Date posted on April 23, 2021
Yamaha has applied its tradition of high performance to develop its flagship underbone model. With a high-level of performance, handling, and style, it creates pride of ownership.
Yamaha’s advanced underbone, the Sniper LC4V 135 was launched in 2006. Norkis-Yamaha undertook one of their biggest marketing activities, the PAN ASEAN Touring where riders from across the region toured from Cebu to and around Luzon and back to Manila. It was the last leg of the 14,000-kilometer test around Asia. The Sniper is Yamaha’s flagship underbone model targeted at advanced users who wish to upgrade from their existing underbone motorcycle. It is earmarked as the first luxury underbone motorcycle in the market.
Displacing 135 cc, the Sniper features state-of-the-art engine technologies including a forged piston, DiAsil cylinder with roller rocker arms that combine with liquid-cooling and 4-valves to come up with a responsive yet economical engine. The chassis is a new design diamond frame with monocross rear suspension that improves stability and handling.
The Sniper styling shares the “Blade” design concept of the Yamaha R1 and R6 superbikes. It features the first 5-lap front mask in the industry, a sports type muffler and an aerodynamic cowling with an enclosed engine cowl.
The quality of the fit and finish of the Sniper is higher than previous Yamaha models. The paint color and choice of graphics are more sophisticated than typical underbones. The front lamps truly give the Sniper its own identity evoking a sharp and dynamic look, which combined with the gold colored cowling enclosures give it an upscale image.
The test unit had magwheels found in the Sports variant as well as black body garnishes that further give it a sporty look. There is no mistaking that this is NOT a cheap motorcycle.
We expected the engine to be strong and “peppy” considering it has liquid-cooling and displaces 135 cc, it did not disappoint us. The horsepower level is where we expected it, but the smoothness and linearity impressed us. You can feel the engine’s “punch” as you accelerate all the way to 100 kph. The handling and engine response encourage “spirited” fun riding.
When it was time to stop, we were impressed with the braking power of the single front disk brake as well as the rear drum brake. The feel and power is very good. In fact, the rear drum brake might catch you off-guard with its stopping power.
The stock tires measuring only 70/90-17 at the front and 80/90-17 for the rear gives good traction. We found it enjoyable riding at more than moderate pace in the twisty roads.
Gripes?! The seat is a bit thinly padded compared to others like the Nouvo. Being a liquid-cooled engine, we feel it’s useful to have a water temperature gauge on the dash as well. Also, when riding with the manner that we became accustomed to, we noticed that the Sniper consumes a bit more gas than normal (if that’s the penalty of “spirited” and enjoyable riding, then it’s ok!).
It’s hard to criticize and find fault in a motorcycle that kicked up the level of underbone motorcycles in terms of technology and style by a notch. The Sniper went against the school of affordable basic motorcycles. This is all about technology, performance and style. An improvement of the tool we call the underbone motorcycle that will benefit the consumers in the long run.
But of course you have to pay your way for it. Just like the high-end sports cars or luxury cars, they usually are more expensive than the others. But people still buy them because of the substance they offer to the consumer. Same is true here. Every additional peso that you have to pay for is justified with what you get.
“Thumbs up for the Sniper for being one of the sports underbones to give the local consumer the experience and excitement of actually owning a technologically advanced bike. It’s a good way to ensure that motorcycle enthusiasts keep buying bikes. For those who can appreciate and afford it, rejoice! Riding has never been so much fun.”
“The Sniper’s handling is very sporty. I like it a lot! I’m used to the monoshock rear suspension from my racing days. The speed is okay and I find the mid to top end power strong, making it easy to ride in 3rd or 4th gear. Brakes are very good! I like the instrument panel although it lacks a water temp gauge. I also noticed the gas consumption is higher than what I’m used to.”
This was published in the 2006 InsideRACING Magazine Volume 4 Number 11 issue
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