“If you want to be happy for a day, drink. If you want to be happy for a year, marry. But if you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a bike.” And what better bike than Yamaha R15 can you choose in the entry-level sports bike segment. Yamaha R15 has been one of the most favourite bikes in India and has a history of more than 12 years into being. Indians have seen 3 versions of the bike till now. Let’s take a look at the 12 years of the race-bred motorcycle of India.

2008 – Yamaha R15 V1 Launched

Yamaha R15 V1 | Yamaha R15 History
Yamaha R15 V1 | Yamaha R15 History

There were bikes like Hero Honda Karizma and Bajaj Pulsar 200 at that time. Yamaha wanted to introduce real sports bike into the game. This when a bike built on a race-inspired chassis was launched. R15 V1 came into existence. It had a more powerful engine, a better design and technology that the rivals could only dream of. Let’s first take a look at the engine specs of the V1.

Engine Specs | Yamaha R15 V1

Engine 149cc Liquid-Cooled Single Cyl.
Power 17hp @8,500rpm
Torque 15Nm @7,500rpm
Transmission 6-speed Manual
Fuel System Fuel Injection
Mileage 40kmpl
Top Speed  130kmph

Just for your reference, Bajaj Pulsar 200, a bike with a 50cc bigger engine was able to churn out 18hp of power. And not even the 200cc bikes were able to reach the top speed of this bike. With great power comes great responsibility. And to make sure that the R15 is able to harness this power, both the ends received disc brakes. Let’s take a look at the dimensions of the R15 V1.


Length (mm) 1,995
Width (mm) 670
Height (mm) 1,070
Ground Clearance (mm) 160
Seat Height (mm)  790
Wheelbase (mm) 1,290
Kerb Weight (Kg) 131

Yamaha R15 was made to race. The dimensions made it possible. And on the top of that, Yamaha R15 was aerodynamically designed. The level of refinement in the engine just made people fell in love with the bike. For the suspension duties, R15 had twin-telescopic suspension at the front and single-shock suspension. It became a huge success in the Indian market. But this was just the beginning of a racing era in India.

2011 – Racing Instinct gets Better | R15 V2 Is Launched

Yamaha R15 V2 | Yamaha R15 History
Yamaha R15 V2 | Yamaha R15 History

The V1 became a huge success in the Indian market. Indian youth was in love with the bike. Unlike other companies, which would have sailed on the success of V1 as long as possible, Yamaha decided to launch V2 in India. Unlike the V1, R15 V2 had a split seat design with the rear part placed higher than usual. New wider tires were introduced. R15 V2 sported new LED taillight and a redesigned tail section. On the engine front, there were no changes.

2017 – Yamaha R15 V3 Launched – More Power Unleashed

Yamaha R15 V3 | Yamaha R15 History
Yamaha R15 V3 | Yamaha R15 History

A bigger engine and more power came in 2017 when R15 V3 was launched. It had inverted front suspension shock, all-LED lighting system, full LCD display console and wider tires. Talking about power, let’s take a look at what changed.

Engine Specs | Yamaha R15 V3

Engine 155.1cc Liquid-Cooled Single Cyl.
Power 18.6hp @10,000rpm
Torque 14.1Nm @8,500rpm
Transmission 6-speed Manual
Fuel System Fuel Injection
Mileage 40kmpl
Top Speed  136kmph

A 155cc engine that could rev up to 10,000! The R15 V3 was equipped with Variable Valves Actuation (VVA) technology. With this tech, the bike had torque even on low RPM. VVA ensures that the power and torque are available over the whole range of revs.

Later, the BS6 norms kicked in. And the R15 received the BS6 upgrade too.

Take a look: Remembering the Hero Honda Karizma | Jet Set Go!

Why is Yamaha R15 the best entry-level sports bike in India?

Yamaha R1 Legacy | Yamaha R15 History
Yamaha R1 Racing Legacy | Yamaha R15 History

It is based on the platform of Yamaha’s racing legacy, on which legends like M1 and R1 have been built. Yamaha R15 brings the track racing to the streets. It has got everything, a unique design, advanced engineering and technology at its disposal. The VVA tech makes it one of the most refined bikes in the segment. And on the top of everything, Yamaha has taken care of the rider’s safety too. It comes equipped with features like slipper clutch, hazard lights and the dual-channel ABS. Yamaha also introduced a street-naked version known as MT15 which has the same engine and platform as that of the R15.

What do you think about the entry-level sports bike? Is it the best or have you not been able to experience the thrill yet? Let us know in the comments section below.  revolutionising

Also, read Bajaj Pulsar | The History of the Fastest Indian

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