I was in Dumaguete City just a few weeks ago and it is very hard to ignore that its residents prefer the motorcycle as their preferred mode of personal transportation. City fathers should seriously think of adding the title “Motorcycle Capital of the Philippines” to their community in addition to their traditional “The City of Gentle People” monicker.
And so it was in this city that I learned more about these two-wheeled vehicles. Later, as I did my research about the Philippines’ motorcycle market, I discovered an interesting set of facts.
For example, did you know that Philippine motorcycle manufacturers and importers sell about PHP 40 billion worth of product annually? It’s a big enough an amount by Philippine standards, but more motorcycles need to be sold in this country if we will ever see the kind of usage already seen in Indonesia or Vietnam. In 2003, it was already noted that there was one motorcycle for every 15.4 and 7.3 persons in these two countries respectively, as opposed to 62.7 ratio observed for the Philippines.
At any rate, while I was in Dumaguete City I saw a trio of the latest model Yamaha motorcycles close up, and here is one of them: the Yamaha Nouvo Z.
The Yamaha Nouvo Z was first introduced in 2002 and is described as a underbone bodied motorcycle. This chassis allows the Nouvo Z to look like a scooter, which is a popular design among Philippine motorcycle riders because of its “ease of use, their appeal to both sexes, and their motorcycle-like dependable handling properties.”
The Yamaha Nouvo Z is powered by a forced air-cooled, four-stroke, single overhead cam (SOHC) engine with a displacement of 113 cc. and a power output of 6.54 kw./8.77 hp. at 8,000 rpm. In other countries the Nouvo is equipped with a water-clled powerplant.
This motorcycle is available in three colors: Bluish White Cocktail, Bluish Silver, and Black Metallic.
The Yamaha Mio was introduced in 2003 and has the same underbone chassis as the Nouvo Z. While the Mio is likewise powered by a forced air-cooled, four-stroke, single overhead cam (SOHC) engine with a displacement of 113 cc., the similarity between the two ends there. For starters, the Mio looks more scooter-like than the Nouvo Z, as you can see from the pictures above.
The Mio is smaller in length and height than the Nouvo Z and is lighter to boot (95 kg. versus 108 kg.), and has slightly less power than the latter (5.98 kw./8.02 hp. at 8,000 rpm.).
Here is another view of the Yamaha Mio. Note the V-shaped headlight.
The Yamaha Mio is available in six colors: Deep Red Metallic [Pictured above - Ed.], Black Metallic, Pale Purplish Blue Metallic, Pale Purplish Red Metallic, Bluish White Cocktail, and Greenish Silver.
Apparently the Mio’s design appeals more to girls than to boys, so another variant of this vehicle was designed to attract more men: the Yamaha Mio Soul. Mechanically the Mio Soul is no different from the Mio, except for certain body styling changes, notably that of the vehicle’s front.
Note the difference between the front of the Yamaha Mio Soul, seen above, versus the Mio.
The Yamaha Mio Soul colors are also more conservative: Silky White [Pictured above - Ed.], Blue Metallic, Black Metallic, and Dark Bluish Gray Metallic.
All three bikes use what is know as stepless CVT automatic transmission, and are fitted with both an electric starter and a kickstarter.
The positive growth in the motorcycle business in the Philippines has attracted at least two companies to organize a firm specifically meant to supply financing to potential customers:
““Looking at the present motorcycle industry in the Philippines, 600,000 units of new motorcycles were sold last year. We believe that it will grow to over one million units per year in no time. We believe our entry will stimulate market growth further,” said Masao Tabuchi, Sumitomo’s general manager for automotive division, during the launch of the venture Wednesday night.
“Hidetoshi Fukui, president of the joint-venture company Sumisho, said typical loan size would range between P50,000 and P80,000, payable from one to three years. He said the new financing company would focus on giving credit for the purchase of Japanese-manufactured commuter motorcycles like those made by Honda and Yamaha.”
At present, motorcycle financing for the most part is supplied by dealers themselves, with only a few banks extending loans to motorcycle customers.