By Anant Choudhary
Yamaha India, launched the YZF-R15, a true blue supersport that brought an interesting and involving
3.0 Design and Features
Let’s start with the front. The bike gets twin-LED headlamps, an LED tail lamp, a fully digital and comprehensive instrumentation console and an assist. The R15 model, which is sold in South East Asia, gets upside-down forks along with ABS which the Indian-spec model skips, understandably because costs would go up by a fair bit! We wish Yamaha offered ABS on the new-gen R15, even if as an option, because the kind of performance it delivers, ABS should have been standard actually. You also get a USB charger and an array of optional equipment such as a Daytona exhaust and Metzeler rear tyre, all for a cost, of course.
The new-gen R15 gets a bunch of updates to the engine. It is a 155 cc, single-cylinder liquid cool 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. But the biggest update that the engine gets is the variable valve actuation or VVA. It’s variable valve timing in plain speak and its job primarily is to get the engine to pump out more torque and power at both ends of the rev range. This means that you start from the second gear, rev hard and as you go up the gears, you feel the insides of the bike churning and doling out a sumptuous spread of power and torque right from 5,000 rpm till the red line. We saw the bike reaching illegal speeds in less time than it takes to tell about it and we kind of liked it!
The 6-speed gearbox in tandem with the engine, works beautifully. You approach a corner, brake hard, drop down two gears in a jiffy and accelerate hard and the entire operation will put the widest of smiles on your face. The slip and assist clutch is a segment first and it works very well. Hard downshifts don’t easily let the rear lock up and slide uncontrollably.
Riding And Handling
The new R15 gets 41mm forks at the front and link type monoshock at the rear with reduced travel than before. Riding over scarred roads and undulations, the suspension did a fine job of soaking everything up without upsetting the balance of the bike. But the real joy of riding this R15 is up a twisty road. The drop in trail has made the steering sharper than ever and that makes the bike quick and precise when turning into a corner. The new Deltabox frame offers amazing feedback and its these very attributes that make the R15 a fantastic corner carver and delight to ride.
Get on the saddle and you immediately notice how low the clip-ons are set. There is 15mm increase in seat height (815mm) and rear set footpegs put you in a rather committed position. It’s all good when you want to look racer cool. But it certainly isn’t a riding position that you’d call comfortable for long highway stints.
The Yamaha YZF-R15 is a specific flavour of motorcycle. It builds to take you through a set of corners with supreme poise and confidence. But at the same time it’s adept at handling daily commutes and the occasional highway jaunt. Given its agressive riding position, But what remains unchanged about the YZF-R15. Its effectiveness as a beginner motorcycle, especially for those who are serious about improving their riding skills. That makes the YZF-R15 a must buy this side of Rs 1.5 lakh.