Editorial

Yamaha R15; what’s next?

Yamaha R15 has been launched and is expected to be the new benchmark for performance motorcycles in India. Now the ball is in Bajaj Auto, Hero Honda and TVS Motors’ court, and it remains to be seen how these biggies of Indian automobile world respond, to counter the threat posed by Yamaha R15.

After all it’s not just the coveted title of the most powerful motorcycle in India on the line, but the brand image, exposure and desirability which comes with producing these niche motorcycles, which only a few can afford, but majority of the bikers dreams about.

We examine the leaders of Indian motorcycle industry and try to gauge what their likely response would be:

Bajaj Auto: Bajaj Auto has kept the flame of innovation burning for past few years and until recently held the title of producing the most powerful production motorcycle in India (Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi). They certainly have the talent, pocket and willingness to recapture the title of most powerful production motorcycle in India.

Having launched the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi exactly a year back, we feel time is right for them to release the updated version of 220. A four valve 220 with a few more engine tweaks and a bit of weight loss might just be enough to exceed/match the R15. After all if they can add 3 extra horses in the four valve XCD Sprint (XCD 9.53ps vs. XCD sprint 12.5ps), why not the 220?

Hero Honda: With Honda’s world renowned technology and the fact its flagship product (Karizma) is getting a bit too old; a new updated version and/or a new flagship product is on the cards, which would likely have more than just cosmetic upgrades.

Karizma Fi, CBR 250 or even the CBR 150 to take on the R15, our guess is as good as yours as we wait for India’s largest motorcycle manufacturer to reveal its cards.

TVS Motors: TVS Motors is the only home grown Indian motorcycle manufacturer which actively participates in the motor sports arena and puts the feedback and knowledge gained on the track to their every day motorcycle. While they are expected to launch the Apache RTR 160 Fi in the coming days, it is the performance race kit version which we are eagerly waiting for.

Showcased at the AutoExpo 2008, the performance race kit for Apache RTR 160 (carbureted version) adds another 3.3 horses to an already potent package and is still expected to cost 15-20k less than the R15. Whether or not that would be enough to take on the might of the R15, but it would surely be fun to see bikes with similar capacity but totally different technology going head to head!

Whether its Bajaj Auto, Hero Honda, TVS Motors or any other motorcycle manufacturer, who manages to dethrone the R15, it is surely going to be an exciting time for us bikers.

52 Comments

  1. Indiaon2wheels.com rocks…great info…

    http://nanduchitnis.blogspot.com/

  2. Thank you sir.

  3. Hey my take is that the R15 has come too late and offers too little xcept the looks n some techonology, over existing Desi bikes….as you said elsewhere lets see when Honda releases the 250 cc bike and what Bajaj has to offer….

    I have P-220 cc …I don’t see much value addition. Now having done some riding on Harleys and Hondas here in the USA (am still here), I feel these Japs are taking us for granted as in they see sales in loww cc bikes only…which may be a mistake..maybe not…either way the Indian consumer /touring enthusiast as in Bn and xbhp or whatever, they got nothing coming their way at reasonable costs.

    One point…was speaking to a HD sales guy at Bellevue..he said low cc bikes like Sportster are flying off the shelf whereas the 1400 cc and abve bikes sales are very sluggish given that gas has shot to $ 5/- per gallon. Seattle Times reported very high volume of sales of Vespa scooters (much like our say Honda Activa types) …and SUV sales are crashing….

  4. plzzz tell me when wil be the new model of karizma wil launch………?????

  5. MUDIT KAUSHIK says:

    Please do tell me iam planning to buy Yamaha RZF R15 but shall i wait for New Honda 150 CC & 250 CC launch as Yamaha 150 cc demon is lakh in Cost which is very unappropriate for a 150 cc bike what you say will honda & suzuki 150cc segment will be cheaper than yamaha?

  6. plz tell me which showroom near from kalyan
    becose i want purches r15 bike

  7. the R15 is a strange thing. Yamaha has banked on a 1 lakh 150cc when they could have easily introduced the 250cc Fraser for the same price or a little more – the bike is made in Brazil.

    I think Yamaha is totally disconnected from reality here and will have to pack up and go home if they do not wake up

  8. hi! can you tell when hero honda cbr 150 will be launched/?

