On November 25, 2023, Thai Yamaha hosted a special sneak preview event for selected motorcycle press in Thailand to test out an all-new model, both to the country and to the world. Friends, this is the Yamaha PG-1. It will make its full debut at the 2023 Thai Motor Expo, which runs from November 30 through December 12, 2023 in Nonthaburi (part of the greater Bangkok area) at the IMPACT Challenger 1-3 center.
Does the Yamaha PG-1 look an awful lot like a shot across the bow of the Honda CT125 Hunter Cub? If you're going solely by appearances, perhaps. While the CT125 Hunter Cub has found success in plenty of international markets (including the US, where dealers couldn't keep them in stock when it was first introduced), a fairer comparison would be the Cross Cub 110, which has never been sold in the US.
Gallery: Yamaha PG-1
See, the Yamaha PG-1 uses the same 114cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine that's found in the Yamaha Finn (which is also sold in Thailand). The Finn is a very commuter-friendly little scoot, with looks not dissimilar to the Honda Wave.
Thai Yamaha doesn't list power figures for the Finn, but it has a bore and stroke of 50.0mm by 57.9mm, and a compression ratio of 9.3 to one. It comes with your choice of either alloy or spoked wheels, with different prices for each. MSRP for the alloy wheel-equipped version is 48,700 baht, which converts to about $1,388. It's an everyday commuter bike, meant for everyday commuters, and the PG-1 is its more stylish cousin.
Not to be confused with Yamaha Corporation's PG1 guitar and instrument preamp.
Price and Availability
Although Thai Yamaha hasn't officially announced pricing for the PG-1, it began accepting preorders on November 26, 2023. Interested individuals can choose from any one of four available colors: Chill Blue, Humming Brown, Vivid Yellow, or Cool Black.
Are you a Wanderlust Camper or a Naughty Tracker?
To entice early adopters, Thai Yamaha is also offering an exclusive bonus for the first 100 buyers who preorder a PG-1 in Thailand by December 11, 2023. If you buy a Yamaha PG-1 and equip it with either the Wanderlust Camper or Naughty Tracker accessory packs between November 26 and December 11, 2023, you'll get 10,000 baht off the 15,000 baht MSRP for either of those kits.
For reference, 5,000 baht is just under $143, and that's all each of those accessory kits will run those first 100 buyers.
You get quite a bit for your money in the two accessory packs, even at 15,000 baht. Here's what's in each one:
The Wanderlust Camper pack includes hand guards, hand guard covers, a black brake lever, a USB charger, a blacked out front carrier kit, a heavy duty rear carrier kit, a silver exhaust shield, and blacked out subframe and leg shield kits. You also get a long-sleeve t-shirt and hat.
Choose the Naughty Tracker pack instead, and you'll get a license plate holder, hand guard set, front number plate kit, blacked out raised front fender kit, side number plate kit for that retro look, silver exhaust shield, silver skid plate, and a black sub frame kit. You'll also get a more colorful long-sleeve jersey and matching hat.
But Really, Does This Mean That Yamaha Is Coming For Honda's Lunch?
Back to the elephant in the room, which is a little company you may have heard of that's called Honda. As we noted above, the PG-1 might bear more than a passing resemblance to the CT125, but the engine inside puts this bike in more direct competition with the Cross Cub 110 in markets where that bike is sold.
Interestingly, Honda doesn't offer the Cross Cub 110 in Thailand. It does sell the regular Super Cub, Grom, and even the CT125 in Thailand. It also sells the Wave 110 (which is the direct competitor to the Yamaha Finn).
Even Yamaha's promotional artwork for the Wanderlust Camper and Naughty Tracker accessories packs bears a strikingly similar design sensibility to much of what Cub House Honda does. It's not exactly the same, but it's clearly going for the same type of vibe.
Thai Yamaha PG-1 Art
Thai Honda CT125 Art
This isn't the first time that Yamaha has followed in Honda's footsteps in the small-displacement department. After seeing the roaring success of the Super Cub in the first place, both Yamaha and Suzuki decided that they needed their own underbone, new rider friendly options. Yamaha's was the TownMate. Suzuki's was the M30, also called the Suzy in the UK.
As for how well the Yamaha PG-1 will be received, part of that will surely depend on how Thai Yamaha prices it. We'll look forward to learning that information once it's available.
What do you think of the Yamaha PG-1? Would you ride one if you could? Let us know in the comments!