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
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.
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
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 😦