  9. Does anyone know where i can get a ECU chip for the Honda R15.

  10. plz send me a mail with all details of new karizma fi cbr> with price list and some photos of it

  11. hi when wii cbr 150 is going to launch plz sand me details about that one its mileage and cost

  12. hi sir
    can u send me details about honda cbr150,when it is going to launch and its mileage and cost further details etc

  13. hi sir can u send me details of honda cbr150 whn it is going to b launch and its cost

  14. leave all this folks…go and get urself the R15….therz nt gna be any bike like this in India for the next three years…..And if you doubt bou this ask the people using the R15….and ride it for urself and see….

    Check out this link also

    http://www.mouthshut.com/product-reviews/Yamaha_R15-925076709.html

  15. can u tel me about the upcoming bikes in jan 2009 and their costs.

  16. can u tel me about the upcoming bikes in jan 2009 and their costs.

  17. plz send me a mail with all details of new karizma fi cbr> with price list and some photos of it

  18. ONE OF MY RELATIVE WORKING AT HONDA SAID HONDA IS GOING TO LAUNCH NEW CBR150 MAY BE IN MID 2009

  19. asmit malhotra says:

    hi when wii cbr 150 is going to launch plz sand me details about that one its mileage and cost n plz send on my id [email protected]

  20. Muralikrishna says:

    plz can u tell me which bike can give more milege part from bajaj… in 120cc

  21. Do know where can i get the Pulsar 220 DTS-FI workshop manual? or Does anyone have? I am planning to tweak the wiring harness!! 😉

  22. can i get honda CBR price

  23. Hi its feels great to surf on this web site and to get update’s on what’s happening in the biking world.Its a really great help to guys like us who can keep urself posted on what happeing in 2 wheels world.

    All the best to the indiaon2wheels.com team keep it rocking like this.

  24. Is yamaha launching any bikes in 180 – 250 cc for 2009 ?

  25. I love my karizma.there is no other bike like karizma.The new fi karizma should have feathers like mono shock,rare disk,tubeless tires 140mm,little change in design like of fz15 n 20bhp.
    price dosen matters for bike lovers.
    lounge karizma with this fetchers n see……..
    it will rockkkkkkkk

  26. Is karizma fi just a rumors all talkin abt
    if thay r really planning 2 get this bike pls mail me its photo n give the details of what more feathers this bike is goin 2 get

  27. shantanu sathe says:

    yeah actually yamahas done all the preparations for their launch of yamaha YZF R125…guys if feel dat m talking rubbish do search it on google…

  28. shantanu sathe says:

    The YZF-R125 is the most advanced 125 production supersport machine that Yamaha has ever built. This radical, high-revving, fuel-injected 125 is the work of the same engineers who created our legendary YZF-R1 and YZF-R6 supersport bikes. And, as you’d expect, the YZF-R125 is packed with advanced MotoGP technology as well as a whole range of R-series type engine and chassis features. Its liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 4-valve, single cylinder, SOHC engine is tuned to deliver free-revving performance right through to maximum power at 9,000rpm – and for instant response and efficient operation this remarkable 6-speed 125 is equipped with a compact fuel injection system. The race-inspired chassis features a Deltabox frame and aluminium swinging arm for outstanding handling performance, and lightweight 5-spoke wheels help to minimize unsprung weight to give impressive roadholding. A large diameter 292mm front disc with a 230mm diameter rear disc make for effective stopping power, and the aggressive R-series bodywork lets everybody know exactly where this bike’s DNA has come from!

  29. Guys the comparison done between R15 and all other bikes present in the Indian market is easily available on the web. you can take a very informative decision from all those data.
    Whether you are comparing the simple statistics or road test data, it is quite evident that the R15 leads in almost all the aspects.
    The only bike that can compete with R15 is the pulsar 220Fi. But considering the fact that R15 is having a 150CC engine and P220 having a 220CC engine itself is enough to identify how much advanced the technology Yamaha has introduced through R15.
    Although P220 can match R15 in case of power delivery and may exceed R15 in low end torque, the R15 really and easily scores ahead of the P220 in terms of handling and stability and refinement in the engine. For a bike that is capable of speeds of 130-140(KMPH) that is really important. And it is so easy to hit such speeds on R15. The same speed is possible on a P220 also but its an uphill task where you have to struggle with the not so confident giving handling characteristics and unrefined engine of the P220(compared to R15). While the Yamaha r15 always urges you to push it even further giving you loads of confidence while going in to high speed corners, the P220 telepathically speaks you to loosen the grip on throttle when you approach that high speed corners (unless you are a complete dare devil who doesn’t value your neck).

