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Old 7th September 2015, 09:22   #1
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Default Yamaha YZF-R3 : Detailed Ownership Review

Yamaha does it again. Finally getting me back into biking after a long wait. They did it once with the R15 v2.0, they did it again with the R3. You just can't resist these. This is the Japanese way of working, go slow and steady and get it right at the first go. And boy they know to deliver. Late or not, they have really hit the sweet spot with the Yamaha YZF R3. Yamaha calls it a 'Lightweight Supersport for Everyday use'. Looks like, they had a check list to meet that punch line and they got them right.

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What you will Like

- Smooth Engine which revs all the way without any drama
- Over all Build Quality of the bike
- Riding Stance which thankfully is not completely race committed
- Adequate Torque at every gear
- 7 Step Adjustable Mono-Shocks at the Rear
- Instrument Console which speaks volume (Speed, RPM , Trip Odometer, Time, Gear Position Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Oil Change Trip Meter and Fuel Economy Information)
- Adjustable Shift Timing Light
- Sharp looks Starting from the headlight to the tail.
- Sound of the 320cc Parallel Twin

What you will not Like

- Absence of ABS
- Absence of Slipper Clutch if you are aiming for the tracks
- MRF Zapper S (Not as good as the Michelin's available outside India)
- Horn. v2.0 has a much better dual horn system
- Rear View Mirror. Looks good but cuts on the functionality a bit
- BBQ grill which Yamaha calls Saree Guard
- Price. Wish it was manufactured in India

I will capture my Experience of the bike in this ownership thread of the Yamaha R3. Till then, a quick review.

Conception Stage
First Ride
Competition Check
Yamaha R3 on Track

Thanks to my rider friends who helped me compile this quick review. In Alphabetical order; Ankit, Arnab, Navneeth, Ronnie, Sachin, Saquib, Sounak and Suhasa.

Last edited by abhisheksircar : 19th September 2015 at 19:35. Reason: Updates
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Old 7th September 2015, 09:24   #2
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Default Conception Stage

About 3.5 Years back, Yamaha convinced me to get me back into riding. I wrote a bit about my bike and ownership experience over here. Soon after Yamaha Riders Club - India was formed as a result of more rides, like minded riders and the experience of riding a Yamaha.

Over the time, work took precedence and I hated to see the R15 just parked. So it went to a known friend who would take good care of the bike. And then there was this void, void of not riding. I thought I could overcome it, but it was not as easy.

25Mar2014. Yamaha started teasing us with Revstation talking about multiple bike releases. The thought of a 250+ from Yamaha started teasing my biking genes. Out came the Tricity which made me feel like watching a SciFi movie and this was no way coming to India. Not that I cared.

20May2014. Yamaha R25 got launched and that sure got me all ready to get back into riding. A Parallel-Twin from Yamaha. Finally. And the wait began with no news for India launch. This was followed by a BIG launch news in India where journos from all of India were called and I was all set to book the Yamaha R25. Got online, kept refreshing pages. A teddy came, danced and kept us wondering, what the hell just happened. I kept refreshing thinking, this can't be it; but it was indeed.

16Oct2014. Yamaha R3 gets launched. 42 PS@10,750 RPM and 29.6 Nm@9,000 RPM. Engineers at Yamaha managed another 71 cc by boring out the R25's 60mm Cylinders to 68mm without altering the stroke giving it a bore stroke ratio of the larger bikes from Yamaha. Now this is the one to go for. Let me dare to call this the new age RD. But then, this soon got quoted as the bike for the European market. And there goes another drool worthy dish served by Yamaha. Riders from Europe, Australia, US etc started enjoying every bit of the R3. While we Indian's were waiting to ride the stock R25, forget about the R3, our Indonesian friends started posting videos of how to install Two Brothers Exhaust on a R25. This was getting a little frustrating now.

2015 saw a year of hopes being made, destroyed, reignited and what not. Yamaha R25 imported, Yamaha R? getting tested on the road, Yamaha R3 seen in the showroom, backyard and what not. Then very reliable sources started talking about Yamaha R3 to be launched in India. Soon articles from reliable news agencies started vouching for it too. I have gone through this drill before, just to be surprised with nothing. Hence, I held on to my nerves. But then came a thought, what if ? Called up the owner of Bangalore Wheels, my preferred dealer for Yamaha bikes in Bangalore to book one; well, one something that is about to get launched. I made a pact to get a refund if I am not satisfied with what gets launched but at the same time, I wished I do not have to ask for a refund. Few days before the Launch and we were almost sure it was the R3 and that became confirmed when few riders from our club got spy shots of the bike around Bangalore. This was it !!

