Living with a Yamaha YZF-R3

After a phenomenal stint in track-oriented performance motorcycling with the R15, Yamaha India kind of fell through the cracks with a heavy focus on volume-driven scooters until the launch of YZF-R3 in late 2015.

Powered by a 321 cc parallel twin, the Yamaha R3 is a hybrid motorcycle that handles a track-day and trip to Rann of Kutch with equal ease and grace.

Having spent some days with the 2016 Yamaha R3 – here is my ownership experiences to help you decide if this is/isn’t the motorcycle you wanna live with.

This review is based on a non-stock YZF-R3 laced with the following goodies:

  • Akrapovic GP Slip-on
  • Aftermarket Chain & Sprockets for a better initial punch
  • ZeroGravity Aftermarket windscreen
  • Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tyres
Yamaha YZF-R3 with Akrapovic-GP-exhaust in India

Certain Combos can never go wrong !!

City Commute:

A necessary evil nonetheless, commuting on the R3 is actually a pleasant experience for the rider and the pillion. The riding position isn’t very aggressive and the softer suspension provides a supple ride.

Pillion Comfort:

Exists – except for the water spray onto the back of the pillion during rains.


Tarmac touring is where the R3 shines, throw-in a couple of kilometers of broken, bad roads and it doesn’t complain, courtesy the beautiful chassis and suspension.

  • Fuel – happy to gulp 91-octane regular without any chatter/knocking, expect a tank range of 280 kms
  • Suspension – equipped with conventional telescopic front forks and a swing-arm rear, the suspension is very plush, however the rigidity of a Up-Side Down (USD) fork for a sports motorcycle is missed
  • Tyres – the stock MRFs are an absolute disaster & offer poor grip in ALL conditions, highly recommend switching to Metzelers or Pirellis as soon as you buy the motorcycle
Touring on a Yamaha YZF-R3 in India, Malur karnataka

Tour Master Mode 😀

Things I love about the Yamaha R3:

  • Brilliant Engine– the show-stopper of the motorcycle – the parallel twin 321-cc 4-stoke engine offers beautiful refinement
  • Chassis– I have to remind myself that this isn’t a Deltabox but a Diamond frame – what a fantastic motorcycle to ride into, around and out-of-a corner.

Such a Bummer:

In spite of paying close to 4 lakhs INR, the R3 misses out on essentials of a performance motorcycle such as:

  • Tyres – The stock MRFs offer poor grip and are cross-ply aka non-radial tyres
  • No ABS
  • No Steel braided Brake Lines
  • The motorcycle felt cramped for my height (5’10), after riding close to 300 kms my knees started to complain
  • No USD front suspension

The R3 strikes ALL the Right chords in Engine, Handling and Braking departments – making it a reliable and a well-rounded motorcycle to commute, tour and race in a closed track.

Yet it lacks  ‘The Oomph’ – the ‘Revs Your Heart’ element is thoroughly missed in the DNA of the R3 😦



  1. I have an R3 as well, and was a little worried about not having ABS. I haven’t had any problems without it to be honest though!

    Thanks for sharing your review! Well thought-out post!



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