The new generation Yamaha R15 is meaner, faster and sexier! But does it still have the charm and the nimble handling of the old R15 models? We find out.

Yamaha Nepal launched the Yamaha R15 V 3.0 a month ago with an introductory price of Rs 4,19,990. I got to ride the bike in the busy streets of Kathmandu with a fair bit of highway thrown in as well, to see how it performs if you were to consider it as your daily ride. I’d like to say that the R15 V 3.0 is everything you could have wanted out of a motorcycle that is priced below 5 lakhs. This bike focuses on performance and looks to give you the thrill of a bigger capacity motorcycle.  Let’s move on to the details

Design and Features

One word: Sexy! Taking cues from its elder siblings, the R1 and the R6, the bike looks sharp and warrants a second look when moving on the road.It clearly has been at the receiving end of R1/R6-inspired bodywork and it works gorgeously in this pint-sized package.

The new design has introduced twin-eye LED headlights which look sinister, especially with that air duct housed between them. The bubble visor is neatly integrated and feels substantial. The ‘gills’ on the fuel tank (now 11 litres, instead of 12) scream ‘R1’ and the tail-end does exactly the same as well. There are 2 colours available: Blue and Matte grey.The new all-digital instrument cluster is horizontally laid out (with a white backlight as well as a shift-light in the same shade) and is informative but not complex. Overall, the R15 V3.0 looks impressive but still misses out on ABS which is a bummer.

Engine and Performance

The new-gen R15 gets a bunch of updates to the engine. It is a 155 cc, single-cylinder liquid cooled engine which makes 19 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 15.1 Nm of peak torque at 8,500 rpm. Then there is the rather slick 6-speed transmission as well. It also sports Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) which primarily is to get the engine to pump out more torque and power at both ends of the rev range.

The Yamaha R15 V3 uses the Deltabox frame like before. This gives the bike very good handling and it feels surefooted around corners. The lightweight nature and light front end make manoeuvring in city traffic an easy affair. The R15 V3 now gets a bigger disc up front (282 mm) and a 220 mm at the rear. While the stopping power was adequate, I wish that the bike offered a little more bite. The braking is progressive but a touch more sharpness would have been welcome. Of course, ABS is sorely missed.

Ride quality and handling

The R15 has always had a singular focus: Performance. That leads to compromise in other aspects like ergonomics. I quite liked the ride quality of the bike. The suspension isn't as stiff and it absorbs bumps better than expected on your usual everyday roads. Its sporty riding position comes courtesy an 815mm high rider seat (up by 15mm over the v2). Despite the taller seat, I did not have an issue placing both feet on the ground. Riding position has become more aggressive so riding in the city for an extended period did leave a minor discomfort on my wrists and upper back. You do need to be careful while taking U-turns though as the bars come pretty close to the fuel tank, and your hand getting too close to your knee during full lock does cause some issues. The pillion seat is still quite tall and climbing aboard isn’t the easiest task. Plus, the seat itself is quite small and firm, and making matters worse is the fact that there’s nothing for the pillion to grab on to. Overall, the R15 v3.0 is easy to ride fast in city conditions, just not for extended durations.

Verdict?

The third generation of the Yamaha R15 is the embodiment of what the R15 has always stood for. Sheer wild fun and affordable at that. There was little I could fault with the bike. The performance is riveting and the bike is more than eager to be ridden hard. If you’re looking for a motorcycle which is fun and looks sleek for your daily commutes, then the R15 V 3.0 is sure to be a happy ride companion.

KEY SPECS:

Engine Displacement: 155 cc
Power: 19.3 PS @ 10000 rmp
Mileage: 48.75 KMPL
Gear Box: 6 - Speed
Fuel System: Fuel Injection
ABS: No
Head Lamp: LED 
Wheels Type Alloy
Tyre Type: Tubeless