Yamaha YFZ R15 150cc


Are you buying the Yamaha YZF R15 just to race it on the track? If yes, don’t read this, just go ahead and buy one for there isn’t a better indian bike for the purpose. More than ninety nine percent of you, however, will probably never take the bike to the racetrack. It’ll more often be used for dropping your girlfriend to college and sometimes to disappear quickly into the traffic when her father spots you with her.

They say there’s no substitute for cubic capacity and while technology is trying as hard as possible to negate the notion, the saying generally holds true till date. The Yamaha YZF R15 is no exception. Putting out a commendable 17PS of power from that puny 149.8cc milL the Yamaha YZF R15 decidedly suffers from a lack of grunt lower down the rev spectrum. The pull from the engine isn’t too strong below 7000rpm and is somewhat disappointing below 3500-4000rpm. Of course, the engine won’t die down below that rev point, but you won’t be overtaking anything but bicycles convincingly. That said, you can easily live with the new Yamaha in the city if you aren’t the true blue commuter who has never revved his bike more than 3000rpm. Extra heavy traffic scenarios where you have to move at crawling pace may be a bother, but once the traffic starts flowing the new Yamaha feels at home.

Just because the Yamaha YZF R15 has beaten the bigger 220s around the circuit doesn’t mean that you should expect it to be as tractable, torquey and commuter friendly in the city as well. To extract that blistering performance from that small motor, some of the low end grunt had to be sacrificed, and it’s evident. The bigger bikes will surge forward with reassurance even at low rpm in higher gears. Even the normal two valve air-cooled 150s will feel torquier below a certain rpm. The Yamaha YZF R15, however, gets substantially stronger after 4000rpm. At 7000rpm and above, the bike comes into its own and leaves everything behind. The acceleration figures upto 60km/h are very marginally slower than the bigger 220CC bikes, but the Yamaha YZF R15 catches up with them in the o-100kmph timings. The true top speed of about 130km/h with an indicated (exactly the same as we had anticipated) 140km/h is better than any other Indian bike by a good margin.

Fuel efficiency, as our standard test figures suggest is a very reasonable 39.2kmpl on city streets and 52kmpl on the highway. Even with some spirited town riding, we don’t expect the fuel efficiency to drop below 35kmpl - a reasonable enough figure for a performance bike. A very important aspect of a bike you intend to live with on a day-to-day basis is its suspension quality. On that front, The Yamaha YZF R15 features probably the best suspension on any Indian bike. The rising rate mono suspension, supple and comfy at low speeds gets stiffer as the load increases lending brilliant dynamics to the bike when pushed hard through corners. It manages to deliver the best of both worlds, almost making the suspension on most other Indian bikes look agricultural. Even with a heavy pillion on board, the bike’s suspension doesn’t lose its poise, offering a pliant ride and bottoming out only when ridden over extreme bumps at high speeds. The riding position is comfortable, though purebred commuters are sure to experience a mild pain in their wrists and shoulders before they get accustomed to the relatively sporty riding position. The bike is a breeze to manoeuvre even at extremely slow speeds, something very unlike what its sporty appearance suggests.

The tyres look absurdly narrow for a bike this sporry and distort the appearance a bit. Functionally, however, they’re just pedect, offering superior grip with minimum drag.

Riding on the highway, the smaller size of the engine makes itself more evident. At speeds of around 70-75km/h where the bigger 220CC bikes will pull strongly in fifth gear, this Yamaha will feel slightly wheezy. Shift down, bring the revs up and it charges ahead. A tall sixth gear aids economical highway cruising, but requires you to downshift during quick overtaking manoeuvres. The sixth gear isn’t entirely non-functional in the city as well till the time you just with to flow along with fast (50-60km/h) moving city rraffic. Twin headlamps provide fantastic illumination during the night, though the Yamaha YZF R15’s horn isn’t the best or the strongest sounding among Indian bikes.

The city verdict? The Yamaha YZF R15 is reasonably easy to live with in the city, if it’s not an out-and-out comfy, commuter bike that you’re looking for. If you’re an enthusiast, and don’t mind shifting gears a bit more than your regulation torque laden 220, then you should be able to happily rev your way through even the more congested streets. The fuel efficiency is good, the ride quality is superb and the riding position is just right - in a nutshell, there’s nothing that should stop you from buying this one if it’s a performance bike that you are looking for!

Tags: acceleration, bicycles, bikes, cubic capacity, Extra, gears, girlfriend, grunt, heavy traffic, indian bike, notion, pace, racetrack, reassurance, rpm, spectrum, Technology, torquey, traffic scenarios, yfz

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