Honda and Yamaha have locked horns in India, but never this fiercely. Over the last few years the R15 has epitomised the proper small capacity Indian sportsbike, earning quite a following along the way. With the YZF-R15 Version 2.0, the best just got better.
This Yamaha’s all prepared to take on Honda's spanking new CBR150R. Honda has had the luxury of time to evaluate and build a bike to take on the R15 V2.0. We tell you which bike chants the lighter, faster and meaner mantra with utmost sincerity?
Design & engineering
Neither the Honda CBR150R nor Yamaha’s YZF-R15 V2.0 leave you wanting for visual drama. The YZF-R15 V2.0 similarly shouts out its sportbike origins, its proven and attractive styling drawing from the acclaimed R1. Dual headlamps, a beefy fairing and a sharp tail mark the R15 out as a performance motorcycle.
The mini Fireblade’s sporty; humpback fuel-tank houses 13 litres, where the R15 fits in 12, and the Honda tips the scales at 138kg, just a wee bit more than the Yamaha’s 136kg. Both bikes come with easily read, sporty and compact instrument counters that display all required information. The CBR’s switchgear is a let-down on account of omitting both, a pass-flasher and engine kill-switch, which are standard R15 equipment.
Fit-finish, build-quality and paint lustre are impressive on both these attractive Japanese sportsbikes.
Engine, gearbox & performance
Japanese bikes are renowned for refined engines, and the CBR150R and YZF-R15 V2.0 acquit themselves as no exceptions. Both bikes share much architecture, with single-cylinder, four-stroke, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected hearts. The Yamaha displaces 149.8cc, the Honda 149.4cc, and both breathe via 4-valve heads, although the Yamaha drives its valve-train via a single overhead camshaft (sohc), where the Honda relies on dual camshafts (dohc). A noticeable difference is the CBR calling for you to get out the whip to rev it high into its powerband before it makes serious power, which used to be an original R15 shortcoming, rectified on the V2.0. The CBR makes little more power, but is outdone on torque.
Both sportsbikes delight with quick throttle response, creamy smooth power deliveries and little to no vibes. The Honda revs a 1000 odd rpm higher than the Yamaha, but this isn’t that much of an advantage when seen in light of the R15 never requiring to be ridden this hard to claim all its potential. Both bikes transmit power via 6-speed, 1-down and 5-up shifted gearboxes.
The CBR150R proved itself up on performance, a bonus on sportsbikes like these. From a standing start, the R15 outdoes the CBR150R to 60kph taking 4.58 seconds to 4.73secs.
Watch video here
This Feature appeared in the /UserControls/Autocar India June 2012 issue of Autocar Magazine
Issue: 166 | June 2013
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