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Old 7th February 2019, 18:03   #1
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Default Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Friends,

I am 5'4" (good to bear this while reading the question), and aged 57 yrs (not sure if that matters though; I am healthy and active). Mostly drive cars, but do ride bikes too, sometimes long rides of 400-500 kms per day in addition to commute to work some times. Have a passion for motorbikes (and cycles too!). I have a RE Continental GT 535 from 2014 and decided to sell this and buy a new Yamaha R15 v3. I have always been a Royal Enfield guy with 30+ years on my old '62 Bullet still goes out for spin occasionally. My drivers for the decision:
  1. RE vehicles demand maintenance often. Within few days of thinking now the bike is perfect and it's heaven on two wheels, something else goes out of tune and needs maintenance again. I feel I am spending more time, money, and energy on keeping these in running condition (like I said, I mostly drive cars anyway), than actually use them. When I need to ride, I notice something was needed to make it alive. I am of impression (is that a right one?) that Japanese vehicles are mostly trouble free for as long as they (short) live. So could be good for me.
  2. The GT is large and feels heavy for my short feet, so never feel very confident to go over uneven roads or rocks or potholes at slow speeds in traffic. I may not be able to stop it from dropping if it leans a little on the uneven road patch and my short foot may not help much. It's pain to lift it when (if) I drop. The Yamaha R15, rented bike I tried and rode over 450 kms on one long drive plus some city ride, seemed a very very easy and light bike to ride with excellent handling. So wanted to give it a shot, although I have always liked being on large RE bikes all my riding career.
Thoughts? Advice?

Last edited by aah78 : 7th February 2019 at 21:07. Reason: Spacing.
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Old 7th February 2019, 18:30   #2
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

What's your annual mileage on two wheels?

Why the R15 and not the NS, FZ or Gixxer?
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Old 7th February 2019, 19:34   #3
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

I did 20,000 km in 4.5 yrs on the CGT, but expect to do much more assuming the R15 is more welcoming to me than look at it as hassle to pull out from my driveway.

Why the R15? I like road bikes, and have thoroughly enjoyed the cafe racer style. Also I need a bike that excites me and will be fun to ride. It will not be a commute-by vehicle. I tried Pulsar, RE Thunderbird, Indian Scout etc., and they didn't evoke any interest for me.

Last edited by aah78 : 7th February 2019 at 21:05. Reason: Spacing.
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Old 7th February 2019, 20:35   #4
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkovuri View Post
I did 20,000 kms in 4.5 yrs on the CGT, but expect to do much more assuming the R15 is more welcoming to me than look at it as hassle to pull out from my driveway.

Why the R15? I like road bikes, and have thoroughly enjoyed the cafe racer style. Also I need a bike that excites me and will be fun to ride. It will not be a commute-by vehicle. I tried Pulsar, RE Thunderbird, Indian Scout etc., and they didn't evoke any interest for me.
If you feel the R15v3 is the one for you then there's no reason to think twice about the matter.

I'll share my perspective about the motorcycle, just in case it strikes any familiar chords.

A little info about me I'm 26, 5'11 and weigh around 100 kg's, I'd put down 30k km's between my CT100B and P220 last year. I commute on my motorcycles as well as drive depending on the mood, I tour only on motorcycles.

Reason's why I'd not choose the R15v3 is;

1. The riding position is way too aggressive for long rides, which won't be apparent at first as the adrenaline and the newness takes care of the first couple of runs but once you get used to it fatigue kicks in pretty hard, an issue I face with motorcycles with a committed riding position is that it tends to block visibility when siting comfortably and at times even makes me drowsy. Which I guess might be one of the reasons why I'd gone for a raised handle bar setup on my P220.

Here are a few snaps of me on the R15v3 owned by a fellow enthusiast, having a preference for upright motorcycles sitting on the v3 did bring back memories from the days my P220 had clip-ons, the ones on the v3 were way more aggressive and the first thing that came to mind was the neck-pain I'd have to endure when peering up while riding at highway speeds.

Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?-photo_20181024_184152.jpg

Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?-photo_20181024_184158.jpg

2. The motorcycle has fairings and doesn't come with spill protection, meaning a minor fall is enough to leave me stranded if unlucky.

3. The motorcycle has way too much tech(read battery dependence) for my liking when it comes to riding far, just when I thought I'd be able to manage with the FI and LC they've come ahead and added an electronic VVA setup.

4. The R15's spares have been on the pricier side, so commonly replaced consumables such as the fork seals, cone-set etc would cost a good sum to replace.

5. More commonly replaced consumables such as the spark plug and Air Filter are inconvenient to access and replace, same thing when it comes to replacing cables. So performing a replacement on the road is challenging.

Having said that the R15v3 is a really wonderful motorcycle to ride and it does handle pretty well and is a perfect package for anyone whose into carving corners or having fun on a budget considering the next best thing costs almost double.

