2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Look

October 16, 2014
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.
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Yamaha has confirmed its 2015 YZF-R3 will debut in the 2015 US model line. Powered by a liquid-cooled 321cc Parallel Twin, the R3 will retail for $4990 and be available at US dealers in January.

The R3 builds off the R25 design, which Yamaha debuted at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, bumping displacement up from 249 to 321cc. Engineers achieved the 72cc increase by boring out the cylinders to 68mm (from 60mm), with an identical 44.1mm stroke. The engine is liquid-cooled and fuel injected, with DOHC four-valve per cylinder valvetrain. The R3 sports a six-speed transmission.

Full technical details are still forthcoming, but Yamaha press materials state the R3 engine incorporates off-set cylinders (like its Honda rival CBR300). The Tuning Fork brand also touts technology developed by its flagship R1/R6 models in the R3’s forged aluminum pistons. Power claims are not specified, though Yamaha does state maximum power is reached at 10,750 rpm.

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A diamond-type steel frame cradles the R3 engine, with the swingarm also steel. KYB provides the suspension components, with a 41mm fork and single shock delivering a respective 5.1 and 4.9 inches of travel. Braking consists of a floating 298mm rotor and two-piston caliper up front and 220mm rear.

The R3 claims a 368-pound curb weight (CBR300R 357 pounds, Ninja 300 379.3 pounds) and lists a 30.7 inch seat height and 54.3 inch wheelbase (CBR300R 30.7/54.3 inch, Ninja 300 30.9/55.3 inch). It rolls on 17-inch 10-spoke wheels, with a 110/70 front and 140/70 rear tire.

Colin Edwards and his wife Alyssia rode in on Yamahas new R3 at the AIMExpo.
Former MotoGP rider Colin Edwards and his wife, Alyssia, promoting the all-new YZF-R3 at its AIMExpo debut.

As befits any entry-level sportbike, the R3 heralds styling inspired by its bigger siblings. The new Yamaha will be offered in the familiar Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver colorway, as well as Raven and Rapid Red. Expect them to start arriving at Yamaha dealers in January, sporting an MSRP of $4990 (CBR300R $4399 +$310 destination charge, Ninja 300 $5199 +$345 destination charge).

The R3 pricing and performance package should deliver a series challenge to the current entry-level sportbike offerings from Kawasaki and Honda, not to mention KTM. The same can be said of the marketing effort, which features recently-retired MotoGP fan favorite Colin Edwards and his wife, Alyssia. Mr. and Mrs. Edwards are pitching the new R3 in typical Yamaha style (we’re guessing it’s the same creative team that delivers the annual Christmas Card and USGP spoof videos).

Check out the video embed and stay tuned for follow-up content for the new R3, including a first ride evaluation and a four-bike entry-level sportbike shootout as soon as press units are available.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Specifications:
Engine: Liquid-cooled Parallel Twin
Displacement: 321cc
Bore x Stroke: 68.0 x 44.1mm
Compression Ratio 11.2:1
Valvetrain: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Fueling: Fuel Injected
Transmission: Constant mesh; 6-speed
Final Drive: Chain
Front Suspension: 41mm KYB telescopic fork with 5.1 inches of travel
Rear Suspension: Single KYB single with 4.9 in of travel
Front Brakes: Floating 298mm disc
Rear Brakes: Floating 220mm disc
Front Tires: 110/70-17M/C 54H
Rear Tires: 140/70-17M/C 66H
Seat Height: 30.7 inch
Wheelbase: 54.3 inch
Rake / Trail: 25°/ 3.7 inch
Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gallon
Curb Weight: 368 pounds (claimed)
Warranty: 1-year limited factory warranty
Colorways: Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver, Raven, Rapid Red
MSRP: $4990

2015 Yamaha R3 Photos

The R3 sports a six-speed transmission. Engineers achieved a 72cc increase in displacement on the R3 by boring out the cylinders to 68mm  from the R25s 60mm   with an identical 44.1mm stroke The 2015 YFZ-R3 engine is liquid-cooled and fuel injected  with DOHC four-valve per cylinder valvetrain.
The R3 bumps displacement on its Parallel Twin up from the R25 249 to 321cc. The Yamaha R3 braking package consists of a floating 298mm rotor and two-piston caliper up front and 220mm rear. Yamaha has confirmed its 2015 YZF-R3 will debut in the 2015 US model line.
The Tuning Fork brand touts technology developed by its flagship R1 R6 models in the R3s forged aluminum pistons. KYB provides the suspension components on the 2015 Yamaha R3  with a 41mm fork and single shock delivering a respective 5.1 and 4.9 inches of travel. Power claims for the 2015 YZF-R3 are not specified  though Yamaha does state maximum power is reached at 10 750 rpm.
The new Yamaha R3 will be offered in the familiar Team Yamaha Blue Matte Silver colorway. The Yamaha R3 rolls on 17-inch 10-spoke wheels  with a 110 70 front and 140 70 rear tire. Expect the R3 to start arriving at Yamaha dealers in January  sporting an MSRP of  4990.