Home News Yamaha YZF R3 – Road Test Review

Yamaha YZF R3 – Road Test Review

by caradmin
Yamaha YZF R3 – Road Test Review
GalleryIntroductionStyling and QualityErgonomics and ComfortPerformance and HandlingFeatures and TechnologyFuel EfficiencyShould You Buy It?

Introduction

The Yamaha R series has always provoked a sense of enthusiasm amongst bikers. Be it the household name of the R15 or even the R1 when it comes to the big guns, Yamaha has managed to occupy a fair share of people’s mind space. To keep things on track, Yamaha launched the R3 in the country last year. Now, we had already ridden it in Thailand but that was in a much nicer setting with smooth-flowing corners, good weather, admirable traffic sense, and impeccable roads.

But to give you a fair perspective on whether the Yamaha R3 is worth its exorbitant asking price, we had to test it here, in India. And we did it by spending about a week taking it in and around Mumbai. And here is what we came back with.

Styling and Quality

It seems that Yamaha went back in time with the design of the ‘new’ R3. It looks sporty, enticing, and youthful but seems to have lost the sharpness that the previous-generation model had. There is not a fraction of doubt that the Yamaha R3 looks desirable but when compared to even the 300-400cc sportsbike of today’s time, it appears slightly outdated. That said, the proportions of the R3 are on point and it reflects every time you ride it or even when just part the bike on a side.

Yamaha has got the quality department of the R3 right. It feels premium pretty much everywhere and we did not find any shoddy welds, odd panel gaps, or even flimsy switches. When you are on board, the R3’s cockpit view gives a sense of a bike bigger than its segment, and we like it. However, the unit that we received seemed to have a dulled paint finish in many sections and had multiple scratches too.

Ergonomics and Comfort

When you look at the Yamaha R3, it instantly comes off as a thoroughbred sportsbike ready to attack corners on a racetrack. But once you are in the rider seat, on the move, there is more than that. We found the R3 to be quite accommodating, spacious, and comfortable even with its sporty rider triangle. The clip-ons are set high enough and the rider does not have to be in a committed posture but still offer adequate leverage when riding. Even the rear set footpegs are positioned at a height which allows good space for taller riders.

Moreover, Yamaha seems to have nailed the weight distribution. Any time we had to manually push the bike around or squeeze between vehicles in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the R3 was very obedient and did not budge once.

Now, we all know that Mumbai is currently riddled with bad roads and construction. So, one of the many ways to dodge the traffic is by riding over bad patches to save time. While I was hesitant to do so in the beginning because a sportsbike and broken roads don’t go hand-in-hand, the R3’s suspension setup changed my perspective. Its front end absorbs the bumps and stays planted while the rear too transfers only bare minimum jolts to your back. This makes it extremely comfortable if you must commute on the R3 every day and then take it for a spirited ride on the weekends.

Performance and Handling

Japanese motorcycles are often regarded to have butter-smooth engine refinement and the Yamaha R3 is no different. Its 321cc parallel-twin engine revs freely till the redline around 11,000rpm and does so effortlessly. Moreover, the character and the vigour with which the revs climb, it’s even more fun to keep the motor on the boil. While there are minor vibrations around the 7-8,000rpm mark, it does not really overshadow the riding experience. The R3 keeps picking up triple digit speeds and goes well above 160kmph. There is nice punchy feel to the acceleration as you enter the 5,000rpm rev band.

Things get even better as the R3 feels quite tractable. Since we spent a lot of time riding the bike in the city traffic, it felt very intuitive to just modulate the clutch and let the bike crawl forward. Moreover, we didn’t even need to upshift to fourth gear in the city as the second gear offers adequate drive and the third one packs good punch if you need to overtake. Then, the bike’s meaty exhaust note with pops was a cherry on the top. Yamaha has also ticked the heat management box on this motorcycle. It dissipates the hot air away from the rider and does a good job of keeping the engine cool.

In terms of handling, the R3 is adorable. It changes directions swiftly, and stays committed to the line you take around the corners. Moreover, the high-speed stability of the Yamaha R3 is quite reliable and you can stay tucked in while gunning for the top speed. Like we mentioned earlier, the weight distribution offers good balance even if you are constantly filtering between vehicles in traffic. The sporty nature of the R3 is well balanced by the practicality and usability that it offers. We won’t be surprised if it turns out to be good at touring too

Lastly, the braking prowess on the Yamaha R3 is just what you would need and expect. The stock setup offers good braking bite and the lever progression and feedback too are rightly setup. You may not need to alter the brakes at all.

Features and Technology

This is the department where Yamaha has missed the memo. The R3 only gets LED illumination and an LCD with the basic readouts, and ABS. There is no smartphone connectivity, ride modes, traction control or any creature comforts. While these do not serve as deal-breaking factors, it is nice to have the said features when the R3’s asking price is so high and due to the fact that its rivals offer them at a notably lower cost.

Fuel Efficiency

We tested the Yamaha R3 in peak city traffic and open highways that allowed us to stretch its legs a little and sprint. Throughout the process, the average fuel consumption was 29.3kmpl which means you can clock about 400km in a go. But the number could further vary as per your riding style and traffic conditions too.

Should You Buy It?

While we expected Yamaha to price the R3 around Rs. 4.3 lakh at the higher end, it turned out to be notably more expensive at Rs. 4.64 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Now, this is the result of it being a CBU (Completely Built-Up Unit) which means heavy taxes are levied on it before the product enters the Indian market.

For the said price, you get a motorcycle that packs a lovely engine, commendable handling, top-notch build quality, good brakes, comfortable ergonomics, and superior handling. But for today’s day and age, it offers very less features and even the ones that are available, seem like a thing of yesterday. It’s almost like the big mismatch between what one would expect and what the R3 has to offer.

At Rs. 4.64 lakh, the Yamaha R3 costs Rs, 54,000 more than the Aprilia RS457, almost Rs. 1.50 lakh more than the KTM RC 390 and almost Rs. 2 lakh more than the TVS Apache RR 310. If money is not a problem for you, only then does the Yamaha R3 make for a sensible purchase. But if you are looking for a 300-400cc sports bike, then the aforementioned ones should be above the Japanese offering in the priority list.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

Yamaha YZF-R3
321 cc|41.4 bhp
₹ 4,65,259Onwards
Avg. Ex-Showroom price

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