Cheers,
A.P.
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Old 7th February 2019, 20:39   #5
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Why not the upcoming Honda CB300R?
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Old 7th February 2019, 20:39   #6
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkovuri
The Yamaha R15, rented bike I tried and rode over 450 kms on one long drive plus some city ride, seemed a very very easy and light bike to ride with excellent handling. So wanted to give it a shot
Looks like you have done a fairly long ride on the bike and seem to be ok with it. How was the riding posture ? If no issues, why not ? The R15 is a good bike (like it) and given the constraints you listed in the OP, it does seem like a good fit for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkovuri
I am of impression (is that a right one?) that Japanese vehicles are mostly trouble free for as long as they (short) live. So could be good for me.
Yes, unlike the RE which needs a lot of regular attention (and that's putting it mildly), the Japanese bikes tend to be totally maintenance free, other than the scheduled services. I have a 2014 Honda CBR250 which has done only 8000kms, which shows how rarely it is used. Yet, whenever I take it out for the once-in-15-days spin of 100-200kms, it starts without a fuss (OE battery) and no issues till date, other than a puncture. That's how I like my car & bike to be.
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Old 7th February 2019, 20:39   #7
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

I owned the first generation R15 for 6 years and I did everything with it - commuted, toured, took it to the track etc. Since then I have owned the Continental GT 535 for the last 4 1/2 years so it's a bit of a role reversal of sorts compared to your situation. The R15 V3 currently comes with ABS and except for some known issues (ugly welding, weak tank that flexes etc all of which are well documented on different forums) is a very good bike indeed. However, the biggest weakness of the new generation R15 when it was launched was the lack of ABS which has been addressed recently. I personally feel the LED headlights look a little weak, but I haven't test ridden one so I cant say for sure but just keep an eye out for that.


I think you cant go wrong with the latest R15. The light weight will be the biggest difference to get used to from the Continental GT. Since you are looking for a fun bike, and fun is subjective, my only suggestion would be, just try different options from across the board like the Suzuki 150, KTM RC 200, Bajaj Dominar, FZ 25 etc. One of them might pull your heart strings more than the Yamaha R15. All the best for your decision making process.
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Old 7th February 2019, 20:41   #8
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Sir, I would suggest you to take a test ride of the R15 V3 and see if it suits your riding style as the rider position on Version 3 has become more committed. If you are comfortable with the new version, then you should go with the bike in my opinion. Just saw the bike at one of the Yamaha Service centres today and the bike looks bigg.! Big in every sense when compared to the previous generations.

In case you like more powerful bikes, then you can consider the R3 too. Check out if 2018 models are still available in Hyderabad. If you have time in hand and if you can wait, then I feel you should wait for the Yamaha R3 2019 which is due to be launched in this year. It is expected to come with more goodies but at a commanding price of upwards of 4L on road.
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Old 7th February 2019, 20:57   #9
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Thanks to all. Good insights. Yes, I did do a long ride, and it wasn't difficult maybe because my height is not much. I tried the RC390 which I didn't like. It was too delicate for my preference. The more aggressive posture of V3, yes, need to check it out. Can't get for rents here easily to try out some!
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Old 7th February 2019, 21:07   #10
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkovuri View Post
....aged 57 yrs (not sure if that matters though; I am healthy and active). Mostly drive cars, but do ride bikes too, sometimes long rides of 400-500 kms per day .................. buy a new Yamaha R15 v3.
....

Thoughts? Advice?
Hey mkovuri, welcome to the world of committed position riding. The thrill of bending the bike at respectable speeds in corners and then the quick acceleration is just addictive

Yamaha R15 - Great bike for the price it it comes at. Quality is great and if you do take a decent care of her (regular maintenance and update the parts when necessary) then you should be able to pass this on to the next generation. In fact it is the same engine and frame that was being used in Moto racing before the 125cc category was discontinued.

The only issue is - The committed position and the stiff suspension. Since you have tried it over a long distance, the position should not be an issue with you. And since you stay physically active, the stiff suspension should be ok too. Otherwise you might experience some lower back pain after some time.

But since you have the budget too (from the options you have considered) - do try the R3 as well.
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Old 7th February 2019, 21:57   #11
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Default re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Considering you already have owned a cafe racer, the R15 ought to be the perfect step into the modern era I would have even bought it myself right after I learnt to ride a bike, but unfortunately my 6 foot frame felt a little scrunched up on the R15. However it should be perfect for you. I found in my short experience, that Japanese bikes are more tailored for shorter riders. That too the new R15s engine is simply a revelation absolutely brilliant bike. I'd say go for it eyes closed.
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Old 8th February 2019, 09:39   #12
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Default Re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkovuri View Post
..Thoughts? Advice?
The seat height of R15 v3 at 815mm is 15mm higher than v2. So a v2 in used market could be easy on you in all aspects.

Without regard to budget, these twin cylinder totally refined beauties with seat heights- R3/780mm or Ninja 300/785mm can also be considered.

Since you seem to like the committed position rides (and not the ones from other brands) these would be my thoughts esp. given the height constraint (which is mine too at 5'6"). But please note that fairings mean extra care, extra maintenance and unwanted attention.

BTW, a non committed position steed from Honda- CB300R with 799mm seat height and lightest of them all at 143kg wet is launching today. My 5 grand bet is on the table already.

cheers.!
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Old 8th February 2019, 10:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
....looking for a fun bike, and fun is subjective, ......
. My kind of fun now is quick acceleration in cities, every commute to city to feel like a ride than a drive, and some long rides (one in couple of months perhaps) at speeds of 90-110 and never crossing 115 kmph. The lightweight and the handling are the ones that impressed me when I rode the rented bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilch View Post
...... thrill of bending the bike at respectable speeds in corners and then the quick acceleration is just addictive.....try the R3 as well.

Yes,, that thrill from the CGT is the one that has been pulling me towards road bikes as against street or adventure or cruiser bikes.



I did want to consider R/3 seriously. But got pulled away after reading reviews of long term ownership and issues sometime ago. It is possible that those have since been addressed in the new R/3. But having lived with a RE 350 for 30 years and the even heavy felt CGT for 4 yrs, I wanted to try something lightweight but performance oriented bike. The R15 felt more towards that than the R/3. And yes, the cost factor too. If I am not particularly excited about the extra power which surely is, but has the con of extra weight, then I felt I wouldn't want to spend more money (just for me, not about value-for-money).

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Considering you already have owned a cafe racer...my 6 foot frame ... Japanese bikes are more tailored for shorter riders...
I have also felt this 'several' times. And found it strange. While it is a fact that many tall heavy built Westerners do enjoy the Japanese bikes, when all things considered I always suspected Japanese mostly test their bikes with their people (who are mostly short and light built), and occasionally make larger riders too test so the bikes do well for them as well. During my early days of CGT, I used to wonder why I end up to the beginning of the saddle after some time. My small height naturally makes me move to the front unknowingly and the aggressive position doesn't end up being so aggressive as many reviewers put it. Possibly one of those fewer occasions when it is good to be a short guy!

Also with me recently losing those 11 kgs and being around 61 kgs now, perhaps the lack of adjustment on rear mono shock should not bother me, since bikes are mostly set up at factory for around 60+ kgs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wangdu View Post
...twin cylinder totally refined beauties .... Ninja 300/785mm....Honda- CB300R with 799mm seat height and lightest of them all at 143kg...!

Ninja300 does impress me as a well proven model. But two factors that pull me away:
1. Sometimes I do rides into interiors of rural areas. I should be able handle the bike (I know bikes can do lot more than a biker is capable; but I am not very capable) in the bad off-roads. I am thinking the lighter R15 could be more doable.

2. I want the bike to be repairable for small things anywhere I go should there be a breakdown. Even today for example, a Royal Enfield is not as easily repairable as a typical Bajaj, TVS or even Honda or Suzuki or Yamaha perhaps. The Kawasaki hi-tech Ninja 300, not sure but some mechanics may deter from fixing.


The CBR300 definitely interests me. Is this launching today? I would love to try out if possible. I will check on this.



Thanks for pointing me to this as well.

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Old 8th February 2019, 11:21   #14
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Default Re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Hi here is some data I collected sometime back, may be useful for you. I think I need to update it with recent launches like CB300R. Nevertheless it is a nice list to confuse everyone

Power to Weight ratio vs Price
Name:  Motocycle_price vs pw ratio.png
Views: 2108
Size:  10.8 KB
and the list
Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?-motocycle_price-vs-power.png

Overview: Best bang for the buck (Just the outliers. Note: Quality is not factored in)

Entry level CT-100
Mid range Pulsar 150, Apache 180, Pulsar NS 200
High range Duke 200, Dominar 400
Premium range KTM RC 390
Super bike Hyosung GT650 R

-----------------------------------------------------

Considering your tallness constraint, as someone above suggested CB300R would be good. Also the cruisers such as UM Renegade, Hyotsung GV250 and the upcoming TVS Zeppelin may suit you.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 8th February 2019 at 11:28.
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Old 8th February 2019, 15:59   #15
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Default Re: Moving from an Enfield Continental GT to the Yamaha R15 v3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkovuri View Post
. My kind of fun now is quick acceleration in cities, every commute to city to feel like a ride than a drive, and some long rides (one in couple of months perhaps) at speeds of 90-110 and never crossing 115 kmph. The lightweight and the handling are the ones that impressed me when I rode the rented bike.
I would throw the Bajaj RS200 into strong contention as well. Once you get past its quirky looks, it does have a bigger and better motor than the Yamaha. AutoCar India did a detailed road test and declared it a better buy than the R15 V3.

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