This is my first post in this esteemed platform and I will be taking you through the booking, delivery, and ownership experience of my 2021 R15 v4.
After 5 years of driving my Dad's 2011 Toyota Innova in the city and highways, it was time for me to have a vehicle of my own which I can use for daily commute in Bengaluru. Apart from the legendary Innova, we had the 2018 Hero Destini and 2011 Honda Unicorn for city commute. The Destini was a second-owner vehicle and lacked the adrenalin for a youngster like me. After intense exchange of opinions, I was successful in convincing my Dad that I will buy a two-wheeler, which he thinks is very risky and unsafe. With some terms and conditions, I was given go-ahead to book one! The good part:
The bad part:
- The looks of are inspired by its elder sibling: the Yamaha R7, which gives the owner a feeling of owning a superbike.
- The well-known success of the previous generation variants (v1, v2 & v3), especially among the youngsters since my school days.
- Having a 155 cc engine in a faired bike, an average highway mileage (full tank to full tank) of 50+ kmpl, and city mileage of 45+ kmpl is good considering the skyrocketing petrol prices.
- No vibrations on foot-pegs or handlebar at higher RPMs (subjective).
- Electronic offerings like the traction control, dual channel ABS, Quickshifter and slipper clutch.
Alternate bikes considered:
- Long rides can be tiresome until and unless continuous hydration/washroom breaks are taken.
- Overpriced compared to other bikes of the same segment.
- The LED throw offered by stock projector headlamp during the night is poor. An auxiliary light, however, can solve this issue.
- The pillion seat is only comfortable for short rides. The rider has to bear the weight of the pillion while sudden braking/downhill roads.
- The quality of parts: fairing, chassis frame, and stock tire could have been better.
- MT-15: This is the naked version of the R15 and shares most of the parts except for the single combined seat, missing fairing and accessories to name a few. MT-15 only had single-channel ABS, which I felt compromised the safety. So MT-15 was ruled out.
- Dominor 400: My cousin had preferred to take a test ride of this Indian motorcycle. But this is a 373 cc and a naked bike which is a powerful bike compared to R15. So I ruled out this motorcycle without even taking a test ride.
- KTM RC 200: I have seen many YouTube reviews of this motorcycle. Looking at the power figures and being a beginner, I felt this is too powerful to handle. Also, mileage was a most significant concern for me, and do not wish to spend too much on fuel.
- Apache RTR 160 4V: I had a friend back in Hyderabad who had lent me this motorcycle for a month during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. I loved every bit of the bike: from riding posture, necessary features to power delivery within the segment. Even the price was not over-priced like the MT-15 or the R15. Again, this is a naked bike and my inner rider was not ready for this bike.
- Honda CBR 150R: This was the bike that I adored during my school days back in 2015 but it was discontinued in India. As I did not have any plans of owning a second-owner bike, I ruled out this option as well.
Without breaking my head, and recalling the short ride of my classmate’s R15 v3 just before the pandemic, I decided this new variant Japanese motorcycle will be my first bike! Booking experience:
It was 25 February 2022 and I was looking out which dealer to approach. One thing I was sure of was that, on-road price at Kerala was cheaper by ₹12000 than Karnataka. I enquired about the price with Whitefield Yamaha, and the difference was the more or less the same.
On 01 March 2022, I called Pioneer Yamaha, Kasaragod, and enquired about the booking amount, funding and initial documents to be produced. After the conversation, I wired the booking amount of ₹10000/- immediately. The next day, after visiting the dealership, I got to know that the waiting period will be around 45 days, and the existing R15s (including R15 v3 combined seat variant) at the dealership were already registered. I had no other option nor a better dealer nearby, from where I could get the bike delivered in less time.
On 04 Apr 2022, I got a call from dealer saying that they have recieved the bike from the plant: my inner rider could not wait but had no other option until the delivery date was confirmed. Next day, the HDFC bank staff at the dealership failed to confirm my finance due to some issues related to loan procedure. Hence, my Dad decided to pay the entire amount in cash as I too had some savings done along with the sale of the Hero Destini. I had this desire to get a fancy number ‘5678’, already present in the Innova and our new WR-V. However, the dealer informed that getting a fancy number will delay the delivery date by another 2-3 weeks, so I backed off.
My bike, being parked outside the Pioneer Yamaha, Kasaragod. Image was shared by the dealer.
