Test drive: R15, the pocket rocket from Yamaha

Test drive: R15, the pocket rocket from Yamaha

For the third-generation R15, Yamaha has gone for big changes in its looks and performance. Here is what's new in R15.

Super looks

R15 takes advantage of its design similarity with its elder siblings, Yamaha's superbikes R1 and R6. Its body panels feature sharp edges and contours. The black-blue dual tone colour scheme increases the sporty feel of the bike. The aerodynamic design will help pick up speed fast. The twin-eye LED lights are slim, with a superbike-style big air intake sitting between them.

Test drive: R15, the pocket rocket from Yamaha

The bubble visor is neatly integrated with the headlamp panels. The rear-view mirror is also fitted on the front fairing. The tank design is muscular in nature and provides better thigh support through flatter knee recesses. The fuel tank capacity is 11 litres. The rider's seat is wide, while the back seat is on the higher side, which is good enough for shorter rides. The design of the tail section is also noteworthy, what with LED tail lamps and a muscular mudguard.

Test drive: R15, the pocket rocket from Yamaha

R15 is built on deltabox frame that makes it a capable handler. The rectangular instrument console is fully digital. The easy-to-read white-lit console displays speed, tachometer, fuel level indicator, trip meter, odometer, and even a gear shift indicator. It also shows your gear position. In the looks department, it is much better than the earlier models. The aggressive design is sure to win over the hearts and minds of the youth. But, the fit and finish on the bike could have been a lot more better.

Superb performance

Test drive: R15, the pocket rocket from Yamaha

If you are looking for a 150cc bike with the best performance, there is no need to look further, it is the R15. Yamaha has enhanced the performance quotient of the engine a little more in R15. It is not a new engine, but no, it is not the old one either. With a bigger bore size - 1mm, a new intake exhaust system and the addition of variable valve actuation (VVA) system, R15 gets a fully updated engine. The VVA system ensures good performance at both low end and high-end rpm levels. The single-cylinder liquid cooled engine makes 19.3 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 15 Nm of peak torque.

Compared to the earlier model, the low-end performance has seen a big difference. The mid-range performance is good, while the top-end power delivery is excellent. It can reach three-digit speeds quite easily. The six-speed transmission is pretty smooth, helping you change gears swiftly. A new addition - the slipper clutch - helps make aggressive downshifts without the rear locking up and sliding.

Test drive: R15, the pocket rocket from Yamaha

R15 weighs only 139 kg, making for easy handling and peppy performance. The bike has lower clip-on handlebars that gives it a sporty riding position. Buy R15 only if you are looking for a sporty bike. Because only they will like this riding position. On performance front, there is no compromise. In the 150cc segment, R15's straight-line stability is excellent, and you can chuck the bike harder in corners. It gets the wider MRF tyres in the back for better grip. Braking has enough bite. ABS is not provided.

Should you buy one?

The bike is aimed at the youth. Can't others buy it? Yes, they can, but they at least need to be young at mind. With a superbike look, sporty performance and a superb engine, R25 V 3.0 is truly a war horse in the 150 cc segment.

Test drive: Shinrai Yamaha 7034001243