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Yamaha price themselves out of the market?

As it’s Christmas, I treated myself to the ‘review of the year’ Motorcycle News.

One story that caught my eye was that the 2010 Yamaha R6 is going to be priced at no less than £8999.

That’s just over £1000 less than a ZX-10R and an amazing £1500 increase in price in a year.

A Yamaha spokesman says:

“This new price reflects the increase in VAT to 17.5%. Regretfully it also has to include increased costs of manufacturing and volatile exchange rates. The increase has been kept to a minimum.”

The VAT ‘rise’ is in fact the end of the temporary drop in VAT to 15% and only adds just over £200 to the price, so it’s hardly Gordon Brown’s fault this time.

And in fact the exchange rate with the Yen is actually better than it was 12 months ago, with £1 buying approximately Y145 as opposed to Y130 back in January.

Can manufacturing costs have riding that much?

We’re certainly not looking at a radical new model to explain away the costs. Unlike the cross-plane crank R1 which took the roads by storm last year, the R6 is barely changed from the 2009 model.

Or are the importers trying the usual new year trick of hiking prices, as seems more likely?

The big question is whether other manufacturers will try to follow suit, or if Yamaha will find themselves out on an over-priced limb. The undoubted popularity of the R6 could well suffer if the importers try to hold out for silly prices at a time when spending has been reined in across the board.

Meanwhile, down at the car dealers, you can currently pick up a brand new Kia Picanto for £4495 with the scrappage scheme.

I know what I think’s the better deal on a snowy December morning.

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