The new R15 is expected to get more power and features
Yamaha India has been testing the new generation R15 in India for quite a while now. The R15 v3.0 is already on sale in international markets. However, the India-spec motorcycle, which will be launched at the Auto Expo 2018, is expected to feature a few changes to keep its price competitive.
Notable features on the new bike include LED headlamps, upside down (USD) forks, an updated digital instrument console, ABS and a more powerful 150cc motor replete with variable valve timing. These new features have driven up the cost of the bike in international markets. However, for a price-conscious market like ours, expect Yamaha to skip equipment like the USD forks and ABS while replacing the IRC tyres seen on the model sold abroad with locally-sourced MRF ones.
Thankfully, the new 150cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder motor will remain untouched and will retain the variable valve timing. This engine is capable of producing 19.5PS of power and 14.7Nm of peak torque. Another draw is the new design, especially the tail section, which seems to have been inspired by the Yamaha R6 and the R1. The twin LED headlamps are split by a faux air intake at the centre. The full-digital instrument console shows information such as speed, rpm and gear position. The new bike, however, has its fair share of shortcomings too. While the older bike had a 12-litre fuel tank, the new one can hold only 11-litres. Even the rear seat has become a lot smaller than before and could prove uncomfortable for the pillion on long rides.
Although the India-spec will miss out on USD forks and ABS, we expect Yamaha to charge a substantial premium over the current generation R15 v2.0, which retails for Rs 1.18 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Hence, we expect the new bike to be launched with a price tag that hovers close to the Rs 1.5 lakh mark. Over the years, the R15 has enjoyed a cult following thanks to its affordable pricing and impressive handling and dynamics. The new R15 is expected to set the bar even higher. The R15 v3.0 will go up against the likes of the Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 and the upcoming Honda CBR 150R.