It’s been some time coming, but finally the Yamaha YZF-R3 made its debut this year – and, what do you know, it took the top spot in our two-wheelers segment. Even Sarath couldn’t stop raving about the R3’s power delivery and its compactness. Another major factor that went in its favour was its relaxed riding stance, which doesn’t take a toll on you at all.
According to our points, the R3 managed to achieve many firsts for a sports motorcycle that is aspirational and affordable too. Priced at Rs. 3.25 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Delhi), it scored very high in refinement and quality – matching bikes that are at least double its price. This just shows how serious Yamaha is about the Indian market – by ensuring that they cater to their die-hard fans and enthusiasts! Personally, we are happy to see the real dynamic Yamaha DNA hitting our shores again. The 321cc liquid-cooled engine has very impressive acceleration in all the three power levels – low, mid and high. What gives it an edge over its competition is that the engine is always willing to rev, no matter what the rpm range. And with an output of 41.4bhp, the R3 is certainly a breeze to ride on the streets as well.
The R3 is also the cornering king, as its diamond frame chassis lets you take on bends effortlessly. The confidence it gives you is very difficult to put in words, as it holds the line for as long as you can hold it. Sarath, after completing the lap in his typical knee scrapping style, was all smiles as he was simply blown away by the R3’s handing capabilities.
The sharp design oozes the racing language of Yamaha. As expected, it is very edgy and at the same time the build quality is right up there. You can see and feel that they haven’t taken any shortcuts. The R3’s instrument cluster is dominated by an analogue rev meter, has two trip meters, and real-time fuel economy and average fuel economy readouts as well. As mentioned earlier, the riding posture is comfortable and it’s easy to ride with a seat height of just 780mm.
I’m sure, in some ways, this must sound like a sales pitch for Yamaha, but you have to ride it to believe what the R3 is capable of. The Rs. 3.25 lakhs price-tag may be slightly steep for some, but you have to remember that it can be ridden with all guns blazing, takes on corners like no one’s business, and yet be comfortable enough for the daily commute. Being a Yamaha, there is no compromise in terms of quality, chassis and refinement, but the R3 certainly lacks a couple of important features – like ABS, which is not available even as an optional feature. A slipper clutch too would have gone a long way. But despite these shortcomings, the R3 rode to the top of our charts.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s stand and give a big hand to our numero uno two-wheeler of 2015. The R3 is certainly a masterstroke by Yamaha.