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Old 15th January 2015, 14:28   #1
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Default Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

Hello bike enthusiasts,

After having driven for more than two decades, suddenly in the throes of advancing age (I think there is a term for it, some crisis something...) I feel this itch of owning and riding a bike, and if it itches one should do what comes naturally.

I have driven all kinds of cars and consider myself to be a somewhat spirited driver (when the missus is not around) with a penchant for long drives. Having extrapolated from my driving traits, I have been stalking the motorbikes thread and devouring the many well written threads on various brands and makes in an effort to identify options. The following are the results of all the broadband MBs consumed

Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

I know its not an altogether apt comparison, belonging to separate categories as they are. To nail the winner and the brand which can receive my hard earned cash, the following are the KRAs in a decreasing order of importance, feel free to comment, debate, debunk etc

  • which one handles better? From what I have read the R15 V2 has sweet handling and high sped stability, if the RC 200 is far behind on this one then I will end all debate and pick up the R15 as the Yamaha costs much less
  • Build quality and Reliability - Understand that the R15 scores over KTM on build quality; which of the two is more 'niggle prone'? This will be an important factor since as a noob rider I wouldnt be too well informed if unknown gremlins keep popping up.
  • Power - This is somewhat related to handling as speed without a stable chassis means nothing. Even though this one is a no brainer with the KTM putting out 25 BHP, does the R15 appear underpowered in comparison in the real world?
  • Dealership and service experience? - Is Yamaha better? Please suggest 'friendly' dealers in Bangalore of the brand which is better at customer experience
  • FE isnt too important a consideration given that these are performance machines, but is one radically better than the other?

Suggest away...

Last edited by hothatchaway : 15th January 2015 at 14:29. Reason: typos
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Old 15th January 2015, 15:11   #2
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Default re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

Quote:
Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Hello bike enthusiasts,
Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200
Suggest away...
Oh well, before you can decide on KTM please go through the below experience of a fellow bhpian bik1906.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...y-decline.html (Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline)

I have never owned a Yamaha bike, so I cannot comment on that. But there are many useful links here that may help you decide.

The following is a detailed review by bhpian parrys:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...0-000-kms.html (The Yamaha R15 2.0 Ownership Report. Update: 30,000 kms)

Another ownership review by m.shekhar:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...ip-report.html (2012 Yamaha R15 v2.0, Ownership Report)

Here is one by bhpian abhisheksircar:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...amaha-r15.html (R-One-Five v2.0 gets me back to two wheels (Yamaha R15))

The following are the link for reviews and ownership views on KTM 200.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...ip-review.html (My KTM Duke 200 - Ownership Review) by abhayshanu

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...ip-report.html (KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report) by nanduchitnis

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...uke-200-a.html (The Duke of Direwolves - Lisbeth, my KTM Duke 200) by theexperthand

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...ew-family.html (KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!) by ebonho (One of the longest threads)


I am sure, there are many other reviews about these 2 bikes. All the best with the excercise of CHOOSING the RIGHT bike.
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Old 15th January 2015, 15:39   #3
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I would suggest the Duke. R15 seating position is way to committed. So it is a pain in stop and go traffic.

Duke 200 is a breeze in the city with a very comfortable riding position and also packs enough grunt for the highways.
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Old 15th January 2015, 15:56   #4
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Default re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

R15 v2.0 is a machine with which you cannot go wrong. It has impeccable quality, handling and reliability, the only sore point being power. I've owned both R15 and duke 200 for a pretty long time. Duke 200 reaches 140 kmph in no time whereas R15 v2.0 struggles post 110 kmph and I did not face any niggles till I sold her.
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Old 15th January 2015, 16:07   #5
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Default re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

Quote:
Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Hello bike enthusiasts,

After having driven for more than two decades, suddenly in the throes of advancing age (I think there is a term for it, some crisis something...) I feel this itch of owning and riding a bike, and if it itches one should do what comes naturally.

Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200
I have not ridden RC 200, but I've ridden Duke 200. Here are my 2 cents,

Quote:
[*]which one handles better? From what I have read the R15 V2 has sweet handling and high sped stability, if the RC 200 is far behind on this one then I will end all debate and pick up the R15 as the Yamaha costs much less
Both R15 and RC 200 are great handlers which an average or an above average rider will find hard to max out, esp. outside the racetracks.
Sagar Sheldekar of Powerdrift who is an R15 owner and a trained track rider commented that the RC series bikes take the handling crown from R15.

Quote:
[*]Build quality and Reliability - Understand that the R15 scores over KTM on build quality; which of the two is more 'niggle prone'? This will be an important factor since as a noob rider I wouldnt be too well informed if unknown gremlins keep popping up.
R15 here. No contest. The KTM suffers from poor build quality and niggles.

Quote:
[*]Power - This is somewhat related to handling as speed without a stable chassis means nothing. Even though this one is a no brainer with the KTM putting out 25 BHP, does the R15 appear underpowered in comparison in the real world?
No contest once more, however in the favour of RC 200. The R15's engine is great for a 150. But you'll get bored of the power within 6 months. The 200's maniacal engine will keep you entertained for a considerably longer time. I had never expected a 200ml engine to be so entertaining till I rode the D200.

Quote:
[*]Dealership and service experience? - Is Yamaha better? Please suggest 'friendly' dealers in Bangalore of the brand which is better at customer experience
Will leave this one to the owners to comment.

Quote:
[*]FE isnt too important a consideration given that these are performance machines, but is one radically better than the other?
One more thing to leave to the owners, but from what I've read, you can expect 3-5kmpl more from the R15. Not more than that.

Suggest away...

Since it looks like you're buying a motorcycle for the fun factor, I'd say, go further ahead and get yourself an RC 390. You'll get a lot more power that will keep you entertained for ages(0-100 < 6s), Metzeler tyres and most importantly ABS. The 390 can cruise at good speeds calmly in 6th gear in case of long distance riding. The 200 is more of a screamer and hits the limiter in top gear around 136 IIRC( in case of Duke. Not sure if the gearing is same in RC). The 390's engine is not as maniacal though and is a lot calmer. Also, if you plan to do a lot of city riding and short rides, 200 will be better IMO.

Finally, take a test ride of R15, Duke and RC 200 and 390. All the best!

Last edited by theredliner : 15th January 2015 at 16:10.
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Old 15th January 2015, 19:15   #6
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Considering that this is your first bike, the Yamaha would be better as it is not as powerful as the Duke.
Going by long term reports, the Yamaha would be relatively more reliable as well.
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Old 15th January 2015, 19:20   #7
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Default re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

Is there a distinct difference in terms of handling and how the engine is tuned between the Duke and the RC 200 (apart from the fairing)
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Old 15th January 2015, 20:35   #8
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Default re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

After considering which brands/models you would like to go with as possibilities of being your trusted steed, based on various inputs, suggestions, etc, I think you it would help greatly by considering what kind of riding are you going to be doing mostly on a day-to-day basis. City-highway, mostly highway, only city, track days, touring, what exactly. And then decide which of the machines does best for you or is meant to do the job. Other factors can follow.
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Old 15th January 2015, 20:45   #9
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Talking re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

I have just booked a R15 V2.0 Invincible Black today, may be I should have gone for a test drive of RC200 atleast if not a RC390. But I went with my Heart I guess, since i used to drive a RX100 when I was in Delhi.

One of my colleague in my previous organization bought a Duke 200, when I sat on the bike, I felt the gears to be so far behind (may be was sitting on a bike after a long time), but the point is I was not very comfortable sitting on D200, may be that was another reason why I did not consider KTM

I have been driving car for over 5years now, wanted to get back in to 2 wheels, but had a quick short test ride today of R15 and loved it, didnt feel very awkward or uncomfortable sitting on it
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Old 16th January 2015, 07:20   #10
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Default re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

Quote:
Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Hello bike enthusiasts...Suggest away...
Everything is fine, but you haven't stated something very important...

What is the purpose to buy a motorcycle & what is your expectation on it?

If you can list the above, I'm damn sure you WILL find out the bike that you need by yourself.

