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Yamaha YZF R15 V2.0 Test Ride Review


Yamaha R15 V2.0

Yamaha R15 V2.0 - Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Bike Tested: 2011 Yamaha YZF R15 V2.0

Price Ex Showroom New Delhi: Rs. 1,07,000/-

The YZF R15, along with the FZ series did the unthinkable for Yamaha in India. They not only succeeded as individual products, but also turned around the fortunes of the whole company which was reeling under tremendous pressure owing to a string of failures and uninspiring models. The R15 especially, came, pioneered and popularized the concept of affordable sports-biking in India and made the Gen X population of our country queue up in front of Yamaha dealerships like there is no tomorrow. With a host of technological advancements that were ‘firsts’ for a bike manufactured in India, we bet that the Yamaha R15 was the first ever affordable motorbike in India that was tuned as much for the track as it was for the road. Fittingly so, it not only became a sales success but also scorched to supremacy in the racing circles. So, when Yamaha launches the successor of such a mighty product, we better pay notice.

Styling

The Yamaha YZF R15 was always a looker and the new model, dubbed Version 2.0 is no different. The V 2.0 retains the same frontal look as its predecessor with the twin trapezoidal headlights, the V-shaped front visor and the slightly beefier full fairing on the sides giving it a big-bike look and feel that many Indians crave for. In fact, a major USP of the Yamaha R15 would be the fact that it looks a whole lot similar to its bigger cousins, the R6 and, in some angles, the R1 too. The fact that the front-end design remains unchanged and still looks contemporary just goes to show how much advanced the earlier R15 really was.

One major grouse that the earlier R15 had was that it’s rear end looked rather meek and disproportionate compared to the rest of the bike. Yamaha was just not able to justify the run-of-the-mill rear end and the relatively thin tires that the earlier Yamaha R15 came shod with, given its extraordinarily sporty intentions. That complaint has been well taken care of now. A combination of the R6-inspired LED taillights, the aggressively upswept silencer, the split saddle, the naked frame that holds the license plate and indicators and the chunky rear tire makes sure that the bike turns heads wherever you go. Overall, the R15 V2.0 is a stunner end to end.

Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear

The Yamaha R15 V2.0 has an instrument cluster that can be termed as a perfect blend of sporty and modern. The console has two distinct divisions. The right side houses a circular analog tachometer with black on white fonts that looks beautifully upmarket when lit. The left side has a rectangular digital display with all the tell-tale lights and also features the odometer, twin trip meters and the fuel level indicator. Like all modern bikes, all the lights blink once and the tacho needle does a full swipe when the ignition is turned ‘ON’. The switchgear is strictly similar to all other bikes out there and is made of good quality materials that are built to last.

Performance and Gearbox

Powered by a 149.8 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke engine the R15 V2.0 has a maximum power of 17 PS at 8500 rpm and a maximum torque of 15 Nm at 7500 rpm, figures that stacks up well with other bikes of similar engine capacity. Crank the engine and the exhaust note greets you with its sporty yet smooth thrum. Acceleration and pickup are nothing exceptional and you have every right to feel disappointed, given the bike’s sporty intentions. Though we did not test the acceleration figures, we can definitely say that the Pulsar 220 and Karizma ZMR would be quicker off the block than the Yamaha R15. But, you know that you are not buying the R15 for outright speed and acceleration, isn’t it?

The Yamaha R15 V2.0 comes with a 6-speed gearbox with the universal 1-down 5-up pattern. The gear-ratios are well spaced out and the shifts are seamless though, at times, false neutrals were engaged accidentally. What is noteworthy is the fact that the R15 V2.0 is as comfortable trundling along in second or third gear in congested city traffic as it is cruising all day long at 100 kph in sixth gear. We felt the drivability inside the city to be significantly improved over the previous version courtesy the strong low and mid range and that could well be because of the re-mapped ECU and the tweaked ratios.

The only factor of concern was the excessive engine heat that could be felt in our legs. Though it could be because of the engine in our test bike being brand new, we have seen a few customers too complaining of this issue and Yamaha needs to look into this matter and put an end to it. The other issue would be the sporty seating posture which, if you are not used to, could make you feel tired after just a couple of hours in it. At the back, things are even worse with a high-set and steeply raked seat that makes do without grab rails. Though Yamaha claims that the rear seat is made of anti-slip material to aid grip, things doesn’t look all rosy for the pillion rider.

Ride, Handling and Braking

Get ready to forget about everything else and think just about owning the road all to yourself. Because, that is what the Yamaha R15 V2.0 will make you do with its near perfect handling that no other bike in this price range in India can ever match. You could have driven something else all your life but when you drive the Yamaha R15, you unknowingly tend to stretch your physical limits with far from normal lean angles and twists that comes so effortlessly astride this bike. Yamaha’s famed Deltabox frame has worked wonders here and the all-new aluminum swingarm has also aided in handling by reducing the weight and improving the rigidity of the chassis.

The ride is absorbent enough and filters most of the bumps and potholes that our cities have in abundance but it is definitely not the best in class. The braking though is top notch with discs at front and rear providing the bike with ample stopping power. With Honda and even TVS offering one in their sporty models, Yamaha should have acted smart and brought in atleast one variant with the Anti Lock Braking System that would have improved it’s case further. The stock MRF tires coped up well and never felt uncomfortable in any conditions with the wider 130/70 radials at the rear providing vice-like grip of the road beneath.

Conclusion

After spending two days with the bike, we were really not willing to let it go. The head-turning looks, the near-perfect handling and adequate power to tackle the city traffic and open highways in equal measure had grown on us and we can assure you readers that it would be no different for most of you out there. Be advised though that the R15 V2.0 will not make sense as your everyday commute to the grocery shop or to drop your kids at school. Yamaha makes the SZ-R for chores like that. Leave the R15 V2.0 for the young and young-at-heart who spends the weekdays at work and weekends at track and doesn’t mind spending a little extra money for that.

What’s Cool

* Stunning Looks
* Supreme Handling
* Composed Ride and Stability
* Nirvana of sports-biking at an affordable price

What’s Not So Cool

* Excessive Engine Heat
* Lack of ABS even as an option
* Expensive for a 150cc bike

Yamaha YZF R15 V2.0 Specifications

* Engine: 149.8 cc, Single Cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC, 4-valve, Liquid Cooled
* Fuel Delivery: Fuel Injected
* Maximum Power: 17 PS @ 8500 RPM
* Maximum Torque: 15 Nm @ 7500 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed Manual
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Linked Type Monocross (Rear)
* Tires: 90/80/17 (Front), 130/70/17 (Rear)
* Brakes: Hydraulic, Single Disc (Front & Rear)

Yamaha YZF R15 V2.0 Dimensions

* Overall Length x Width x Height: 1970 mm X 670 mm X 1070 mm
* Wheelbase: 1345 mm
* Ground Clearance: 160 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 12 liters
* Kerb Weight: 136 kg

Text: Aravind Ramesh

Photography: Arun Varadarajan & Aravind Ramesh

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  • vino

    A nice and crisp yet detailed review. The photos are awesome, the best R15 snaps I have seen.. Great stuff MotorBeam..

  • rakshak

    excellent pics and review, well done… one of the best i have read, feel like getting one R15 for myself now…

  • Aravind

    @ vino – Thanks and glad that you liked the review and the snaps.

    @ rashak – You bet, as I had mentioned in the review, the R15 makes us feel like getting one for ourselves. A great (but slightly unpractical) product from Yamaha.

  • Ashok

    u did not mention about the mileage and did the increase in weight of R15 Version 2.0 affected the mileage???
    most of my friends feel that the old R15 is better except for the rear tyre and tail light wats ur idea???

    • Aravind

      Ashok – I am glad that you pointed that out. In our test runs, we managed to get 34 – 36 km to a liter of fuel. Once the engine completes its run-in period, I am sure that it will go up a few notches. So, we can safely assume it to be around 38 to 40 km/l.

  • raj

    Great review and superb snaps.. I test drove this vehicle and was not happy with its power and pick-up, not worth paying around 1.2 lakhs when a Pulsar 220 and Karizma can go faster..

    • Aravind

      I wouldn’t say its not worth paying. Though it is a little expensive, you will start appreciating the bike’s handling, technical advancements and, not to forget, the stunning million-dollar looks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/surendran.bikelover suren

    cool pictures……………

  • ninu

    exactly the same review what i found out after riding my friends V2.0, Nice review, the low end pull is bettr than the previous one.

  • ninu

    owner of last gen R15 are rushing to showroom people to check whether the new tail piece & swingarm could be fitted in their R15 to give it an upgraded look.

  • http://www.google.com honey

    superb bike my fav bike… plzzz frnds me is bike ko lene ke souch rahha hu but mileage ko le kar confuse hu frnd bolete hai ke ye 25 to 20 ke deti hai so plzzz tell me ke kitni average de degi ye plzzz

  • ninu

    Honey brother, i havent heard less than 30Kmpl in any case, it gives a decent 50Kmpl on highways and 40Kmpl in city on any average day. new V2.0 should give 45kmpl in city as its low end torque is better.

    • http://www.google.com honey

      ninu yarrr iske old version ka to pata hai ke to 30 to 32 se uper nhi deti kisi bhi hal me but new wali ka nhi pata na ke ye kitni degi……… n mera roz ka up n down kam se kam 80km hai na so thoda to dekhna padgea
      ………

      • ganesan

        Hey,

        I checked with my new v2.0, it gave me 45.224Kmpl for 303kms consuming 6.70Litres on Gasoline that too city ride! Not expected this much but very much happy about my v2.0!

  • Adi

    Not good for highway. Overtake like “KACHUA”. Underpower. Pickup bad. Thats it.

    • ninu

      Adi , i think u havent ridden a high revving bike before, this is a proper sports oriented bike which needs to be revved up in its power band 8-9000 rpm to make good power. Its sad that we indians till now only got bikes which makes torque in lower rpm like CBZ & Karizma & we people think thats these are sports bikes, but when these bikes are revved hard they only makes moise & do nothing, on the other hand when you revv up a R15 it screams like a rocket and over takes even P220 & karizma.

    • ninu

      Adi , i think u havent ridden a high revving bike before, this is a proper sports oriented bike which needs to be revved up in its power band 8-9000 rpm to make good power. Its sad that we indians till now only got bikes which makes torque in lower rpm like CBZ & Karizma & we people think thats these are sports bikes, but when these bikes are revved hard they only makes noise & do nothing, on the other hand when you revv up a R15 it screams like a rocket and over takes even P220 & karizma.

  • http://www.torqueinduction.com pavan

    Very nice test ride review.

  • Aravind

    @ suren, ninu & pavan – Thanks, glad that you guys liked the review and found it useful.

    @ honey – Refer to my reply to ashok. We managed to get 34-36 km/l in our test runs. Once the engine sets in and the bike completes its first round of service, you can safely expect a minimum of 38 km/l in city conditions. Highways would fetch you even better figures.

    • http://www.google.com honey

      @ Aravind really bro new version 35 above de degi hmmmmm yarr. mere 3 frnd par old version hai to wo sab yahi bolte hai ke bhai 30 se 32 tak he deti hai yarr m really confuse………..

  • http://bikershunt.blogspot.com/ Bike Hunter

    Excellent review Aravind. About the R15 2.0- Lacks of Pillion comfort.

  • abhisek

    Nice review with meaningful pros n cons. nice bike but not well suited for comfortable ride.

  • salimehaboob

    Hi all,

    I found that wt i was missing in this bike…..
    enough tire style, good spacing b/w tail and rare wheel also the design of same,
    But again to say i would expect more capacity…….

    One road its awesome than before……

    • Aravind

      You nailed it. If Yamaha had launched this bike with a 250 or even a 220 cc engine, it would have perfectly complimented its handling and looks.

  • Management Punditz

    Amazing Pics!!! Droooool

  • Alan

    Too much for so less. even if Yamaha make changes in lesser cc bikes..it doesn’t have a Macho look like their own R1. Bad pricing. i’d go for apache rtr 180 over this.

    • Aravind

      I can’t quite agree with this Alan. The R15 V2.0 looks stunning when viewed in person. Might be the pictures don’t bring out the true flair of the bike. Having said that, you can’t compare this with the mighty-awesome R1.

  • http://www.chinmaykumarbaral.in Chinmay

    Hi Arvind, First of all many thanks for the wonderful review. Currently I bought a Red V2 and say what its awesome to ride. Low end torque is far better than previous one. I did took my bike ODO to 6-7K in 2days once and its a pleasure to ride. Best in handling best in braking. I beaten P220 and Karizma ZMR in Drag race. This is a bike with true beauty and power. Loved my Angel :) Arrive alone ..

  • azzy THE DARK

    I have taken a test ride of R15-2.0 that’s one of my friend and after a couple of days later i got opportunity to take a part in a group race in my city where 10 bikes try to pull back each other and as i am taking part consistently with my P220 but this time i change the machine . I take ma friends bike R15 2.0 nearly 2 month old and took the part in the race on 3.2Km long stretch with 8 turns and you guys don’t believe that when race starts i fall back to no 6 but when turns came into existence i overtaken all the bike mostly at the corners and win the race with a difference of 3.8 second approx. .

    NOW THE MAJOR PART OF STORY

    I really disappointed when i start but when RPM(rev) goes up it makes a huge amount of power and cross the 110 Kmph too easily , then the story begins and yes about handling it’s awesome i have attacked the corners with a speed of 60-80 Kmph which is impossible with any other indian bike even P220 .

    SO AT LAST I SAY THAT R15 DISAPPOINT YOU AT LOWER RPM(rev) BUT SURPRISE YOU AT HIGHER’s USUALLY MORE THAN 4500RPM .

    AND YEAH ABOUT RACE EVERY TYPE OF BIKE IS PRESENT THERE EXCEPT NINJA AND CBR . ITS NOT AN OFFICIAL RACE BUT A BET TYPE OF RACE BETWEEN FRIEND’S CIRCLE ON A CERTAIN OCCASION .

  • Selwyn

    You have indicated the excessive heat produced by the engine, which gives discomfort to the rider. If this is common with all R15 there is nothing to worry.

    The efficiency of the engine increases as the working temperature of the engine increases. But it is very difficult to design an engine with high working temperature from material point of view. But in recent years companies has increased the working temperature tremendously.

    • Azzy the dark

      Yes u r right that engine working on higher temp. r better nd yamaha cope the problem by using silicon alloy wich is capable of enduring temp. and also r15 uses liquid cooled jacket around engine sought of radiator which helps in cooling the sorrounding and hence there is not much concern of heated up engine .
      @riskyash217 i say u buddy that go nd get this technically advanced beast i m sure if u r a bike enthusiast then u love her there is nothing wrong with the bike except pricing . For any further query don’t ask anyone just go nd take the ride for a couple of weeks on some friend’s bike . If u know a little bit about biking then u came to know what is surprisingly packed in that sexy beast .

  • riskyash217

    man pls say less negative points abt the bike.. i’m 100 percent committed to this bike.. it’s really confusing me now…!

  • RTR

    I am going to get this bike soon… Any Problem with new version?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjynUngsR34

  • dev

    i have this bike and i love it riding at more than 70 km/hr. i have tested it for 60 km/hr in around 3 secs.. official statement is true.. its giving average of around 40-45km/l… gossips apart.. u will feel it when u ride it.. awesome bike and awesome power with just 150cc … thanks YAMAHA…

  • Rizal

    kenapa di indonesia tidak bisa pesan motor yzf ya..?
    semuanya pada off the road dan kalau ada barangnya juga yang tahun 2010 bukan yang tahun 2012 ( yang terbaru) padahal di indonesia sudah banyak yang kepengin

    • Maaleo

      YZF kan ada bro di Indonesia Jadi Vixion, cuma fairing dan frame belakan beda.
      Kalo mau bisa koq new Vixion di rubah jadi R15 V2.0, main ke MAALEO.COM
      ada yang pesan fairing untuk rubah Vixion Indonesia tuh !!!.

      appologies talking in Indonesian, but we also drooling to this, not available in Indonesia.
      but many replika from Indonesian sibling Yamaha Vixion.
      love the rear swing arm and tail !!!.

