20111120

Driven #8: Yamaha YZF R15 V2.0


In the not so distant past, Yamaha’s Indian arm was in a total state of bother. Though they had a rich legacy and a brand image to die for internationally, their Indian product line-up looked old and tired and the sales expectedly, were not great. In fact, their very commitment towards the Indian market was being questioned by the critics and the public. But, in just a single stroke of genius, Yamaha brushed aside all skepticism and made the Gen X population of our country knock on their dealerships like there was no tomorrow. A major contributor for that was the predecessor of what you see in this post, the YZF R15.


The YZF R15, along with the FZ series did the unthinkable for Yamaha in India. They not only succeeded as individual products, but also turned around the fortunes of the whole company which was reeling under tremendous pressure owing to a string of failures and uninspiring models. The R15 especially, came, pioneered and popularized the concept of affordable sports-biking in India with a host of technological advancements that were 'firsts' for a bike manufactured in India. It would be no exaggeration to state that the YZF R15 was the first ever affordable motorbike in India that was tuned as much for the track as it was for the road. Fittingly so, it not only became a sales success but also scorched to supremacy in the racing circles. So, when Yamaha launches the successor of such a mighty product, we ought to sit and take notice. And notice, we did and how!

TO LOOK & FEEL:


The Yamaha YZF R15 was always a looker and the new model, dubbed Version 2.0 is no different. The V 2.0 retains the same frontal look as its predecessor with the twin trapezoidal headlights, the sharp front visor and the slightly beefier full fairing on the sides giving it a big-bike look and feel that many Indians crave for. In fact, a major USP of the R15 would be the fact that it looks a whole lot similar to its bigger cousins, the R6 and, in some angles, the R1 too. A major negative point that the earlier R15 had was that it’s rear end looked rather disproportionate and meek compared to the rest of the bike. It was considered too run-of-the-mill and the relatively thin tires that it came shod with didn't go down well, given its extraordinarily sporty intentions.


Those complaints have been well taken care of now. A combination of the R6-inspired LED taillights, the aggressively up-swept silencer, the split saddle, the naked frame that holds the license plate and indicators and the chunky rear tire makes sure that the bike turns heads wherever you go. Additionally, there are a few really upscale design touches throughout the bike like the matte-carbon look alike panels in the side and rear cowls, the aluminum swing-arm which is a first for a 150cc bike in India, the uniquely shaped exhaust end can and the brazed-silver R15 motif in the silencer. Overall, the R15 V2.0 is an absolute stunner.


The R15 V2.0 has an instrument cluster that is a perfect mix of conservative, modern and sporty. The console has two distinct divisions with the right side housing a circular analog tachometer with black on white fonts that looks beautifully upmarket when lit. The left side has a rectangular digital display with all the tell-tale lights and also features the odometer, twin trip meters and the fuel level indicator. Like all other modern bikes, all the lights blink once and the tacho needle does a full swipe of the meter when the ignition is turned ‘ON’. The switchgear is not very dissimilar to all other bikes out there and is made of good quality materials that are built to last.

ON THE ROAD:


The R15 is powered by a 149.8 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke engine that churns out a maximum power of 17 PS at 8500 rpm and a maximum torque of 15 Nm at 7500 rpm, figures that stack up well with other bikes of similar engine capacity. Acceleration and pickup are nothing exceptional though and you have every right to feel disappointed, given the bike's sporty looks and image. The gear-ratios are well spaced out and the shifts in the 6-speed gearbox are seamless and smooth. What is noteworthy is that the remapped ECU and the tweaked ratios have given the R15 V2.0 a new-found character. The bike is equally comfortable trundling along in second or third gear in congested city traffic as it is cruising all day long at 100 kph in sixth gear. The driveability inside the city seems to be significantly improved over the previous version.

Once astride the bike, get ready to forget about everything else and think just about owning the road all to yourself. You could have driven something else all your life but when you drive the R15, you unknowingly tend to stretch your physical limits with far from normal lean angles and twists that comes so effortlessly courtesy the bike's near-perfect handling. Yamaha's famous Deltabox frame has worked wonders here and the all-new aluminum swing-arm has also aided in handling by reducing the weight and improving the rigidity of the chassis. The ride is absorbent enough and filters most of the irregularities that our cities have in abundance but it is definitely not the best in class. The braking though is top notch with discs at front and rear providing the bike with ample stopping power. The stock MRF tires coped up well and never felt uncomfortable in any conditions with the wider 130/70 radials at the rear providing vice-like grip of the road beneath.