On 12 April 2022, I was informed that the delivery will be on 21 April 2022, and auspiciously, that day was the right moment. I was all excited about D-day. As I was in Bengaluru, I came back to Kasaragod one week before D-day and was on cloud nine! But, on 15 April 2022, I met with an accident in the Honda Unicorn. It was a side collision with a speeding Yamaha FZ and I had not worn a helmet that day. No bleeding was found upon checking myself, but after having a medical check-up got to know that my left arm got a muscle injury, and 3-4 weeks of rest will be required. All the excitement came down the day this accident happened. D-Day:
I visited the dealership with my friend and was given a briefing about the service intervals, warranty and their service center. I had not taken my MT helmet for delivery, as it is mandatory for the dealer to provide an ISI-certified helmet in India. I got a Yamaha-branded black helmet, which I believe is manufactured by Steelbird helmets. As an accessory, the dealer gave me a mobile charger as a complement which was fit on the bike during delivery, a nice gesture indeed. Post PDI, we bought the bike home and got the mandatory ‘pooja’ rituals done from a famous Ganesha temple. Once back home, the bike was resting in the parking lot; I would go out and watch her every 4-5 hours: damn, she looked gorgeous.
On-road price & discounts:
Happy me, taking the ‘handover’ key from the sales advisor
Road Tax: ₹24064/-
Insurance (Royal Sundaram, opted by showroom): ₹11590/-
New Registration Charges: ₹300/-
Service/User Charge: ₹60/-
Postal Fee: ₹45/-
One-time CESS: ₹50/-
Total (on-road price): ₹227972/- Extended warranties & service packages chosen:
The bike comes with a standard warranty of 2 years/30000 km, whichever comes first. However, I was not interested to know about the warranty extension. The service package includes four free services, which do not include labor and washing charges. However, oil changes, consumables and accessory fitment will attract labor. Engine Type and Variant offered at that time:
During February 2022, Yamaha offered the BS6 R15 v4 with a 155 cc single cylinder liquid cooled engine in three different color variants: Racing Blue, Metallic Red, and Dark Knight. Among these, the Racing Blue variant comes with a unidirectional quick-shifter as standard while the rest all the features are same. Quick-shifter comes as an accessory for the Dark Knight and Metallic Red variants. Racing Blue vatiant was the costliest among these three.
Then there was the R15 M edition and Monster edition, which were same in every aspect apart from the color scheme: one was the M edition, inspired by its elder sibling the R1 M, while the other was Monster edition inspired by Yamaha MotoGP Racing. These editions were priced higher than the Racing Blue. Safety Related Equipment:
The traction control offered makes sure the right amount of torque is given to drive the rear wheel, thus making sure bike does not skid. This can be turned off using the controls given on the handlebar.
Dual-channel ABS is another safety feature, which is now mandatory in all the two-wheelers as per government order. This makes sure that the rear wheel does not lock when panic breaking or hard breaking is done.
The phone comes with Bluetooth connectivity technology, which I felt useless apart from synchronizing the bike’s 'on' state with the Y-Connect app. It would have been useful if the instrument cluster showed who called and dropped a message when connected. Currently, it only notifies the rider when a call or message arrives. My wardrobe of Riding Gears:
- Helmet: I purchased the MT Targo helmet from Powersports International, Bengaluru which cost me ₹7800/-. Having made one blunder from my Unicorn’s accident of not wearing a helmet, I did not wish to take any more risks in terms of safety. I bought an additional visor, which I use for long rides along with the pin-lock insert, costing me another ₹3100/-.
- Jacket: I bought the Rynox Helium GT 2 which was just launched at that time. It costed me ₹5950/-.
- Boots: I looked for some riding boots, but due to pocket constraints, I went ahead with trekking shoes from Decathlon which costed me around ₹2600/-. It does the job on long rides, except that, it is slippery on tiled/smooth surfaces. So, need to be careful when reversing the bike.
- Gloves: I purchased one pair of hand gloves, from Ryders Arena which costed me ₹1400/-. I usually use this when I commute longer distances (50+ km).
- Tail Bag: Initially, I was confused about whether to go for the Rynox/Raida tail bag or Carbonado Modpac. A few YouTube videos convinced me to settle with the Carbonado Modpac 10L first. The mounting facility offered best suited my R15's chassis. In a few months, I also bought the Modpac 20L. Both cost me a whopping ₹5480/- (₹2390/- and ₹3090/- respectively) which is worth it!
