The Dark Night the scooter from Yamaha has entered many a citizen’s life. Even before the launch of the Dark Night customers were asking for this special edition. The Dark Night was already the object of appeal and much desire in the minds and hearts of vast numbers of young fans.
“People asked for the Dark Night even prior to launch,” say the marketing and branding people at Associated Motorways Limited (popularly known as AMW), the Sole Sri Lankan Distributor for Yamaha. Since 1981 AMW and Yamaha have collaborated closely to bring to Sri Lanka a vast array of successful two-wheelers.
The Yamaha Dark Night is a special edition of the popular Ray ZR scooter from Yamaha, the youthful character and sporty personality of the bike lending itself ideally to elevation to this position. The Yamaha design and marketing teams have worked closely ever since the Ray was introduced, improving on the styling and appeal of the nippy scooter and taking the scooter upwards through the desirability index of two wheelers.
Modern graphics, styled body panels, and special features have been added on to the base Ray. Today’s Dark Night is the epitome of what the youth have demanded all the time - modern, stylish, a performer, a bike you’d be proud to show your friends.
At its heart the world famous Yamaha Blue Core engine technology, this special edition Dark Night is peppy, relaxed in cruising, and economically (66 km/lit claimed by manufacturer) easy to live with. The same way that Yamaha has been up-purposing the Ray and the Ray ZR, the two-wheeler maker has also been on the constant search for the better engine. Blue Core is the result of that focused research.
Yamaha has gone deep down to the very innards of the internal combustion engine to perfect the Blue Core technology. The three cardinal aspects of Yamaha’s Blue Core tech are Increasing Combustion Efficiency, Reducing Power Loss, and Increasing Cooling Efficiency, all directed towards stronger power delivery and higher fuel efficiency.
Taking each element of the workings of a typical internal combustion engine, from intake through combustion, to exhaust, Yamaha engines have evolved into smooth inflow of air and fuel, clean and powerful combustion using every bit of fuel that goes into the combustion chamber, and clean exhaust system, while maintaining the optimum temperature of the engine and processes. The result is maximum power for least waste. Friendly on the rider’s pocket, friendly on the environment, and packing a punch in road conditions.
This punch is important, for the Dark Night’s targeted audience is, “Young, energetic, dynamic, free spirited, and who enjoys competition and racing,” says AMW. Here the Blue Core tech brings to the Dark Night the results and values of the technological lessons gleaned from the 1000cc multi-cylinder MotoGP YZR-M1s of Factory Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, and of Tech 3 Yamaha riders Johann Zarco and Hafiz Syahrin.
‘Sharing Yamaha’s Blue Core engine technology with the likes of nine-time World Champion rider Valentino Rossi I can proudly ride my Yamaha Dark Night,’ would be my thought if I were a youngster aboard the Dark Night. True bragging rights, this.
The marketing and branding team at AMW has placed the Dark Night edition carefully considering the features of the bike and the public demand. The Dark Night comes standard equipped with a 170mm diameter ventilated hydraulically operated front disc brake (one of the few two wheelers in our market so equipped), zippy performance from a high power to weight (7.1PS and 8.3Nm to 103kg) ratio, Blue Core engine, modern design tattoo-like graphics in silver-white on matte black body differentiating the Dark Night Special Edition from wanna-be’s, the telescopic forks front suspension, alloy wheels, and the aggressively youthful lines of the bodywork.
In Yamaha showrooms the Dark Night stands apart, a special Dark Night zone comprising the bike in all its matte black glory and cleverly displayed around it on the floor and/or on panels are the features of this special arrangement. Introduced in April of this year, “Sales of the Dark Night are growing,” we are told by AMW-Yamaha. “People are happy with the Dark Night concept and there is huge demand for it. They love black, and black is their preferred colour for a bike.” They underline, “This is the first time in Sri Lanka that such a concept is offered to riders.” “The Dark Night comes in matte black only,” we are told by AMW-Yamaha. I am reminded of the diktat credited to Henry Ford on the highly successful and industry-changing Ford Model T: “You can have it in any colour, so long as it is black!”
In a world of increasing specialization it is encouraging that Yamaha has seen a market for a special version of two-wheeler. The Dark Night is an innovative concept; to give fresh life, a new identity, to the existing successful Ray ZR, and offering the opportunity to the young performance-oriented riders to have what they enjoy in riding terms, in ownership, and in showmanship.
To distinguish their products in the crowded two-wheeler market, manufacturers and design departments add a crease here a bit of cosmetic muscle there and build an aggressive looking machine, if that be the concept, or a svelte clean-lined body if that be it.
The Dark Night has all the creases and side pods and the radical silhouette that would endear itself to the youth, and, to my eyes, appears somewhat like the advanced attack Apache chopper in the making. On the street, Yamaha’s Dark Night cannot be mistaken. On the street, too, the long stroke engine is relaxed even while propelling the Dark Night at a pace that is above that of the surrounding traffic. Acceleration is peppy and always available. The “boys’ bike performance” that AMW talks of in this concept is very much present.
The lines of the Dark Night remind me of the Batman hero character - you know, the multi-pointy profile that I’m sure the whole world associates with Batman - and lend a dashing and adventurous air to the bike, its all-black garb highlighting the effect. Batman on two wheels?
I asked AMW-Yamaha what decided them to bring out this Dark Night edition. “We want to give the boys a ‘racey’ scooter. The Dark Night fulfils the needs of a young energetic go-getter who is race-and- sport-minded, and who looks for prestige and quality. As you know Yamaha wants to always give the users the best product and quality. The Yamaha Ray ZR Dark Night edition is designed with Japanese technology, and comes with the renowned AMW after sales service and spares backup.”
And the Dark Night rider? AMW-Yamaha: “The user age group would be typically beginning at around 18 years and we find that the upper age can go up to 30 years or so. The Conqueror of the Street, as the Dark Night is socially recognized, is loved by a wide range of users.”
YAMAHA RAY ZR DARK NIGHT
Air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder SOHC
50.0 x 57.8 mm Bore x Stroke
9.2:1 Compression Ratio
Electric / Kick
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Wheelbase 1270 mm
Tyres Front and Rear 90/100 x 10 Tubeless
Wheels Cast alloy
Brakes Front Hydraulic Disc 170mm
SUSPENSION Front Telescopic
Rear Coil spring and damper
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Length 1820 mm
Width 700 mm
Height 1115 mm
Seat Height 775 mm
Weight 103 kg
Fuel tank 5.2 lit
THE GO FACTOR
Max Power 7.1 PS @ 7500 rpm
Max Torque 8.1 Nm @ 5000 rpm
COLOURS Black Matte
Warranty 2year/30,000 kms
HOW MUCH Rs 267,900/=