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Old 8th September 2011, 15:54   #1
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Default 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

The bike crossed 10,000km yesterday. It’s been with me for over 15 months (450 days). Overall experience has been positive. I’ll want to hang on to this one for atleast another 5 years, or till I can afford a Ninja 650cc sports tourer.

On the ride back home yesterday, I was aware that I had crossed 10k milestone, and began to count the things I liked about the bike, over a period of time. Riding it on a road with fast traffic, I admitted that it’s as quick as a car when you push it – reaches high speeds from cruising speeds very quickly – I just need to be ready to focus more. And it’s as refined as a car. I’ve always adored the soft purr of the engine at parking speeds (under 5kph) when I’m crawling in traffic. I never thought a bike could sound like that! More on the sounds – at speeds above 80kph, on open roads, the engine really frees up, unrestrained to cross 100kph and beyond, and sometimes lets out a sweet whistling sound that I love! I’ve taken it to a max of 130kph on a empty stretch in the city, and there wasn’t a hint of vibration or stress. This engine has a mighty top end whack! True top speed is said to be around 140kph.

The reason I changed my bike from my old classic P180 was the suspension. The R15 costs a lac simply bcoz of its race-bred suspension, and I love every bit of it. Ride is surprisingly great and composed over bad patches, and handling is supreme – a true corner carver if there ever was one. You can do very high speeds cornering on this bike. The feel of the steering, the sense of control of the bike, the feedback on braking on the front wheel, all is a class apart. I’ve experienced feedback that I never felt on my P180.

The engine: it’s a liquid cooled 150cc with 17bhp (as much as a Karizma 220cc), but its light weight (20 kgs down on most other bikes), great aerodynamics, and high revving engine takes it to high speeds effortlessly. Yes, it has drawbacks – with a pillion on board, and the engine not properly warmed up, the bike feels out of place in traffic, slow and cumbersome at times – this isn’t suited to a pillion rider. Once the engine warms up, say after 10kms or more, plenty of power to ride fast with a pillion, usually on the ride back home.

I still have trouble in the 2nd and 3rd gears. Some low speeds in lanes don’t suit either of the two gears, and I sometimes get a jerky feel. Lack of torque low down is probably the culprit. Or maybe adding more kms will free up the lower gears gradually, and engine warming will take less time.

The brakes have huge stopping power and super feel. Stopping from a fast 120kph to a controllable 50kph takes 2-3 seconds.

Riding position rocks! I love the sporty ergos of the bike. Most of the time my back doesn’t complain at all. Sometimes, due to the sloped seat, I find myself in a uncomfortable position for a while.

Headlamps are not at all suited for night riding on low beam. The high beam is okay when I don’t get oncoming traffic.

The electric starter works incredibly well. Old Pulsar always had a loud, slightly harsh start, however the R15 is smooth every time. Even after weeks of not riding the bike, it starts on the first attempt. A wonder, really.

Quality is top notch on the bike. You won’t find a single low/average quality part. Where most of the parts were heavy metal on my Pulsar, here most are of light but strong fiber, aiding the light weight of the bike.

I’ve faced the usual tubeless tire puncture woes, but I manage, with experience.

The one pain is the very short intervals of servicing of the bike, once every 70 days. The servicing itself is quite good. Haven’t faced any issue till date, and am happy. It’s definitely a better experience than a Bajaj service center, which apart from being burdened by too many bikes to service, just lacks a bit of professionalism in their personnel. However this is subjective, I admit.

Maintenance is not expensive, I’ve found spare parts to be surprisingly affordable. Seems Yamaha has priced the bike well, and is not fleecing customers during the ownership period. The front tire was replaced under warranty by MRF when I found a small portion ripped off.

Looks terribly racy, Yamaha styling is to die for, a mini R1. ‘Nuf said. Feels light and small on the go, great for regular traffic.

