New Yamaha R15M India Launch: What To Expect?
Here’s everything you need to know about the soon-to-be-launched sportier version of the famed Yamaha R15
Yamaha has been brewing something rather interesting in its backyard. When test mules of a faired bike were spotted for the first time, we believed it might be the next-generation Yamaha R3. However, the recent homologation documents reveal it is indeed the Yamaha R15M. Further reinforcing this development was when the motorcycle was spied undisguised recently, reportedly at a dealer presentation.
So here’s what we can expect from this faired motorcycle:
Sportier Design (Likely With Geekier Features)
The biggest change would be the Yamaha R7-like fascia, complete with a single projector LED headlamp, sleek twin LED DRLs, and a slightly beefier fairing. This, coupled with the Yamaha Monster Energy MotoGP-themed livery, makes the motorcycle look properly sporty. The tail panels are similar to the current generation bike, though. Even the wheelbase and rest of the dimensions have remained unchanged, at least according to the homologation documents.
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The instrument cluster will likely be a full-LCD unit like the current-generation model. However, it could be enhanced with Bluetooth connectivity to access features like call / SMS notifications and last parked location, among others, just like the one in the Yamaha FZ-X. While the neo-retro still doesn’t get turn-by-turn navigation, we’d love it if Yamaha added it in the R15M.
Powertrain And Premium Underpinnings
According to the homologation documents, both the R15 and R15M seem to produce 13.5kW (18.35PS) at 10,000rpm. This is 0.27PS less than the current-gen BS6-compliant Yamaha R15 V3.0, albeit at the same rpm. We hope the Japanese manufacturer has tuned the engine so that its power delivery feels livelier than before. This should help you overlook the loss in power. Of course, it will be coupled with the same 6-speed transmission with a slip-and-assist clutch.
Yamaha has equipped the motorcycle with a premium-looking inverted front fork finished in gold. The motorcycle looks much more upmarket, thanks to this. It should theoretically improve the bike’s steering feel and consequently better the handling. However, we can gauge the improvement only once we test the bike. Apart from this, the rear preload-adjustable linked monoshock and disc brakes at both ends (282mm front and 220mm rear unit, with dual-channel ABS) seem to have been carried over from the existing model.
Expected Price And Launch Timeline
Considering the changes aren’t substantial, the Yamaha R15M could command a premium of around Rs 6,000 - Rs 7,000 over the current-gen Yamaha R15 V3.0, which retails at Rs 1,56,600 (ex-showroom Delhi) for the base colour variant. Now that the motorcycle has already been shown to dealers, we expect it to be launched around October.
Positioning and Rivals
When the more premium Yamaha R15M is launched, the standard R15 V3.0 will become the more accessible version. This is just like how Yamaha earlier launched the more affordable R15S of the sportier R15 Version 2.0. Another possibility is that if the R15M works well for Yamaha, the Japanese bike maker might just use this design and bring out an R15 V4 in the future. The standard variant may get a telescopic front fork, or perhaps, a blacked-out inverted fork to differentiate itself from the sportier variant.
It will compete with the only other faired, liquid-cooled engine-equipped alternative, the KTM RC 125. However, even if Yamaha prices the R15M at around Rs 1.63 lakh, it will still be more affordable than the less powerful RC 125, which is pegged at Rs 1,80,538 (ex-showroom Delhi). The R15 is the only performance and feature-packed offering in the 150+cc segment, and the addition of the ‘M’ variant will only help Yamaha register better sales.