When you hear of brands like
Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, etc the first picture that comes to your mind is a
superbike or anything that would resemble that. While each of these
manufacturers has a race horse of their own that was not where they began from.
The winning card especially for the Indian market has always been the mass
market and the commuter class of bikes is where business has always been cut
throat. While each of these brands has a worthy contender in their stable, the
125cc segment is yet to get a king. Yamaha already has a few bikes in this
segment but launched another contender -- the Saluto in April, 2015.
When I first saw the Saluto it
reminded me of a unicorn, no I am not talking about the Honda Unicorn but the
mythical creature. When you look at the headlight of the Saluto it has small
addition on the top which looks like a horn. From a distance the bike reminded
me of a unicorn. To some this may look a bit abnormal but it did not bother me
as it breaks the mundane design philosophy of the commuter segment. This bike
has bold styling, it does not really stand out nor will it turn heads but you
cannot say that it is ugly. Yamaha has ensured that this bike also carry the
same design language or at least parts of their design language used on the
better looking FZ & R series of bikes. The Saluto has a sleek fuel tank
with plastic cladding on the sides and the Brave Black version of the bike
which we reviewed looks appealing to say the least. The side compartments have
a black and silver finish while the taillamp looks aggressive. The bike comes
with 80/100 R18 tubeless tyres which give it a neat stance and a decent ground
clearance of 180mm.
At the heart of the Saluto is a
125cc, air cooled, 4 stroke, SOHC, 2 valve engine which produces 8.2bhp @
7000rpm and 10.1Nm @ 4500rpm. These are not the best performance figures in the
segment and one cannot say that this would be the fastest bike in the segment.
But then again this is the 125cc commuter segment we are talking about. The
fastest bike would be a few seconds quicker to its top speed and maybe do
4-5kmph more than the Saluto’s top speed. What really matters in this segment
is price and fuel economy of which the Saluto scores top marks in each. The
Saluto returns 78kms to the litre which is quite impressive and one of the best
figures in the segment. The Saluto costs Rs. 52,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) which
is decent for this class while it may not be the best offer it is certainly
competitive. The bike performs admirably on tarmac, it has a smooth ride with
the 80/100 R18 tubeless tyres from Ceat providing ample of grip. The lean
profile of the tyres make for a zippy ride and the light weight of the vehicle
(112kgs) ensure a good fuel economy. The telescopic forks (front) and swingarm
(rear) suspension ensure a stable and smooth ride over potholes and rough
roads. This is one of those bikes which give the rider a certain confidence
that it is stable and can be ridden with ease. It is not meant for cornering at
high speeds nor for drag races, it is a happy commuter bike which will do its
job without a single squeal but if you ask it to do anything else you may be
The Saluto has a broad and comfy saddle and can
seat two full grown adults with ease. The seat height and comfort design of the
handles provide for a good riding position, the switch gear is easy to operate
and has been designed ergonomically. The Saluto has an electric start feature
and a simple analogue speed-o-meter which is easy to read and has an
ecofriendly driving indicator. The bike is available in two colour options –
Victory Red and Brave Black. The Saluto has a strong significance in the 125cc
commuter market simply because it is one of the best in the two most importance
aspects of this segment – fuel economy and price. In terms of value for money
this is one of the best offers in the market to date.
(WITH OIL AND FULL FUEL TANK)
125cc, Air-cooled, 4 – Stroke, 2-valve
4-speed, Constant Mesh
8.2 bhp@ 7000rpm
10.1 Nm@ 4500rpm
BRAKE: FRONT/ REAR
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
TYRES: FRONT/ REAR
Telescopic Fork/ Swingarm
Mechanical leading trailing drum
80/100 R18 Tubeless, 80/100 R18,Tubeless
Rs. 52,000, (ex-showroom, Delhi)
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