Let her go?
There’s this old adage that says that our lives are nothing but, the art of letting go. And if that’s the case then nobody knows this art better than us auto journos. Every month we get to drive new cars and bikes – some we like, some we loathe, but secretly we love ’em all. However, as much as we love living with all these machines, there are obviously some that are more equal than others. And the Yamaha R3 is that “one” machine from our long-term fleet that’s plainly irresistible to let go…
It’s been more than a year since the R3 entered our long term fleet. While Jared and Arup used the motorcycle for the initial few months, I’ve been shrewdly keeping its keys close to my chest for the past 7 months or so. I used the R3 for my daily commute and toured on it whenever I could. In all honesty, the more I rode it, the more I loved it.
So, what do I love the most about the R3? The engine. It is a masterpiece, really – it’s got all the performance you’ll ever need on Indian roads. The torque delivery and the riotous way in which the revs build up are simply intoxicating. Whether you’re pottering around in slow traffic or going flat out on the highway, the motor never lets you down. In the ride and handling department, the R3 is a typical Yamaha. It is deliciously precise around turns while in day-to-day traffic, it doesn’t feel ungainly or cumbersome to maneuver despite its “big bike” looks.
However, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns living with the R3. Initially, the bike had some starting issues, which were later fixed by Yamaha technicians. But, as we speak now, the R3 is parked outside as it’s refusing to start yet again – whether it’s a flat battery or something else is still unknown. Then there’ve been two recalls for the bike in the recent past – which I am sure will raise eyebrows of prospective buyers. And, oh, did I tell you that it comes with sub-par MRF tyres, and there’s no slipper-clutch or ABS?
Despite its flaws and the minor niggles that we faced, I absolutely love the R3. Yes, I agree it’s a bit too expensive for what it offers, but then it can also switch roles between a sportsbike, a tourer and a daily runabout in no time. Truth be told, if I were to put down my money on a 250-500cc motorcycle today, I’d happily buy the R3. In fact I think I should be doing that right away because I can’t just let the R3 go…