2008 saw a drastic change is 150-200 CC performance bike segment when YAMAHA decided to take back its lost market share by bringing the R15 to INDIAN shores.
Two fine products, the FZ and the YZF R15 amongst which the FZ was a MACHOISH and HUNKY commuter performance bike which offered looks, performance, ride quality, fit & finish. The YZF R1R was a bike which gave a track racer feel. It was the best tool available especially for the ones who had just started to taste the flavor of performance biking. It was the best bike for amateurs as it forgave the riders mistake and would handle like no other bike on the street. The first version was amazing but the crowd complained about its rear looks and skinny tires. In our opinion, the rear was well designed to accommodate the pillion as well as the skinny looking tires made the bike more agile and nimble. It was a bike which you would throw and flick on every corner without any apprehensions.
Then in the monsoon season of SEPTEMBER 2017, YAMAHA decided to answer the riders call and released its YZF R15 V2 with cosmetic changes done to its rear as per the demands and was loved by everyone. It got split seats and wider 130/70-R17 tires which added to its sporty looks, however, the pillion seat was elevated and the pillion got the balcony view of what’s going on at the front. We believe R15 is a bike to be enjoyed by a sole rider. I still remember the day when I was doing a solo ride from PUNE to MUMBAI at speeds between 130 -137 Kmph cutting through heavy rains and not for a second I was nervous on the mean machine and that’s the confidence and power that it gives to the rider. However, while doing the corners on Lonavala & Khandala I observed that the tyres used to lose its grip if you push it to the limits and apparently the bike regained its control ( as I told you, R15 is the most forgiving bike).
Then came 2018 & YAMAHA decided to revamp the R15 and introduced its YZF R15 V3 in AUTO EXPO and stunned the bikers with its looks and engine specs. The new design is based on its naked sibling M-SLAZ, so it’s not just a partial makeover but an entire makeover. The only thing YAMAHA has retained is the fuel tank capacity and rest everything is changed. Be it the engine or aesthetics and they have made some really impressive changes.
Starting with the aesthetics, the NEW YZF R15 V3 is still a sharp and aggressive looking bike. It still has twin headlight setup but now it’s redesigned to be a sharper, all LED headlights and the wind visor design is changed. It is now more swept back and aerodynamic opposed to that of the earlier triangular design. The OVRM designed has been changed as well. We would have loved it more if YAMAHA would have integrated turn indicators in them with a slim LED strip and that would have been an added feature between the twin headlights. They have given a duct which is just of aesthetic value. In fact, the space could have been used for a real air duct which could have supplied some amount of air to the engine head. Coming to its side, the mid and the rear is well integrated into each other and doesn’t look like separate components as it looked on the older variant. The rear seat is still elevated which will offer the pillion the balcony view but seems to be a bit lowered then before and seems to be comfortable. It still needs some probing when we actually test it. The ergonomics are still on the sportier side with a backwards set foot pegs and someone thinking of going on for a long road trip will have to think about it. However, we do have gearheads who have travelled far off places on this machine and have not complained about it. That is how crazy this bike is or you may say that’s the craziness it injects in a rider. Coming to the rear, the tail is redesigned and now the rear also gets an all in all LED cluster and the exhaust gets a matte silver finish at the end.
THE NEW YZF R15 V3 comes with an all new engine. The engine is 155 CC SOHC LIQUID COOLED UNIT which churns out 19.3 PS power @10,000 RPM and creates a healthy torque of 15 NM @ 8500 RPM. Another change for this 4 valve engine is that it comes with what YAMAHA calls the VVA (VARIABLE VALVE ACTUATION) which is commonly known as VVT (VARIABLE VALVE TIMING) which activates @7400 RPM. This technology is implemented in cars and high-end super bikes. So what does VVA or VVT do here as this is a 4 valve engine. The engine uses only one of the two intake valves if the rev range is under 7400 RPM mainly riding in traffic conditions. Thus, consumption of fuel is limited to just one valve and this keeps the fuel consumption in check and when you need that surge of power, and then you accelerate and cross the 7400 RPM band, the engine opens up the other valve and you get that extra surge to rush into things that you want to do. It results in is a better breathing engine and a better breathing engine lasts long and performs better than others. YAMAHA has mated this engine to 6 speed gearbox with A&S CLUTCH. The R15 gets a slipper clutch which helps in smooth transition of gears specially from higher gears to lower.
The rear tire arrest is well controlled in case of quick down shifting which gives more control to the rider. YAMAHA has not yet disclosed the top speed, but this little beast is capable of speeds upto 150 – 155 KMPH.
The NEW YZF R15 V3 gets an all-new DIGITAL SPEEDOMETER. The instrument cluster houses all information such as speed, RPM, gear indicator, fuel and also the VVA indicator along with this it also houses the gear shifter light on top of the digital display.
The YZF R15 V3 is 1190mm in length, 725mm in width and 1135mm in height. However, the seat height is 815mm the R15 V3 has a wheelbase of 1325mm and 170 mm of ground clearance. The bike weighs 139 KG when the fuel is topped up. The fuel tank capacity remains the same at 11 ltrs. The bike retains the same DELTA BOX frame and the braking is taken care by the 282 mm dual piston caliper disc at front and 220 mm single piston disc at the rear without ABS.
YAMAHA should have offered ABS at least as optional but not have done that to keep its price tag in check. R15 V3 gets 100/80-17 front and 140/70-17 rear TUBELESS MRF ZAPPERS. In front, it has carried the same telescopic suspension and a mono-shock at the rear. So guys, please make way for the new YZF R15 V3.