PS - How purpose & expectation differs are, from what you stated, they're just your requirements

which one handles better? - What're you going to do if the bike handles well? Ride on track or on road? On track you need ultra precision machine, but not on road.
Build quality and Reliability - Even if you have Beemer, the ASC is going to deteriorate your vehicle in a matter of time, but how soon or late depends on various things
Dealership and service experience - Depends upon the individuals; some have bad reviews about the ASC where I get my bike serviced, but I get exceptionally good service; few others praise other ASC, however 2 of us observed pathetically inferior technical capabilities

And how purpose & expectations are defined? I need a bike to show off...
- That I'm a biker in my entire apartment (nothing wrong in it)
- To ride with my friends during weekends for a short rides
- To ride, not more than 200-300 Km or occasionally 1-2 days short trip with friends
- Do dare devil & roam like a lone Wold in my state/country
- Cross borders & tour across countries
- Assume the bike might kill my boredom
- Buy that bike that I've been crushing from my childhood

Last edited by aargee : 16th January 2015 at 07:28.
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Old 16th January 2015, 15:34   #11
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Default Re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixantz View Post
I think you it would help greatly by considering what kind of riding are you going to be doing mostly on a day-to-day basis. City-highway, mostly highway, only city, track days, touring, what exactly. And then decide which of the machines does best for you or is meant to do the job. Other factors can follow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Everything is fine, but you haven't stated something very important...

What is the purpose to buy a motorcycle & what is your expectation on it?
Not looking for something to commute on, but something which can satiate my craving for driving/riding anything on wheels.

Usage could be short bursts on the highway (NICE Rd/Kolar) over weekends, a run across the city late at night/early morning.

Would love to take it to the track and hence looking at R15/RC version of the KTM.

As mentioned, handling/high speed stability is something important to me along with reliability. Would have picked up the RC 390 but the additional dough and the niggles I keep reading on the thread is a deterrent. Another option is to wait for the R25 but I guess the price tag would be steep.

Note that I consider myself fairly fit (regular runner of half marathons) and a committed riding position should not be an issue

Everything else being equal but the power, I would pick the RC200 over R15, since nothing in this world is ever so easy to decide, need your pointers!
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Old 16th January 2015, 18:01   #12
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Default Re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

If you want the ultimate biking experience on Indian roads, I would suggest you nothing but my favorite one.

If these things matter to you:
1)Exhilarating power and acceleration coupled with awesome ride n handling,
2)Silky smoothness going hand in hand with that power,
3)Best of both worlds(city and highway performance) in Indian road conditions,
4)Very high reliability levels,
5)Great looks, fit and finish levels,

then you should look no further and go blindly book the NINJA 300!!!

Other awesome advantages which come along free:

It's very hard to beat the Japs at reliability, which you want. A parallel-twin will always excel in all-round performance, smoothness and punch as compared to a single. You have an engine which is less stressed out at any given point of time than a single, so longevity advantages too.

The only thing that could possibly deter you from bringing this sexy baby home might be the Vitamin-M factor. Which is the culprit in most cases here. The only thing to watch out closely for if you own this baby is the oil levels. They seem to play up in some bikes if you're not watching.

I suggested what is closest to my heart and ultimate in my opinion for Indian conditions and your needs. Rest is upto you. All the best
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Old 16th January 2015, 18:03   #13
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Default Re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

Quote:
Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Usage could be short bursts on the highway (NICE Rd/Kolar) over weekends, a run across the city late at night/early morning.

Would love to take it to the track and hence looking at R15/RC version of the KTM
If you're serious about taking it to track & riding, then...Ninja 300 or...if moolah issue, then get a used Ninja 250. That bike is class apart even today & perfectly suited for both the usage you said above & stability, handling, performance, speed & control comes free with this bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
since nothing in this world is ever so easy to decide, need your pointers!
And yes, nothing in the world is easy...save your money to get Ninja & you'll be happy for the rest of your life. Remember, buying is one time affair, maintenance & living with it is for lifetime.

