Low capacity motorcycles have often been overlooked in the Australian market and also by many manufacturers over the years, but that has certainly changed of late with a slew of new high-tech offerings in this space, the latest of which to hit Australian roads is the new YZF-R15 that Yamaha have dubbed ‘Version 3.0’.
Complete with variable valve timing and a 20 per cent boost in power over its predecessor to add a bit more bang to back up the R1 inspired sports-bike looks, Yamaha are hoping to stir the loins of a few young riders enough to welcome them into the Yamaha fold.
Some will be sold on it from the first look and that $4799 ride away price tag should help get quite a few over the line, especially when they see that with Yamaha Motor Finance they can ride one home from only $22 a week. Despite the many improvements and big boost in power that new price is actually $700 cheaper than the list price of the outgoing model.
Yamaha call their variable valve timing system VVA, Variable Valve Actuation. The high-compression cylinder head is fed via a 60 per cent larger air-box that flows through to much larger ports than before.
Only a single cam actuates the four-valves, but the rocker arms on the inlet valves are shifted between lobes profiled with a duration and lift suited to low rpm situations, over to a second set of lobes that feature a more aggressive cam profile for high performance via a solenoid activated motor at a predetermined point in the rev range.
2020 Yamaha YZF-R15 Video
The frame is a new version of Yamaha’s deltabox backbone wrapped in some seriously sexy R1 inspired bodywork.
The new frame has also allowed the fitment of a new internally ribbed delta-shaped swingarm and beefier 140/70-17 rear tyre on a wider four-inch ten-spoke rear rim.
Front brake diameter is up 15 mm to 282 mm while at the back a 220 mm helps slow the 138 kg (wet) show. There is no ABS system fitted.
Yamaha claim much improved economy from the new engine, stating that up to 450 kilometres can be covered before filling the 11-litre tank. As this is a smaller capacity machine Yamaha give only a 12-month warranty on the YZF-R15 compared to 24 months on its larger capacity models.
While road going customers are free to get out and enjoy the improvements of the 2020 YZF-R15 right now unfortunately competitors in the ASBK Oceania Junior Cup will have to wait until next season to test their mettle in the heat of national level road race competition on the new bike.
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