Indian Bikers have long waited for this. Best bike to hit our shores till date was RD-350. That was in 1980’s. Then for a long, long time we had 100cc punters. Till Hero Honda introduced CBZ, a 150cc break from the crowd bike. Taking a cue from CBZ’s success, we now TVS Apache and Bajaj Pulsars and Hero Honda’s Karizma.
But something was lacking. No doubt all of em are good bikes. But there was something missing, we dont have a true blue sports bike…. That is, until today.
After a slew shitty bikes Yamaha has finally decided to bring its well known ‘R’ badge.
Derived from Yamaha’s very very popular R1, we have something of a baby-R1 , called R15.
While the full blooded R1 is good for 180PS with an engine displacing 1000cc, the baby R15 will only do 17Ps from its liquid cooled 150 cc , and has 6 gears to spread its power.
Ok before we call it Puny, understand that R15 engine and chasis is developed more or less in the lines of R1 (R1 lineage in R15 is more than just skin deep).
Also the Curb weight of R15 is 131Kgs. This will give it a Power to Weight ratio of ~129 bhp/ton. Not bad..however Pulsar 220 with approx 150 Kgs and 20 BHP will be ~133 BHP/ton. So what makes R15 tick ? For one, a six speed box can keep the bike in powerband longer. Second, from what I have read in other posts handling of this bike is quite good (has to be, if its comming from R1 stables).
Overall I feel its a mixed bag. I’m quite disappointed that it only makes 17PS (which is not bad for 150cc motor, but for something with R1 lineage it sounds puny). But with 6speed and a sporty engine with a highly “flickable” chasis, I think this might be able to edge out the current cream of the crop 220’s and ZMA’s. But we need to wait till we see a complete review on this bike.
BTW, price is slated to be around a Lakh and there are claims that the bike will come with the full kit (jacket, helmet and gloves).
You can read more on this bike here –> http://www.yamaha-motor-india.com/product/r15/index.html
Update : Check out the overdrive first impression on the bike.. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeGMn8f-1PI )