India is considered as one of the biggest motorcycle markets in the entire world. We've covered industry news on the Indian market here on RideApart several times, and the Asian country is home to some of the most unique bikes we've ever seen. There's also a healthy mix of premium models from mainstream manufacturers there. However, it's interesting to note that even until now, bikes like the Yamaha MT-07 and MT-09 are not sold in India.
Indeed, in the U.S. and European markets, the MT-07 and MT-09 are among the most popular models in Yamaha's model range. In fact, in certain European markets such as Spain and Italy, the MT-07 has held the title of most popular street bike, and the YZF-R7 is proving to be a formidable contender in the middleweight sportbike segment. Speaking from personal experience, Yamaha's middleweight street bikes—in the form of the 700 and 900 series machines—are also extremely popular in the Philippines, where I'm from. As such, it's really surprising that Yamaha is only now planning to launch these bikes in the Indian market.
For Yamaha aficionados living in India, this is certainly big news. Indeed, most major publications in the country have published their interviews with Yamaha Motor India chairman Eishin Chihana, who revealed the company's plans of launching Team Blue's middleweight street bikes, particularly the MT-07, MT-09, and YZF-R7 in the Indian market by 2023. More specifically, in an article by BikeDekho, Yamaha states that the three street bikes will be made available in India by 2023, however in limited quantites, in a similar way as to how KTM made the 790 Duke available in the country.
Indeed, for those of you who are abreast with the global motorcycle industry, the spec-sheets of these three bikes need no introduction, and they're generally known as value-packed offerings in the two-wheeled world. Unfortunately for India, however, this may not be the case, as they'll be imported into the country via the CBU (completely-built-up) route, and will likely be slapped with hefty taxes, and therefore set customers back a hefty premium.