Yamaha’s new offering – The Alba
For the Family..
Yamaha has launched a new bike named ‘alba’, if you are expecting a true Yamaha bike once again Yamaha disappoints you – Alba a 106cc bike targets the mass segment. The new Yamaha’s Alba is just a face lifted version of libero G5; but Yamaha’s new offering possesses some cool features. Yamaha wants to make a family bike; truly Yamaha has made some attempts with the new Alba. Let’s check the Alba!
Alba is powered by the same engine which propels liberoG5 and Crux. The engine pumps out 7.6bhp@7500 rpm and a peak torque 80Nm at 6000rpm. Alba’s engine is mated to 4 speed gearbox (Yamaha’s favoured shift pattern – first down and the rest three up). Though the shift feel is not satisfactory, the gearbox feedback is good and the correctly spaced out gear ratios and the other technologies faciliates considerable levels of torque continue to be available even at lower rpm bands. Our test bike managed to chug along at 20 kmph on fourth gear (without knocking). Yamaha claims 85kpl in standard conditions but in our test drive we are able to get 65kpl. Alba is able to clock a top speed of 95kph and vibration is virtually non-existent even at top speeds but a cluttering sound grows as the speed increases.
Styling and Engineering:
Unlike the liberoG5 which aerodynamic styling spoils the friendly nature, Alba is styled to be cool. No stylish scoops for this family bike. Alba also differs from liberoG5 with its new stylish front cowl, Yamaha’s R1 type new indicator (though no clear lens) and new tail light. The fairing conceals a twin-pod instrument cluster that includes a circular speedometer, the fuel gauge and warning lights. As in the Libero G5, the turn indicator lights are placed between the two pods. Alloy wheels are offered optional. The horn knob is hard to find also Yamaha’s Alba fails to derive cues from TVS, no pilot lamps and no self start even as optional.
Ride and handling:
Alba demands a forward ride posture the long wheel base may be the factor. Unlike the Gladiator the seats are supportive, also the adjustable hydraulic shock absorber at the rear gives smoother ride. The 173mm ground clearance is retained and is a good option for a city bike like Alba. But unlike the libero G5 the pillion seat height has been reduced to make Alba a family bike. Straight line stability is as good as other Yamaha bike but Alba lacks flexibility especially when compared to Star city in corners.130mm drum brakes are standard on front and rear.
Colour and price:
Alba is available in four colours red, silver, black and blue. On the road the spoke wheeled Alba is priced Rs 43,500 and alloy wheel is priced Rs45,500. I wonder How Yamaha will position its Alba with this price when 99.3cc Bajaj’s Platina is available around Rs38000. Yamaha has been struggling to get the family bike image since 2001, yes, Alba is a right step in that direction. But whether the family image for the performance maker is necessary?
Update: Yamaha Alba’s exclusive pictures is available here