Yes, I do miss the turbo torque of the old P180, with power at your fingertips at any twist. The power delivery of the R15 needs to be learnt. You need to be in absolutely the right gear, else the bike just won’t accelerate. It takes more concentration to ride, but rewards a discerning rider. This is a quality experience, and not for people looking for just raw power. However, it can teach one the finer art of sport-bike riding. Also, the Pulsar would generate a lot of heat from the engine, the R15 runs cool at all times.

It’s pointless trying to explain why a 150cc bike costs a lac. You would need to get in to a long drawn explanation on the great technology this bike is packed with. How even the soft compound MRF tires were developed specially for the R15, I believe on Japanese tracks.

The bike retains the mileage of a 150cc bike. The first year of ownership returned around 43-44kpl, but for the last few months I’ve been getting 48kpl consistently. I do admit I don’t ride in heavy traffic. Of course with my limited 700km or so per month of riding, 5kpl difference makes hardly a difference of 100 bucks or so.

The bike has been reliable and smooth, just what I expected from Japanese engineering. A few years down the line, I might go for the performance kit from Yamaha with the ECU, petal brakes and silencer package.


Some photos from when I had both my bikes:
Attached Images
        

Last edited by Cayman360 : 8th September 2011 at 16:00.
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Old 15th September 2011, 13:26   #2
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

Hello Cayman,

nice review. It would be good to share cost of ownership as well in terms of amount charged for service and experience with the service station.

I feel if the Version 2 had a 55/60 W setup, it would tick absolutely every box. Did you find any alternative to the poor headlight on your bike?
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Old 15th September 2011, 15:59   #3
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

Hey,

Great Job!!!

This is one of the best 10K ownership reviews I have come across. Great job with the write-up and good details have been inked, which will be very helpful for those wondering if it's worth the buck.

Without an ounce of doubt, the R15 is a complete product and the quality is something which other manufacturers can simply use as learning to enhance/complete rides from their stables.

Thanks again!!! For taking out time to pen down your thoughts & experience.
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Old 15th September 2011, 16:05   #4
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

Great review Cayman. Is the performance kit upgrade street legal ?
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Old 15th September 2011, 16:10   #5
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak916 View Post
Hello Cayman,

nice review. It would be good to share cost of ownership as well in terms of amount charged for service and experience with the service station.

I feel if the Version 2 had a 55/60 W setup, it would tick absolutely every box. Did you find any alternative to the poor headlight on your bike?
Thanks. I did mention that the short service intervals can be a big pain, once every 70days. The free services last a year, after which each service costs about 375/-, dunno how this compares with the service costs of comparable bikes. The Yamaha semi-synth engine-oil costs about 450/-.

Service station experience, as mentioned, is pretty good. Its a well managed outfit.

Havent spent anything apart from the above till date, except for the odd puncture, that costs 100/- a pop for each repair. Better to get a puncture repair kit and do it yourself, way cheaper that way.

Na, haven't bothered to do much about the lamps yet, maybe once I decide to tour a bit. I just use the high beam on totally dark roads, with no incoming traffic.

The rear brake-pad is up for a change, should cost under 800/-, labor cost covered by the general service costs.

The only real cost-of-ownership is the fuel, and am very happy with the fuel efficiency. Well balanced bike with both power and mileage.
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Old 15th September 2011, 16:32   #6
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Default The Lil Things

  • I sometimes wish for the foot-pegs to be further rear-set, when I go for a speed run, and even the clip-ons to be lower, but this would a real pain 99.99% of the time
  • A digital clock should have been there on this bike. Six gears mean a gear indicator would also be cool.
  • The rear seat gets a bit too high for the ladies to climb up - they've hurt themselves many a time
  • The silencer heat-shield really works - never gets too hot.
  • I kinda dig the bike key - its large and of good quality compared to my old puny Pulsar keys, and the lock-action feel substantial as well.
  • There's a helmet lock mechanism under the seat, where one can wound the helmet strap's latch, but not been able to work it out. My LS2 doesnt have the standard latch now as well.
  • There's a nice additional 3rd tripmeter that gets auto-activated once the fuel level enters reserve mode, so you know exactly how many kms you've run on reserve.
  • The dash has couple of extra indicators that blink when something's wrong with the bike. The service guys can make out what's wrong looking at the frequency of the blink's etc.
  • The bike is great at tackling reducing radius corners, very pointy front end, that steers the whole bike very well in a new line.
  • The knee recesses in the tank are perfectly carved.
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Old 15th September 2011, 16:40   #7
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

