Yamaha YZF-R3 Review, First Ride

After a long wait and endless anticipation, the Yamaha YZF-R3 sets its foot in the Indian market. The R3 is targeted towards professional racers, the sole reason why we had the chance to test it out on BIC. Here's what it's like.

By Arup Das | on August 12, 2015 Follow us on Autox Google News

It’s been a long time coming from the stable of Yamaha, and now the YZF-R3 has finally made it to our shores.

It’s aim is to rev up the heartbeats of motorcycle enthusiasts and still be practical enough to ride it day in and day out. Yamaha did successfully manage it with the R15, but now it's time to move up to the next level. The R3 remains true to its R series DNA and looks edgy and sharp in design. Our first reaction was that the ergonomics came across very aggressive, but not as radical and demanding as the KTM RC 390. It looks a bit like the R6 when it comes to the front fascia and the side fairings. Though the R6 has a more combative look, the R3, with its more rounded nose and with twin headlamps, does manage to hold its ground and give a sporty image.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Headlight

As the R3 is targeted for racers at heart, who will predominately ride in the streets, Yamaha invited us to get a feel of this bike at the Buddh International Circuit. We turn the key and the big analogue tachometer dominates the instrument cluster, like the R15. The R3 comes with additional features like two tripmeters and real-time fuel economy and average fuel economy read outs. It’s time to saddle up and let the bike rip, but before we get into all that we take a couple of minutes and give credit to Yamaha for crafting a very comfortable seat. It is contoured in such a way that it supports you. What was a surprise to me was that the riding stance wasn’t as aggressive as it looked. This is a good thing as it ensures that the ride is relaxed. As the seat height is only 780mm, this makes it easier for shorter riders to keep their feet firmly on the ground.

Press the ignition button and twist the throttle, the 321cc liquid cooled engine comes to life without any fuss. You can straightaway mark the refinement quality as the powerplant does not hum a single note out of tune. This 2-cylinder heart uses the all-aluminum "DiASil Cylinder", which provides better fuel consumption and at the same time reduces weight. With 41.4bhp at 10,750rpm on the throttle, it felt like the R3 was begging us to hit the track and we didn’t want to disappoint it. We twisted the throttle and the power rushed in a well mannered way without any misbehaving power thrust. Disappointing? Not at all. The R3 is quick of its heels and you can get the best out of it in the mid-range power. I rarely put it in 5th gear as on 3rd it easily pulled away, and on 4th gear, it added a bit more zing. After that, it’s all smooth sailing. I put the bike in 6th gear just once, but by then it was all purely academical.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Side Profile

As we all know “With great power, comes great responsibility” and this is where the razor sharp chassis comes in. What is interesting to note is that the R3 has the same swing arm and wheelbase length ratio as the mighty R1. It’s diamond frame chassis makes it manoeuvre the sweeping corners effortlessly. It is actually quite unbelievable how much confidence it gives you as it holds the line you want, and then lets you rev up as you exit the turns.

Priced at Rs 3.25 lakhs, Ex-showroom, Delhi, the Yamaha YZF-R3 is definitely a great buy as it is very capable. The build quality is impressive and long lasting like the R15. The six-speed gearshift is smooth and precise as expected from Yamaha. The handling is spot on thanks to the chassis. But yes there were a couple things missing like ABS, which could at least have been an optional feature, and a slipper clutch would have gone a long way, especially when you downshift. Yamaha’s masterstroke is the R3’s riding position and comfortable seat. You never feel any stress like riding and it gives you an option to just tackle the everyday traffic snares or take off on long empty stretches. Yamaha surely has a winner in their hands.

Tags: Yamaha Yamaha YZF-R3

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Yamaha YZF R3 [2020] Model Image
Last Recorded Price ₹ 3.5 Lakh Ex Showroom Price (New Delhi)

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