Yamaha has tasted some real success with the R15 and the FZ-S in the Indian market and now it has introduced the Yamaha MT 15 with the hope of giving its key rivals a run for their money. Yamaha MT 15 is the third offering of the Japanese motorcycle brand under their 'Call Of The Blue' campaign. The highly anticipated hyper-naked bike, which is also the smallest offering of Yamaha's MT series of motorcycles, was first launched in Indonesia.
One can say that it is the R15 minus the fairings, but a closer look on the machine reveals its own distinct character and feel. On its way to India, some of the Yamaha MT 15 features were given a miss, which are there on the international version of the motorcycle. Read our Yamaha MT 15 review here to know whether these missing features will have an impact on the motorcycle or the Indianised version is an absolute fit for our market.
Looks - Distinctive and Sharp
The Yamaha MT 15 India looks very aggressive from the front; the LED DRLs are placed in such a way that they imitate a pair of eyes and the square projector headlight looks like the chin part of a face. The front really wants to talk to the onlookers or rather wants to give them a threatening stare. The 'bug-faced' headlamp unit was already the talk of the town when Yamaha launched it in the Indonesian market. The side profile of the bike is equally impressive with a muscular tank. MT graphics and badges can be seen clearly. The upswept exhaust borrowed from the R15 V3.0 looks good but an underbelly unit would have gone perfectly with the overall design language of the bike. The docked tail with floating tail light looks super clean and makes it more sporty to look at. The looks of this bike clearly show that it is one of the members of the MT family, though it is the youngest one.
Also Read: 2019 Yamaha FZ 3.0 series launched with ABS
Mechanicals - Enough of it but not everything!
We are aware of the fact that Indian versions of our beloved global-spec machines usually miss on to some of the features that make us drool. But we should also understand that India is a price-sensitive market and it becomes a Herculean task for the manufacturers to contain the pricing in India. The USD front forks and a comprehensive swing-arm seen on the international spec Yamaha MT 15 are missing here, instead, the bike gets a regular telescopic front fork and a box-type swing-arm. The propulsion duties are carried by the same engine seen on the Yamaha MT 15 cousin - the Yamaha R15 V3.0 - a 155 cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder SOHC engine, equipped with Yamaha's VVA (Variable Valve Actuation) system. Yamaha MT 15's motor churns out 19 bhp of peak power and 14.7 Nm of torque; the numbers are identical to the R15 but the re-tuned engine of MT 15 makes it more torquey in the mid-rev range.
Yamaha MT 15 specifications get a 6-speed transmission equipped with assist and slipper clutch to make the downshifting hassle-free in bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions. The bike is equipped with a single-channel ABS and has got enough bite. The 17-inch wheels at both front and rear ends are shod with MRF Zapper rubber.
Ride Quality - Agile, Nimble and Lightweight
The re-tuned Yamaha MT 15 motor provides the rider with ample amount of torque available in the mid-rev range, which gives it a distinct grunt. The motorcycle is lightweight, which makes it nimble and it literally asks you to rev harder. The deltabox frame makes it agile and one would feel confident to lean more and more into those mean corners. The suspension set-up is comfortable and won't break your back. The bike has got a single piece seat with enough cushioning but it is a bit narrow. One thing to notice here is that the tank provides a solid grip for the legs to hug it while taking the corners head-on. It has an upright riding triangle and will help you to commute in the city on a daily basis.
Also Read: 2019 Yamaha R3 India Launch Soon
Pricing & Competition
Yamaha MT 15 price in India is Rs. 1.36 lakh, around Rs. 3,000 cheaper than its fully faired cousin, the R15 V3.0. Here, the Indian and Austrian rivals seem to have an upper hand with more features and less pricing. The key rivals of Yamaha MT 15 are TVS Apache RTR 200 4V ABS (Rs. 1.11 lakh), Bajaj Pulsar NS200 ABS (Rs. 1.12 lakh) and KTM 125 Duke (Rs. 1.18 lakh) (All prices are on an ex-showroom basis).
The Yamaha MT 15 price of Rs. 1.36 lakh for a 150 cc motorcycle seems a bit unfair but the R15 V3.0 has sort of same specifications and power output, and it is a hit among the youngsters. Yamaha may have a winner at their hands, and the world-class built quality, impressive power delivery, minimal vibrations and menacing looks substantiate this speculation.