The much-awaited Yamaha MT-15 naked motorcycle is likely to be launched in India on March 15, 2019. A derivative of the YZF-R15 V3.0, the MT-15 offers aggressive styling with street-friendly performance in a package that has garnered a fan following overseas.
The Indian version of the MT-15 will be distinct from the 149cc FZ/FZS range by offering a better engine spec, equipment and styling. Powered by the 155cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected motor from the R15 V3.0, the MT-15 promises to be a fast, tractable machine which will suit the urban palette better than the racetrack-focused R15. The engine will match the R15 in terms of its output figures, which means you get 19.3hp at 10,000rpm and 14.7Nm at 8,500rpm, and the 6-speed gearbox, too, will be carried over.
However, unlike on the international-spec MT-15, the made-for-India version skimps on two crucial bits of equipment. The first in this list is the choice of front suspension, with Yamaha opting for a conventional telescopic fork rather than a USD unit (like it did with the R15 V3.0 as well, you may remember). Secondly, spy images have revealed that the Indian MT-15 will get a box-section swingarm as opposed to an aluminium unit (which the R15 V3.0 is equipped with as well). These are clearly cost-driven measures, something Yamaha will have had to devise given that the MT-15 is set to be the most expensive naked 150 ever to be sold in India. Having said that, we believe Yamaha will stick to a dual-channel ABS on the Indian MT-15, a feature it offers on the FZ25 as well as the R15 V3.0.
Apart from the bodywork and the two aforementioned changes, the MT-15 is essentially an R15 V3.0, and while the latter is priced at Rs 1.39 lakh (ex-showroom), the MT-15 does demand more aggressive pricing. This is because the R15 has remained virtually unchallenged (in the segment of full-faired, performance-focused bikes – the Honda CBR 150R tried but retreated and the Suzuki Gixxer SF isn’t in the same league). However, the MT-15 won’t have it as easy, given how aggressively packaged and priced motorcycles like the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V ABS (Rs 1.11 lakh) and Bajaj Pulsar NS200 ABS (Rs 1.12 lakh) are.
We expect Yamaha to price the MT-15 around the Rs 1.2 lakh mark, at which point it will steer clear of the Rs 1.33 lakh FZ25 and will demand a slight premium over the R15S (based on the V2.0) priced at Rs 1.17 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). Yamaha is yet to officially announce a launch date for the MT-15, but sources indicate March 15 as the date.
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