What really made the whole experience uncomfortable was the excessive engine heat that could be felt in the legs. Though it could well be because of our test bike being brand new, it was found to be unusually higher. Another issue would be the sporty seating posture which, if you are not used to before, could make you feel tired after just a couple of hours. Things get worse for the pillion rider with a high-set and steeply raked seat that makes do without grab rails. Though Yamaha claims that the rear seat is made of anti-slip material to aid grip, things doesn't look all rosy out there. What comes out as an unexcusable miss from Yamaha is the lack of ABS even as an option, now that Honda and even TVS offering one in their sporty models.

SPECIFICATIONS:


* Engine Type: SOHC, 4-stroke, Liquid Cooled
* No of Cylinders: 1
* Displacement: 149.8 cc
* Maximum Power: 17 PS @ 8500 RPM
* Maximum Torque: 15 Nm @ 7500 RPM
* Transmission Type: 6-speed, 1Down 5Up
* Tires: 90/80 R17 (Front), 130/70 R17 (Rear)
* Brakes: Hydraulic, Single Disc (Front & Rear)

WHAT'S COOL:
* Stunning Looks
* Supreme Handling
* Composed Ride and Stability
* Nirvana of sports-biking at an affordable price

WHAT'S NOT SO COOL:
* Excessive Engine Heat
* Lack of ABS even as an option
* Expensive for a 150cc bike

TO SUM UP:


After spending a couple of days with the bike, I really did not want to let it go. The head-turning looks, the near-perfect handling and adequate power to tackle the city traffic and open highways in equal measure had grown on me and I can assure you that it would be no different for most of you out there. Be advised though that the R15 V2.0 will not make sense as your everyday commute to the grocery shop or to drop your kids at school. Yamaha makes the SZ-R for chores like that. The R15 V2.0 is a gift from Yamaha for the young and young-at-heart who toils at work in weekdays and scorches the track on weekends and doesn't mind spending a little extra money for doing that. In that sense, it is truly perfect!

77 comments:

  1. Great review Aravind. And a wonderful bike indeed.

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  2. As I always say, nice photos Arun. It is a wonderful bike but I definitely expected an increase in power (or engine displacement). Atleast a 220 or 250 cc engine would have been great. Is Yamaha listening?

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  3. Yes I agree. Could have been a more powerful engine. And it is way expensive for a 150cc bike.

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  4. which color is looking good of all three........?

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    1. I think u can choose black from all these..its gives a stunning look

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  5. when is the 2012 new model is getting released.......?

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  6. @ jaydeep - Though the Sunset Red color of our test bike also looks great, I personally love the trademark Yamaha Racing Blue. By the way, which color do you prefer?

    @ jay - The YZF R15 V2.0 was just recently launched and, as far as we know, there is no specific 2012 model that is going to be launched. Head to your nearest Yamaha dealership now to check out this bike.

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  7. i hate black but which colour should i choose

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    1. Hi Mohan, as stated in the comments above, we prefer the Yamaha Racing Blue and the Sunset Red in that order for the R15 V2.0. Black comes last in our list too.

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    2. out off 5 colour which colour i should choose cause i want to customize it's colour,into front racing blue with limited edition fiery red and rear with sunset red DEFINATION>( front racing blue with fiery red graphic's and rear with sunset red white) and i want to install a motogp 2012 m1 silencer

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    3. As stated many times above, we prefer Yamaha Racing Blue. You go for the shade that impresses you most as colors are individual preferences.

      By the way, you seem to be having some off-beat customization ideas; Bring them on and show us the final product. We are waiting to see your ride Mohan!

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  8. but help me first wich colour to book next mounth by my above statement's

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    1. Go for Yamaha Racing Blue base bike. That will give factory finish to the front end. You can then repaint the rear portion into the White color coming with Sunset Red. That is what our suggestion would be.

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  9. Should i go for blue??

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    1. @ Above - As stated many times in the comments above, Yamaha Racing Blue is the best color for the R15 according to us. So, you can very well go for it.

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    2. Would i regret ftr taking da blue colour????

