Yamaha has just introduced the smallest model in the , the new Yamaha MT-15 and you get the popular, full-faired, entry-level sportbike, the Version 3.0, which gets dual-channel ABS, unlike the MT-15, which only gets . The Yamaha YZF-R15 has been a consistent sales performer for , and with standard dual-channel ABS now, it's still a very good option, if you're looking for a beginner's sportbike. But how good is good enough? That's what we tried to figure some time again about the R15 V3.0 ABS:
The new generation R15 got significantly updated last year, with some cosmetic changes, and more importantly, with a bigger, and more powerful engine, updated chassis, new swingarm and different steering geometry. With styling inspired by the bigger, litre-class Yamaha YZF-R1,3.0 does look sharper than before, with LED lighting, and an easy to read, full-digital, multi-functional instrument panel. But what it now gets is , which certainly improves the R15's stopping power.
On the move, thehas enough performance to hit over 135 kmph on the back straight of the BIC. The 155 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine also gets variable valve actuation, which in plain speak provides a wider torque spread over the rev range. Granted, the power and torque figures aren't anything to go ga-ga over, but 19 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 15 Nm at 8,500 rpm makes the engine feel lively and loves to be revved, right up to the limit. The gearbox is precise and slick, the slipper assisted clutch provide a light feel on the lever, which will definitely be welcome in stop-go conditions while riding in the city. But what is impressive is the superb handling that the R15 still provides, around corners and very good straight-line stability. Thanks to the introduction of , hard braking is without drama, and the R15 sheds triple digit speeds quite easily, and quickly.
There are more than one reasons why the Yamahais popular. Big, sportbike looks, a smooth and tractable engine with a decent top end to go chasing the horizon, and lovely road manners, are what still makes the R15 a very attractive, and compelling beginner's sportbike. It's not very powerful to be intimidating but has the performance which will be welcomed by riders upgrading from smaller bikes, or even as a first bike.
For newbie sports rider, the R15 still is a package which is difficult to resist, and it can do the daily commute with ease, take on the occasional long distance ride covering hundreds of kilometres in a day, and make track riding easy and accessible with its limited performance. Priced at 5 to 7 lakhs for the ABS variant, it's easy to see why thewill continue to be as popular as ever, and may not have any real competition, even from its newer, and sharper looking naked sibling, the .