New Yamaha YZF R15 Version 2.0 – What Has Changed?

After a lot of hide n seek, we now have the new r15 version 2.0 in front of us. The day I saw the first scoop pics, I was surprised about this move from Yamaha and was scratching my head as to what ‘new’ would Yamaha pump in this already way advanced product. However, this move clearly reflects that Yamaha wants a bigger pie of the segment. You have already been busy reading the blog server space since a few days, spare this one more as I try to understand what exactly has seen the dustbin and what is coined in.

1. Name: Yamaha would call this bike as YZF-R15 version 2.0 to keep a proper distinction in the market vis-à-vis the outgoing model, though the decals and badges on the new variant would still be ‘R15’.

2. Engine: Sporting the same 149.8cc single cylinder liquid cooled SOHC engine, version 2.0 still produces exactly 17PS of maximum power at the same 8500 rpm & 15 Newton meter of torque at the same peak point of 7500 rpm which are the most disappointing factors for majority of people from the ‘dissatisfied’ list.

However, good news is that Yamaha has employed a new Engine Control Unit (ECU) along with a new drivetrain to enhance the straight line as well as high speed acceleration of the bike. Yamaha also promises superior performance, better throttle response and an improved clutch operation. Secondary reduction ratio has been altered as well. It is 3.133 for version 2.0 which was 3.000 for the older model. Primary ratio remains unaltered at 3.042

3. Aluminum Swingarm: In comes India’s first long aluminum swingarm which has a truss structure to enhance rigidity and is designed to curtail wayward movements to boost stability.

Also, if noticed carefully, the chain adjustment assembly towards the end of the swingarm is also new. R15 was already a benchmark in handling in India. And if these enhancements have increased it, we have an even better track machine in our hands.

4. Split Seats: As if this has become a trademark in high powered bikes; Yamaha splits the seats of the new model into two. I hope it provides slightly better rear support to the rider. It comes with an anti slip seat cover which resists slipping sitters forward. The underside of the rear seat also provides a small storage compartment for holding small tools, documents and can be opened from the keyhole provided in between the two seats.

5. Increased Seat Height & Riding posture: The seat height of the new bike has been increased by 10mm – from 790mm to 800mm. The riding posture also seems to be slightly more open chested and easy on the rider.

6. Omission of Grab Rails: The R125 like tail doesn’t house any place for grab rails; and with those forceful forward biased rear seat, I see a big grin on every boys face!

7. New design alloys: The newly designed thin 5 dual spoke alloys look upmarket and probably also help in shedding some grams of that flab.

8. Overall Body Changes: The rear has been completely redesigned and bears a resemblance to R125. The wider and pointed tail is beautifully crafted and the rear portion is lifted. Number plate assembly and redesigned exhaust are also given a more sportsbike look. Mudguards & saree guards, I guess are forcefully put to adhere to Indian norms. Similar to Pulsar 135LS, but look way better on this bike. Redesigned middle cowl also adds character to the bike and gels well with the overall flowing theme of the new design.

9. LED Tail, Dual Horn: The small white ending, illuminates in red LEDs. Also, the new bike comes with more audible dual horns.

10. Wider tyres: Curtailing all misconceptions and also to add that extra glamour, Yamaha decided to shed off its 100 section extremely grippy rear tyre. And shod is a wider 130mm Radial tyre with a 70mm wall (in place of 80 for the older bike). The front tyre has also become fatter by 10mm and is now 90/80 in place of 80/90 of the previous iteration. However, Yamaha has not mentioned anywhere that this would be of the same soft compound which constituted the leech-like rear rubber of version 1.0. All the display bikes were shod with MRF rubber during launch.

11. Disc: Also, a larger 220mm diameter rear disc brake has been put to duty to tame the wider tyre.

12. Colors: Version 1.0 was available in Yamaha Blue, Sunset Red, Midnight Black and launched later Impact Yellow. For the version 2.0 you have the option of choosing from Racing Blue, Midnight Black and Sunset Red with probably Impact Yellow kept for a future launch. Black and Red really look phenomenal on this bike.

13. Increased Weight: Sadly, with all these enhancements, R15 has gained a meaty 5 kilograms in weight which would not please an enthusiast. The version 2.0 is 136kgs compared to 131kg of older version.

14. Increased Wheelbase: Wheelbase has seen an increment of 55mm and is now 1345mm wide as compared to 1290mm of the outgoing model. According to specs shared by Yamaha, version 2.0 stands 25mm shorter @ 1970mm compared to 1995mm of older version. Width and height remain same at 670mm & 1070mm respectively.

15. No ABS model as an option as was speculated.

16. Price: The most important aspect! Yamaha has increased the price of the new model by approximately 6-8k ex showroom and hence this bike would be dearer by around 10k than the outgoing model. R15 Version 2.0 is priced at Rs 1,07,000 ex showroom New Delhi.

R15 has put on 5kgs of extra weight and along with those wider tyres, things do not look very performance/mileage friendly. Maximum power and torque have remained the same. And still Yamaha claims better performance? Yamaha has tinkered with the power/torque curves of this bike as I assume. There might be a better torque concentration towards the lower rpm band to reduce that powerlessness feeling under 7k rpm and probable sprocket play for a better top end.

Nonetheless, things will become clearer when we get the bike in our hands. All in all this seems to be a very nice upgrade and people who are dissatisfied must understand that R15 was a bike which was launched way ahead of its times 3 years ago and still we do not have a single bike which can compete technically with this one. I am completely satisfied with whatever Yamaha has done till now. My apprehension is more towards the pricing. This (although) little price increase might inch them slightly closer to probably the arch rival – Honda’s CBR250R. Although, R15 is still more track focused but not many weigh two bikes this way in India.

Well, a lot has been demystified, a lot remains to be unfolded which only a test ride can expose. We, at BikeAdvice would try to lay our hands on the bike ASAP to come up with a nice detailed test report. Keep happy, Keep revving!

– Saad Khan