Yamaha R15 v1 User Review – Rishi Shares His 10 Year Love Life

Rishi has submitted this R15 user review in BikeAdvice User Review – Edition 14. Apart from getting featured on BikeAdvice he also wins an Amazon voucher. You can also submit yours – Details here

  • Model Name- Yamaha YZF R15 (version 1
  • Years of ownership- 10
  • Fuel efficiency-40-45kmpl
  • Pros-Handling, Engine, Braking and last not the least- Looks.
  • Cons-Weak stock headlamps, Skinny tyres
  • Recommend – Definitely Yes, though its out of production will recommend the version 3

Yamaha R15 User Review – by Rishi

Hello everyone.

Hope all of you are well and keeping safe during the pandemic time. Today I am presenting to you a long term review of the legend – the mighty Yamaha R15 ver 1.

When this bike was first showcased at the Auto Expo in New Delhi, bikers all around went crazy seeing it. As this was the first time a bike having a 150cc engine was dawning a supersport bike look and had the mighty ‘R’ legacy of Yamaha super bikes in its name. Well not only did it have the R legacy but it also had the R DNA in its looks, engine and appeal. I was lucky enough to get a first hand experience of this bike at Auto Expo itself. And from that very moment I wanted this bike in my hands.

Fast forward to May 2011 and my wish came true as the bike comes home in its black colored avatar. Boy-o-boy I just couldn’t believe that this baby R1 is home. Credit should be given to Yamaha Motor India that they got the R15 to India and not give us more ugly looking bikes like the Fazers, Liberos and all.

The first Fazer Yamaha launched in India…

The R15 gave us the first hand experience of what it feels to ride a super sporty bike as this bike was totally made that way – aggressive riding posture, proper set of clip-ons, rear set foot pegs, delta box frame. Till date my bike has clocked 59,000 kilometres on the odometer and I wish to clock 1 lakh kilometres on it. I have another 5 years for that and I hope I achieve it. 5 years because the Road tax of the bike will expire around that time and I dunno will I get the permission to renew it due to the emission norms then.

Anyways, it has been a fantastic experience till date with this bike. Apart from the R15, a lot of bikes came in my garage and went away but nothing could replace the R15. It still maintains its Guard. The engine is still butter smooth when ridden around with ease and it still goes into maniac mode when it crosses the 6000 rpm on the tachometer. Its a gem of an engine.

Yamaha R15 user review

Its liquid cooled, has 4 valves, Fuel injection etc. Initially you will feel you are riding an underpowered bike, but once you whack open the throttle this bike will go upto 130km/hr and more (a lot of riders have clocked much higher speeds) on the speedometer. Then your brain will remind you by saying

‘Bro this is a 150cc bike and look at that speed achieved’

Yamaha gave this bike the essential 6th gear as well, which shows it’s magic on a straight on a race track or on the highway. Did I mention Race track? This baby R1 is actually made for it. Take it onto a race track and you will see its magic. I understood about handling, attacking corners, knee down because of the R15. The inner Rossi came out once I understood the riding characteristics of this bike. Till date I feel this is the best bike when it comes to handling and to learn track day courses.

The way this bike handles at times I feel it knows automatically that a corner is coming and we have to take a nice sweep around it. Till date I enjoy the riding dynamics of this bike.

Yamaha R15 user review

My R15’s Fuel Efficiency

Now coming to the most important question – Average kitna deti hai? With the petrol price now in 3 digits… Again kudos to Yamaha for making a rock solid engine that still gives a mileage between 40-45kmpl after running for 10 years!!! And the fuel efficiency has remained constant as well inspite of the spirited high speed runs as well.

Now lets talk about the looks.. Believe me this bike still garners some attention at the signals till date inspite of being old and having a better looking version 3. The classy feel the R1 and the R6 still make head turn around. Definitely the version 1 is a timeless beauty.

It still has a strong hold of a feeling as it has a metallic tank and less fiber panels when compared with the version 3. The Riding posture is more manageable when compared with the version 3, as version 3 is very aggressive now.

R15 – On Highways

This bike will give you less fatigue as well, on highways if u take proper breaks then this bike wont feel very uncomfortable. But we should know that this bike was not made with highway touring as its prime purpose.300-500 kms ride can be done with ease on it. I have been regularly servicing the bike at proper intervals and have been using the recommended engine oil by Yamaha. You can buy Yamaha recommended Yamalube 10W40 oil here.

Yamaha R15 user review

Normal wear and tear parts have been replaced when needed. Nothing replaced in the engine so far (knock on the wood).

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Yamaha R15 CONS

Coming onto the cons of the bike – First con has to be the stock headlamps. Inspite of having two headlamps the throw of the lamps is simply dismal. I haven’t changed them as I didn’t want to fiddle with the electronics and put on some heavy projectors. Yamaha has still carried on the same thing even in the version 3 inspite of it having LED lamps. Hoping that version 4 will have a good set of lights.

My bike still runs on the stock set of tyres. Though this is the 3rd set. These tyres are perfect for track days due to the soft compound rubber, but they are not good for city or highway riding as they get punctured easily. The reason I don’t upgrade to other tyres is because the stock tyres gel with the bike so well that the handling characteristics of the bike remain intact. With other tyres handling does get affected.

Well a point that I forgot to mention are the Brakes. The Brakes till the date have been brilliant. Have regularly changed the brake pads and till date the brakes perform well. Inspite of having no ABS, the brakes still engage up pretty well. At times even one finger braking is possible on this bike.

Yamaha has put in a lot of effort into this bike and that’s visible as the bike is still marching ahead. I feel lucky to own this masterpiece. I am writing this review spontaneously so I am just going on with the flow. Sorry if I have missed on some other points.

Yamaha R15 user review

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Just love riding and owning this baby superbike. Come what may it will always stay with me. Humans come and go in your life, but your beloved bike will always be there.

Ride safe. Cheers.

Rishi Singh