town.
The MT-03, as we'd told you, is on its way here. We're expecting to see the bike at the Delhi Auto Expo in February, with the launch following in March. Like the R3, the MT-03, too, is made at Yamaha's manufacturing facility in Indonesia, and so, will be shipped to India via the CKD route. Whether Yamaha will offer ABS on the bike here is still unclear, and we don't expect it to be a great deal cheaper compared to the R3. Expect a difference of Rs 10,000, at most, which should see the MT-03 being priced at about Rs 3.15 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi.