Yamaha is aiming to provide some practicality in addition to performance with the R15-S that brings back the single seat from the pre-facelift model.
Seldom has it happened that an automaker has re-launched a model long after it went out of production. Yamaha India launched the YZF-R15 way back in 2008 which took the market by storm while a more evolved facelift came out in 2011 with split seats, an LED tail lamp, fatter rear tyre and improved mechanicals based on feedback. However, the practicality of the single seat was missed by many that just found the V2.0 too dedicated for regular riding. Responding once again to feedback, the Japanese auto giant re-introduced the R15 V1.0 a few weeks ago. Hence, you now have the R15-S and R15 V2.0 on sale together and here is what differentiates the two.
Design – The front design and fairing on the Yamaha R15 was sorted right from the start and both the S and V2.0 share the same styling. Inspired from the bigger R1 and R6 models, the design continues to be relevant till date, even though some wrinkles have started to show off. Move past the fairing and it is the seats that make all the difference. The single seat on the Yamaha R15-S is undoubtedly more practical, better cushioned, easily accommodates a pillion and will also haul luggage if you opt for touring.
In comparison, the split seat setup on the Yamaha R15 V2.0 looks sporty, is more aerodynamic (reduces drag by 4%) and insists you take the bike to the track. Practical? Not so much for the pillion. Both the bikes get the new exhaust muffler while the rear tyre is also the same, being 130/70/R17 in size; both the updates came with V2.0. The V1.0 used a thinner 100/80/R17 rear tyre in comparison. Another difference is the tail light with the R15-S using a conventional bulb setup and the V2.0 using an LED unit with the latter looking better of the two.
Dimensions – The new Yamaha R15-S is longer than the V2.0 measuring 2060 mm in length while the width and height remain the same at 670 mm and 1070 mm respectively. The new S is longer than the 2008 R15 by a good 65 mm, and has retained the longer wheelbase from V2.0 that measures 1345 mm, thereby offering improved high-speed stability. The ground clearance remains the same at 160 mm and the seat height is 800 mm on both models.
Powertrain – Both the models draw power from a 149cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, single-cylinder engine that comes paired to a 6-speed gearbox. The motor though has been tweaked differently on both models as the R15-S gets a detuned motor, producing 16.5 PS at 8500 RPM and 14.6 Nm of torque at 7500 RPM; whereas the R15 V2.0 produces 17 PS at 8500 RPM and 15 Nm of torque at 7500 RPM. That said, the R15-S is lighter than V2.0, weighing in at 134 kgs while the latter has a kerb weight of 136 kgs.
With the new R15-S, Yamaha has addressed a major segment of customers that wanted to experience the power and performance but not alone. Moreover, the company has priced both the models on par at Rs. 1.14 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi), so you know getting the single seat R15-S is not a compromise of any sort. With competition barging in from other manufacturers and V3.0 still some time away, the new S variant will keep the sales momentum strong for the R15 in tandem with 2.0.