Back in 2009, Yamaha made its racing pedigree accessible to Indians with the YZF-R15. Although at nearly Rs 1 lakh, the bike wasn’t what you’d call affordable (it still isn’t), its big sports bike looks and handling abilities garnered it some serious fan following. Many even regarded it as a spiritual successor to the legendary RX100.
However, the R15 has steadily lost ground to modern, more stylish and more powerful fully faired motorcycles like the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 and the KTM RC200, which calls for an upgrade for the model. And that’s exactly what Yamaha plans on giving its racy little sports bike in 2017.
The 2017 YZF-R15 has been spied testing in Indonesia and the images of the new bike reveal a sleeker and sportier model. The all-new front end gets slimmer twin headlamps with an opening in the fairing between the headlights, like on the bigger R6 and R1 siblings. The side fairing has been significantly revised too. What enthusiasts will also appreciate is the sporty rear end à la the R15 V2.0, which now sports a more compact tail-lamp. The test bike also ditches the current bike’s bulky saree-guard at the rear. However, expect the India-bound bike to retain the feature. But we do hope the new bike gets a less-cumbersome unit.
What’s nice is that the new bike gets USD front forks and a fully digital instrument cluster, which should bring the R15 up to date with its rivals in terms of equipment. Also, given the increasing focus on motorcycle safety in India, expect Yamaha to offer the bike with ABS at least as an option.
Little is known about the 2017 R15’s powertrain, but the bike is likely to retain its 149cc, single-cylinder, fuel-injected motor and six-speed gearbox.
With all the additions to the bike, it’s safe to assume that you’ll have to shell out more than the current R15’s price of Rs 1.18 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the new model. Watch this space for more details on the new Yamaha YZF-R15.
Picture courtesy: M Slaz Club Thailand