The 3rd gen Yamaha R15 will hit Indian tarmac by early 2018, The Yamaha YZF-R15 has always been a popular choice for Indian bikers looking for an entry-level performance bike. With its balance of performance and brilliant handling dynamics it is a very good learner bike before venturing into the world of hardcore performance motorbikes. But it’s been close to half a decade since the Yamaha R15 Version 2.0 made its debut in our 2-wheeler space and it is showing its age. Yamaha launched the R15 Version 3.0 in Indonesia previous this year and since then, Indian bikers have been waiting curiously to get their hands on the new Yamaha motorcycle. The wait is finally going to end as Yamaha will launch the new R15 Version 3.0 in India by early 2018. We are expecting the new R15 to hit showrooms by January, or more likely, be launched at the 2018 Auto Expo which will be held in February.
But from the spy shots we can find that there is one big difference in the India-spec R15 Version 3.0 as opposed to the international model.
The bike that will go on sale in India has been equipped with conventional telescopic front forks instead of USD forks. This has been purely done for cost-cutting and we aren’t sure how much the difference in terms of handling dynamics will be. Also, the India-spec bike will be riding on MRF tyres and it is doubtful whether it will be the same 100-section tyre at the front and 140-section at the back as seen on the international model. Powering the R15 Version 3.0 is a 155cc displacement motor which is the bored-out version of the older mill, now with 58mm bore and 58.7mm stroke and variable valve timing (VVT). The single-cylinder engine delivers 19.3PS at 10,000rpm and 14.7Nm at 8,500rpm, which is 2.3PS more than its predecessor while torque figure remains unchanged. However, we feel that Yamaha India might drop VVT for the Indian market to keep costs under check, but power figures might still see a marginal increment over its previous iteration.
One of the prime reasons for the popularity of the R15 was its sporty styling. Gladly, the new motorcycle has maintained the razor-sharp styling while getting completely redesigned. The split headlamps are narrower and now get LEDs while the fairing is more sculpted and edgier than the older bike. The one design element that doesn’t flow with an otherwise well-executed design has to be the long and oddly styled exhaust muffler. Other notable differences include the addition of an all-digital instrument cluster as opposed to the semi-digital unit on the older bike.
The new bike will carry forward the Deltabox frame as seen on the older bike, while braking will be done by disc brakes on both ends. It is only a kg heavier than its predecessor while seat height stands at 815mm, which is an increment of 15mm over the older bike. We are really hoping that Yamaha India finally offers ABS as an optional extra with the new bike. Given the steps taken by Yamaha for cost-cutting, we expect the new Yamaha YZF-R15 Version 3.0 to be priced around Rs.1.3 to Rs.1.4 lakh (ex-showroom). When launched, it will compete against the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 and the KTM RC200.