11Aug2015, midnight onwards, most of my whatsapp groups started buzzing. "So is it today?". "What time ?". "How much do you think it will be?". Speculations. Expectations. Hopes. Kept building till "The" moment. Yamaha R3 was officially launched in the best way possible. In Buddh International Circuit, allowing journos and bloggers to get first hand feel of what it does best. Handling. Speed. Yamaha has been known for these since ages. It's mastered it now. Sharp Curves and Fast Straights at BIC; could'nt have been better. Thankfully this time, there were no teddy bears and it was not in a stadium or hotel giving us a few second glimpse of the bike followed by "nobody cares" fashion shows and long speeches. The launch was immaculate. Pages kept refreshing as the live feed had issues. It was a mad dash moment, refreshing pages, looking at the phone for whatsapp updates, opening every FB notification for more details and then it finally came. 325,000 INR Ex-Showroom Delhi. In came an array of mixed reactions. No one said it was a killer pricing but few said it was the best they could do while some started hating the whole wait. This was followed by discussions of on-road pricing across various states. Looks like in Bangalore it will be around 385,000. Damn !! Wish we got roads justifying these taxes. I had booked for the Red and White and that's exactly what they have kept off the shores for now. Just Amazing. But then I saw the Blue one, I was convinced. I guess I would have also said, 'But then I saw the Yellow and Pink, I was convinced' had they launched that color combo. That's how badly I needed to get back to riding. On a serious note, Blue one, at least in pictures looked quite sharp. Immediately called up the dealer and confirmed the blue. He had hinted few days back of the possibility of only two colors coming. Blue and Black. Anyway, he said, 'Yours will be the first one to leave the showroom. Don't worry. We will keep you updated.'

And then started reviews, first ride reports, first reaction etc. By the end of the day I had watched most of the R3 Review Videos available on the worldwide web. These videos were already there, but I did not want to psyche myself earlier to be shocked by yet another scooter. Great scooters, no doubt, but scooters ? No. Soon the BIC experience started pouring out on Indian Auto Journos. They loved it. Not all positives but overall experience was good. A lot was spoken about the refined engine and superb braking. Handling was good as all products coming from Yamaha. MRFs were a downer by most reviews and so was the absence of ABS. Europe I presume is the only market which got the ABS as standard fitment because of the laws there. Even USA did not get the R3 with ABS. In France with ABS as standard fitment, it costs about 4 Lakhs INR. Yamaha R3 with ABS, if it comes to India will not be cheap. Yamaha R25 in the manufacturing country, Indonesia, gets sold at 2.75 Lakhs INR. If I look at that price point, Yamaha R3 at 3.25 is priced quite well considering it's a CKD. I am sure Localization will gradually improve in India for the Yamaha R3 but I doubt the prices will change as much. What will change is a better package at the same price like throwing in better tyres.

As my next bike, I wanted something which continued with the Handling genes of the Yamaha. Good braking capability. Has a really refined engine which does not throw me off when I accelerate but still goes fast. Is not totally race committed and caters to touring as well. And last but not the least, cruises at good speeds. After reading the reviews, the booking started looking more and more justified. Upside Down forks is not something I will cry about. MRF Tyres, will be used and if found inadequate will be changed, a very common practice among drivers. Not cribbing about this one till I ride one. But yes, ABS is something that I would have loved to have in the bike. Yamaha played the price game in India and now I feel they read the market right. With people wishing the bike to be priced around 2.98 started calling it overpriced at 3.25, had they put the ABS and launched it at 3.6, R3 sales numbers would have dropped faster than the R3s braking capability. 180 to 0 in no time.

21Nov2014 : On-road prices in Bangalore is out. 3.85 INR Approx. The first lot of bikes for the dealer from whom I am purchasing the bike from has been dispatched from Delhi. Hoping to get back to riding by first week of September. The wait begins !

Last edited by abhisheksircar : 20th September 2015 at 06:01.
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Old 7th September 2015, 09:25   #3
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Default Pre-Delivery

After the prices were announced, the Yamaha dealer I prefer, Bangalore Wheels, was one of the first to qualify as a dealer of choice to be selling the Yamaha R3. Only 100 such were to be selected to sell the Yamaha R3 in India. As a first move advantage he placed the order then and there itself. This was on 21Aug2015. From then onwards, we connected at least once in a day to know about it's delivery to the Bangalore showroom. Through calls, whatsapp or SMS. Finally on 1Sept2015 we got to know that the bikes are to arrive in Bangalore. By the time it reached it was late evening and hence unloading in the outskirts of Bangalore, loading them to smaller vehicles to be transported within the town would get late. Decision was made to transport it the next day. And guess what, Trade Union called for an All India strike the next day. Yes, I had to believe what I was hearing. One more day of wait when the bikes are within 100 kms of Bangalore. I could not even take out my car to drive down to have the first look. Finally came "The" day.

