The MT series by Yamaha consists of naked motorcycles that
mean serious business. They are a tier above the FZ series we see on the Indian
streets. This is why I was excited for the arrival of the latest and smallest
entrant from the MT series, the MT-15. The new MT-15 is a premium 150cc
Design and Styling of
The MT-15 has got the most striking face and there is no
debate regarding that. Yamaha wanted to make the headlamp section resemble the
face of the masked samurai warriors of feudal Japan. The mask was meant to
strike fear in the hearts of their foes and the front of the bike indeed gives
it a very mean look and the projector headlamp should mean that at night the
bike should have no problem illuminating the road ahead. As you move to the
side, you will find yourself still awestruck. The profile has muscular sections
that are great to look at. However, the fuel tank and the air inlet in front of
it will give you serious flashbacks of the new FZ v3.0. There isn’t much at the
back but I really liked the extended rear fender which acts as a cool looking
tail. While Yamaha scores great points is the design department, they lose a
few in terms of plastic quality. The panels feel cheap and out of place on a
premium motorcycle like this.
The LCD instrument panel seen on this bike is the same as
the one seen on the Yamaha YZF R15 v3.0. It shows you the same metrics
including speed, rpm, gear position, trip meter, gear shift indicator, time and
more. Since this bike is meant for more comfortable riding, it ditches the
clip-on handlebars seen on the R15, in favour of a more conventional one. The
switches are of decent quality and all of them were well within reach. But
there is bad news for taller riders like me. The single piece seat, while being
soft, does not give you a lot of room to move back. You are almost up against
the fuel tank, which mean that your legs are not in the most convenient
position. For shorter riders, this might not be a very big problem.
Performance of Yamaha MT-15
Since the MT-15 is essentially a street fighter version of
the R15 v3.0, the bikes share the same engine and gearbox. The 155cc, liquid
cooled, single cylinder produces the same 19hp@10,000rpm and 14.7Nm@8,500rpm. According to Yamaha, they
have tuned the ECU for a better response but a race track is hardly a place to
test that; that will have to wait till we get the bike on the road. Variable
Valve Actuation (VVA) and the slip and assist clutch have also been carried
over from the R15 and they made the track experience better.
Yamaha India has cut a few corners to make the Indian spec
of the bike affordable (more on the price later), as a result the MT-15 we get
comes with telescopic forks at the front instead of upside down forks. Also the
aluminium swing arm has been replaced with a delta box frame. I personally do
not mind these changes as much as the single channel ABS that Yamaha is
offering in India. The R15 gets dual channel ABS but the MT-15 has to make do
with single channel ABS. The response of the brakes is a bit more gradual than
the R15, which makes sense as this bike is meant for everyday commute.
One thing is for sure; the MT-15 is a great looker and is a
breath of fresh air in the sea of 150cc naked bikes. The engine performance is
also flawless. The rather high price tag of Rs 1.36 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
for the motorcycle is a bit of a disappointment. This price tag seems more
unreasonable when you consider several corners that have been cut. The bike is
also only Rs 3,000 cheaper than the brilliant R15, which has dual channel ABS
and can go slightly faster than the MT-15. If you are looking for a comfortable
daily bike then there still are many other options that will entice you, that
too at a lower price tag.
155cc Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 4-valve
Dimesnsions (L x W x H) (mm)
2020 x 800 x 1070
Front: 41mm Telescopic
Rear: Swingarm (Link)
Front: 282mm Disc
Rear: 220mm Disc
Front: 100/80 R17 Tubeless
Rear: 140/70 R17 Tubeless
Rs 1.36 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
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