Yamaha Ray Review
One of the best scooters in IndiaSaturday, November 16, 2013
Design and Style
At a press conference in July 2012, the India Yamaha Motor Company announced the release of a brand new scooter model - Yamaha Ray. In a showcase at the Auto Expo 2012, the world got a closer look at this new entry into the Indian scooter market, aimed at female drivers between the ages of 16 and 24. The company has certainly set its sights high, aiming to capture 10 percent of the scooter market by the year 2016 – so will the Yamaha Ray help it on its way to domination, or is it just another scooter in an already saturated market?
The design of the bike is intended to be attractive to female drivers, with vivid, eye-catching curves and edges, and it’s certainly something different in a market that is all too prone to generic design. The sharp lines of the bike’s body are bold, almost aggressive, but its lights and clear-lens indicators are softer and more feminine. The main body of the bike is painted in the body color with striking black accents. The headlight fixtures are strong and nicely shaped, and the bike includes a silver tone back mirror. Overall, the body of the bike is expected to weigh 104 kilograms, placing it in the low to medium range of scooters. The scooter is certainly far more compact than many of its rivals, in keeping with its aim of attracting female drivers.
The Ray’s smart analogue instrument console is eye-catching and visually appealing. It features a twin pod speedometer cluster, accompanied by low fuel, low oil and low battery indicators, and a number of other modern features that will help to set it apart from the analogue consoles of its rivals. All of the dials and displays are clear and striking, easy to read both in bright sunlight and in night conditions.
Engine and Gearbox
The Yamaha Ray is powered by a 113cc four-stroke, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine. It claims a top power output of 7 Bhp at 7500 rpm and a maximum torque of 8.1 Nm at 5500 rpm. This kind of power should be adequate for the average female driver, but it’s a distinctly underwhelming entry into a market dominated by scooters with 125 cc engines, and many drivers may choose to pass up on the Ray for this reason.
Acceleration and Top Speed
Yamaha has revealed the detailed specs of the bike, it is certainly not as powerful as its 125 cc rivals, offering a less impressive pick-up and slower acceleration. However, given that the bike weighs just 104 kilograms, we can expect that it should still be relatively nippy and responsive.
Yamaha claims that the Ray will have an average fuel consumption of 45 kilometres per litre, which would put it roughly on a level with many of its competitors. However, in the past Yamaha’s estimates have been found to be somewhat generous, so it will return around 40 and 45 kilometres per litre for inner city driving, pushing to 50 kilometres per litre for flat out highway driving. As per the company claims, the highest mileage you can get is 62.1 kmpl.
Comfort While Driving
Yamaha has established itself as a manufacturer of scooters that are pleasant and comfortable to drive, and the Ray looks set to continue this. Its seat is well proportioned and spacious, with plenty of room for both driver and pillion, including ample foot room. The seat is of good quality and its upright position will ensure comfort over long journeys.
With the Ray, Yamaha has clearly decided to make storage a top priority, as this is likely to appeal most to its target audience of female drivers. In particular, the under-seat storage is capacious, offering more than 20 litres of storage space – enough to stow a bag or helmet as necessary.
The Yamaha Ray features telescopic fork front suspension, similar to many of its competitors. Yamaha bikes generally offer well-built suspension that performs well on a range of road surfaces and on off-track drives.
The Yamaha Ray was expected to be available in two variants, one of which will feature drum brakes on the front and rear, and one of which will feature disc brakes at the front and drum brakes the rear. It’s somewhat disappointing that Yamaha didn’t opt for the more capable disc brakes on front, Ray is available in only variant featuring drum brakes at front and rear.
Ride and Handling
Early reports of the Yamaha are complimentary about its handling and capability. Yamaha bikes are well known for offering a smooth, silent ride, and with the strong suspension on this model drivers can expect a pleasant driving experience on a bike that copes well with tight corners, suited to moving swiftly through city traffic.
Yamaha Ray sports 10 inch tyres both at front and rear. With the Ray, Yamaha has opted for wider, tubeless tires that are far more puncture-resistant than the standard tubed tires of previous models.
The shade on display at the Expo was a vivid purple combined with jet-black. The production version of Yamaha Ray is available in
six seven eye-catching shades: White (NEW), Pink, Purple, Blue, Burgundy, Grey and Black.
Yamaha Ray was expected to be available in a standard and deluxe variant, with the deluxe variant offering plenty of added extras and a more capable braking system. But for now, Yamaha India has decided to sell Ray in only one variant featuring drum brakes at front and rear.
In order to make it as appealing as possible to women drivers, Yamaha has packed the Ray with a number of enticing features to help to set it apart from its rivals. These include tubeless tyres, a sporty half-chain case, a maintenance-free battery, a viscous air filter, and a premium key.
Reasons to Buy and Value for Money
The Ray is a comfortable ride with some good features and nice handling, aiming to cater to the needs of the modern female driver. The Yamaha Ray is priced at Rs. 46000 (ex-showroom New Delhi), making it a strong competitor in that price bracket.
Many customers were eagerly awaiting the Yamaha Ray, as it promises to be an intriguing yet practical addition to Yamaha’s scooter line, with plenty of storage space. Its lack of power is more than made up for by its modern features and snappy design.