2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 finally gatecrashes Kawasaki, Honda, KTM party
Yamaha have taken the wraps off their brand-new YZF-R3, which is powered by a new 321cc DOHC 4-valve parallel twin that uses forged aluminum pistons and carburized conrods, and produces 41 horsepower and 30Nm of torque. “The concept behind this was to create a supersports machine you can ride every day, and the architecture of the new powerplant is designed to ensure good rideability in the low to mid-speed range, together with a strong and responsive character at higher rpm,” says a press note from Yamaha.
The new YZF-R3 gets a diamond-type tubular steel chassis which, according to Yamaha, has been developed using the latest structural analysis technology. Using the bike’s engine as a stressed member, the chassis is supposed to offer predictable handling that’s ideal for riders who might just be stepping up from the 125cc class. The Yamaha R3 weighs 169 kilos, features 50:50 front:rear weight distribution, rides on 17-inch alloy wheels (shod with 110/70 and 140/70 rubber), and gets 41mm front forks and ‘monocross’ rear suspension. Braking duties are handled by a single 298mm disc at the front and 220mm disc at the back, while ABS is standard.
Yamaha are actually late to the 250cc sportsbike category. Kawasaki, with the Ninja 250, and Honda, with the CBR250R, have already staked a claim in this segment for quite some time now. These two have already moved things forward with the Ninja 300 and the CBR300, while KTM have upped the ante in a very big way with the RC390. We have to admit, the new Yamaha R3 also looks quite good, but will it be able to take on the other three – especially the RC390 – remains to be seen. Expect to see the R3 in Yamaha showrooms worldwide, in April 2015.
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