In the “150cc” sports class, Yamaha’s new 155 cc YZF-R15 V3 makes an interesting case for itself. Whether you’re a first-time rider or a veteran looking to pick up a new fun machine, the R15 improves on its previous iteration with the 2019 update. For Yamaha, any investment in the model is worthy. The R15 has been the cumulative best-seller for Yamaha over the last couple of years.

Body and design:

The easiest change to spot: the bodywork and overall design. First glance and you’ll see how the R15 looks like it belongs in the R family with the new plastics, lights, and tank. Especially in the rear. The improvements come from some complicated shapes with a solid fit and finish. All the plastic fit flush. The resulting unit is a modern, polished appearance. The tank is ‘slightly’ higher and wider, but now the tank carries 11 liters of fuel, 1 whole liter less than the R15 V2. I fit on the new R15 V3 much better than I did on the old one, thanks to those changes to the tank shape. Yamaha says it’s easier to grip with your legs. I agree. Technically, the tank is a plastic cover, not a metal unit, which means it’ll be much cheaper to replace when the bike goes down.

Both headlights and taillights are LEDs, I’m happy to say. Both headlights come on together, not one high and one low, like some other bikes, but I have to say that the lights are not the best when it comes to illuminating the streets at night. Yamaha is still using those big “teardrop” turn signals with incandescent bulbs for which you either care or you don’t.


What’s new with the working parts:

“a tighter, and more responsive front-end feel.”

For 2019, the 155cc water-cooled engine and steel delta-box gets updated. Yamaha says the R15’s making about 19.2 ponies at 10,000 RPM, and a little under 15 foot-pounds of torque at 8,500 RPM.

Let’s start with tires. The new bike wears IRC tires instead of the ones with MRF tires that come with the Indian version. Honestly, the average bikers won’t even be able to tell the difference between them, but the IRC provides grip around the corners. The big news on the new R15, along with the restyling, is the suspension. Yamaha bolted up an inverted fork unlike the Indian R15 V3 which comes with the normal telescopic suspension which is more on the softer side and less “sporty”. The Indonesian R15 V3 sprung on the stiffer side for a bike in this class with the USD fork (upside-down suspension). These drastic changes promise a tighter, and more responsive front-end feel.

The Tech and sitting position:

“The engine simply tells you what it wants via one of the least offensive but beautiful sounding exhaust.”

The new R15 V3 comes with VVA technology. The full form of VVA is Variable Valve Actuation, and Yamaha is the first to use this technology for this segment. Hence, Yamaha is one step ahead of others. Talking about VVA, variable valve timing is altering the timing of a valve lift event and is used to improve performance, fuel economy, and power output. It offers brilliant throttle response and maintains the contrast of power and torque output on the right revs. Yamaha claims because of VVA technology speed will be better up to 14% and the mileage will increase by up to 4.7%.

The riding position is on the sporty side of neutral. Controls are easy to reach, and the revised display was contrast and legible. You can tell gear position and speed at a glance. The tach is a bar-style that lines the middle-and upper edge of the display. The engine simply tells you what it wants via one of the least offensive but beautiful sounding exhaust. The bike comes with a slipper clutch from the factory. Making it the only bike that comes with a slipper clutch, stock from the factory. The clutch helps the downshifts to be smoother. Now the amateurs can always have the fun of rev-matching while down shifting without worrying about messing up.

Yamaha is claiming an excellent speed and handling of this bike and finally, for braking, the bike comes with a double-disc braking system. This offers the riders more stable and effective braking. Yamaha has installed of 282 mm front rotor and 240mm rear plates at the braking. No compromising on the braking. This makes the bike more trusted and well-performing.

The verdict:

The R15 would be an excellent way to spend your moto budget. You get good handling with a proper fork and shock setup. You get a cheerful, proven engine, and a very economical one at that. It’s a fun bike that has the street presence of a much larger motorcycle being no kind of overwhelming. No wonder Yamaha sells so many of these bikes.

You can get your hand on one of these beautiful machines for 525,000BDT.

Sadly, the Indonesian version doesn’t come with ABS, not even as an option. However, if you yearn for an R15 with ABS then you can go for in Indian R15 V3 which comes with ABS from the factory and is cheaper than the Indonesian model. The Indian R15 retails for 485,000BDT. Stating that, the Indian model has a couple of downgrades to the bike itself other than the ABS.