Earlier this year, Yamaha released the updated version of its flagship small-displacement sportbike in the Philippine market, the YZF-R15M. It took everything we loved about the previous generation R15, and made it even better. The result? An amazing little sportbike that punches well above its weight class and price bracket. There really is a lot to love about this bike. Here are five things worth mentioning.
For starters, the Yamaha YZF-R15M comes packed with Yamaha’s tried and tested 155cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine. We’re all very familiar with this motor, as various iterations of it power the likes of the Yamaha Aerox, MT-15, and WR155. In the YZF-R15M, it’s tuned to churn out a maximum output of 19 horsepower, making it one of the strongest 150cc-class motorcycles in the market today. This engine compliments the R15M very well, as it is the perfect balance between friendly and sporty, making for a platform that’s incredibly versatile—easy to use for beginners, and a track-weapon in the hands of a seasoned rider.
Just one glance at the R15M makes it clear that it’s a cut above the rest of Yamaha’s small bike lineup. Now, more than ever, Yamaha is tying in all the bikes in the YZF-R series to look and feel a lot sportier. The R15M now gets sharper, more aggressive fairings that make it look similar to its biggest brother, the R1M. In fact, when looked at from a far and from a certain angle, it can be hard to tell the two apart.
As for color options, the R15M is available in a striking black and silver motif, a colorway that has become synonymous with Yamaha performance. Racing aficionados will also very much appreciate the throwback colorway called the World GP 60th Anniversary, which features Yamaha’s instantly recognizable white and red motif with its signature Speed Blocks livery.
It gets a quickshifter!
Perhaps the most awesome feature the new YZF-R15M brings to the table is its quickshifter. No other motorcycle in this price range comes with a quickshifter as standard, so this really sets the R15M apart from the competition. For those of you who are unfamiliar with how a quickshifter works, it allows you to upshift without having to use the clutch, and without having to lift off the throttle. This ultimately results in a more linear powerband which increases acceleration and allows the rider to focus on piloting the motorcycle, especially on track or in spirited riding conditions.
A well-balanced package
Given the YZF-R15M’s overall package, it goes without saying that it’s an extremely well-balanced machine. Sure, it doesn’t have mighty performance figures like that of its bigger siblings, and sure, you’ll easily be overtaken by 300cc to 400cc motorcycles in a straight line. However, what the R15M lacks in sheer performance, it makes up for in usability. As mentioned earlier, it’s an incredibly versatile sportbike that can easily be ridden on a daily basis, and taken to the racetrack on the weekends, or up your favorite twisty road without hesitation.
At a price tag of P189,500, the Yamaha YZF-R15M is by no means a budget-friendly motorcycle. There are plenty of other bikes with even bigger engines that fetch less money. However, what the R15M is, is a tool meant to be taken advantage of by a rider who knows exactly what he or she wants. You could go as far as saying that the R15M is a specialty tool for a rider looking for a very specific sporty experience. That said, it isn’t for everyone, and chances are some people will sneer at the bike’s rather expensive price tag. For those who can really appreciate the value of a small sportbike, however, the Yamaha R15M is extremely enticing.