3Sept2015 I was continuously checking my phone for any calls or message from Prabhu Sir, owner of Bangalore Wheels. I decided to work from home so that I could just step out for sometime to check the bike and come back. Finally the call came at 1100 hrs that the bikes will be coming to the showroom at around 1400 hrs. I realized, this is not going to be a "just step out and back" affair. I activated my Out Of Office replies and applied for leave. Left for the showroom and was pleasantly greeted by Prabhu Sir and Harsh Sangoli, Area Sales Manager of Yamaha. Since it was the first bike coming to the South of India, we all were curious to see it in flesh. 1500 hrs and finally the truck with 5 R3s arrived. We were in the first floor in the meeting room when a call came and Prabhu Sir said, "It's here". We jumped off our seat to the closest window which could let us see the truck. The others might have been calm, I was not. Seeing something in flesh for the first time which I was following for the last 2 years approx was definitely not making me think sane.

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The truck carrying the 5 R3s. Two in the first row. One in between and then again two in the third row.

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We stepped down to see the R3s up close. The door was opened and we got the first glimpse.

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The bikes were neatly bubble wrapped. I set my eyes on the blue one which I was supposed to pick up. Prabhu Sir asked, which color. I said blue and immediately the first blue was taken out to be unwrapped.

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Opening the bubble wrap was like opening your Christmas gift. By now you know what to expect, but you are still curious. Behold, the Yamaha YZF R3. The first look made me realize, I am in for a treat. It was big and it spoke of quality all over. I did my best to overlook the atrociously designed saree guard. Yamaha ensure that they design it so bad that no one dares to keep it on after buying it.

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The bike was a bit dusty because of all these transport and all and hence it went for a quick water wash.

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The Super bike Ramp was made ready since the R3 would not fit in the normal ramp. This ramp was initially made just for the R1 and MT-01. Prabhu Sir and Harsh were already there and in came Asvin, Service Engineer from Yamaha itself. Being the first bike, Yamaha sent their own Techs to do the PDI, something which will be done by the dealer techs from there on.

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The bike was loaded on the ramp to be dried up after the quick water wash. No ride, not even started, the bike still had already convinced me.

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The seats were removed to take out the battery which will be checked with the voltmeter for appropriate charge levels. The ECU was neatly tucked in over there. The fuse box sat next to the ECU.

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Battery is a 12v, Indonesian make from a known company in Indonesia called GS Battery. It's a 4 decade old company. A 12v is a must to support the 2 55W headlights and the fan that will come up anytime to cool down the bike in stop and go traffic.

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The oil level window was checked for quality of the oil and the level. Neat.

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Out came an elaborate check list which checked every possible thing in the bike externally. From something as simple as the slack in the chain all the way to the bike being connected to the diagnostic tool for a complete check. I could not have asked for a better PDI.

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Finally after all, Showroom manager, Surya, with all smiles asked if the mech who was trained specifically for the R3 was satisfied yet for the bike to be started. Hearty laugh and we were all set to start the bike.

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Self check was done and the bike had 5 km on the odo. The bike lit up with all information that I would look for. And then the moment, the engine was cranked.

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We were anyway in almost a closed chamber, to top that, this one has quite a throaty exhaust. As soon as the engineer revved it a bit, out came all the phones to record the video. Coming from R15 as my last bike, this was quite a welcome change.

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Every nook and corner was checked together with Gopi, the mech from Bangalore Wheels who was trained specially for the R3 along with the Yamaha Representative, Asvin.

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And finally, when everything was done, the Bike was connected to the diagnostic program to check all parameters. This will be printed out and sent to Yamaha for final check. This took a little while as the profile of R3 was not added into the computer. Thankfully the Yamaha Reps were carrying it in their laptop. The bike is then ridden by the Yamaha Reps for 5-6 kms to check if all is good.

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After extensive PDI for 3 hrs, the bike is finally ready for the store house to be safely kept till I take the delivery. Few bikes in the mean time were cleaned and put up for display. While all this PDI was going on, the news was already out and people started coming in to see the bike in flesh.

Last edited by abhisheksircar : 20th September 2015 at 06:03. Reason: Updates
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Old 7th September 2015, 09:31   #4
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Default Delivery

The next day, the bike was ready for delivery but I was not. I had lots to catch up with at work after this one day of sudden absence. I somehow focused and finished work in a way that there is no possibility of me being called to work over the weekend.

5Sept2015 : The day the bike gets a new home. Woke up with a smile knowing that I would be back into riding soon. Got my son all prepped up telling him that there is a surprise. His curiosity increased with every passing hour. The delivery was planned at 1400 hrs. Few of my rider friends also decided to join in. We reached the place and somehow my son guessed it on the way. We reached there and the bike was at the display area, all ready to be owned. We were pleasantly greeted by Mr. Nagraj, Regional Business Head, Yamaha India and Mr. Harsh, Area Sales Manager, Yamaha. Along with them was Prabhu Sir, all eager for the delivery. Last few minutes of paper work and we were all set to take her home. This whole experience turned out quite overwhelming as this was followed by a cake arranged by Bangalore Wheels.

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The cake ready to be cut after the hand over is done. I had never been a part of such an elaborate delivery.

