Yamaha YZF-R3 – Road Test Review
Snapshot: It sure looks great but is it as aggressive as the RC390 and as perfect as the Ninja 300? All our questions were answered after we got a chance to experience this Japanese marvel.
Yamaha introduced the YZF series in India back in 2008 and since then the R15 went on to become one of the most famous motorcycles ever launched in Indian market by Yamaha. R15 was seen as the perfect motorcycle that everyone desired. Of course it was the most contemporarily designed sports bike that was made keeping the Indian audience in mind. It had a great engine, an utterly gorgeous design and still a very comfortable riding posture that none other could match. With time new motorcycle companies forayed into Indian market and the competition grew stronger. Yamaha launched the YZF-R3 last year in India to tackle with competitors like KTM and Kawasaki which already had super strong contenders like RC390 and Ninja 300. So how does R3 feels like in real life? It sure looks great but is it as aggressive as the RC390 and as perfect as the Ninja 300? All our questions were answered after we got a chance to experience this Japanese marvel.
The all new R3 carry forward the YZF DNA as seen in the smaller R15. From twin-split eye like headlights, captivating fairing, stunning tail section and irresistible presence, the R3 really set standards when it comes to having jaw dropping looks. The twin-headlights gives an impression of eyes of a predator and is passably the best part in R3’s visuals. We also admired the built quality on the bike, as each and every bit on the R3 looks premium and delineates the up market character of the bike. Also the R6 inspired stubby exhaust manages to complement the looks as it gels well with the overall designing geometry of the motorcycle.
It comes with semi digital-analogue meter console that displays information in quite an interesting manner. Like typical sports bikes, its tachometer is analogue while the speedometer and other information like time, gear, fuel, temperature etc. is displayed in digital form. Unlike other meters, the gear shift white light is clearly visible when shifting up through the gears. Also all the information is highly visible even in broad day light and is displayed in a much laid back manner.
Rating - 4.4/5
Engine and Performance –
The Yamaha YZF-R3 is propelled by a 321cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, in-line 2-cylinder, fuel-injected engine that churns out a healthy 41.4bhp of maximum power at 10,750 rpm and 29.6Nm of peak torque at 9,000 rpm. We admit the power and torque figures are impressive but what makes it even better is the way it is delivered. The torque is spread linearly throughout the rev range and the way engine delivers it is impeccable. Just engage the first gear, let go of the clutch and feel the bike rocketing down the lane. It accelerates faster than one would expect and oh boy! The mid and top end both feels strong. Its in-line 2 cylinder has enough power for you to toy it around irrespective of the gear you are rolling in. Also one of the plus points about this engine is that it doesn’t heat up in stop and go city traffic unlike its competitors and that really makes it easy to ride. Also the throttle on-off transitions are smooth enough when compared to its orange counterpart. Its exhaust note sounds smooth but we wish it was a bit louder, a bit growly exhaust note perhaps.
Rating – 4.2/5
Ride and Handling –
Apart from looking fabulous and going strong in the power band, the R3 ticks all the right boxes when it comes to handling. In short it really does handles like a pro. Be it going in tight traffic spaces or cornering hard, the R3 impresses without any doubt. Its diamond frame complements its riding dynamics in such a way that the bike feels highly stable when leaning through a corner and you will find yourself pushing your limits very often.
Also one of the best things about riding the R3 is that it feels very natural in city riding. Its suspension works very well to soak everything that the average Indian city roads will throw at it. It doesn’t get USDs but its front telescopic fork suspension with rear swing arm unit works like wonder be it on track or daily city roads and if you think we might be swanking too much, we have more to say about it. R3 gets best in class brakes, they really have that bite needed to drop anchor at high speeds and hence they make the bike a lot safer. The bike doesn’t have an ABS but these brakes won’t make you feel the need of it. We expect that Yamaha would bring the ABS equipped R3 by 2017 and that really should make it a lot safer than it already is.
The windscreen on the R3 apart from looking good also deflects all the windblast you will feel at high speeds. The riding position on the bike is really comfortable as tucking in doesn’t feel absurd and hence R3 makes the best bike you can ride in mixed conditions.
Rating – 4.5/5
The Yamaha YZF-R3 is one arresting motorcycle. It handles like a dream and sprints like a predator. Yamaha has really brought the right motorcycle that seems perfect according to the Indian market but same couldn’t be said about the price tag it is offered with. Let’s say its Rs. 3.25 Lakh (Ex-Showroom, Delhi) price makes it one costly proposition and we are sure that this is the only thing that’s keeping a lot of people from buying it and introduction of ABS will make it even more costly. We’d also like a bit louder exhaust note on R3 as it kind of sinks in the daily city traffic. That said, YZF-R3 is one absolutely brilliant motorcycle that can do everything you want and will do it in a much laid back way. It is so intelligently engineered that it teaches a lot and forgives if pushed too hard.
Photography - Mohd. Nasir.
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