Yamaha R15 V4M: Review In Images
An in-depth look at the latest iteration of the small Yamaha supersport
The past week was quite a whirlwind for us as we got to sample not one but two small capacity supersports that have not only gotten sharper but more accessible as well. The smaller of the two bikes, the Yamaha R15 V4, is the latest generation of India’s favourite sport bike. Thanks to its smaller motor, it isn’t as quick as the new 2022 KTM RC 200 (head here and check out what was pleasant and not so pleasant about the Austrian supersport), but it still has a lot going for it. Here’s a close look at the new R15 V4M:
Yamaha has overhauled the design of the R15. It doesn’t look anything like its former self, instead aping the larger YZF-R7 in many ways. The sleek LED DRLs, single projector bi-functional LED headlight, large bubble visor and even the slippery bodywork follow the new R-family design DNA.
Speaking of slippery bodywork, the clean and round fairing design has a lower drag coefficient than the outgoing model.
Not only does the fairing and bubble aid cut through air more efficiently but also the revised clip-on position. The bars are higher and angled outwards, which reduce the reach to get to them. Plus, when you get into a tuck, your arms can hug the tank, thus not jutting out of the aero bubble.
While the fuel tank capacity hasn’t changed, riders will find it easier to grip the tank as the tank cover has been redesigned. When leaned over, the tank recesses further help to lock your outer knee comfortably.
Yamaha says that the change in engine tune for the V4 was done to aid overall rideability. However, the R15 V4 is noticeably and, as seen on our VBox data, significantly slower than the V3 BS4 machine. This is a bit of letdown as it no longer feels as eager as the BS4 bike and even tractability has taken a slight hit.
Thankfully, the R15 V4, especially in its M guise, gets a quickshifter as standard. Its inclusion aids in rideability, even when you want to leave traffic behind in the city.
With the new gold USD fork, there’s more front-end feel. Budding riders will appreciate its light steering. It is like a patient teacher, giving you enough leeway when you mess up your lines. We can only wonder about the handling gains a front radial tyre would offer. The current bias-ply front MRF tyre isn’t a deal breaker but had it been a radial tyre, the R15’s handling score would improve massively.
What does feel like a letdown are the brakes, or rather the brake feel. It does shed speed rather rapidly, though. But the feedback at the levers is lacking and a bit more initial bite would have been highly appreciated.
The R15’s brilliance continues to wow us and even though it has become a bit pricey, there’s no other bike quite like it.