- Balaclava: one from Rynox and one from Raida, both costing around ₹1000/-.
Me with the new MT helmet: this was one month before the delivery date
I do not like to modify a vehicle to an extent where it looks different than it was in stock condition, all thanks to my OCD. Hence, I maintained my bike with authorized accessories, as listed below:
Number of km clocked at the time of writing this review:
- Tank Pad: ₹190/-
- Frame Sliders: ₹1650/-
- Skid plate: ₹595/-
- Mobile holder (third-party): ₹650/-
- Instrument cluster screen protector: ₹250/-
- Swingarm Spool Bobbin (Motofusion): ₹950/-
- Paddock Stand (for chain cleaning and lubrication): ₹2300/-
At the time of writing this review, the bike has clocked 11850 km. My usage pattern:
The purpose of buying R15 was only for short city commutes, either when in my hometown or in Bengaluru, which includes back-and-forth travel to work. Since Work from Home was pulled back, my daily usage at Bengaluru had increased. On weekends, I ride to my relative’s place within Bengaluru City limits and ‘n’ number of rides to Nandi hills whenever the mountains called.
After the first free service, I did total of six long rides starting from Bengaluru. This includes five times to my hometown Kasaragod, which is 380 km from Bengaluru via the Mysuru-Madikeri route. Once to Chennai via the Chittoor-Vellore route which is around 320 km from Bengaluru. All these long rides involved my waterproof Carbonado Modpac, which holds onto the bottom of the pillion seat firmly with the help of detachable strips provided with the Modpac.
At times, Vinayak Yamaha, Domlur used to organize breakfast rides to Nandi hills or any nearby tourist attraction in which I took part. During one such ride to Nandi hills with them, I got a full-tank-to-full-tank mileage of 61 kmpl with an average speed of not more than 85 kmph. Advantage of riding in group with discipline!
Riding with friends to places like Chunchi falls, Bidadi and Kolar was another usage. Most of the times, it is just my R15 and myself who embark on solo rides. Styling and Design:
The styling of the R15 v4 is a lot different than its previous version, the v3. My bike’s design is inspired by the Yamaha R7, sadly not available in the Yamaha India lineup presently. The sleek, aerodynamics, and catchy design with the standard paint job is satisfying. Whenever I rest in Bengaluru traffic signals, the attention from fellow commuters go towards the R15. For a common man, it looks like a superbike, though it is not.
With the DRL running and the projector headlight in between, the front look is complete. The unique golden color USD Front Suspension is another attraction in terms of the design. Coming to fuel tank design, it is different from that of v3's fuel tank. I loved the thigh grip offered in the v3.
Seats come with stepped seats, separating the rider and pillion. The pillion seat is on the higher side, so taking my mom out for grocery shopping is not at all a good idea in R15. Solo ride is preferred anytime. Underneath the pillion seat are the first aid kit, M6 allen key along with the toolkit. Documents of the bike can easily be wrapped inside a plastic and stored.
The rider foot-pegs and the pillion foot-pegs are completely made from aluminum with silver finish. I liked this approach of Yamaha but again, can be subjective. Overall Build Quality, Fit & Finish:
The build quality is top-notch: no loose joints or uneven gaps between fairings. The seat comfort is acceptable for riders but the pillion seat could have been more wide with a proper pillion grip handle like the one offered in Ninja 300.
However, there is a lot of exposed wiring near to the handlebar, which could have been neatly tucked. Yamaha service advisors said that the radiator is safe from dust, water, and mud ingestion. Nevertheless, they could have come up with authorized accessories, but I was offered one radiator guard of third party which I denied straight forward. After market radiator guards exist, but I believe they can affect in cooling the radiator during extreme summers when on standstill. Wheels & Tires:
Both front and rear wheel size is 17 inches, the dealers offer MRF tires across India.
Front tire: MRF Nylogrip Zapper-FX1 100/80
Rear tire: MRF REVZ-S 140/70 radial
I did not like the grip of MRF tires in certain conditions. Riding on highways and cities, the tire does provide good grip and even braking is very effective. However, when taking a corner, a lot of confidence need to be built unless you are a professional. When traveling at a good speed with a slight bank angle, and when I downshift with loose gravel on road, the millisecond of wheel lock can be felt, giving chills across the body.