Good luck
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Old 16th January 2015, 18:28   #14
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Default Re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

Hello,

You mentioned in your post that you like long rides. So you should know that the R15 has a fuel tak capacity of 12 liters whereas the RC200 has a capacity of 10 liters. The tank looks big, but part of that space houses the battery.

Also as per the KTM website, recommended fuel is 95 RON - http://www.ktm.com/in/supersport/rc-200/highlights.html

I guess you can use normal unleaded fuel for the R15 (please check it out though).

As far as the bikes themselves are concerned, following is my humble opinion on both......

I have ridden both, the R15 and the RC200.

For me, a motorcycle is something that makes you feel good about the fact that you are riding a great bike.

The R15 does make a case for itself in terms of long term maintainability and most Yamaha showrooms having a service friendly nature. However that 'X' factor is missing when you're riding it. It just too nice. It is fast and nimble no doubt, but it feels too eager to please

The RC 200 on the other hand, felt amazing while riding (photo below taken while I was about to go on my 1st test ride) whether its the exhaust note or the throttle response or the gear ratios. It feels like a proper hooligan, demands respect, but stops short of scaring you. I took it for 2 short runs on my test ride. My confidence on the 2nd ride had grown exponentially. And it is a head-turner as well due to the novelty factor (if that interests you). Yes the seating feels cramped and is slightly better padded than the Duke 200 (again IMHO). But the FEEL you get on an RC200, well I just can't explain it. 'Amazing!!' would be an understatement. This is the bike that will get my buck. So if you're "Mr. Impulsive" go for the RC, if you're "Mr. Logical", wait for a better bike (IMHO)....

Note: All the graphics on the fairings are extra. The standard package graphics are far less...
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200-img20141002wa0023.jpg  

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Old 18th January 2015, 09:25   #15
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Default Re: Yamaha R15 V2 vs KTM RC 200

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indraneel Bhat View Post
Hello,

Also as per the KTM website, recommended fuel is 95 RON - http://www.ktm.com/in/supersport/rc-200/highlights.html

I guess you can use normal unleaded fuel for the R15 (please check it out though).
This should be fine in Bangalore, I believe all pumps dispense 95 RON but I guess it could be a problem if one goes cross country and in smaller towns. What do bikers do when on long drives, am guessing sensitivity to fuel should be the case with bikes like ceeber also and folks have done pan India runs on those


Quote:
Originally Posted by Indraneel Bhat View Post
The R15 does make a case for itself in terms of long term maintainability and most Yamaha showrooms having a service friendly nature. However that 'X' factor is missing when you're riding it. It just too nice. It is fast and nimble no doubt, but it feels too eager to please
I have ridden an Activa extensively, however, this will not only be my first geared bike but also a machine which is vastly different in many other aspects. Which one do you think would be easier to cut my teeth on? (no pun intended!) When you say eager to please do you mean the driving dynamics of the R15 are such that its easier to get used to for a rookie biker? If the two are not very different then I may consider the RC200 given the higher FTD factor. Am hoping that notwithstanding the puny engine, the R15 delivers a great riding experience (handling/decent power etc) in oodles, otherwise whats the point in plonking more than a lakh?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indraneel Bhat View Post
The RC 200 on the other hand, felt amazing while riding (photo below taken while I was about to go on my 1st test ride) whether its the exhaust note or the throttle response or the gear ratios. It feels like a proper hooligan, demands respect, but stops short of scaring you. I took it for 2 short runs on my test ride. My confidence on the 2nd ride had grown exponentially. And it is a head-turner as well due to the novelty factor (if that interests you). Yes the seating feels cramped and is slightly better padded than the Duke 200 (again IMHO). But the FEEL you get on an RC200, well I just can't explain it. 'Amazing!!' would be an understatement. This is the bike that will get my buck. So if you're "Mr. Impulsive" go for the RC, if you're "Mr. Logical", wait for a better bike (IMHO)....
Very well put...you arent making a strong enough case for the R15, a R25 perhaps? but i doubt it will come south of 2 l. Since you have test driven and explored one, whats the build quality like for the RC200? Have read about alloys cracking, levers dangling etc and wouldnt want that after parting with my hard earned cash
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