2015 Yamaha YZF-R3Another player has surfaced in the American entry-level sport bike market – the Yamaha YZF-R3. With the help of retired-MotoGP pilot Colin Edwards, the bike was unveiled at the 2014 American International Motorcycle Expo in Orlando.The youngest in Yamaha’s R series, which features the three-time AMA SuperBike Champion YZF-R1 and the YZF-R6, is a direct competitor to the only other fully-faired entry-level sport bikes offered stateside – the Kawasaki Ninja 300, the Honda CBR300R and the KTM RC390.
We expected Yamaha to enter its quarter-liter sportbike market with the YZF-R25, which was released earlier this year for Asian markets. But to remain competitive with the others in 2015, Yamaha smartly built the more-powerful YZF-R3.The 2015 Yamaha R3 is powered by a 321cc, liquid-cooled DOHC two-cylinder with 4 valves per cylinder. And just like the YZF-R1 and YZF-R6, the engine features lightweight forged pistons and offset cylinders for reduced friction and more power.Yamaha says the engine reaches max power at 10,750 rpm, but no horsepower numbers were released. We expect the YZF-R3 to produce what the Euro-spec R3 makes – 42 horsepower. To put the power into perspective, the 29cc Ninja 300 produces around 35 horsepower, and the 375cc RC390 44 horsepower.The 368-lbs (wet) YZF-R3 features a steel frame and swing arm, 41mm KYB front forks, a KYB single shock out back, and 17-inch, 10-spoke cast-aluminum wheels shod with 110/70 (front) and 140/70 (rear) tires.Stopping the 2015 R3 is a 298mm single front disc up front, and a single 220mm disc out back. Unlike the Ninja 300, CBR300R, and KTM RC390, the YZF-R3 is not offered with ABS.The full fairing takes styling attributes off its Supersport brothers, and the bike has a seat height of 30.7 inches. As for instrumentation, the LCD panel displays gear position, fuel capacity, real time and average fuel economy, water temp, clock, two tripmeters and an oil change indicator light.The YZF-R3 is available in three color options – Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver, Rapid Red and Raven – and will be offered at $4,990. This makes it cheaper than the 2015 Ninja 300 ABS ($5,299) and a bit more expensive than the 2015 CBR300R with ABS ($4,899). As for the KTM RC390, it should retail for around $6,000.The YZF-R3 arrives in dealerships beginning in March 2015. Following are the features and specs of the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R3.2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Features:
- Large 321cc twin-cylinder engine offers excellent performance whether navigating cross-town traffic, hitting the twisties, or on the racetrack.
- Yamaha supersport inspired styling with a full fairing in a chassis that makes it perfect for first time riders or experienced riders who prefer a lightweight, nimble machine.
- Forged pistons just like the R1 and R6 are both lightweight and provide strength while the offset cylinders reduce friction for more power.
- The YZF-R3 offers a riding position that is very comfortable and the clip-on handlebars deliver a sporty rider position.
- With a seat height of only 30.7 inches and a flat seat design on the YZF-R3, it’s easy to get both feet firmly on the ground and inspire confidence, especially for beginner riders.
- Three beautiful livery options are available which means there is a color choice that is right for you.
- Newly developed 321cc, liquid-cooled, in-line 2-cylinder DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, fuel-injected engine delivers excellent power and performance throughout the powerband.
- With a compression ratio of 11.2:1 the engine develops maximum power at 10,750 rpm for an exciting ride.
- With a 180 degree crank design the machine provides a compact engine design and superior feeling when accelerating through the rpm range.
- Downdraft induction fuel injection provides easy starts and smooth performance in all conditions.
- Yamaha’s all-aluminum DiASil cylinder is used to ensure excellent heat dissipation and the unique design reduces horsepower loss.
- Forged aluminum pistons, same technology used for the R1 and R6 means lighter weight and excellent strength at higher temperatures while the offset cylinder helps reduce horsepower loss at the point of combustion.
- Newly designed steel frame and swingarm.
- Powerful 298mm floating mount front disc brake ensure excellent stopping power while a 220mm floating disc handles the braking performance on the back.
- 41mm KYB® front suspension offers 5.1 inches of travel for rider comfort and control.
- 10 spoke cast aluminum wheels are both strong and high in style while reducing unsprung weight.
- The multi-function meter informs the rider of gear position, fuel capacity, real time and average fuel economy, water temp, clock, two tripmeters and an oil change indicator light.
2015 Yamah YZF-R3 Specs:
- Legendary R-series styling and performance are inherent with the YZF-R3. Great styling matched to excellent engine performance and chassis design are the hallmarks of Yamaha’s R-series and YZF-R3 carries on the heritage with great results.
|MSRP*||$4,990 – Raven – Available from February 2015|
$4,990 – Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver – Available from February 2015
$4,990 – Rapid Red – Available from February 2015
|Engine Type||321cc, liquid-cooled 2-cylinder DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder|
|Bore x Stroke||68.0 x 44.1mm|
|Fuel Delivery||Fuel Injected|
|Ignition||TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition|
|Transmission||Constant mesh; 6-speed transmission|
|Suspension / Front||41mm KYB® telescopic fork; 5.1 in of travel|
|Suspension / Rear||KYB® single shock; 4.9 in of travel|
|Brakes Front||Hydraulic, 298mm|
|Brakes / Rear||Hydraulic, 220mm|
|Tires / Front||110/70-17M/C 54H|
|Tires Rear||140/70-17M/C 66H|
|L x W x H||82.3 x 28.3 x 44.7 in|
|Seat Height||30.7 in|
|Rake (Caster Angle)||25°|
|Fuel Capacity||3.7 gal|
|Wet Weight***||368 lb|
|Warranty||1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)|