2021 Yamaha YZF-R15 V4 put to the test: fun on two wheels

-Harshith KN, Times of India Auto
When Yamaha first introduced the YZF-R15 in 2008, it was an instant box-office hit thanks to its good looks, performance, non-intimidating efficiency coupled with the cheapest label. I’ll admit it’s just a 155cc single-cylinder engine with 18.4 hp and 14.2 NM of torque, but see what it brings to the table will get the kid-like adrenaline in you for long weekend trips and hard to walk on corners around the hills.

Turn heads wherever you go!

Speaking of the design part, it is certainly the best design to date. Yamaha R15 offers a front design inspired by R7 and is an absolute feast for the eyes that we can no longer ignore. The design is sharp and proportionate. The aerodynamic beak designed with LED daytime running lights (DRLs) seems to offer a meaner look. The bi-functional LED projector headlights in the artificial air inlet are powerful enough to illuminate the street well at night. The contrasting graphics, new windshield, air intakes, floating panels, sporty light alloy rims are smart details in the look. The only change I would like, however, are the LED indicators in the rear and integrated indicators in the daytime running lights would make the design even cleaner.

The aerodynamic beak with LED daytime running lights (DRLs) seems to offer a meaner look.

The fuel tank now looks chunkier and provides more support for your knees. The side paneling flows neatly and the “Racing Blue” paintwork with the two-tone, matt and glossy effect looks amazing. With a minimalist approach, the rear half is neatly processed thanks to the sharp LED rear light. The only incompatible element is that the angle of the exhaust does not match the angle of the stern. Leaving a reviewer’s place for a moment, I’m absolutely delighted with the design, especially because of the R7-inspired pattern. The highlight that seals the deal for me will certainly be the comfortable ergonomics than the previous generation.

The side panel flows cleanly and the paintwork ‘Racing Blue’

Compared to the V3, the handlebars are facing upwards and slightly towards the driver, which makes the seating position a little more relaxed. Slotted at the top is the new windshield which has been very well designed to protect you from the wind. The back seat is a little too high to sit comfortably for a long time. The locking mechanism of the detachable seat feels a bit flimsy until you get used to it. There are also many improvements in terms of quality, the plastic of the previous V3 generation was quite thin and did not feel high quality. The quality of the switching devices, the tactile buttons and the plastics used are significantly improved. Overall, the new R15 design is arguably the best looking of all the versions so far, and it certainly manages to turn a lot of eyeballs on it while you ride your bike.
At the front, the V4.0 has a good-looking cockpit, the new R15 has a beautiful LCD instrument with Yamaha Y-Connect, the app is available for both iOS and Android platforms. This app allows you to connect to your Yamaha R15 V4 via Bluetooth and receive phone, SMS and email notifications. However, I wish there were navigation functions. The app provides further information such as the last parked location, fuel consumption data, the health history of the bike and much more. The bike also gets a special track mode that shows things like your current and best lap time on a racetrack. Interestingly, the buttons to toggle various pieces of information on MID and to switch between street and track modes are located on the right handlebar instead of near the cluster.

The new R15 has a nice LCD instrument cluster

Speaking of safety features, the bike has traction control and two-channel ABS (anti-lock brakes), which is sometimes very useful. It also gets USD forks, which were missing from the V3, so the bike is quick when changing direction and is put on fully bent. The USD fork brings improved stability, especially on a racetrack, through a curve or heavy braking. Disc brakes with two-channel ABS are effective and safe and also intervene a little earlier than desired.

Get two-channel ABS

The liquid-cooled 155 cc single-cylinder engine retains the character of a Yamaha linear power delivery in the middle range and tapers near the red line. The engine has a maximum output of 18.4 hp at 10,000 rpm, with a torque of 14.2 Nm at 7,500 rpm and is coupled with a 6-speed gearbox. The version 4.0 unit, however, has an output of 0.2 HP less than the previous engine, but it generates 0.1 Nm more torque and reaches its peak value at 1,000 rpm lower than before.

LED projector headlights that sit in the artificial air intake are powerful enough to illuminate the street well at night

The engine runs very smoothly and is refined, gives way at low speeds, and the variable valve actuation (VVA) gives you that extra top performance on the open road. The 6-speed gearbox is optionally equipped with Quickshifter (standard on Racing Blue, R15 M and Moto GP editions) and the gearbox is precise and smooth as always.
The engine is largely unchanged and the curb weight remains the same at 142 kg. The pleasant pulling of the throttle ensures that you reach the 100 km / h mark in less than 11 seconds. For everyday city runabouts, expect 40 km / l from the engine, while highway driving should deliver around 55-60 km / l.
The addition of USD forks and two-channel ABS has dramatically improved the handling and ergonomics of the R15 V4 over the previous generation. The ride quality is moderately stiff. At crawling speed, the R15 smoothes potholes and bumps comfortably. The R15 V4 goes beyond looks. The bike dashes effortlessly into the corners. Despite the fatest tires ever fitted to an R15, its dynamics feel awake and immediate. The R15 is very responsive on the motorways. Drive at 100-110 km / h all day. The suspension comfort is very reasonable despite the sporty set-up, small bumps and bumps are absorbed quite well. Overall, the bike copes well with most of the bumps on the road. The addition of USD fork, two-channel ABS, traction control, linear power delivery and good aerodynamics let you drive the R15 V4 confidently on the road or on the track.
Should you buy one?
The new R15 V4.0 has a lot to offer – with an R7-inspired design and function updates, it looks absolutely stunning, is fast for its class, drives like a professional, looks like a superbike and still delivers impressive fuel consumption figures. The R15 gets a price increase of almost Rs 10,000-15,000 over the previous generation, depending on the color options. If you want to spend a little more, you can buy the R15 M or the Yamaha MotoGP team motorcycle. With this option you get a silver finish, a silver swingarm, a carbon-like seat cover, gold brake calipers and anodized blue fork caps. You may find the price near Rs 2 lakh too much for a 155cc motorcycle, but you are getting a high quality, feature-packed motorcycle that offers an unmatched riding experience that no other automaker can offer at this price point. There is no doubt that it puts a big smile on your face every time you drive it. If you are a beginner looking to develop your driving skills, this is the perfect tool. You may find the price a little high, but you get a lot for it.

It looks absolutely stunning, is fast for its class, drives like a professional, looks like a superbike and still delivers impressive fuel consumption figures

The YZF-R15 V4 is available in three attractive colors: Racing Blue, Dark Knight and Metallic Red.
The YZF-R15M is given a metallic gray color that is reminiscent of the YZF-R1M and the racing-inspired Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Edition.