We are more than happy to finally see the R15 Version 3.0 on our shores. But, we’re even more curious to find out how it performs. However, since that moment is some time away, let's take the time out to see what all is new here and get to know the race tool a bit more. Starting from the start, the styling. The Yamaha R15 has always been an eye-catching machine, evolving over time to cater to the demands of new generation riders. And with the version 3.0 they have taken the styling cues a notch higher, with clear inspiration from the flagship Yamaha R1.
As a result, one is invited by a sharply sculpted motorcycle with a chiseled face that looks meaner than ever. Thanks to the twin LED headlamp setup, the new version looks a lot more proportionate from the start to end. The semi-digital cluster is now replaced by a full-digital cluster that shows speed, a tachometer, fuel level, odometer, trip meter and gear indicator with shift light. The digital cluster also comes with a USB charging port.
The fuel tank now seems to offer more thigh support as the knee recesses are now flatter and taller, which should allow heavier and taller riders to ride the bike comfortably while being able to maneuver the bike with confidence as well. The split seats seem to be wider than before and the pillion seat is no longer as tall as the one seen on the earlier version, which is a sign of relief for some. The tail section is also leaner now and houses a vertically stacked LED tail lamp. The only bit that doesn't blend with the overall styling is the large exhaust muffler that feels a bit out of place.
Powering the R15 Version 3.0 is a 155cc motor, which is the bored out version of the older mill, now with 58mm bore and 58.7mm stroke and variable valve actuation (VVA). The single cylinder engine delivers 19.3PS at 10,000rpm, 2.3PS more than its predecessor. The torque figures though remain unchanged at 14.7Nm at 8,500rpm. Power is transmitted via a 6-speed gearbox and it gets an assist-slipper clutch too, which makes the clutch lighter while also allowing the rider to shift down under hard braking or while entering a corner fast. Yamaha also claims to have improved the fuel economy by 4.7 per cent. However, the actual number hasn't been announced.
The legendary Deltabox frame has been carried forward on the new motorcycle. Yamaha also claims to have revised the frame to offer better rigidity and balance. On the ergonomics front, the bike should be equally engaging to ride as the aggressive posture remains unchanged. Braking is done via a single disc brake at both ends. Yamaha has given ABS a miss on the 3rd version, but expect to see one once it gets mandatory. On that note, we expect to see a dual-channel ABS unit, considering the track-focused nature of the bike. The seat height has also gone up by 15mm and now stands at 815mm. This will further make the bike feel at home for taller riders.
To keep costs in check, Yamaha has replaced the front upside down forks seen on the international model, with traditional telescopic forks. The rear however continues to run with a monoshock to counter bad road surfaces. The new alloys are also shod with MRF tyres (front: 100/80-17 and rear: 140/70-17). While this move makes the bike more affordable, we need to find out how the change of front suspension and tyres affects the handling of this motorcycle.
The 2018 Yamaha R15 Version 3.0 has been priced at Rs 1.25 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), which makes it about Rs 8,000 more expensive than its predecessor. At this pricing, it competes against the Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 and the Honda CBR250R in our two-wheeler market.