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The indomitable legendary status created by RX100 may have forced Yamaha to maintain its stand as a icon rather than bringing it back

The RX100 nameplate made Yamaha what it is today in India. The evocative motorcycle can be seen on roads everyday and it did not just appeal to a band of young customers, as people of all ages tend to adore it for the way it is. This begs the question of why RX100 is having a big hiatus than initially expected and will it be accepted as a brand new model when brought back?

When the Rajdoot 350 was in its dying years, the Japanese manufacturer needed something provocative to have a long-lasting impact in the domestic market, and the success of AX100 paved the way for Yamaha pursuing a range of small capacity motorcycles. Towards the closing months of 1985, Yamaha introduced the RX100 with much fanfare and it was largely due to its mechanical prowess.

The 100 cc engine had performance intentions and it was one of the most accessible and hardcore bikes people could buy in that period characterised by a unique exhaust. Besides, its sleek stance would make people on road notice when you flew by. The Yamaha RX100 was also popular among race enthusiasts and contestants in particular.

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Its potential was realised in drag racing and customisations were made for internal components to further spruce up its performance. The stock RX100 did impress with its mesmerizing engine as the single-cylinder two-stroke unit produced 11 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 10.39 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, and was connected to four-speed gearbox.

It was highly adoptable for visual modifications as well and you could see its existing owners often doing that as a restomod – a friend of mine spent Rs. 40,000 a couple of months back. Erstwhile, some of the tuned RX100s reached quarter mile in a scarcely believable 14 seconds – way better than some of the acclaimed motorcycles of today. The RX100s manufactured from 1985 to 1987 were brought into the country via CKD route from Japan and assembled locally.

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Only the RX100s produced in Japan had disc brakes on both ends. Sadly, due to the increasing popularity of four-stroke motorcycles and to meet emission standards, Yamaha had to pull plugs on the RX100 after 11 years of existence – leaving a legacy that could not be fulfilled by any other Yamaha model thus far.

The indomitable legendary status created by RX100 may have forced Yamaha to maintain its stand as an icon rather than bringing it back. But, just as manufacturers reaching new heights with the revival of a big name and Yamaha is no stranger in that aspect, we can sincerely hope for its renascence in the near future.

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