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Finally, the moment. The Regional Business Head handed over "The" Key which was a huge cut out of a Yamaha key, declaring this to be the first bike to be handed over in India. And now I was able to justify the elaborate event with Yamaha officials coming in and all. It was a wise decision to stick with our trusted Bangalore Wheels who had taken the first move and ordered the maximum number of R3s in India ending up with my R3 being the first in India to be handed over officially.

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The cake cutting with Fellow YRCians, Owner of Bangalore Wheels and Yamaha Officials. And yes, the cake was yummy ! Thank you Bangalore Wheels. This was followed with soft drinks on the house. The whole staff was quite courteous in acknowledging the delivery and the happiness behind it.

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A quick pic with all of us and the bike which hopefully has many happy miles ahead to see.

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And then a quick Selfie with the YRCians who had come over all the way to be a part of this happy moment. Thanks Guys !!

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Finally as the bike was ours, my son was all ready to get on-board

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Cost of the bike, 3.86 Approx on-road. Expression on my Son's face with his new toy, priceless !!

Last edited by abhisheksircar : 21st September 2015 at 07:20. Reason: Updates
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Old 7th September 2015, 09:33   #5
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Default Walk-through

And now for a walk through of the Yamaha YZF R3. There is lots to be covered but each post allows 30 pics and I think it was a wise decision to keep it limited else I would have bombarded you with even the Valve cap pics.

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The R series twin headlights is where I would begin with as that starts building the R flavor into the bike as soon as you see it approaching. The console consists of three lights. A pilot lamp which gets on the moment you put the key in 'on' position. The right light acts as low beam which gets on the moment you start the bike. But once on, it will stay on till you switch off the bike with the key. Killing the engine will not get this off. I would have preferred the low beam also to go off when you are kill the engine else in stop and go traffic, if the engine gets hot, the pilot lamp, the low beam headlight and the radiator fan would be on running only on the battery. The left light acts as high beam. I would have preferred the left one to be on low beam and right to be on high like in the R15. I guess this is Euro and US specific setup. The throw of the light in the night is adequate within city although the true test will be in night tours.

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Next comes the tail section with an LED equipped tail light. A little more sleeker LED Indicators along with this set would have look really good.

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This is one of the things I love in this bike. An analogue Tacho, A digital display which Covers a useful digital clock, Coolant Temperature, Fuel Meter, Gear Indicator, Odometer, Two Trip Meters, Oil Change Meter, Instantaneous Fuel Consumption Meter, Average Fuel Consumption Meter and the usual Speedo. And then the cherry on the top. The Adjustable Gear Shift Indicator. This can be adjusted from 7000 RPM all the way up to 13500. Even here the details to thoughts is amazing. From 7000 to 12000 you can increase it by every 500 RPM while after 12000 till 13500 one can set it up with 200 RPM increments to tune it finer. By default mine was set as 7500 RPM. A reset and select button supports the controlling of all functions. Indicators of indicator, high beam and Neutral engaged is on to the left of the console. Switch on the bike and a self diagnosis runs displaying all this to ensure that everything is working before you ride on.

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The right handle bar is kept simple like any other Yamaha bike with the start and the kill switch. This along with the accelerator.

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The left handle bar is where the rest of the buttons are positioned. The pass switch, high/low beam switch, indicator and horn.

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The levers are good quality although a shorter one will feel better. I think it is made to please all, so no complains. I can always go for an after market one which suits my need.

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The twins. Finally a twin in this segment after a LONG time from Yamaha. The cooling is supported by a huge radiator right in front. I might have to buy a radiator guard as the positioning is prone to small stone hits while riding.

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One of the weak points of this bike. The horn. The rustic cabs running around me will have door pad squeaks louder than this. Okay, that was exaggeration, but you got the point. A dual is definitely needed here.

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Single 298 mm floating disc supported by two-piston Akebono brake caliper is just okay. Nothing great about it. Brembo or some other aftermarket spare will probably make it better. It's spongy in nature but still does the job.

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The rear is a 220 mm floating disc which anyway is not used as much as the front one. Yet again, does its job.

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The 41 mm KYB fork with a 5.1 inch of travel in the front works like a charm. It soaks up the road quite well. The oil seal on it looks smart and feels like it will do it's job well.

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The KYB Mono Shock with a 4.9 inch of travel in the rear is where the fun lies. It's supported with a 7 step preload adjustable ring. 1 is the softest and 7 being hard recommended for tracks. By default it comes with 3 which is soft enough to handle Indian roads quite well.

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This is another weak point in the bike. The MRF Nylogrip zapper. As reported in various forums, it does not inspire as much confidence although provides a much better life than sticky tyres. I have not faced a reason yet to change it. The ones abroad comes with Michelin. The next change or if I really feel this is spoiling the ride, will be something else.

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The front tyre comes with a 110/70 R17. These are again MRF Nylogrips and there is not much to talk about here.

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The rear comes with a massive 140/70 R17. I guess the front will be adequate, it's the rear which is going to play around.

