A Beautiful Cloudy weekend and an impeccable machine makes a perfect match for a weekend ride. The Machine we are talking about is The Yamaha YZF-R15 V3 which has taken the Baby “R” series to a next leap. The Design, the Engine and the ergonomics have been revised and reworked which has made this bike more practical. The New YZF-R15 V3 has become more agile and responsive than ever before. We rode the machine for quite a long time now to share our thoughts on how YZF-R15 V3 is different from its previous generations.
The Japanese Manufacturer had created a complete new segment in the Indian market with the launch of smallest “R” racing breed heritage, the YZF-R15 V1 in 2008. Since then it has got just one major facelift update with YZF-R15 V2 in 2011. The baby R series was ageing and was in need of a serious update and with the launch of YZF-R15 V3, Yamaha has hit the right place. The Racetrack suited, sporty stance and the technological advancement of this engine makes it a more track focused machine with your daily office commuter (at some time for small road trip as well!)
The Eye roller design
The YZF-R15 V3 does have an impressive road presence and while we took the bike through the city, it had every eye rolled for it. The YZF-R15 V3 borrows a lot of character from the YZF-R1 and R3. Although YZF-R15 has its own character added to the design with those aggressive and prepossessing all LED headlamps and DRLs. The fairing in the front has a very clean design with the air intake like design in between. Though, it’s just a design and doesn’t adds any aerodynamic advantage to the machine! The curvy windscreen couldn’t have been better than this. It does help to reduce the wind blast at your face and get more aerodynamic while getting in a leaning position. The rear view mirrors are even nicely setup on the fairing. Although, during our ride the rear view mirrors weren’t much helpful and had some big blind spots but we managed through it quite effortlessly. The front mudguard has matte black finish which looks average and could have been better.
The side profile of the machine is even more appealing than before with that YZF-R15 stickering along with the VVA (Variable Valve Actuation) over the top of the fairing. The turn indicators are fitted in the fairing which could have been better. However, we wish they too had LED lighting. Once you move ahead, you will notice the carbon fiber finish above the Deltabox frame, running below the saddle which ends up before the pillion seat giving a premium stance. The foot pegs are aluminum while the rider foot pegs are flexi with those spring foldable and borrowed from the previous version.
The rear has minimalistic yet perfectly designed LED tail lamp but misses a grab rail. Instead has a plastic fender attached beside the pillion seat which is completely inspired from the elder sibling YZF-R1. Additionally, the fuel tank has now plastic fitted covers with ‘gills’ like design to give it a more sporty stance which adds more character to the design. Additionally, the fuel tank size is now reduced to 11 litres from 12 litres in the previous generation R15.
The Center console now has all new complete digital console system. Apparently, the Semi instrument cluster with analog tachometer looks more elegant compared to the fully digital unit. It has Twin trip meter, ODO meter, Average Speed, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Average fuel indicator and a Clock.
Ride Quality and Handling
The R15 V3 has got significant changes compared to its previous generation. The mean machine is much popular being entry level sports bike and Yamaha has put in all the efforts to the machine, making it the best ever R15. The ergonomics are now more sportier and aggressive than before. The Saddle sits at 815mm and for riders like me with 5.7 feet will struggle to manage. While rider above 5.9 would be more comfortable now. Handle Bars are stretched forward and set lowered which makes you lean as if you are riding a middle weight sports bike. The seating posture is very dedicated and this will cause some backaches while riding longer distances. We rode the bike through the city in stop-go traffic and on the highway too. Surprisingly, the R15 is as responsive and agile on the highway and city traffic as it was on the race track. The one we were riding had Metzeller tyres at the back had immense wet grip.
The NVH levels are drastically low. The Handle bar doesn’t make you think about the harshness while moving at three digit speeds. Although, while riding post 9000 RPM the foot pegs had a few vibrations. On the other hand the Brakes are just phenomenal. The front are 282 mm Disc Bybre Caliper while the rear is 220 mm Disc Nissin Caliper. The Rear Disc brakes give more confidence while braking though, the front brakes do their work perfectly. The Indian Spec R15 misses ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) but to our surprise I was rarely worrying about it. The brakes feel confident and I never missed the absence of ABS. Although, ABS could have added more safety to the bike.
The Suspension on the bike is tuned more to suit the tracks with a stiffer side. Potholes will firmly give feedback to you but while riding through corners, the bikes just passes on easily without much stress. The front suspension is Telescopic fork and the rear one is a monoshock. All these setup go nicely with the improved Deltabox Chasis and shorter wheelbase.
Engine and Performance
The Engine has too gone a leap ahead with more technical advancements. The power is increased and now the machine is powered with a redesigned 155cc Liquid cooled, 4 Valve unit, which generates 19 PS @ 10,000 RPM and 15 NM of torque @ 8,500 RPM. The engine has now well distributed power across the rev range. Highway riding is buttery smooth (ignoring the dedicated seating posture). The VVA comes into action post 6500 RPM. The two values are set at lower RPM and the other two comes in Higher RPM which does help in distribution of power across rev range and you never run out of throttle. The engine red lines post 11,500 RPM. The power unit has improved a lot and is responsive. Although, the refinement could have been better at higher RPMs.
The Top Speed we achieved was 134 Kmph as we hardly had longer stretches and the 6 gear is too long to reach the highest top speed. while the claimed top speed is near 145 kmph. I went through the city traffic and the highway and all the myth busted when we received an average of 38 kmpl in the city and 44 kmpl in the highway.
Yamaha has gone ahead and added slipper clutch to the R15 V3 and it’s just a wow thing. The Downshifts are much softer without the jerks and improves performance of the bike. The Cooling system is much better compared to the previous one. It cools the beast efficiently and without any stress even after a long spin.
How Much I like this Machine?
Well, the first day of my ride wasn’t that great as the riding posture is just too track focused and gave some serious back aches. But while riding it for next few days I became acquainted to the riding posture. Once you’re matted to the machine, you will love each and every moment of the ride with the baby “R” machine. There is so much of grunt coming through that small 150 CC engine and the VVA along with the slipper clutch makes the bike phenomenal.
The ride quality, handling, performance and ofcourse the huge road presence gives out a much premium feel to the rider. Although, the quality of the switch gear and the oddly placed pass light switch could have been better.
I was riding a Red and Matte Grey R15 and while riding the bike I met a fellow rider who was riding a blue R15 V3 and the guy started sharing his experience with a lot of excitement and this made me realize again that Yamaha has just done a great work with R15 V3, making it a baby “R” Racing track machine which does deserves a lot from the Indian Market.
Detailed Specification Below
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