  • AkaSh

    @Aravind buy it or not?
    Reply fast..

    • Faisal

      AkaSh, buy it.

  • venkatesh

    i really confusing about the new bike of yamaha r15 and its ver2.0 .In older version of yamaha looks good but back view of tyre is not good and not attractive to seen the back view.But in yamaha new ver2.0 looks awesome really well design more attractive.They having 1 dropback is back seat not conforable while sitting on its seat. I am asking the owner of yamaha ver2.0 it will says that this bike is only for single member to ride the bike.so tell me friends………….

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Aravind

      Hi Venkatesh, you are right. The rear seat of Yamaha R15 V2.0 is only good for teenage girls who are fit and lean and nobody else. To make matters worse, the absence of grab rails makes it almost useless.

  • venkatesh

    ok,aravind i will agree………….then how much mileage will gives in the city,highways……..

  • http://ckannan.blogspot.com kannan

    i wanna ride this hot sexy lady ;-)

  • pankaj

    which bike i should buy if i have a budget of r15,,, i am confused in pulsar 200ns or r15 please give me some advice,,,

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Aravind

      Pankaj, if you are looking for a sports bike with road-hugging handling, the R15 V2.0 is the right choice. Having said that, Bajaj’s Pulsar 200 NS is the most practical, more powerful and cheaper alternative to the R15. You won’t go wrong with either.

  • Arjun

    My younger friend has this bike r15 v2.0. Just one word love this chick like anything, seriously one beast on the road which will make you turn everyone’s head to see her. Which I have seen to believe it. Well for the performance we have taken her with stock exhaust at 136 km/hrs and now the bike is equiped with gpr exhaust giving her a boost of 2 bhp of more power which u can see on the rpm generally with the exhaust @ 9500 rpm it gets cut with a red light showing on the meter to change the gear but with this we could easily take her till the end and there was no cut. The story is that we never did any setting on the ecu just fitted the gpr free flow exhaust which was for rs. 15000/-.
    And now the bike can go to 156 km/hrs without any problem and hastle. Also also getting a good millage of 45 in city have not yet checked on the highways. As he is too busy with his exams.

    At the end a very nice review love the snaps amazing beautiful and he has a white and red stripes one the limited addition one just love her

  • Sachin

    Awesome bike. I was the pillian rider when my brother was riding it like hell.. We ride around 800 kms from Gurgaon to PILIBHIT and did the return journey also.
    Power was amazing it was like a rocket on the road. It overtook all the vehicles on NH24.whether it was swift or scorpio or superb at 125 speed.
    Excellent comfortable for the pillian rider.
    Best bike in indian segment no heat as radiator is there and coolant flows inside the engine when its get heated on high speed.

  • Aman

    nice review,keep it up brah. . .

  • punith

    i love this bike r15

  • peter

    hi guys, i want to bye v2 but the other guy used to say that the tale mean back set is not comfortable and might be broken while riding so i m in trouble is this fake or true .plz guys help me

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Aravind Ramesh

      Peter, as stated elsewhere in this page, the rear seat of R15 V2.0 is so thin, high-set and, in the absence of grab rails, is not practical too.

      • peter

        so sir, then i wil buy this bike . thank u very much Aravind .

  • peter

    thank you very much for your reply. but i want to be assure tht i heard the news that
    R15 back sheat has been broken so how much percent is this news correct.

  • nouri

    top speed?

  • ganresh

    guys any changes from after u r review???? reply me how is condition now….

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Faisal Khan

      Ganresh, have you read our long term review?

