2018 Yamaha YZF-R15: Four things you'll love and two things that you won't
The third-generation Yamaha YZF-R15 turned out to be quite an impressive motorcycle, both at the MMRT racetrack and out on the road. It is a lot more focused than its predecessors and is quite well equipped for the price. In fact, it's focused nature makes it a great beginner's track bike as well. To read more about the Yamaha YZF R15 V3, click here.
The new YZF-R15 is a really good looking motorcycle and probably the most proportionate looking version as well. It actually looks like a miniature YZF-R1, Yamaha's flagship superbike. The designers have ensured that details like the vertical LED tail lamps, floating rear panels and the gills on the fuel tank match the one on the R1. To me, the front end is the most striking angle of the R15 with the sleek LEd headlamps lending it a sinister look.
Engine and gearbox
The 155cc, liquid-cooled, four-valve engine is an absolute gem and one of the defining characteristics of the R15. The motor is refined and a joy to rev hard. Thanks to the Variable Valve Assist (VVA) technology, the engine is very tractable making the new R15 a fuel efficient motorcycle as well.
What adds to the riding experience is the slick, six-speed gearbox that slots in precisely. This along with the slip and assist clutch makes hard downshifts a walk in the park.
The Deltabox chassis offers tonnes of feedback, giving the rider utmost confidence to attack corners. The drop in trail has also made the steering sharper than ever and that makes the bike quick and precise. It is such a treat to ride the R15 on a twisty road that you'll wish the said road never ends!
Beginner track tool
The R15 is a great stepping stone for those who are considering making a career in motorcycle racing or those who are looking for a serious track machine. The riding position is committed, the handling is precise and there's enough grunt in the motor. The R15 is also easy to convert to proper race machine as there are a number of aftermarket exhausts, sprockets, and other bits to turn the stock R15 to a lighter and faster machine.
Yamaha's are known for their top-notch build quality but the same can't be said about the new R15. It's not blasphemy level bad but with a bar that's set high by Yamaha, the obvious cost cutting is way too apparent. The stitching on the seat of our test bike was falling apart, the plastics are thinner some other bits don't feel premium to the touch, as one would expect.
There's no end to the number of times one can emphasise the importance of ABS and the fact that one can't opt for this feature as an option is a bit disappointing. Yamaha will have to offer ABS, by law, from next year onwards, so it baffles me to see them not offering this vital safety feature from the word go.
Starts Rs 20,39,233
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