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The front retractable foot peg on the left of the bike along with the gear lever is neatly integrated with the bike.

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The right side consists of another retractable foot peg for the tracks with a brake pedal which looks like lifted from a cheaper bike and placed here. Serves the purpose well but it finds itself out of place.

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The rear foot pegs assembly is quite neat with the integrate luggage holder hooks. The foot pegs close with a neat click supporting by a ball bearing.

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Seating is much more comfortable than the R15 for both rider and pillion. The pillion seat is not that raised ending up at the height of the tank making it not easy but much better than the pillion experience on an R15 where you could be anytime asked about the weather "up there". The R15S should make this better.

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The rear seat can be opened using a keyhole under the left of the seat of the panel. It opens smoothly without any drama. To close, you just click it back.

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The rear seat opens up to a decent amount of place needed for keeping important documents. Under the seat is a neatly tucked tool kit which is not easy to take out. It's put in really tight to eliminate any sound that "could" arise out of the tool kit.

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The tool kit consists of the basic tools required for basic troubleshooting or fix.

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The tank has an outer muscular fiber shell where as the actual fuel tank placed inside is made out of metal. To take it out, the fiber shell just comes like a helmet on the fuel tank protecting it. The capacity of this is 14 litres and with a average km/ltr of 25 km this should see a range of 300~350 kms which is decent.

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The logos across the bike deserves a mention. It's oozes quality and is not just a sticker but looks like an embossed impression.

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The exhaust is plain, short and stubby. It has an excellent throaty exhaust note. At high speeds it goes quite silent though. The twin sound out of this exhaust is quite a welcome sound.

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The Oil Viewing window which not only gives you a view of the quality of the oil but also the quantity. It's looking empty in this one cause the bike is in side stand. Small additions which makes a difference.

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The front brake oil level indicator is easy to read and is quite useful.

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The clip on has a slight extension to make the riding quality a little relaxed and touring friendly. People who want to hit the tracks can use custom clip on which can make it way more committed to the race track. For me, this is just perfect. Does not make you a sail on a long tour, neither does it make you crouch enough to have a painful sleep after a long tour.

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Out of few things I did not like is this 1960's moped style round reflector. Again, serves it purpose but looks horrendously out of place. This has to go out right after I find a better replacement.

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Sleeker LED indicators would have gelled well with the bike but thankfully it's way better than what sells in USA. Check them out.

Last edited by abhisheksircar : 21st September 2015 at 07:38. Reason: Updates
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Old 7th September 2015, 09:36   #6
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Default First Ride

Yamaha YZF-R3 : Detailed Ownership Review-8.jpg

After couple years of wait and then finally getting the bike, it was taking a while to sink in the feeling that the bike is finally here. I was smiling like a kid who just got the remote control plane he was always hoping to pick up soon but was not available all these while. Geared up, I rushed out to take the first ride.

The moment you sit in the bike, you are reminded of the R15, R6 or any other R series bike you would have ridden. Yamaha sure know how to pass on the R genes across bikes. The seating is the first thing that you get to experience in a new bike. It's more relaxed than a R15 and very close to the Ninja. This is a Tourers delight. I cranked up the bike and the bike did not start immediately, something that does not happen in the R15. I soon realized that after cranking, you have to rev a slight bit for the engine to get into action. The engine fired up and boy it's smooth. I let it idle for sometime before shifting to the first gear. The gear box has the signature smoothness of the bikes from the Yamaha stable. Revved it up a bit and off it went. The clutch is surprisingly light and so is the Throttle. The acceleration was extremely smooth and linear. There is a problem though, this bike fakes you into thinking that it's running slow. 6th gear, 7K RPM and in no time I was in three digits. I slowed down immediately to keep it low. And for a change, I love this faking. I like my bike to not scare me to death about the speeds that it can do but make me feel comfortable and composed on decent cruising speeds. This is exactly what all the R series bikes from Yamaha do, and this is no exception. I applied brakes to slow down and it took no time to realize that the brakes are little spongy. It does not have the bite that the R15 has. Something that I will look into, if too much of an issue, will change to Brembo or something. One thing to note was the behavior of the suspension. It's extremely smooth and soft. It was gulping up the bad roads quite easily. Another plus for tourers although I am sure this will not be in favor for the Racers. But then, it has 7 step adjustable shockers which can be made hard for those race corners. After that first ride, I went to few other weekend rides ranging within 200 kms and the more I ride it, the more impressed I am with it. The only complain I have as of now is the restriction of 7000 RPM. I could have ridden long over a weekend and finished off the run in but then there is no oil filters available as of now. We are hoping to see it soon. The engine breaking in process advises the bike to be ridden within 7000 RPM for 1000 kms and then 8400 RPM till 1600 kms.

While touring will sure not be an issue, it will be a good city commute as well making it a complete bike. Easy to flick around and linear acceleration with adequate torque present in every gear makes it a very good city commuter too. You can pull the bike from 50 in sixth gear to cruising speed without any hassles.

