The last 5-6 years in the Indian bike segment saw a rapid advancement. The prime reason for this heartening evolution was the foray of bikes like pulsars and apaches into the Indian two-wheeler market. This made the ” Monotonous mileage conscious 100cc masses” to think ‘performance’. Since then, there has been a constant invasion of modern technological traits into the Indian Automobile space. For instance, when Bajaj launched its performance focused commuter ‘Pulsar 150’ in the year 2001, it had a four- stroke engine that powered only 13bhp of raw power. But with advancements in technology like its signature-patent DTS-i, the maximum power of Pulsar 150 is increased to 15bhp.
Launch of YZF- R15
Pulsar 150 was enjoying its humungous sales and managed to attract a huge fan crowd as it created a monopoly situation. There was no evident resistance from its competitors for nearly 7 straight years(as TVS Apache surge 150 failed in terms of sales). So as to give a proper competition and to fill the vacuum that Indian motorcycle market had been facing – the absence of a proper budget track bike, Yamaha launched its successful twins- the naked street fighter FZ16 and the fully-faired sport track machine YBZ-R15 in the year 2008. Lets not talk about how enviable the naked street fighter was. Because that is a kind of different success story. But, R15 straight off won the hearts of youngsters, as it was so nimble and easy to handle. Thanks to its liquid-cooled, 149cc, single cylinder, four valve, SOHC engine that churned out 16.4 bhp of ponies. Its aggressive driving styling allowed it fit inside the race track. This engine remain unchanged and untweaked even now. Its been nearly a decade since it got launched. With its impressive top speed of nearly 140 kmph, its still winning the hearts of Indian youngsters. This is the first-in-class bike to feature a Perimeter frame(If you have no idea what that is, refer my previous post on Dominar 400)
THE BABY R1
In the year 2011, the second iteration of R15 started rolling into the Indian market. It had undergone changes as compared to the previous version in the scenario of ECU, Design, LED tail light and a larger gear ratio. It was moreover like a scaled down R1 and so it got the name ‘BABY R1’. It also got one major thing that its predecessor lacked- a fatter tyre section. This gave the baby R1 two properties, better high speed stability and a decreased flick ability in traffic. To compensate with that Yamaha had changed the geometric of the bike so that the weight distribution is 51:49.
THE LATEST ITERATION WITH VVT
Ever wondered what a 150cc can do? A typical 150cc can do 0-60kmph in 4-5 seconds and usually has a top speed of something around 130 kmph. But the latest iteration of R15 will redefine what you think. The Yamaha R15 V3 which is all set to launch in India was recently spotted doing a top of 152 kmph and officially it is fortified as 145 kmph. That’s right. It is faster than a quarter litre bike. The main reason for this humungous performance is VARIABLE VALVE ACTUATION(VVA) which is the Yamaha’s version of VARIABLE VALVE TIMING(If it still doesn’t ring any bell, refer my previous posts on ‘VTEC’ AND ‘FORD ECOBOOST’). This is the first time that a 150cc bike is getting VVT. It also gets a full-track focused clip-on handle rods. It’s design is tweaked in such a way that it gets minimal aerodynamic drag. It hugely resembles to its elder sibling, the R6. The maximum power is increased from 16.4bhp to 19.04 bhp!!!! And it attains that power only at 10000rpm. Which means that the rev range is broadened.
SO, WHAT I AM COMING TO SAY IS..
If you’re thinking of buying your first bike or planning to upgrade to a budget track bike, keep your patience alive.. Because Yamaha is planning to launch the beast at the end of 2017. Here are the reasons, why you should consider buying this bike.
- 19 bhp from a 150cc motor!!!
Seroiusly? still not impressed? Okay.. keep going.
- 10% better mileage than its predecessor(45+ kmpl)
- Slipper clutch (Even Duke 200 doesn’t get one.)
- upside down suspension forks
- Stunner looks
- Whole loads of technological improvements
- Totally refined engine
- New All- Digital instrument console
Above all, at the end of the day, the specifications in the spec sheet doesn’t gonna matter. Its the feel. The feel of riding the much refined Japanese track machine.