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    3. Unless you don't like the color, we see no reason for you to regret.

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    4. Actly i like da col...bt da prblm is dat i wantd to buy da red col bt my bst friend has it...nd we roam about together so i thought having da same col is nt wise enough....if u knw what i mean...

      So shall i order da Racing blue 1...????

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    5. Wow! Close friends with a red and blue R15 would be a treat to the eyes of many. Go ahead and nail it down !!!

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    6. Thank you brada...4 ur concerning advice...
      I hv orderd da Racing Blue nd it wl be delivered to me soon...we wl rock da city...
      Once again thnks man..4 praising...

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    7. Aacha...cn u give me sum tips how to mantain da bike so that it gives a mileage of 40kmpl...
      Nd 1 more question....can yamaha R15 v 2.0 beat Pulsar 180..

      ????
      Its a million dollar question asked by all...hope u could figure it out...

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    8. Congrats bro, on booking the R15. Once you get it delivered, do make sure that you send in a superb snap with your blue and your friend's red R15 together.

      For better mileage, ensure that throttle is kept bare minimum and do not rev the engine to higher rpm levels. The Pulsar 180 could be faster in a straight line, but in real roads and tracks, the R15 will be definitely quicker due to its better grip and handling.

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    9. Yeah buddy...i wud surely click da pics 4m each nd every stunning angle nd send it to u...just tell me where to send it...
      Nd thank you for ur courteous manner of replying me...nd thnx again 4 da answer of my question....
      Hope u wl always be clearing my doubts in this way...


      With regards,
      Sarada Sarangi....

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    10. So at last you revealed your name. Rest assured that, if I know about that subject, I will certainly clear the doubts that you have. And, you can send the pics to aravindr.20@gmail.com

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    11. Ok sure..i would love to display my BLUE DEVIL'S pics...
      Bt which 1 gives a mre sporty look, red or blue...???
      Nd what should be da maximum speed so that da tuning nd mileage is nt affected???

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    12. In case of R15, Yamaha Racing Blue looks more sporty. Until the engine runs in, make sure that you don't rev the engine much. After the run-in period though, enjoy the R15 to your heart's content.

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    13. Cnt get u...it would have been btr if u hd mentiond the rpm nd speed...anyways really greatful 4 ur advices...;-)

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    14. Waiting 4 ur reply sir..
      Nd 1 thng my friend's R15 is giving a mileage of 22kmpl...bt the showrum man told that after the 1st servicing it wl ge about 35-40....is there sumthng lyk dat...???

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    15. Apologies for a delayed response. During the run-in period (0 - 1000 km), please ensure that you do not rev beyond 2000 rpm. This will help in keeping the engine healthy for a long time. On the mileage front, we got close to 36 km/l when we tested the bike. The mileage quoted by your friend (22 km/l) is very less and we guess it boils down to his driving style.

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    16. 2000rpm???...wont it be too less??....
      I thought it to be 4-5 ...

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    17. To be honest, keeping the revs within 2500 rpm is tough, especially with a bike like R15. Just ensure that you don't rev it all the way to the redline. That would do.

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    18. Ya..dat nly i ws talkin about..so i should nt touch da red line...okk
      Tnx again

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    19. So any more tips...

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  10. red bike will able to visible any scratches on it,,but black,,any suggestion to colour

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    1. Maintaining black would be tougher than red venkat. Scratches and scars are more prominent in black than any other color.

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  11. about millage also any one present users

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  12. M buying my beast in dec,,m going to buy the midnight black colour,,I want ur advice on 1 thing,,that I want to fit projector headlamps in it ,,so I want to ask u that will it effect on d battery life of the bike,,n will I face startin problems due to it ?

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    1. Congrats on a great choice of bike. Obviously, the projector headlamps would take more power out of the battery and it's life would come down.

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    2. So what do u suggest if I want to fit projector head lamps then what shall I do to maintain ma batter life ?

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    3. I am afraid there isn't much you can do. Better have your bike stock or don't worry about battery life if you want to fit projector headlight.

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  13. Hey can u please give me a suggestion,,coz m waitin for it !!

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  14. Oww okay thanks for the advice, & I also wanna know dt what will be the changes in my bike if I fit a k&n panel filter in it ?

