It's no secret that India is one of the biggest motorcycle markets in the world. With more than 1.4 billion, yes, with a B, people in the country, it's easily one of the most densely populated countries in the world. As such, it's no surprise that motorcycles are a quick and easy way to get around. 

Indeed, India's motorcycle market is a microcosm of models the rest of the world has never seen before. While the market is indeed home to some premium models available in the global market, a vast majority of motorcycles sold in India are smaller, with displacements typically smaller than 200cc. That being said, the premium segment is pretty much the same as the rest of the world. However, it's interesting that some of the most popular models in the global market aren't even sold in India – or at least not yet. 

For example, the Yamaha MT-09, or previously the FZ-09 in the U.S. was never sold in India. Its smaller, albeit equally popular sibling, the MT-07 has also never been sold in the Indian market. This could soon be about to change, however, as the MT-09 was recently showcased to India's Yamaha dealers. According to multiple Indian motorcycling publications, it seems that the MT-09's launch in the Indian market is pretty much a certainty. It's expected to hit the roads by the second half of 2023. 

2021 Yamaha MT-09 - City

There are, of course, a variety of reasons as to why bikes like the MT-09 aren't available in India. Chief of which is definitely cost – more specifically, tax. You see, if Yamaha were to import the MT-09 as a CBU unit, or Completely-Built-Up, it could very easily command a hefty tax, so much so that it'll be priced nearly 50 percent more than its retail price in other markets. This is exactly the case with bikes like the Kawasaki Z900RS. In India, the neo-retro roadster commands a hefty Rs 1,647,000 – or approximately $20,100 USD. In the U.S. market, however, the Z900RS isn't all that expensive at $11,949 USD. 

Chances are this'll be the same case of the Yamaha MT-09, and instead of it being a mid-tier offering in Yamaha's Indian lineup, it'll likely be a premium model, going up against the likes of the Triumph Street Triple RS and Ducati Monster. 

Got a tip for us? Email: