A Yamaha press release announces several 2021 model Sport Heritage, Adventure Touring, Sport Touring, Transcontinental Touring, and scooter models to join the recently released full line of Hyper Naked MT motorcycles. But it’s what is at the end of the press release that really caught our attention.
It’s only after you read through the full list of models and updates that you get to a couple of paragraphs that break the real news. After describing the 2021 XMAX scooter, Yamaha drops what could be considered a bombshell by some Yamaha owners. And the news isn’t good.
Press release and ending production
In two short paragraphs, Yamaha reveals the end of production for several significant bikes. To maintain the integrity of their announcement, we have copied and pasted the announcement word for word.
With deep consideration of evolving global market trends and regulations that limit production volumes on certain models, the following Yamaha models will be discontinued after model year 2020: YZF-R6, VMAX, WR250R and SMAX.
Yamaha understands the iconic history of these models. Regarding the future, Yamaha is continuously looking at new ideas and concepts to support and expand the market, as well as enhance our customers’ experiences.
Consumers can contact their local Yamaha dealer on the remaining model year 2020 availability of these discontinued models. – Yamaha press release
Well, that’s a bit of a bummer. Three once very popular and arguably pretty capable machines are now marching into Yamaha’s model history. With changing emission regulations, it’s not all that surprising that Yamaha is choosing to discontinue some of these models.
The middleweight sportbike category is all but dead. And the VMAX appeals to a limited crowd and carries a significant price tag of $17,999. It’s not clear why Yamaha is eliminating these bikes, but emissions and sales likely played a significant role in the decision.
And it may be that emissions are the reason why Yamaha has chosen to end the WR250R. But it’s a significant loss for the lightweight dual sport segment. The other Japanese Big 4 manufacturers haven’t said anything about their bikes in this segment. Let’s hope that Yamaha’s decision to kill off the WR250R isn’t a precedent setter for other manufacturers.
But perhaps there’s a positive side to this announcement. Maybe, just maybe, Yamaha is working on a replacement model. Let’s hope so.
What do you think killed off these bikes? Do you think it’s low sales, stringent emissions regulations or a combination of the two that is driving Yamaha to stop production of these bikes? Let us know what you think in the comments below.