Yamaha R15 Review: Ready for the Racetrack

Date posted on December 13, 2018
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The R15 owners are fortunate enough to have a motorcycle that’s got shades of the R1 in its overall aesthetics. From the mean look of the twin LED headlights, overall aerodynamic design, to the aerodynamic led tail light that assists in overall airflow with efficient lighting – it’s there.



Racing passion begins! Speed is reborn. This manifestation of innovative technology gives you a state-of-the-art racing experience on any road. The newest version of Yamaha’s entry level sportbike, the R15, boasts of a 155cc, liquid-cooled, 4-valve, fuel-injected engine that gives you enhanced horsepower with higher engine displacement which improves overall efficiency with better fuel consumption. It is also equipped with Yamaha’s Variable Valve Actuation and is the first ever high-performance VVA system that provides torque for ease of use at the low to midrange rpm.


Headlight – A sharper design that assists in overall airflow with efficient lighting and also includes a hazard lamp and slim twin- eye led headlights


This machine is also equipped with the Bypass Thermostat – this new type of cooling system reduces the warm up time of the engine which sends the coolant to the radiator at an earlier rate. Among the improvements with the engine are the new intake and exhaust systems and a 1 mm increase in the bore size. All these somewhat improves the previous versions of the R15 in terms of low-end performance. Maximum power is at 14.2 Kw at 10,000 rpm and maximum torque is at 14.7 Nm at 8,500 rpm.



Gear-Shift Timing Light – Ensures optimal performance by telling the rider when to shift gear. R1-styled cockpit equipped with a full-color LCD instrument gauge with shift light and VVA indicator. Also have the connector for USB charging.

We tested this bike in Rizal, having a combination of straights, zigzags, and up hills and down hills. We believe we were able to test its capabilities correctly in a real-world setting and what we unanimously liked the most about the R15 is the presence of the Assist and Slipper Clutch. Some big bikes don’t even have this feature but for a 155cc bike? That’s a steal. The clutch lever is as light as you would want it and now you can say goodbye to those rear wheel wobbles and screeches when downshifting on corners or suddenly going for a lower gear on uphill climbs. Not only will this make your riding experience much more safer but this feature will aid you into becoming a better rider by allowing you to further push the bike and your skills to the limit.


6 Speed Transmission – Allows better acceleration even in low gears for a true R experience.


This bike has a Deltabox frame, 37mm USD forks, and a Link Monocross suspension. The rear suspension felt a little bit hard at times, which is good for technical courses like when you are doing canyon carving in Kennon or in Tanay, or when at Clark International Speedway or Batangas Racing Circuit though it might take some getting used to on regular riding, still not a big issue. The single front and single disk brakes of the R15 provided adequate stopping power when needed, and endured the Cainta-Ortigas stop and go traffic with relative ease.


Super Wide Tyre – Super wide tire (Front: 100 / 80-17, Rear: 140mm/70 -17) presents the stability of driving 140mm size rear tire aimed at improved rear grip.


The presence of an Antilock Braking System on future versions perhaps will be a good thing. This bike, while only at 155cc, doesn’t need to be babied. Ride it hard, that’s how it was meant to be ridden. Don’t hesitate to go low on corners or go fast on straights, it can handle it. Bear in mind that the latest version had the seat height increased by 15mm, and coupled with the clip-ons, do not expect a touring bike type of comfort when riding it because after all it is a legit sportbike. The 140/70 and 100/80 tires used on this are generally wider when compared to the previous 2 versions of the R15, giving you more contact patch and more stability on the road.


155cc LC4V SOHC Fuel Injection Engine – The YZF-R15 mounts a new 155cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-valve fuel-injected engine to achieve excellent power and a high top speed. The engine has a 58.0 — 58.7 mm bore — stroke and a 11.6:1 compression ratio, and produces a maximum 14.2 kW (19.3 PS) of power at 10,000 rpm and a maximum 15 N-m (1.49 kgf-m) of torque at 8,500 rpm.


The R15 owners are fortunate enough to have a motorcycle that’s got shades of the R1 in its overall aesthetics. From the mean look of the twin LED headlights, overall aerodynamic design, to the aerodynamic led tail light that assists in overall airflow with efficient lighting – it’s there. The bike is 3 kilograms heavier than its predecessor, but the 139 kg. kerb weight already includes a generous 11 liters worth of fuel so it will bring you a long way anyway.


Aerodynamic LED Tail  


The double bubble windscreen serves its purpose not only in the aerodynamic sense but also in contributing to the impressive look of the R15.This genuine sportbike has a racetrack-inspired design, and whether you want to do the occasional canyon carving, or want to ride fast and ride hard in our local racetracks, this is a bike worth considering.


Ricci Abrina “This all new Yamaha YZF-R15 motorcycle is a small bike like the R3 and 600 series in feel and handling but adapts special features from the top of the line race bike, the Yamaha YZF-R1. Of course the R15 is much lighter than his bigger brothers but this 155cc can keep up with the other higher displacement in its class. The 155cc engine sounds solid with the stock exhaust system while the liquid-cooled SOHC 4V churns out a hefty 14.2 horsepower with the help of the Variable Valve Actuation – a system where you get the maximum torque in the low and midrange of the rpm band. To tame the power on tap you need the smoothness in every downshifting of the gears and the “assist and slipper clutch” found in big bikes is now standard on the Yamaha YZF-R15. The looks of this small big bike is as handsome as its bigger brothers with the central ram-air intake duct. The handling during cornering is stable due to its upside down forks and a racing stance to further enhance aerodynamics. Just like in the YZF-R1, the fully digital gauges look like a large smartphone.”


Philip Bonza “This is a small sportbike. Some of its design are borrowed from its big brother R1. The sporty style gives an impression of a fast bike which is true enough when I rode this bike for the first time inside the racetrack. When I sat on it, it feels it is a sportbike. The handlebars are positioned below the fork bridge. The foot pegs are set in rear position that makes me ride with an attack posture. Riding this bike surprises me. It is really fast and has smooth engine performance. It is fast for a 150cc stock engine. The full digital instrument panel, good suspension performance, superb stopping power and good engine performance with slipper clutch make this a ready race bike. Yamaha also gave more attention to details as seen in the sleek and sporty LED headlamp and the sexy and tough style of the tail end. You will see the cleanliness of the design and the sportbike style. For riders who want a sportbike for an everyday ride that can handle light and heavy traffic of the metro and a motorcycle for weekend riding on open and twisty roads which can also be racetrack-ready, this Yamaha R15 is the perfect model. This is a real sportbike for the 150cc category.”



*This article was published in InsideRACING’s Volume 16 Number 6 issue 2018.