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    1. Just fitting a k&n filter wouldn't help, you might have to change the fuel jet to allow in more fuel (in sync with more air that is getting into the enginecourtesy the k&n air filter). Moreover, the dusty conditions in our cities would negate any performance advantage that you would be getting. Unless you are looking for racetrack modifications, our advice would be to keep the bike stock.

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  15. Waiting for your reply ...

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  16. Thanks for your advice..
    Regards jairav..!!

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    1. It's our pleasure Jairav. Keep us posted on your buying decision.

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  17. Btw can u suggest that either I should go for the black or the limited edition fiery red ?

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    Replies
    1. If its R15, it has got to be either the Fiery Red or Yamaha Racing Blue for us.

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  18. N what about the limited edition white ?

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  19. Replies
    1. Jai, as we said, we would stick with either the red or blue for the R15. Having said that, colour is an individual preference and if you like white or black, blindly go for it.

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  20. Thanks for dt n m going for the black !!

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    1. Great, good choice. Keep us posted on your ownership as well as some pics of your bike.

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  21. Thanks for dt,I am goin fo the black 1.!!

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  22. anybody please tell me Midnight Black's on-road price... :-)

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  23. I bought the fiery red one,(1.30 lakhs :on road bangalore). The only thing u can do with this bike is "have fun" , for everythin else use an activa ..

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    1. Congrats Moyiz, have loads of fun with the R15 V2.0. If possible, try and get access to a racetrack (sort of) and put the Yam to full use.

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  24. After spending a couple of days with the bike, I really did not want to let it go. The head-turning looks, the near-perfect handling and adequate power to tackle the city traffic and open highways in equal measure had grown on me and I can assure you that it would be no different for most of you out there.

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    Replies
    1. Do you agree or disagree to this statement of ours?

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  25. hey is d motogp edition color a gud choice? coz i guess no one have dis color...!!

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    1. That's a great colour for the R15 V2.0. Also, being a new shade introduced in 2013, it should get you the much-needed exclusivity as well.

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  26. thanks alot...got d motogp edition...its d best shade for yamaha...btw i change gears at 3000rpm...is it good for better milege?

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    1. Great man! Rock the streets with your new bike. Share a few pics of the bike, if possible.

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  27. hey.... i have a problem in deciding which color to choose in the r15 v2.0
    the invincible black, thundering green, or the blue one...my fav. is green,but there is a waiting period of 15 to 20 days..nd i dnt want to wait that long..so which one shall i choose....or shall i wait till the green arrives..!! i am soooo confused..!!

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    1. If you like green so much, go for it. 15 to 20 days will pass in a jiffy.

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    2. Thanks so much aravind..!! i have another question..and that is as I am buying the bike from pondicherry, it will be a PY board..nd i live in bangalore..!!So do i really have to go for a re-registration or is it ok to have a PY board...will der be any trouble from the police..??

      thanx in advance....!!

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    3. There shouldn't be any problem. But, if you live in Bengaluru, we would suggest you to register it there itself. If we were you, we would go for a 'temp' registration in Pondicherry, ride it to Bengaluru and get it registered there!

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  28. bro can u suggest me which r the non-fading color'z 4 r15 ?

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  29. Hey aravind what's your opinion about the new black r15 tat has been released this year(I.e invincible black) hope for a early reply

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    1. Hi Ronith, the R15 is a stunner in all shades and the Invincible Black isn't an exception. Go, get the bike, and rock!

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  30. Yea thanks for getting me some confidence on d blackk.....I was feeling dat I made a wrong choice choosing tat colour...mostly my beast would b here by Wednesday! !!

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    Replies
    1. After all, its your colour of choice. Wish you a happy ownership!

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. Hi,
    My name is Akash Rathod
    My question: What exactly is the top speed of the stock Yamaha r15 v2 practically ? Because many say on net that it is gives till 145-150 but most of my friends having it disagree?

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  33. Hi,
    From where can I buy the digital meter body of R15

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  34. saidarshan....
    buddy i m driving since 4 years and my top speed is 154kmph on highway...so i ll suggest u if u r a new r15 then dont play hard keep cool...dont rev above 4.5k in first 750 km then about 1200 km ur allow to rev it 7k rpm... n then u r ready to booom...r15 is superbly awesome at corners go for it she never let to u down at high speed at corner....

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