See photos of the Yamaha YZF-R3 entry-level sportbike in action in the 2015 Yamaha R3 first ride photo gallery.
See photos of the YZF-R3 in action during MotoUSA’s First Ride evaluation. Read more in the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Ride review article.
- Yamaha finally enters the entry-level sportbike market with its 320cc YZF-R3. MotoUSA takes a spin, including some track time at Thunderhill Raceway for a first ride review.
- Yamaha presents an enticing offer for the entry-level ranks when the R3 arrives at dealers starting in April.
- At $4990 the R3 is priced evenly with a non-ABS equipped Ninja 300 ($4999), $600 more than the CBR300R ($4399) and $500 less than KTM RC390 ($5499).
- The new R3 features performance, styling and pricing that appeals to eager entry-level riders.
- Yamaha reps cite the R3 design's “R-DNA” styling cues.
- The R3 sports some R6-like lines and stubby right-side exhaust.
- The R3 is a sharp looking bike and styling will be one of the biggest factors in Yamaha moving R3 units this year.
- The R3's right-side LCD speedo is easy to read and the instrument console delivers all the essential info, including a gear position indicator and fuel gauge to track the 3.7 gallon tank.
- Yamaha R3 engineers gained 71cc from the 250cc R25 Twin by boring out the R25’s 60mm cylinders to 68mm, with the 44.1mm stroke unaltered.
- 2015 Yamaha R3 exhaust
- Keeping the R3 up in its high-rpm sweet spot requires frequent shifts. Thankfully, the six-gear transmission shuffles up and down without any major snags.
- The R3 chassis proves more than adequate for its engine.
- Yamaha claims the steel frame and swingarm, as well as the stouter 41mm fork (compared to 37mm sticks on Honda and Kawasaki) deliver optimal rigidity.
- Fit and finish for the Yamaha is comparable to its rivals.
- The backroad strafing continued at Northern California’s Thunderhill Raceway, where we logged a spirited afternoon session on the short track.
- The grand strategy behind the entry-level sportbike class is straightforward: win over young, impressionable riders with a fun, budget-friendly bike.
- Running in top gear pinned, chasing the bike ahead on a curvy mountain road. Leaned over and arcing through a sweeping bend, trying to carry maximum corner speed.
- The R3 responds to inputs and corrections immediately, but does so in a composed manner sans the twitchy feeling offered by some smaller bikes.
- Dual disc brakes, pinched by Akebono calipers (two-piston front, single-piston rear), aren’t terrible, but they aren’t great either.
- The Thunderhill short circuit proved the best showcase for the R3’s nimble handling.
- The clip-on bars, placed above the triple clamps, offer a semi-upright stance.
- A liquid-cooled 320cc Parallel Twin powers the R3.
- The R3 features smooth fueling once it’s fired up and on the move.
- As expected, the Yamaha R3 is a sharp, quick-steering bike, but I was pleasantly surprised by its stability.