The wet grip is what I am impressed about the stock tires. Once I panic braked near Churchstreet, the bike made all its effort and stopped as it was supposed to, thus avoiding a close call collision with another two-wheeler. Handlebar/Cluster Design & Quality:
The left side handlebar equips the high beam, low beam, and pass switch. Below that is the indicator switch followed by a horn button underneath it. The dual horn sounds very sharp and crisp and Yamaha has done a good job by providing this combination.
The right side handlebar equips the kill switch, which also equips the self-start button. Below this, there is a hazard light followed by two switches that are used to operate the instrument cluster.
The instrument cluster is again different from that offered in the previous versions of R15 like the v3. The v4 comes with two riding modes: street and track. The speed is displayed digitally, above which there is a tachometer. You can switch between Odometer, Trip 1, and Trip 2. Below this information, you can switch between coolant temperature, battery voltage, average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy, traction control on/off, and average speed. I did not see any compromise in the quality of the handlebar buttons and the cluster in general. For the price tag the bike comes with, this is worth it. Space and Comfort for Pillion and Rider:
Space offered to the rider is surplus, while for the pillion the seat width could have been improved along with a strong pillion grab rail. Currently, there is a design flaw where the underneath grab rail can break if the pillion applies his/her entire weight while climbing or getting down. I have heard from fellow R15 v4 owners that the left pillion grab rail is more prone to break, which I have addressed to Yamaha India but got no reply in return. Riding position & Ergonomics:
I am 5’9 foot and while sitting on the rider’s seat, my foot completely touches the ground. I need not tuck myself closer to the handle. While riding on highways, I tuck when the roads are empty and sit upright while slowing down by increasing the drag for quick slowdown. I never felt any prolonged problem with the bike’s riding posture till date.
The dry weight of the bike is 142 kg and this should not be a problem for a short rider to go for this bike. Once accustomed to the controls, power, and riding posture, this bike can make you happy! Visibility & size of mirrors:
The mirrors are placed a km away from the rider’s reach. It is advised to adjust the mirror before the ride, as it can cause your mind to distract if tried to adjust when riding in peak city traffic/congestion. The mirrors provides a good rear view but there is a blind spot that needs to be taken care of, especially on highways. Drivability in the city:
The engine provides sufficient power to cruise across peak traffic in 2nd gear, but if moving from a standstill, 1st gear is required. Overtaking and filtering across small gaps can be done with ease. I keep my mirrors extended even in the city, and never faced any cases where mirrors touched another vehicle. Drivability in the highway:
Now, this is where the R15 can be put through its full potential. Once the 7000 RPM is reached, the variable valve actuator (VVA) kicks-in which is a Yamaha engineering. VVA makes sure that there is no power drop at higher RPMs and that the fuel efficiency is also not compromised. At downhill stretches, I touched 140 kmph topspeed but no vibration/instability was felt. However, the moment speed crosses 110 kmph, the mileage also starts to drop which is evident from the instrument cluster outputs. Expect the mileage to drop to 38 kmpl if 110+ kmph speed is maintained for longer durations. Exhaust note and engine heat:
The stock exhaust note is satisfying once the VVA kicks in, but till 7000 RPM there is no any noticeable sound. Definitely, an aftermarket full system exhaust can totally turn the table.
In stop-and-go traffic, I did not feel any heat to an extent that caused any burning sensation. There are times when the coolant temperature crossed 99 deg Celcius, the radiator fan comes into life to cool down. If the engine is switched off from the kill switch, the fan keeps doing its job until the coolant temperature comes back to 90 deg C. However, the rider can turn off the key to the ‘off’ position and force shut the fan but I do not advise this until the second service is done. Gearshift & Clutch:
Till the bike clocks 2000 km, the gearshift feels a little hard but post this odometer reading, the gearshift tends to become smooth. Make sure to get the periodic service done, so that no issues arise.
The clutch is always on the smoother side, from the day I took delivery till today. I do not put much effort to shift gears. During highway rides, I let the quick-shifter do its job while in city traffic, I use the clutch using only two fingers. Fuel Efficiency:
The day I took my bike to showcase it to my uncle in my hometown, his first question was ‘how much does it give?’. I happily said ‘50 kmpl on highway rides while 45+ kmpl on city usage’. He replied, ‘very bad mileage’. It took me five minutes to realize that he has a Suzuki Slingshot that returns him a mileage of 60+ kmpl.