Quote:
Originally Posted by shubhamAT View Post
Great review Cayman. Is the performance kit upgrade street legal ?
Yup, it is! Here's a pic I took of one recently at the service center
Attached Thumbnails
2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report-02092011.jpg  

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Old 15th September 2011, 16:50   #8
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

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Originally Posted by Cayman360 View Post
Yup, it is! Here's a pic I took of one recently at the service center
Well, its not street legal mate. Its only for stunting purpose that Yamaha installs these things. Plz clarify with the Service center once more. When I bought the FZ, i inquired out of curiosity and was told its not street legal but Yamaha approved performance kit.

In fact, get Joel in Bangalore to build your bike and it will be able to leave the Daytona kitted R15 in the dust very comfortably. And it will cost you a fraction (well alright a little more than fraction ) of the full Daytona kit.

EDIT: In my zeal to reply about the daytona kit, i totally forgot to commend you on the wonderful review that you have penned down. Kudos and congrats on completing the 10k mark. Wishing you many more happy miles with the bike!!

Last edited by abhinav.s : 15th September 2011 at 16:56.
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Old 28th September 2011, 18:02   #9
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Default Commute?

A note for prospective buyers..

The R15 doesn't make sense if you aren't touring much. Within the city, the speeds that you generally do are between 40-70kph. When nipping ahead, gunning it decently, the bike sprints very well. But once you're riding at a speed of 60-70kph, then slow down with traffic, and again pick up speed, you'll notice that the mid-range is just not there to get you back to speed. What I'm really saying is that unless you take this bike out on the weekends for a nice hard ride, you might start feeling the your regular weekday usage isn't getting you bang for the buck. It sux when you have a pillion too.

It begs for a long ride.

Of course, I do enjoy all the other aspects on every ride, even if its a normal commute - the smoothness, the incredible suspension, the general feel of the bike etc.

This ain't a commuter for sure, and don't treat it like one.

My current life doesnt leave me any room to plan for nice rides, hence I get a bit frustrated. I definitely intend to keep the bike (even if my mind wanders to the Fazer frequently, after having ridden it with a pillion for 2 days in Goa, effortless bike), get a proper riding jacket very soon, and do some long rides when I get some space.
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Old 5th January 2012, 18:48   #10
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

After the scheduled service in Nov '11, mileage dramatically increased to 55kpl for a month! Maybe the air filter change ( 250/-) helped. Now its back to around 50Kpl.

The engine shuts down at low rpms when I cross speedbreakers sometimes, and I guess another service is due.

Got myself a DSG Nero jacket, so hope to do a highway run very soon. My weekends are totally free, so time is on my side now. Wish the ORR in Hyd had a lane for two wheelers too - currently 2 wheelers arent allowed on the brilliant ORR. A dash to bangalore would have been under 8 hrs on a bike.

12.5k kms done, engine still feels lazy on the first ride of a day. Return rides are fun as usual.
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Old 7th January 2012, 02:13   #11
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayman360 View Post

Wish the ORR in Hyd had a lane for two wheelers too - currently 2 wheelers arent allowed on the brilliant ORR.
Hey Cayman, I came to know that bikes are now allowed 6AM-9AM on the ORR. You might wanna check it out once before you venture there. Incase you are doing so, call me and I will be glad to join
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Old 7th January 2012, 06:10   #12
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

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Originally Posted by bluenicotine View Post
Hey Cayman, I came to know that bikes are now allowed 6AM-9AM on the ORR. You might wanna check it out once before you venture there. Incase you are doing so, call me and I will be glad to join
Heylo there! Thats quite some info! Its 6am as I write this, and I'm supposed to head out for a ride now.. Damn, I'll leave you a PM.
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Old 10th January 2012, 22:49   #13
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Default NH9 on the weekend!