This bike is not a head turner because of the many twin light R15s which have been running on the road. It has a presence, it has the looks but for a layman, it's a new version of the R15 which of course is nothing special. I have been asked this question in various ways. v3.0 ? Sports Edition ? After Market Exhaust ? New Sticker Work ? etc etc. Thankfully not mileage yet. So if you are buying this to be seen, wrong choice. If you are buying this for the sheer pleasure of riding, you can't go wrong with this.

Last edited by abhisheksircar : 21st September 2015 at 07:18. Reason: Updates
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Old 7th September 2015, 09:37   #7
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Default Gallery

We rode few hundred kilometers outside Bangalore to click few pics for you all. While the blue R3 is mine, the black one belongs to a fellow rider, Navneeth. A quick ride, breakfast, few clicks and back. Mission accomplished. Hope you all like the pics.

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Last edited by abhisheksircar : 19th September 2015 at 17:36.
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Old 13th September 2015, 07:14   #8
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Default Competition Check

The competition for this bike as per us was the N300 and the RC390. We teamed up with few fellow bikers who owned this and spent few hours riding each one of them to get instant feedback of the differences in each of these bikes. After few hours or riding, this is what the various bike owners had to say.

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Ankit, Current Ninja 300 and FZ1 rider

The likes:
Very planted and stable, good balance, super smooth and has a 600 cc feel. Lovely Exhaust note. Very Throaty

Don't like:
Throttle has a light feel, a little sluggish below 7k rpm. Ninja does have a bit for grunt at lower rpm
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Sounak, Current RC 390 Rider

I grew up riding the rx so i was always fond of instant power! RC390 gave me that same feeling of a two stroke! Initial few days it was great to ride around but as days passed I started feeling that this bike isn't meant for the city! Position was too aggressive and with that monster engine trotting around the city is a pain! Heats up so much that one can make Barbeque around!

Now coming to the R3 ohhh...ummmm... Dont no where do i start! I hopped out of my RC and sat on the R3 man the seats , the position, everything seems so comfy ! Start the bike and I was thinking engine hasn't cranked yet, man its smooth like a marshmallow! A slight rev and that sound told me she is ready! Gear down and roll out! The power delivery is much much linear compared to the RC but somehow this time i liked it. Although didn't get the chance to rev it happily but I could feel the power under it!
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Ronnie, Current R15 Rider

Ride comfort: Better than R15. Has sporty feeling but its a little upright. easy on hands.

Handling: I did not miss my R15 while riding this. It has that R series feeling when it comes to handling. easily manoeuvrable in city. The bike does not feel heavy anytime.

Power: linear power. Smooth acceleration.

The bike is a perfect upgrade for R15 owner if he is planning to go for longer tours and if he ever missed the extra power in r15 on highways. R3 gives that power and stability along with everything that R15 had , so basically you wont miss the R15 when you ride R3.

The RVM could have been a bit bigger. the honk is not as loud as R15 on highways.
Sachin, Current R15 Rider

After riding RC all along the city and highway,the r3 felt like butter..the acceleration was very smooth compared to the monster RC. I would say the R3 is a smooth criminal.

Coming to R15 and R3, the latter has everything that we wanted on R15. The riding position is in perfect balance. I found the space little less compared to r15 while trying to crouch.

The refinement
Linear power graph
Seating position
Fit n finish

The seat length
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Arnab, Current R3 and R15 Rider

R3 felt a bit faster than N300 till 7k RPM, didn't go above so don't know.
R3 also felt more stable than N300.
R3 exhaust is certainly more bassy than N300 till 7k RPM
R3 seating posture is more relaxed than N300.
R3 needs to be cranked and revved to start. R15 is way better in this case.
R3 is not fast like the RC390.
RC390 seating makes you feel more involved with the bike but not at all comfortable for city riding also.
RC390 is way more vibrating than both N300/R3.
N300 display is not that good compared to both R3/RC390
R3 RVM is very small and could've designed better.
R3 headlights are way better than R15.
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This is my take on each of them.

RC390 : It was evident that KTM was very clear of what they were building when they designed the RC 390. For streets, its the duke, for the track it is the RC. Complete Track Tool. RC 390 looks extremely futuristic. RC has insane amount of power and the way it picks up is crazy. The seating position is extremely committed for the race tracks. The Metzelers, Upside down forks, ABS, this thing is anytime better when it comes to the track. And it's a little more than a lakh cheaper than the R3. But when it comes to daily city commuting in Bangalore Traffic, I doubt this will be a pleasurable ride. The seating position is what hurts the most. Then comes the engine which is quite crude and heats up quite quickly in stop and go traffic. It's difficult to get refinement out of a 300+ single pot engine. I am not too sure about long tours too. With a tank capacity of just 9.5 ltrs, it will require quite a few stops in a long tour. And then the extremely aggressive seating position. That said, if the objective is the tracks, it can't get better.