All my fuel top-ups are full tanks. These are the few consecutive records of my fuel efficiency:
The R15 v4 comes with 11 liters of fuel tank capacity and given a mileage of 48 kmpl on average, 480 km of the range is what I ride up to. I do not completely wait for the tank to dry, again OCD issues. Suspension and Ride Quality:
The USD Telescopic front suspension does the job pretty well. However, I could feel the front alloy wheel taking the slap when suddenly a crater-sized pothole appeared in Bengaluru and I was at around 75 kmph. Hopefully, the alloy did not develop any bends/cracks, thank goodness!
The stock rear MRF radial tire along with mono-shock suspension makes sure the rider does not feel small bumps. The thick strips at a few junctions on highways can shake the rider at high speeds though. Handling and Braking:
Most of the miles clocked on my bike were without a pillion. Therefore, in terms of handling, R15 is just butter. Filtering across the Bengaluru traffic is the best part, where I hardly keep my foot down unless a stop-and-go traffic signal shows up.
Braking bite is crisp, all thanks to the dual-channel ABS on offer. I use combined braking rather than depending on a single brake. The first set of brake pads were replaced at 4561 km, which was due to a bad habit of me resting my foot over the rear brake pedal which I realized in one of the rides when a fellow rider pointed my brake lights were on during most of the time. Basic mistake corrected, still a lot to learn. The second set of brake pads are still present. However, the rear brake pad will be replaced in the fourth service, as it is almost gone. Handlebar and Body Pain:
Before buying the R15, I had watched and read many articles where the owner speaks about the effect the handlebar has on a rider. I realized this after picking up my bike from the Gati transport warehouse at Chandapura to Indiranagar. After the accident, this was my first long hop on the bike. As I reached my place, I could feel my wrist and lower back aching badly. To add fuel to the fire, my neck was also aching as I was just getting used to the MT helmet. Thankfully, this pain did not last more than two weeks. The body gets used to posture.
The alternate way to avoid this pain, or rather the standard procedure to ride a faired bike, is not to put your entire weight on the wrist, but by tucking the fuel tank with the thighs. While the wrist should only be used to steer the bike with the slightest of force. Voila, it worked for me! Ground Clearance:
This was the aspect of the bike I had no idea about while booking. Thank goodness, the bike did not go through any such speed breakers/potholes where the underpart hit the road. However, in one instance, while riding with a pillion, the underbody was scraped but skid plate protected the silencer. All thanks to the 170 mm ground clearance offered. Stand:
The R15 comes with a side-stand engine cut-off feature, i.e., the engine will turn off if the bike is moved with a gear engaged and the side-stand is down. With side stand down, the rider cannot start the vehicle with a gear engaged and the clutch lever pulled, which is a good feature to protect the rider in case of urgency.
For the sake of chain lube and cleaning, I have a paddock stand that was purchased from a local supplier, as the bike does not come with a center stand, due to obvious reasons. After Sales Service:
After taking the delivery from Kasaragod, the bike was shipped to Bengaluru. When the first service approached near, I was wondering which Yamaha service center to chose. After some good research work, I decided to go with Vinayak Yamaha, Domlur. All the upcoming services, and clarifications were done here: top-notch work and well-knowledged service advisors. Cost of upkeep & maintenance:
Myself being an OCD-filled person, I do not like when the bike gets covered with dust after certain extent. I immediately get the bike washed from a good place. Whenever time permits, I do the chain clean and lube but sometimes I do visit a nearby Yamaha service center to get the job done.
Below is the bill amount I received during the first three free services:
1st service at 541 km: ₹2385/-
2nd service at 4461 km: ₹4461/-
3rd service at 8363 km: ₹2186/-
These bills seems a little costly for a 150 cc bike, but this was due to a few accessories which I had got. If not for these accessories, the bills would have been acceptable. Dad’s reaction on seeing the bike:
The moment he saw the bike, he sat on the rider's seat, leaned forward, and said, “how will you manage to ride this bike with this posture? Your back will ache!”. I saw happiness on his face after he came back from a quick ride to get milk from nearby vendor.
I replied, “It is just a matter of a few days, then I will be used to it!”.
Finally, he said one thing which enlightened me and made me aware about the risks involved: “always remember, a car has four wheels but a bike has only two wheels, ride safe!”. Below are some complementing view of my 11 months old R15 v4, in all its glory!
Mandatory pic on the Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway, before two wheeler’s will be banned from using this beautiful expressway
With one of my friend’s R15 v4, whom I met near my residence due to our common riding taste!
Happy riding, be safe!