Yamaha is the youngest motorcycle manufacturing firm from the land of rising sun. They had to face a tough competition because when they started, Japan had over 100 motorcycle manufacturing firms. They started with YA-1, A german inspired 2 stroke 125 cc which won the Mount fuji race after some months of its launch and earned Yamaha a reputation, a name and a goodwill. Having a strong confidence over the machine they seeked towards other markets and came to Pakistan in 1976 with a collaboration of Dawood Group of companies. A new company was formed based on joint venture set up and it was called Dawood Yamaha Limited.
In 1976 they started with distributing completely built motorcycles in Pakistan. Our roads were having 50cc to 175cc Yamaha motorcycles but a few became a legacy which include YB100, RX115 and DT175. To this date these motorcycles are remembered and those who own them really love them. They were simple, reliable and built to last.
Dawood Yamaha was a conservative company, all of these years they only relied on 1 motorcycle the mighty YB100 also known as THE ROYALE and kept on launching its new variants after every two years with only graphic updates. They tried to make a 90cc motorcycle to capture the market from Honda CD70 with the name of Yamaha DX Super but failed and later discontinued it. They also launched a better-looking executive version of YB100 called THE EXCELLENCE which had same engine with improved looks, suspension and body but by that time our domestic market was infected of loving the older shapes and they also discontinued Excellence after some time.
In early 2000’s they launched Yama 4 YD100, a 4stroke 100 cc engine in same frame with almost same styling and the market accepted it after some persuasion. This motorcycle became the inspiration of even a more sporty Yamaha Junoon which was developed by YMC for Pakistan and that motorcycle not only was reliable, economical and good looking, it was actually a first major change interms of shape from Yamaha.
By 2006 after Junoon’s launch and good response the Japanese partner wanted to launch a more sportier 125cc motorcycle YBR125 but the Dawood group was hesitant and didn’t wanted to take the risk. This small dispute grew out of meeting room and eventually ended up in calling off the joint venture. The deed they both signed in 1976 finally met its dead line. DYL was now Dawood Younas Limited and the Yamaha went back to Osaka Japan! That was almost end of an era of legacy right there. DYL bought the patents for Yamaha Royale,excellence,Yama4 and Junoon before their divorce.
The market was kept in this secret and DYL changed its branding and other things. The layman still believed it’s the same Yamaha but what happens if you take oxygen out of air? Its useless to us and that’s what happened to DYL. Falling into pieces they tried to survive by launching Dhoom YD70 which public accepted as “Yamaha ki 70” and bought it extensively. The oxygen had returned and they were back in business but not for long.
DYL could not keep up to its previous standards. People were demanding a solid motorcycle and Dhoom was somewhat fragile. DYL focused entirely on making 70cc and almost forget about their 100cc motorcycles but their profits were declining and the debt was increasing. Dhoom’s fame was ending and that’s when they launched two more flop motorcycles, DYL MINI 100 and DYL YD125 Sports. Mini 100 was nothing but 100cc Junoon engine in Dhoom’s frame. I have ridden one in my before vlogging days and it is an unstable motorcycle for that frame and tires set up. Eventually it was discontinued and same happened with DYL YD125. The 125cc OHV engine with a 5-speed gear box was clone of CG125 but the public just didn’t accept it. DYL had to file bankruptcy because they were drenched in debts. The factory was closed and the company was brought to an end.
In my little motorcycling sense, I feel that lack of innovation killed DYL, even though their plant and machinery is still wonderful but vision isn’t cheap. If they had it, DYL would have not been shut down like that. Currently somehow DYL is making Dhoom 70 only! What a pity.
On the other hand, Yamaha again came back to Pakistan in 2015 as a multi-national and launched YBR125 (the reason behind dispute) and the response was good, they were confident enough to launch another variant YBR125G and it was accepted by the youngsters. Yamaha became a brand of youngsters who want to ride a quality motorcycle and enjoy the smooth ride. Later on, they launched YB125Z to target the masses and though the pace is slow but the patch is right. Now after 4 years they are doing good business and the audience is demanding for higher capacity motorcycles which I hope Yamaha soon delivers because they have brought some change in the market.
That was my take on DYL and Yamaha love story which had a bitter ending but its definitely a better love story than twilight!