325 Kms and The Yamaha R15 - Travel Diary
Modified On Oct 30, 2018 By Nabeel Khan
325 Kms, 14 hours, 8 Men, 4 Bikes and One Memorable Journey!
This is what satisfaction feels like, this is what a successful day feels like. I wish all my days went like this, where I get to spend 10 hours with her, my Yamaha YZF R15 (2008). Having been a R15 rider for the past 7 years, I have had both good and bad times with her, but there has never been a time when the bike disappointed me or let me down. She propels all the way up to 142 km/h with ease when I open the throttle wide and also cuts the city traffic like butter in day to day commute. I know no bike is perfect but, this machine manages to come really close. Talking about the journey, this 15 hour trip was one of the best I have had. It was a nice blend of open, low traffic highways and narrow 2 lane roads. Although a lot has already been said about the bike, this is my experience from Jaipur to Mandawa on the Yamaha YZF R15.
The Journey began at 8 in the morning from Alka Theatre where all the 4 bikes; Bajaj Pulsar 135 (2011), Yamaha FZ 16 (2009), Honda CBR 150 (2013), and (my) Yamaha R15 (2008) assembled. There was also a pre shoot at Triton Mall of the Bajaj and R15 as they were the early birds. After a hot cup, sorry glass of tea, the journey began.
Also Read: Ride Experience: 360 km, 1 Day and a 6 year Old Yamaha FZ-16
Right away, under the young morning sun, we were on the NH11. Low traffic, a mild chill and just the right sunlight created perfect riding conditions. Among this lot, R15 was the most rider oriented motorcycle. It has the most aggressive riding position with one of the most refined engines (LC 4-V). What this does is, imparts tremendous confidence in the rider to attain high speeds or cruise with ease. Since the beginning of this journey, R15 performed smoothly. Even after 7 years, there are no unnecessary noises from the body, suspension or engine. Combined weight of me and Garvit (pillion) was around 160 kgs and still the bike had enough zippiness to tackle the minimal traffic.
First stop came immediately after the first toll booth to capture the early light. Next stop came 77 kms into the journey where one of us had a nature's call. Third stop came at 10:35 AM and about 90 kms into the journey, where we gave the bikes some rest and the riders some fuel. During this time, R15 outclassed the other 150s and managed to reach (off record) 123 km/h on a clean, short stretch. The highways were the place where R15 felt most at home. The aggressive riding position helps the rider to maneuver the bike even at good speeds with confidence and the deltabox frame construction lets the rider confidently lean into any curve and come out on the other side at an even higher speed (still on 2-wheels).
Also Read: One Day, 350 kms and My Pulsar 135
The next part of the journey encountered a rough patch where the bike was a little uncomfortable. The track focused suspension setup makes the ride on damaged tarmac a little troublesome. This was where the CBR and FZ scored over the R15 with the Pulsar feeling most at home. Still, the bike was able to cope well and cause no situation of worry.
Reaching the narrow streets of Mandawa, R15 carried the most star factor and turned a lot more heads than the CBR could. In my personal opinion, the R15 sounds a lot better too, which might have further helped her to achieve the former. Standing in the lineup, R15 was the best looker. The paint quality on the bike is excellent as even after 7 years, the bike shines in just one polish. The fibre mask and side panels have some paint wear but not too much to be concerned. Honestly, seating on the bike could have been a little better. As i mentioned, R15 is a track oriented machine so even the seat has been kept completely functional. Over a long journey, the rider tends to get uncomfortable and need regular stops in every 1.5 hours or so.
The return journey began at 5:16 PM after having lunch and a quick nap. The bikes were all cooled down and ready to ride again. We decided to ride past the local area before sundown so as to avoid bad roads and rusty traffic. We had to push a little but the bikes made it seem easy. Just after sunset, we made our first stop, about 40 kms from Reengus. The bikes were performing well and it was time again for the R15 to dominate as now we were on the NH11 again. Moving forward, the unlit highways created no problem for the bike in terms of visibility as high beam parted the darkness and gave a clear view. Where other motorcycles worked hard to keep pace, R15 glided on the tarmac and as a result, had to slow down quite often to let others catch up. Sudden braking on the bike never caused any problem but still the brakes should have been a little better. Although the rider never loses confidence in braking, but they always feel a bit shy of the required force. Also, the absence of ABS results in the rider having to apply brakes very carefully, which is not every ones’ cup of tea. At last after a few more stops we reached back to Alka completing our 325.2 kms ride.
Given the chance, will I take the journey again?
Yes! and with the same weapon of choice. R15 not only outperformed the entire lot, but outclassed them. She rode hard, fast, swift, bright and brave. I am full of respect for all the other bikes that accompanied me but, my love, remains with the only one, Yamaha YZF R15.
- Confident Riding Position
- Excellent learning Control
- Bright Headlamps
- Excellent Build Quality
R15 Naaah :(
- Hard Suspension
- Hard Seats
- Brakes (could have been better)
- Horn (Should have been louder)