REVIEW:YAMAHA R15 V2.0
2008 January,Auto Exp,New Delhi
One of the finer things for Indian Motorcycling was Unveiled -The YZF-R15.It was a time when YAMAHA India was in a position exactly opposite to its Mother Company-YAMAHA Motor Corporation.It was a mystery what YAMAHA was doing in India.It was a time when a 150cc machine with some fancy sticker work was the “super sport” category for the regular Indians.
It was a time when all that changed.The YZF-R15.A proper sports bike in every sense,from the riding posture to the power delivery.The regular Indian would mistake it for its bigger brother-the R1 from where all its DNA came from.
Every one went crazy.They loved it.But there was a catch to all this.The skinny tires and a visually poor rear end.It was a turn off-Many turned their heads away from it but the R15 was an instant success.It played its part to bring YAMAHA,India to where they belong.
Now,couple of years later.YAMAHA has made the R15 a complete machine.A re-designed tail section and a fatter tire has made it the most beautiful bike available in India.But how does it perform?Well..lets read on.
A quick look at the changes
-New R6/R1 inspired LED Tail Lamp
-A re-designed mid section improves aerodynamic performance(Resistance values is +4%) at higher speeds
-A proper Split Seat
-Larger rear sprocket- of 47T
-Bigger 220 mm rear disc’s with NISSIN Calipers for the new & bigger 130 rear tire.
-Aluminum swing arm
-A new ECU control and drivetrain unit specs
The R15 V2.0
The second you swing your leg over the 2.0,the first thing you notice is the increased seat height. At 5’7 i was perfectly able to plant both my feet on the ground flat.
Apart from the the increased seat height you will not notice any changes to the seating position along with the same semi-aggressive seating posture maintained. The seat is adequately “sticky” but much flatter with lesser padding than the previous model which is a plus when riding aggressively when you’ll have to move your body around the corners. This is a very good design feature. weight shifting is much easier and its possible to move your body around the corners much quicker than ever! A real plus on the track but might not be so comfy for the roads.
Coming to the pillion seat-One look says it all-the Superbike styled rear seats along with the lack of grab rails means a less comfortable ride.You don’t buy a Sports bike to carry your Mum or anyone sitting sideways!hence the lack of grab rail shouldn’t be an issue since its much better to lean on and hold onto the rider on such an aggressive seating.
I love the way the seating looks and i don’t complain the discomfort it creates but im not all that satisfied with it.I found it really hard to find a proper way to sit on it.Unlike in SBK’s the seat is a little higher and there seems to be an extra bit of gap between the rider and pillion which is pretty apparent when you try and lean onto the rider because as i said you are sitting quite far apart and if you try and move forward-you are out of your seat!
But just like the rider seat the pillion seat is also very sticky and you don’t slip off very easily.
Once you have taken your seat its all a familiar look.The instrument console and every instrumentation remains the same and of a great quality.For a V1.0 owner
the cockpit is familiar and will feel instantly at home.
Thumb the starter and the 150 cc engine comes to life. No drama whatsoever. This is one area where YAMAHA failed our hopes.With no power & engine upgrades whatsoever-the V2.0 remains only a face lifted version.Just like the V1.0,the engine is very responsive & rev friendly hitting the indicated 10500 rpm revlimit within no time.Same power plant as the old one, both produces 17ps @ 8500 rpm.
With the addition of the fatter rear section tire of 130/70,the R15 was bound to take a hit on its power delivery.To compensate on this the V2 comes with a bigger rear sprocket of 47T .I was very excited about this-this would have been the answer to the poor low-end issue of the V1 but to my surprise and disappointment there was nothing much to get excited about.The improvement at the low-end seems to be only marginal.
A head to head roll on figures(from 40 kmph in 6th gear),dint seem to make the V2 any superior either.! Maybe its the added weight of the version 2.0(+5KG’s) and the larger tires to be blamed.
Overall gear shift feel was good. Just like any new R15. the motor is refined at high revs and has a linear power band than the version 1.0
Being the best handling machine in the market it was hard to expect much of an improvement.In fact,our worry was if the V2 could maintain its handling as the V1 with its bigger tires.YAMAHA had done their home work.The first aluminum swing arm in the 150cc segment in the Indian market which “has a truss structure that enables greater rigidity while improving handling in the turns” along with a longer wheel base retains its superior handling and also improves to a certain extent.Does offer some more stability.Even though we couldn’t push it to its peak we expect the same or slightly faster exit speeds and handling out of a corner.
The front brake bite was at par with the V1.0 but the rear brakes have improved,thanks to the new and bigger 220 mm rear disc’s by NISSIN.
YAMAHA claims a slight improvement at the top end with a re-programmed ECU and a improved aerodynamic performance with its re -designed mid section.Unfortunately we were not able to test it on our brand new engine.
So is the new R15 so good that an existing R15 owner should ditch the old one and get the 2.0?
Once the initial “oohs & ahs’s” fade off and once its common on the streets there is nothing much exciting than the V1.Its just the same old wine in a fancy new bottle.
Is it a VFM buy at Rs 1,19,000(OTR-Cochin)? Yes. With the looks of a mini SBK it is worth the 1.2 lakhs. The R15 was always a great performer for its price and with just an addition of 6,oooRs ,the new R15 is better looking,better handling and has better stopping power.
In the end-YAMAHA has achieved exactly what they wanted-A refreshed,re-designed R15 without any drop in performance and handling.The re-engineering they have put into it is really commendable.
The V2 will turn more heads.Even the heads of V1 owners but with a screaming engine beneath you does it really matter what the bikes rear looks like?
Gears in Photos-
Thanks to PSN YAMAHA,Cochin for providing us with the R15
Geared by-Auto Queen,Kaloor,Cochin
Words,Inputs & Feedbacks-Ranjith , Navin & Swaroop