Yamaha has launched the R3 in India after a long wait but it doesn’t get ABS, not even as an option. But the company is contemplating the launch of an ABS equipped variant in the future.
Amongst much fanfare, the Yamaha R3 has been launched in the country. This brings an end to a painful wait for enthusiasts waiting for the quarter-litre bike which beats other bikes in the segment in a few areas. What is disappointing though is the fact that it doesn’t get ABS even as an option for now. The rationale behind the same is that the Japanese bikemaker wanted to keep the launch price low so as to not have the bike labelled as the most expensive in the segment. Importing the bike via the CKD route doesn’t help matters either because the import duties are high and this has affected the pricing. The bike is assembled at Yamaha’s Delhi plant.
But fret not, Yamaha is contemplating launching the ABS equipped variant of the R3 in the future if the response for the bike is good. Currently the bike also misses out on a slipper clutch which its arch rival, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 gets and is shod with MRF tyres which certainly aren’t the best ones out there. Even the KTM RC 390 which is much cheaper gets Metzeler tyres but it is a locally made bike which helps keep the price low. The bike definitely beats the competition in terms of power and looks since the design draws inspiration from its elder siblings like the M1 and R1.
Mechanically, the Yamaha R3 remains identical to the variant offered elsewhere and it gets a 321cc inline twin-cylinder engine producing 42 PS of power and 29.6 Nm of torque. The engine has been tuned to provide more grunt in the low and mid-range RPMs assisting ride-ability in traffic conditions. The bike weighs a not-so-heavy 169 kgs and the 50:50 weight distribution improves the handling by a fair margin. KYB sourced suspension provides a decent travel range both at the front as well as the rear, making it easy to live with. The naked sibling of the R3, the MT-320 is also expected to be launched in India next year. The company is retailing the R3 through 100 dealers. There are no plans to bring the R3 to the One Make Championship. The company plans to sell 200 units of the R3 in India every month (the Ninja 300 sells around 50 units).