The Yamaha YZF R15 bikes have found immense success and love
in the Indian market since the time they were launched. These are entry level
racing machines from the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer that people have
bought for daily usage. If you have read my report about the track experience I
had with the new R15 v3.0 then you would know that it left me quite excited and
proved that the bike did not feel like an outsider there. But even while flying
through the corners of MMRT I had one important question going on in my mind.
How well would it do in the city? Well it is time to answer just that.
155cc Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 4-valve
Dimesnsions (L x W x H) (mm)
1990 x 725 x 1135
Front: 41mm Telescopic
Rear: Swingarm (Link)
Front: 280mm Disc
Rear: 220mm Disc
Front: 100/80 R17 Tubeless
Rear: 140/70 R17 Radial Tubeless
Rs 1.25 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
I won’t take up too much time drooling over how stylish and
on point the bike looks. The designers have got the styling bang on and the bike
does look like a sophisticated high end sports bike. I am still not able to
make up my mind as to which colour scheme I like more, the funky Racing Blue or
the stealthy Thunder Grey. Sadly, while
the design has been borrowed from the R6, the level of materials used is
nowhere near that of the elder sibling. The use of plastic takes away some of
the charm when you get up close to the new R15. The air vents and fins on the
fuel tank, front and tail end of the bike lend it a very aerodynamic appeal.
The new R15 has its seat height raised a little and the
handlebars lowered when compared to the previous version. It was super fun on
the track where you ride for only a little while and need minimum area exposed
to the windblast. That same committed riding position can become painful after
an hour or so of riding on the city streets. So if you buy this bike you will
have to be mindful of that. The fully digital instrument cluster packs in a
load of information but fails to impress when it comes to design and build. To
its credit, the display has everything in a decent font size and maintains
enough brightness to be visible even on a sunny day.
There is no doubt that the slightly bigger 155cc, liquid
cooled, single cylinder engine has loads
of power and torque to impress enthusiasts. In the city, I did get to test
another aspect of the bike, Variable Valve Actuation (VVA). VVA allows the bike to have dual
characteristics. When you are at lower rpms, below 7400rpm, the bike tunes
itself to deliver more power in the low and mid range by using the lower cam.
The moment you pull the accelerator and go north of 7400rpm, the VVA indication
flashes on the digital display and the bike switches to a different intake cam
to deliver a better top end response. I was not fully able to feel the
usefulness of VVA on the track, where you are almost always chasing the
redline, but out in the city you go through all kinds of terrains and
situations and this is where I was able to see VVA in proper action. The shift
in cam profile is evident, but in a good way. Even if you are not looking at
the instrument cluster for the VVA indication, you will feel the bike change
its character slightly when you are gunning it.
The Yamaha R15 v3.0 delivered a better fuel economy than I
expected. Despite my ‘not so efficient’ riding I got close to 38kmpl. When I
did do a fuel friendly run I saw an average of about 45kmpl. Keeping aside the
fact that the Indian version of this bike lacks ABS, the disc brakes have a lot
of bite and progression to offer. Yes, when it comes to panic braking,
especially considering how quick this bike is, you will miss ABS. Using the
front brake does reveal that the front forks are slightly squishy as they dip a
bit more than you would expect. The front forks are in stark contrast with the
rear monoshock which is a lot stiffer and not the best at soaking city road
harshness. The slip and assist clutch was a great help on the track and even in
the city you do appreciate the light clutch. The gearing is such that you go
through the first three gears rather quickly. Despite that the bike does not
feel stressed when you are on the 6th gear but are just cruising at 50kmph or
so. The bike that I got on the track had a Metzeler tyre at the rear but you get
an MRF as stock. The MRF on my road test unit was capable enough to make its
way through the various roads in the city of Delhi without making me want more
grip at any point.
If you are a fan of the R15 brand and you wanted the new R15
to be sportier and more powerful than before then the new R15 v3.0 delivers.
But the fact that the bike has become more sporty and more powerful has
somewhat played against its credibility in the city. The stiffer suspension and
a committed riding position hold it back. The engine and clutch response will
almost instantly make you fall in love with the bike and the only real concern
that I had with the bike was absence of ABS. But where the bike shines is as an
entry level track machine that you can pop your track cherry on!
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