Ninja 300 : This is a bike which is as close as it can get to the R3. The twins again delight. The acceleration is quite linear again. Availability of slipper clutch is a boon for quick shifts at high revs. What would hold me back from buying the N300 is the fact that it's more expensive and has lesser power. It's not as refined as the R3 as one of the N300 owner rightly quoted the R3 as a refined N300. Expenses don't go wrong with the N300 at the time of buying only. Spares are almost thrice the price of the R3. From what I have heard, Oil Filter for R3 is 360 where as for the N300 it's 900. The mirror is around 1500 for the R3 while it's about 3600 for the N300. Both bikes are equally capable but when it comes to pricing, it's R3 which takes the cake. Yamaha has ensured that the pricing is not as high. As a matter of fact, I was surprised to know that the 10W40, Fully synthetic engine oil from Yamalube for R3 costs only 450/-. You would need 2.2~2.4 litres making it 1350 for the first time. N300 can easily get back to the game by correcting their prices cause otherwise, it's right up there.

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*Tank range is calculated considering an average of 25kms/litre for all bikes

Last edited by abhisheksircar : 21st September 2015 at 07:25.
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Old 18th September 2015, 20:40   #9
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Default Yamaha R3 on the Track

Instructor at Apex Racing Academy Navneeth, who is also a veteran member of the Yamaha Riders Club could not hold back and took the R3 to the tracks as soon as he got the delivery. MMRT it was this time. Quick delivery supported by Yamaha Dealer, Bangalore Wheels, lead by Prabhu Sir who does not mind going that extra mile to get things done for things driven by passion, and he was all set to ride all the way from Bangalore to Chennai to hit the tracks. By the time he was back, he was ready for his first servicing. Since he was still running in the engine, he didn't open up but this is what he had to say about his first track ride on the R3.

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Pic Courtesy : Apex Racing Academy and Prakash DP Views

Navneeth, Instructor at Apex Racing Academy

1. What bikes have you ridden in the tracks ?

Yamaha Stable - R15 V1, V2, YZF R3, R6
Kawasaki Stable - Z250, Ninja 300, Ninja 650, Z800, Z1000, Ninja 1000, ZX10R, ZX14R. Versys 1000 ( Z250 at Kari, Rest at Buddh International Circuit)
Daytona Stable - Daytona 675R
KTM Stable - KTM Duke 200, Duke 390 and RC 390.

2. How's the R3 on tracks compared to the RC390 and the Ninja 300 ?

Comparing To the RC390- Handling is less compared to the RC.
Engine on the R3 is just super Refined and power delivery is linear compared to the RC. You will love the Parallel Twin, however, the RC 390 is currently the best track Bike in India, faster, more power and acceleration. It is a pure track bike, from seating position to the metzeler Tyres the RC dominates the R3, it is made for the Track. The R3 is a Pure Touring bike and unless it is setup properly, its definitely not a track bike.

Ninja 300- Its on Par with the N300, however the R3 Engine is smoother than the 300, Feels more Torquey and the R3 has the Punch when you rev it which is missing in the N300..throttle response is more than the 300. but the Slipper clutch on the 300 is one of the best. Could have added this upgrade to the R3.

R3 isn't a good Track tool, it is more focused on Touring. Only thing which is awesome, when it comes to the track, is the Engine. it needs to be setup properly to make it a good track tool. Definitely missing the Delta Box Frame.
More Committed Seating position, Upside Down Front Forks, Definitely better Tyres (Preferably Metzelers)

3. How do you rate Yamaha R3 in a scale of 1-10. 10 being the best.

I would rate it at 7 (Stock Condition) (Track) and 10 (Stock Condition) for Touring.
And after his first servicing, while we post this, he is back on the tracks. Will update on the faster laps this time.


Navneeth is back from the tracks. This time it was Kari. He rode about 300 kms within the track extensively testing the bike and this is what he had to say.

Navneeth, Instructor at Apex Racing Academy

I took it to Kari Motor Speedway this weekend and the bike was in a Different zone because I had finished 1600 kms and I was excited to use the Power Band. I started off by putting in around 60 laps just to get a feel of the Bike, handling, throttle control, Throttle Response below 8500 Rpm and after 8500 Rpm. As always with Yamaha since my RD350 days, Power band was the one thing I loved. That sudden feeling of hitting a NOS button and the bike Just rockets out was amazing. The sound from the Parallel Twin in the power band is just awesome. The only time I wished my AGV Elements Edition Helmet didn't reduce the sound levels to my ears. Kari being a more Technical track with a lot of Chicane's and tight corners, the Bikes handling was amazing, especially when I flick it from Right to left or vice versa, it just makes you feel it wants to be flicked.

