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Yamaha YZF-R15 V4 and YZF-R15M Launched


Yamaha YZF-R15 version 4.0 and YZF-R15M
Yamaha YZF-R15 version 4.0 and YZF-R15M

Yamaha India has launched the heavily updated YZF-R15 in India at a starting price of INR 1,67,800 ex-showroom. The new R15 comes in two versions - YZF-R15 version 4.0 and YZF-R15M. In case you’re unaware, the letter M has only been used with the YZF-R1 so far and it indicates that the bike is equipped with premium parts such as the higher spec suspension, carbon fiber body parts, a distinguishable color scheme, etc., compared to the standard motorcycle.


Does it mean that the new R15M is as premium compared to the R15 V4? Let’s find out.


The YZF-R15 version 4.0


There are two biggest visual changes to the new R15 that are instantly clear - the all-new bodywork and the front suspension.


The R15 V4 now has a completely redesigned front fairing. The twin headlight cluster has been replaced with twin LED DRLs and there’s a new Class D bi-functional single LED headlight at the center, where usually the ram-air intake is. This setup is the same as on the R7 which was recently launched in the global market.


The side fairing is absolutely new as well and overall, the motorcycle looks more substantial with better proportions than the outgoing model. As far as I’m concerned, something about the V3’s styling was off and it didn’t look particularly good from either side. Yamaha has fixed it in the V4, mostly!


While the new R15 is clearly a better looking motorcycle, the exhaust tends to ruin the styling and it’s the reason why it appears like a distraction. First, the end can should have been angled further up, I mean it’s a proper R-series sportbike, so why make the exhaust look as if it’s halfway between a standard motorcycle and a supersport. Secondly, the heat shield just doesn’t look good and appears to be overdone. Fix this and the motorcycle is much better looking.


The rear-half of the motorcycle doesn’t see much change but is still updated.


Yamaha YZF-R15 V4 and YZF-R15M with Class D bi-functional LED headlight
The YZF-R15 V4 with the headlight setup now resembling the R7

New Front Suspension


The R15 V4 and the R15M get the completely new front suspension in the form of 37mm upside-down forks. They stand out further in their golden color but there’s no adjustability on offer. The rear suspension is unchanged with the beefy aluminum swing-arm and a link-type monoshock. Even the whole frame is unchanged from the V3 and it’s still arguably the best chassis in its class.


Same 155cc Reliable Engine


Another part that is the same as on the previous model is the engine. It’s the 155cc liquid cooled, 4-valve, SOHC, single-cylinder engine with VVA (Variable Valve Actuation). The VVA is a simpler implementation of a more complicated Variable Valve Timing technology in some higher capacity motorcycles. What it does is ensures that power and torque are available throughout the rev-range by varying the timing of valve-lift depending on the throttle position, RPM, and the gear the bike is in. This system is not as sophisticated in the R15. There are two intake valve cams, one for low to mid-rpm range and the other for high-rpm range, and they switch between each other at precisely 7,400 RPM no matter what gear you’re using. Still, it’s quite a good system for a 150cc motorcycle and the engine visibly performs better than the previous non-VVA R15 engines.


In the R15 V4, this engine makes 18.4 PS of power at 10,000 RPM and 14.2 NM of torque at 7,500 RPM. It's a proven engine known for its reliability and longevity.


The R15 Gets Switchable Traction Control


You read that right. A traction control system in a 150cc motorcycle! Well, the R15 V4 is equipped with switchable traction control to prevent rear wheel slip and it does that by instantly adjusting the ignition timing and engine power to keep traction on the rear wheel.


Optional Quick Shifter


Another ‘big bike’ feature that is slowly becoming popular in smaller capacity motorcycles is the quick shifter. This is a standard fitment on the R15M and for the Racing Blue color, while on the standard R15, it is optional. Also, it is not a two-way quick shifter, it only allows you to shift clutchless and without blipping the throttle for up-shifts. For downshifting, you have to do it the traditional way.


The YZF-R15M


So, is the R15M as premium compared to the standard R15 as the R1M is over the R1? Not really. The R15 gets a dedicated color scheme - metallic grey. It also gets the quick shifter as standard and there are some R15 logos here and there. Furthermore, the swing-arm is in grey color as well which looks like a natural finish for an aluminum component and it definitely looks better.


Other than that, there’s dual channel ABS as well as a slip-assist clutch, same as on the previous R15. Both tyre profiles also remain the same. What’s also unchanged is the wet-weight of 142 kg and that’s a good thing.


Both the R15 versions also get the updated LCD console that can display information in Street and Track modes. You can also connect your smartphone through bluetooth, using the Y-Connect app.


The YZF-R15 & R15M with upside-down forks, traction control, single LED headlight, and all-new styling
The YZF-R15 & R15M with upside-down forks, traction control, single LED headlight, and all-new styling

Who is this motorcycle for?


Yamaha continues to refine the R15 which is built on a solid sport platform. It is a fantastic motorcycle for anyone new to motorcycling and wanting to understand how a proper sportbike handles and feels like. This is also a great motorcycle for small tracks and for tight mountain roads. The chassis is forgiving and the engine power is just gentle as it’s so small. Lastly, it can also be a worthy second motorcycle for experienced riders, especially those who particularly like sportbikes and own a bigger/powerful motorcycle.


The YZF-R15 V4 is launched at a starting price of INR 1,67,800 ex-showroom, Delhi, while the R15M starts at INR 1,77,800. Please follow Motoring Pulse for further updates and a ride review of the new R15 in the near future, as well as for all motorcycle content.


All images: www.yamaha-motor-india.com

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