Yamaha YZF R15 v2.0 Street Review


So Sergeant Sagar was all happy and gung-ho about testing the R15 v2.0 on the track but faced a lot of flak from riders for having ignored the street aspect of the bike. Mad with rage and anger Sergeant decides to do a street test of the v2.0 !

Not that a street review it wasn't on the cards. In fact, many a bike reviews at PTR are going to undergo a 'track' review and a separate 'street' review too. But enraged with the erudite that riders didn't prefer a track review first for a bike which is nothing but a track bike, Sergeant swore that he would go about making the street review a lot more punchier and a lot more 'PTR' than the track review. He threatened the team to give in their best for the street review or face the silhouette of his knuckle-line.

The team obliged and indulged into the making of the street review with as much charge and passion as Sergeant himself. Ladies and Gentlemen, PTR proudly presents to you the 'Street Review of the YZF Yamaha R15 v2.0'


On the track, the Yamaha R15 v2.0 left us mighty pleased. The design and performance upgrades have made the R15 an even fiercer track tool with better power delivery and improved grip in the corners. But how does it stack up against the practicality quotient? How does it fare on the streets where most of us will be riding it? To find out, we put Yamaha’s thorough-bred race horse through the grind. We rode it on congested city streets, pitted it against the serpentine mountainous roads and made long trips on the highways. And during our extensive street review, here’s what we found out:


If there was one universal complaint in terms of design about the first version of the R15, it had to be the rear section. Although the 100/80 rear tyre provided outstanding grip, it was a sore spot in the otherwise gorgeous sporty design of the bike. So when Yamaha decided to upgrade the bike, all the changes were centred around accommodating a bigger rear tyre that would do justice to its stunning visual presence. 

The result is therefore a more supersport design comprising a meaty 130/70 rear, a new 90/80 front and a more front-biased geometry. In line with the revised 49%-51% front-rear weight distribution, the tail has been raised by 10mm and the long seat has given way to new split seats. The angle of the exhaust too has been increased to go with the raised tail section which now houses new R6 inspired LED tail lights and an aluminium bracket for the rear number plate holder and mudguard. The fatter rear, held by a longer aluminium swingarm, features a tyre hugger and a bigger 220mm rear disk. The bike also sports new ten spoke alloys and a more aerodynamic middle cowl. All these design changes have made the R15 visually flawless and an absolute treat to look at. 

These design cues though come at a price and those looking to commute on this bike will end up paying for it.

  1. While the fatter rear has aided riding stability, the bike’s weight has increased by 5kgs.
  2. And given its new aggressive stance, those new to the bike will feel the extra weight on their palms especially in stop-go traffic and under heavy braking. 
  3. Moreover, the longer swing-arm has increased the wheelbase of the bike making it less flickable and requiring more effort on part of the rider who is looking to maneuver his/her way through our crowded streets.
  4. Pillion comfort too has been compromised because of the absence of grab rails and the shrunken size and raised height of the pillion seat. So while the rider has a lot more space to move around, the pillion is going to find long commutes very demanding. 


Yes, she looks like a demon…but does she ride like one?

She sure does and how!

And this is what left us most impressed during our review- v2.0’s performance. Despite the 5kg gain and longer wheelbase, Yamaha’s commitment to performance shines through in the way the new R15 outshines its predecessor.

Riding v1.0 in the city was cumbersome because of the lack of power in the lower rev range and the subsequent gear changes that had to be made. This is no longer a problem on the new model thanks to some small yet effective performance upgrades. V2.0 features a new remapped ECU for better off-the-line performance, improved front-rear sprocket ratio to boost acceleration, a more rigid clutch design for better feel and new twin throttle cable for quicker engine response. These changes haven’t led to any bump in power or torque figures but they have translated into a more pleasurable ride with more power on tap even at low rpm and fewer and smoother gear changes. Thus, overtaking vehicles in the city and on highways is a lot easier now and those into sport riding will love the extra punch while exiting out of corners. 

On the braking front, the new model performs just as well if not better than the older version. The brakes are progressive and provide brilliant feedback to the rider. The new mounting points on the front disc ensure less flex and and better heat dissipation while the bigger 220mm rear disc does well to compensate for the fatter rear tyre. 


There are two new additions on v2.0 which make for some really handy features. These are a new sprocket cover to improve safety in case of a fall and a louder double horn to aid overtaking especially on the highways. Also, to accommodate the horn and preserve the bike’s small battery reserve, the backlight of the instrument cluster now comes on only when the parking lights are switched on. On the downside though the storage space has reduced drastically because of the split seat setup and is only good enough to store your tool kit and first aid. 


Approx. 30 to 35 kmpl

If ridden like a member of the clergy it does deliver 40 kmpl.


After our extensive street review, we at PTR feel that v2.0 is a big step forward from its original version. For about 8k more you get a whole more bike which not only looks meaner but also sets the bar even higher as far as performance is concerned. Yes, it doesn’t make for the most comfortable commuter but when you are thinking about investing in such a bike, you are already looking beyond commuting. And who knows…. with the R15 going supersport, Yamaha’s highly awaited 250cc could very well appease those favoring comfort ;)

Last modified on Monday, 19 March 2012 10:29
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