    Two of the biggest complaints that I hear about R15 is

    1. It just 150 CC !
    2. The tires are small!

    Both the statements are enough to understand how much illiterate and under informed are customers about technical aspects of bikes.

    The truth is the so called thin tires of R15 offers much more grip than the pulsar 220Fi or of Yamahas own FZ16 (At present having the biggest tires of any mass produced bike in India). R15’s tires are made out of a softer rubber compound Produced by MRF only for Yamaha.
    Plus the Yamaha engineers says that after studying and analyzing g the power delivered, weight and aerodynamic characteristics of the bike a bigger tire would only reduce its performance and wont increase the road grip of the bike considerably.

    The R15’s engine is just not another 150CC engine, its a liquid cooled 4 valve 150CC engine made using Diasil ( proprietary to yamaha) technology. It enables the engine to remain smooth and vibration free even at high speed high, high revving and punishing long rides. The engine and components contains 20% silicone enabling a faster cooling and better heat dispersion.

    But the R15 is a bike that commands respect and care from the rider. the riding position is almost completely that of a super sport bike (although R15 is CANNOT be called a super sport bike, it just doesn’t have the engine capacity to be called that super sport= 600CC or more)

    An R15 is not a bike you can buy and RIP it from the word go!. you should ride her smooth and should take care of the machine. Being a technologically super advanced bike it requires periodic careful unfailing service. It also can be bit of an expensive bike to maintain. The coolants the front and back disk brakes (Both Nissin!) the engine oils the chain cleaners, lubricants (its an “O” ring chain which is performance wise just much better but bit expensive to maintain as it requires constant cleaning and lubrication especially in a country like India where roads can be dusty and muddy) all of it can be a bit heavy on your pocket.

    But still R15 has set a benchmark in the Indian two wheeler industry. Now every bike manufacturer in the country do have something to look upto, something to beat, something to better. Its may be a small, but surprise pleasant gift to the true bike enthusiast in India.

  30. Vikas Shokeen says:

    Great job SID. thank you very much. I am a proud owner of Yamaha R15 from last 11 months. Even I had my share of doubts when I was going to buy this 150cc machine for a lakh of rupees. However, my doubts vanished within 40kms of my way back to home from the point of delivery. Its really amazing.

    I have clocked more than 23,000kms till now. I live in Delhi and have been to almost every hill station around Delhi like Shimlla, Kufri, Chail, Narkanda, Mussoorie, Dhanaulti, Nainital etc. I have covered some fabulous stretches of tarmac on my trips to Ajmer. And finally got the worth of my bike when I covered the 1,450km distance between Delhi and Mumbai in 23hrs and went on to Pune.

    Saying that people in India are illiterate or under informed would be an under statement in itself as there are many more people like you in India and I personally have met many of those.

    I know its difficult to accept 150cc motorcycle at 1 lakh rupees for people in India and thats none of Yamaha’s fault. Its just that other manufacturers are lagging behind in offering features like fuel injection, six gears, liquid cooling and rear disc brake. These are more of necessities than a luxury in a high end motorcycle atleast.

    Yamaha, as usual is being a flag bearer in technology after lying in hibernation for a few years and being in the rat race of making those silly econo commuters which definitely is’nt their forte. But I being a proud owner of 3 Yamahas ( an RD350, a 5Speed RX135 and now an R15), feels that the giant has finally woke up and ready to offer their full international range of motorcycles along with some India specific models as and when the time and import policies of India allows.

    Proof of Yamaha’s performance centric mindset is shown by their decision of offering performance upgrade for R15 (ECU and Exhaust probably) before the end of this year for the customers who want to squeez more out of this lovely little beast.

    Best of luck to Yamaha and all its existing and future customers.

