The Yamaha R15 does not need an introduction! When it first hit the market in 2008, the R15 excited a whole new generation of bikers in India. A fast, sporty look, a committed driving position and excellent dynamics have made the R15 a favorite of young Indian drivers over the years. It is probably one of the most iconic models in Indian motorcycle history, and now in its fourth generation, the Yamaha YZF-R15 is being significantly updated, with a fresh look and better features. Does it still have the magic of addressing the masses? We spent some time with the new R15 V4 to see what exactly it did.
Also read: Yamaha YZF-R15 V4 receives a price increase of 3,000 across the range
In the flesh, the new Yamaha YZF-R15 V4 looks even better and looks like a real mid-range sports bike. And that’s because its design is inspired by the larger Yamaha YZF-R7. The face is sharp and aggressive, with new LED running lights flanking the bi-functional LED headlight in the center. The new windshield above the lights is also new and offers better airflow and contributes to better aerodynamics. The other visual change are the gold-colored upside-down forks, which are supposed to give the R15 V4 premium appeal and also offer a better front-end feel.
In the cockpit, the LCD instrument panel is also new and, in addition to the rev counter, speedometer and fuel gauge, offers a long list of functions, including displays for battery voltage, trip meter, fuel efficiency and a clock. And now the R15 is also getting traction control that can be activated. In addition to the street mode, which offers a lap timer, there is also a track mode. The clip-on handlebar is also new and wider for better leverage, but still offers a committed and sporty riding position.
Towards the rear, the panels are designed to float and sit over the reinforced rear subframe, although the main frame of the Deltabox is the same as that of the previous model. The taillight is also LED, but the turn signals are not. Overall, there is little to complain about in the look of the entry-level sports bike, but better clutch and brake levers (with span adjustment) and LED indicators would definitely have made it even better! But at second glance, the R15 V4 looks like a real sports bike despite its rather small engine.
Also read: 2021 Yamaha YZF R15 V4: All You Need To Know
Speaking of which, the liquid-cooled 155 cc four-valve engine is retained, but loses a little of its power when new emissions regulations are met, but not really noticeable. The maximum power is now 18.1 HP at 10,000 rpm, while the maximum torque is reduced from 0.1 Nm to 14.2 Nm at 7,500 rpm. Nevertheless, the single-cylinder engine offers very pleasant performance; It is easy to turn and a joy to experience as soon as you start it up and accelerate through the aisles.
The variable valve actuation (VVA) offers a wide range of performance, and even with a limited displacement there is ample thrust across the entire engine speed range. The six-speed gearbox is easy to shift, and the slip and auxiliary clutch makes leveraging child’s play. The R15 is best for cutting through traffic. it won’t blow you away with its performance, but at the same time it’s a fun and engaging unit. And when it comes to corners, it stays planted and always gives the driving experience control.
Ride & handling
The R15 is set up tightly and suits its sporty personality. The new upside-down fork offers more stability when braking while improving comfort and cornering performance and delivers in every way! The ride quality is soft enough to absorb all kinds of bumps without shocks flowing into the spine, and the Deltabox frame and suspension actually work together to provide a stable and balanced ride feel when cornering or making quick changes of direction.
There is a two-channel ABS on offer and it works well when braked hard. But a little more bite from the front brakes could have been better. The ABS also intervenes a little too much, so it feels a little too early. Still, it’s a very good package and possibly the best dynamically sized motorcycle in the 150-160cc segment.
Variants & prices
With the updates, the fourth generation Yamaha R15 has become more expensive, with prices ranging between 10,000 euros and 15,000 euros compared to version 3.0, depending on the color option. The Yamaha YZF-R15 V4 in Metallic Red costs 1.70.800 (ex-showroom, Delhi), Dark Knight 1.71.800 (ex-showroom) and Racing Blue (with standard Quickshifter) 1.75.800 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The Yamaha YZF-R15M in Metallic Gray costs 1.80.800 (from the showroom), while the R15M in the colors of the Monster Yamaha MotoGP Edition costs 1.82.800 (from the showroom). The only thing here is that the 155cc R15 V4 is comparable to 250cc full fairing motorcycles like the Suzuki GIxxer SF 250 at these prices, but is still better value for money than a KTM RC 125 and less expensive than the KTM RC 200. But the price of the Yamaha R15 justifies the package, especially with the newly offered equipment and the excellent dynamics.
The new Yamaha YZF-R15 V4 is definitely an impressive package. Even with the price increase, it gets better features and fittings, so that as a well-rounded product it covers almost all the basics. Although it does get bluetooth connectivity, the turn-by-turn navigation would have added more value. And with that engaged and crouched riding position, the R15 V4 may not be a comfortable bike for long hours in the saddle, especially when a long ride is put in the picture. The pillion seat is still high, which could be a concern for those who frequently want a pillion passenger.
Still, the Yamaha YZF-R15 V4 has a lot going for it, and there is no doubt that it is still a high quality package that offers a level of performance and dynamics that seems worth the relatively high sticker price. Overall it’s a great bike but something similar with a slightly larger engine, maybe a new Yamaha YZF-R25 would be something worth asking for. That would be something now!
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