Yamaha R15 Review: Why the v1.0 was good enough!

Experienced bikers still have memories of Yamaha’s RX100 and RD350. Yet today’s generation of bike enthusiasts are not the ones exactly fond of the old looks and classicist bikes. Recent launches like Duke 200, Pulsar 200 NS, Yamaha R15 V 2.0 has -shown the world increasing demand of power delivering techy bikes in India.

But a few years back in 2008, one would be delight even with a spotted Pulsar. With the release of Dhoom series by Yash Chopra ( oh yes, I’m serious on this one ), youngsters were very much technology and style conscious. The irony being that in that meantime, Yamaha took advantage of the situation by coming up with its YZF-R15. By the launch of state of the art Yamaha R15, Yamaha was clear in its efforts to re-establish its credentials as a Sports Style manufacturing Brand. YZF R15 was introduced with the intent of being in the lead in the so named “Sports Bike” category in India, where Honda CBZ and Bajaj Pulsar were prominent players. Yamaha left no stone unturned for making the R15 better than what the competition was offering.

Old Yamaha YZF-R15

Yamaha YZF-R15 OLD

[ Image Credits: Yamaha Motors ]

Yamaha R15 Review Introduction:

The front fairing is the biggest contributing factor towards R15’s sporty look. The build is quality made from carbon fire or hard plastic being able to restrain large amount of tension. Yamaha has a development approach named ‘Human’ technology where the testing of the bike is done with rider actually on it. The Under cowl is also designed to aid air flow with blade like surfaces beneath. The front fairing is aerodynamically made in a way to divert air flow to protect the rider. The seating area gives rider the freedom to move and steer effectively. These designs were designed and tested in the same studio where the legendary Yamaha YZF-R1 was developed and the approach has been chosen in a way that as many as qualities of the bigger brother can be inherited into the Yamaha R15. The YZF-R15 is consequently so prepared that it combines standard built quality of Yamaha with the practicality needed for Indian Markets. Yamaha claimed hopefully they ran critical tests repeatedly to set the crucial aspects of R15 to let it be worthy of wearing the YZF-R badge.

General Specifications:

  • Engine: 149.8 cc Liquid cooled, 4 Stroke, SOHC, 4-valve single cylinder
  • Max Power: 17 bhp @ 8500 rpm
  • Max Torque: 15 nm @ 8500 rpm
  • Compression Ratio: 10.2 : 1
  • Ignition: T.C.I
  • Front Suspension: Telescopic
  • Rear Suspension: Link Type Monocross
  • Brakes: Hydraulic Disc
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Fuel Capacity: 12 Litre
  • Dimensions (L/B/H): 1995/670/1070
  • Wheelbase: 1290
  • Dry Weight: 120 Kg

Engine Review:

Yamaha YZF-R15 had an engine that was equipped with DiASil cylinder which is a full aluminium metal die-cast cylinder. Introduced cylinder had various advantages such as 60% better cooling rate and 30% loss in weight as compared to cast steel cylinders. This results in a much better power to weight ratio. The piston was forged with Yamaha’s own technology to form a structure that is both thinner and lighter and has more strength to be able to achieve higher RPM and performance. The 4-valve hemispherical shaped combustion chamber was more efficient with resultant complete combustion. Here comes the Fuel Injected mixing system which subsequently provides better response on throttle as well as improved fuel efficiency. In 2008, there were very few bikes available in India under the segment to have a Electronic Fuel Injected System.

Ride and Handling:

When he bike was initially subjected to High-Speed Cornering and emergency stops, it gave out the image of Yamaha R15’s lightweightness and power. The bike had impressive road holding and handling, being both in control and highly manoeuvrable.


Final words, Yamaha R15 was/is not a bike for those obsessed with mileage or city riding. The bike was surely appreciated by the ones who lie the very idea of riding and a concept that clearly translates racing technology into everyday use. A metaphor for laymen who have a dream of one day living the likes of Valentino Rossi. On the other hand, R15 is a bit pricey piece for sure going a little above a lakh, and anyone going for value for money may not bump into this one.

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