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FIRST RIDE: All new 2015 Yamaha R3


THE latest contender to the lightweight super sport bike range from Yamaha has arrived. And it means business. The 2015 Yamaha R3 was designed to bridge the daunting gap between the ever popular R125 and the R6 because let's face it, entry level riders have no business riding a 600 sports bike. Hence, the R3 was born.

Motorcycle News has rated the new R3 as top of the pops when up against its rivals, the Kawasaki ZX3RR, the KTM RC390 and the Honda CBR300R.

This is a big deal, mainly because the other bikes have been around for a year or two. Yamaha have entered the foray in true jet setter style, late...but oh-so sexy.

Parked next to any of its bigger brothers the R3 can easily be mistaken for something bigger. The styling is straight from the deskpad of the designer who gave us the new R1, and it looks magic.

Compared to the others, it doesn't have that 'entry level' look. The attention to detail is what truly sets it apart, right down to every corner on the fairings.

What also sets the R3 in a class of its own, is the ABS fitted as standard. Paired with being super light weight, this effectively means any rider, of any skill level, will have to try extremely hard to get this front wheel to slide. Which is a huge bonus, considering the price of new school clothes.

A brand new R3 will cost R69,995, only a few grand more than the next best thing, the KTM RC390.

Rider impression:

Slinging a leg over the R3 one is immediately struck by the compact feel. It felt a little tight, but that dissipated after the first five minutes on the road.

Ride High Yamaha had fitted an aftermarket pipe, giving the little Yummy a very throaty growl and boosting the performance just a tad.

The bike performed really well under acceleration and stopping. Power delivery is very smooth with a little extra grunt after 7,000RPM, exactly where the peak torque delivery kicks in on all the graph thingies, while the ABS put a stop to any silly mistakes with ease.

The handling inspires confidence. It's easy to ride yet still nippy and sharp, taking care of traffic in a wink.

The display is very easy to read, with a gear indicator to let you know exactly where you are on the shifting side. It even has a little limiter light to shout at you when you need to grab the next gear.

Overall the bike is smooth, fun and very easy to ride. It looks brilliant and handles on a whim. Sold, I'd say.

If you're looking for the ultimate commuter or entry level bike, or if you want to get into the world of knee-down-around-a-track mania, look no further.

Tech Specs:

Engine: 2-cylinder, liquid cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve
Displacement: 321cc
Power: 30.9kW @ 10,750rpm
Torque: 29.6Nm @ 9,000rpm
Fueling: Injection, 14 litre tank
Transmission: 6-speed, constant mesh
Wheels: 110/70/17 front, 140/70/17 rear
Weight: 169kg (wet)

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Submitted: 23-06-2018