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Went on a short 50km ride down the NH9, which starts close to where I stay. I started at about 7am this Saturday, with the sun shining bright in my rear view mirrors and a nice chill in the air. My summer mesh gloves didn’t quite help my hands stay warm, but I enjoyed the cold. This was a highway ride after a very long time, and predictably I was edgy. Decided to take it real easy, and loped along at a gentle pace of 60kph.

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There was little traffic, and the first toll booth came in a few kms. I had an early taste of cars/MUVs attempting to turn the highway in to a one way road pretty early in to the ride, which in turn reinforced the decision to ride easy. Riding slow meant I could really take in the sights along the highway – I was in no hurry after all. This was just a lil recon of the highway, to see how long I could last before my back complained.

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First thought of doing 30kms, then as I started enjoying the ride, went on to ride for 50kms.

Quite liked this

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At one point I had the daylights scared out of me to see a young girl in school uniform crossing the highway, riding across the road in a small cycle! There were plenty of school kids wanting lifts, along the way. I apologized with a wave, and rode away.

It was only on barricaded or long empty stretches that I let loose, and hit about 90-95kh. It was seriously relaxing to ride along in the cool weather.

At regular intervals, busy crossings came up, with traffic, and then the highway continued. I stopped at about 50kms, and took a 10 minute break, and returned back.

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Does the entire Bachchan khandaan own this dhaba?!

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A temple along the way

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The madatory 'khet' shot

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The highway was peppered with these signs, to slow down, and I appreciated the concern. It also meant this wasn't the safest highway to ride on!

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Found a ‘punjabi’ dhaba, and stopped to look for something to eat. The place was barely functional, and i could see i wouldn’t get much to eat. Asked for a lassi, and ordered a allo paratha to be packed (for the wife at home, who had seen me off in the morning in a foul mood, for waking her up early!). The lassi was prepared by the owner, a old man, and it was terrible! The paratha turned out to be decent, when I ate it at home. I just wondered how many of the dhabas, that pop up every other kilometre of the highway, are authentic Punjabi dhabas, where one could go on a weekend for lunch.

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Wicked looking old man!

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My paratha being made

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The ride back was much quicker, I was doing ton up speeds, and touched 112kph briefly, the bike sprinting really well. Still the mandate to do a safe trip brought me to ride at saner speeds. The sun was up and it was getting hotter inside my jacket, my back wanted rest, and I justified the higher speeds in my head

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Spotted this cute hut beside the road, wondered what I would be like to stay here, with the bike parked outside, and maybe a dog at guard!

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At about the 80km mark, I started feeling bit tired in the back, and by the time I reached home, I realized 100kms was good enough for me at this point. Maybe more frequent long rides could up this distance.

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The first thing I noticed as I entered the city roads was that I was carrying way too much speed in to the traffic! The bike was revving hard, and I was repeatedly braking hard. It took a while to get used to the slower city speeds!

The refinement of the bike just impressed me so much! Sheer nirvana riding it on the highway, calmly accelerating on a long empty stretch, or casually riding along.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 15:25   #14
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

The battery looks to be dying on me, starting the bike is almost heart-wrenching. Will try to get it charged at a battery shop, but dunno if it can be done for a dry battery. [meanwhile mysteriously my laptop battery died last nite!!]

The engine also dies regularly at low revs, while slowing down to a crawl, or crossing a speed-breaker.

Time for a service (already delayed by a month)
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Old 16th April 2012, 19:17   #15
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Default Re: 2010 Yamaha R15 - 10k km report

Quick update - mandatory service done at 14,000 km - all's well. Mileage has bumped up to 55kpl!

I might have to park the bike for more than a year after a few months - dont wish to sell at all. Hopefully it'll be fine when I get back.

Still loving the awesome feel from the front end, it just talks to the rider delightfully well!!
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