  31. And now be ready for the Yellowish-golden color of R15. This new color will be out soon along with new graphics on the existing colors.

  32. wen will be the Yellowish-golden color of R15 be launched….??
    plz reply…

  33. It should be out within this month.. I had a word with one of the Yamaha representative and he told me that it should be in the showerooms very soon. I also talked to one of the dealer and he told me that they should be delivered within one or two days.Keep checking with the dealer near you.. If you are in delhi then let me know..

  34. hey…
    thanx a lot for the reply…
    i went to a yamaha showroom in chandigarh…
    they said the new colour is open for booking but is not available right now….
    it wud be available probably after a month…

  35. great! in delhi they are saying that it will be available after 20th of this month.. so lets see when it actually arrives..

  36. hey…
    wat abou the new ZMA…????
    do u have n e updates…???

  37. no new updates on it as for now.. i’ll let you know as soon as i have any info on that..

  38. hey guys, i took a test ride of Apache RTR 180 and have posted my review on http://indianautosblog.com/2009/07/tvs-apache-rtr-180-review

    i hope it might help!

  39. Hello Guys.. Finally the new colors of Yamaha R15 are in the market. I have clicked the pics of the Yellow color bike and have posted them here along with a few deatils about the new colors.

    http://indianautosblog.com/2009/07/yamaha-yzf-r15-with-new-colors-and-graphics-introduced

  40. Hey guys….

    anybody got ZMR hw s d performance…..

    any updates abt tht………..

  41. I have clocked more than 23,000kms till now. I live in Delhi and have been to almost every hill station around Delhi like Shimlla, Kufri, Chail, Narkanda, Mussoorie, Dhanaulti, Nainital etc. I have covered some fabulous stretches of tarmac on my trips to Ajmer. And finally got the worth of my bike when I covered the 1,450km distance between Delhi and Mumbai in 23hrs and went on to Pune.

    Saying that people in India are illiterate or under informed would be an under statement in itself as there are many more people like you in India and I personally have met many of those.

    I know its difficult to accept 150cc motorcycle at 1 lakh rupees for people in India and thats none of Yamaha’s fault. Its just that other manufacturers are lagging behind in offering features like fuel injection, six gears, liquid cooling and rear disc brake. These are more of necessities than a luxury in a high end motorcycle atleast.

    Yamaha, as usual is being a flag bearer in technology after lying in hibernation for a few years and being in the rat race of making those silly econo commuters which definitely is’nt their forte. But I being a proud owner of 3 Yamahas ( an RD350, a 5Speed RX135 and now an R15), feels that the giant has finally woke up and ready to offer their full international range of motorcycles along with some India specific models as and when the time and import policies of India aBut the R15 is a bike that commands respect and care from the rider. the riding position is almost completely that of a super sport bike (although R15 is CANNOT be called a super sport bike, it just doesn’t have the engine capacity to be called that super sport= 600CC or more)

    An R15 is not a bike you can buy and RIP it from the word go!. you should ride her smooth and should take care of the machine. Being a technologically super advanced bike it requires periodic careful unfailing service. It also can be bit of an expensive bike to maintain. The coolants the front and back disk brakes (Both Nissin!) the engine oils the chain cleaners, lubricants (its an “O” ring chain which is performance wise just much better but bit expensive to maintain as it requires constant cleaning and lubrication especially in a country like India where roads can be dusty and muddy) all o

  42. what price cbr150 & booking price at autoexpo

  43. ! can you tell when hero honda cbr 150 will be launched/?

  44. I dono’t like bjaj pulsur bike

  45. Hi Thyagu

    How about the back pain during long drives… i’m planning to grab a yam R15 very soon…. looing for opinions before going for it….

    vimal

  46. hey gys…i hve seen yamaha peple testing the new yzf r125 …………..

  47. hey di karizma zmr is more speed than r15

  48. I THINK THAT YAMAHA R15 IS THE BEST BIKE I HVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.AFTER KAWASAKI NINJA, R15 IS THE BEST THAN KARIZMA ZMR AND PULSAR 220..ITS YAMAHA MAN COME ON ENJOY..WITH R15..

  49. i should b more sportsyyy in look

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