The major Drawback is the Spongy Front suspension which doesn't give you the confidence to Push and neither do the MRF Tyres. Everytime I hit the Power band in a corner especially at C9 when I was doing a Knee Down at 115+, the rear starts sliding too much, I could actually feel the whole bike sliding, the bike's power is not made for these MRFs. It needs something more sticky. Front tyre options are Metzelers (110/70) but yet to find a rear tyre option as rear metz come in 150 whereas the r3 rear tyre is 140. I was able to pull out a 1.17.356 on my second day on the R3. I didn't wanna push because I was sliding almost on all the corners on the front as well as the rear. The foot peg position is definitely not good for track riding too, its placed too forward. No Chain locks up when you shift down aggressively, the rear just fish tails but the bike is very stable, its actually fun. I wouldn't want a slipper clutch because too many controls on a bike spoil the fun.

In a drag with the RC 390, the difference is 0.5 sec in a quarter mile, provided you get a good race start and shift all gears in the Power band. We didn't have time for more drags, so it was a one take. The guy on the RC was 30 kilos heavier, so I am sure if we switch, the difference will be more.

Kari has a straight of 800 mts, and I was able to clock around 170KMPH on the 5th Gear @12200 RPM, didn't use 6th at all.

Overall, Being a hardcore Yamaha fan and Race track Instructor, a completely Track guy I would say Yamaha hasn't done Justice to the R series by releasing this bike and not making it completely race committed. If you just want pace, power, aggression, super grip, Stiff front suspension and don't mind the Single cylinder vibrations, go for RC390. If you need the Parallel twin fun, Awesome sound, Ultra refined super smooth engine, Quality, reliability and if you are looking at Touring only R3 is the bike, provided you are ready to shell out another 1.5 Lakhs.

I will be setting up the Bike for track use as this a new bike and parts have not come out yet. Few changes and I am sure it will do wonders.

Last edited by abhisheksircar : 21st September 2015 at 09:42. Reason: Updates
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Old 21st September 2015, 12:10   #10
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Default Re: Yamaha YZF-R3 : Detailed Ownership Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!

That's as detailed as an Official Review . Rating thread a well-deserved 5 stars.

This review is going straight to our homepage.
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Old 21st September 2015, 12:34   #11
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Default Re: Yamaha YZF-R3 : Detailed Ownership Review

Congratulation abhisheksircar on your R3. This is an awesome review, one could not have asked for anything more. Rated 5 stars. Wish you many kilometers of bliss!!
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Old 21st September 2015, 12:48   #12
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Default Re: Yamaha YZF-R3 : Detailed Ownership Review

Awesome thread Abhishek Sircar, rated 5 stars. Congrats.

This is truly a brilliant bike, I already covered about 300 kms. My take on R3 vs Ninja300 -

1. Ninja sounds better and has strong power delivery post 7k rpm while R3 starts delivering at 5k rpm and remains strong throughout. R3 has linear power delivery and better lower end torque, which is very useful in day to day riding.

2. Biggest advantage R3 has over Ninja is ground clearance, which along with shorter wheelbase ensures there are very less chances of scraping even with 2 up. In my 300 kms experience, I have never even come close to scraping the underbelly.

3. R3 definitely offers plusher ride quality and remains flat throughout. Handling is absolutely brilliant.

4. Ninja has better air of quality around it.

5. Spares of R3 will definitely be cheaper, mirror for example costs about 1200 whereas Ninja's mirror I heard is about 3000.

6. R3 has pretty good headlamps.

7. Refinement slightly better in Ninja, but that maybe due to R3 being very new, should be identical after 1st service.

8. R3 offers more info on its dashboard and shift indicator along with gear indicator is pretty cool!

9. Brakes are slightly better on R3, with respect to feedback from lever.

After having booked a white Ninja, I changed and got myself a R3 since its more practical, cheaper to own and maintain while being slightly more powerful with more use-able power.
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Old 21st September 2015, 12:51   #13
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Default Re: Yamaha YZF-R3 : Detailed Ownership Review

Congratulations on your R3 Abhishek
Brilliant narrative with equally splendid pictures.
Here's wishing you for Happy and Safe riding
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Old 21st September 2015, 12:52   #14
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Default Re: Yamaha YZF-R3 : Detailed Ownership Review

Congrats Abhishek sir jee!

A very well put up report. Do you face wind-blast due to the short visor/wind screen (purely my opinion) at speeds > 80?

Also, that 1960s style reflector on the front fender is present because it is mandated by law, but then so is the saree guard.
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Old 21st September 2015, 12:58   #15
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Default Re: Yamaha YZF-R3 : Detailed Ownership Review

What an excellent review, Abhishek! Congratulations on following your heart, waiting and owning your dream. I'm sure the bike will serve the purpose very well for you.

Loved how you put in an effort to add completely unbiased opinions of yourself and other experienced riders with detailed comparisons. This will definitely help lesser experienced riders like me as to what to expect and take a decision when upgrading to this segment.

Have lakhs of happy km with your new girlfriend

Last edited by theredliner : 21st September 2015 at 13:01.
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