  • st

    hi guys, i want to bye v2 but the other
    guy used to say that the tale mean
    back set is not comfortable and might
    be broken while riding so i m in
    trouble is this fake or true .plz guys
    help me.plzzzzz guys

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Faisal Khan

      ST, R15 best for solo riding.

  • Aman

    Does R15 2.0 has light in switches like in Pulsar?

  • rajdev

    I really love this byk guyes…Bec its look,milage,power,capability, style every thing is wonder,,,,,,just for it yes yamaha

  • raman

    took delivery of my baby R jst 9days b4…..cmpleted 500+kms no back pains , no wrist pains jst pure bliss :D

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Faisal Khan

      Make sure you take it easy till first service.

  • raman

    yup I hv nt crossed 5k rpm….though I reach upto 6k for 1-2 secnds smtyms

  • raman

    faisal bhai , in the manual it is written tht u cn go upto 7500rpm aftr 500kms….bt frst service is scheduled on 750-1000kms . So cn I explore above 5k rpm or shud wait till frst service ???

  • Arka Banerjee

    Faisal bro which is bttr btwn apache rtr 180 nd r15 v2 in terms of outright pace nd acceleration down the line??…..Plz suggest me which accelerates faster??

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Faisal Khan

      In terms of outright acceleration, the R15 is faster but very marginally.

      • Arka Banerjee

        So in a drag race of say 1km will d r15 be able to beat apache??

        • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Faisal Khan

          Yes.

  • Manoj

    Hi i m doing 1st yr Mech . The review was awesome and i m reading many review and ownership report. I m planning to buy the beast but i hav few questions to ask
    1. Will the wheels get locked on hard braking?
    2.Will there be any starting problem when the bike stands for a few days.
    3. How many kilometer can i drive the bike without stopping
    4.Do R15 have auto cancelling indicators or can we fit one.
    5. Is there any way to fit ABS in this bike or ABS is needed for this?
    6. I m just a beginner,will it be tough to drive it due to racing position?
    7. Is there any other upcoming versions of the beast so that i shall wait for sometime
    8. I want to fit projector lamps,am i want to change battery for tat or keep the stock version of it.
    9. Is the horn of the bike is loud enough?
    10. Some says that false neutral wil engage,is it a serious problem.
    11. Is the storage space inside seat is at least enough to keep documents.
    I m asking all of the questions becoz it will be my first ever bike,i hav driven some bike such as hunk,starcity,200 ns,but i hav not yet driven any r15 since i wish to ride a r15 which must be my own vehicle. Hence i hav not done any test drives in this beast. Pls reply as soon as possible becoz i want to get my own. Awaiting for your reply.

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Faisal Khan

      You are thinking way too much buddy, just go ahead and buy the bike. All your questions will be answered with a short test ride. Anyways, here goes –

      1) Any bike without ABS will lock its wheels if you brake really hard, but the brakes on the R15 are very good.
      2) No.
      3) As many kms as you have the stamina to keep going.
      4) No it doesn’t and you don’t need to fit them.
      5) ABS is a boon on any bike, any displacement, but you can’t fit it after market.
      6) No, it won’t be, you will get used to it.
      7) No, there isn’t any new version planned.
      8) Stock illumination is good and the stock battery can handle a projector, just get a cut-out relay.
      9) Yes, it is decently loud.
      10) No, it’s a problem faced by most bikers, also depends on your shifting style.
      11) Yes.

      • Manoj

        Thank you Faisal sir

  • Prakhar

    Hey Faisal, I want to purchase a sports bike . I am confused between R15 and Pulsar 220.

    I want to buy the bike which has better engine refinement and good engine life.
    Which would be better according to you.
    Will wait for your reply.

    Regards,
    Prakhar

  • Raju

    Hi Faisal, im planning to buy r15 v2 within 2 weeks. Is the back seat comfortable for ladies with saree

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Faisal Khan

      Nope it’s not.

  • suzan

    bro i am having my first bike and i have decided to buy R15 v2.will this bike be suitable for beginner like me ??