Quarter litre segment has seen a lot of competition already. The new comer to it is the Yamaha r3. The obvious leader here is the ktm with its 390 duke and its sibling, the rc 390. Well, thatís for the obvious reason, you get 43 bhp of power, ABS
, metzelers and other equipment at a cracking price way less than its competitors. The power to price ratio is way better than the other motorcycles in this class. But there are some downsides to it as well. The stiff suspension, the uncomfortable seats, pillion ride comfort isnít good either (rcís pillion seat is comfortable though), RC is too much track focused which makes riding in traffic and highway cruising a painful task. The engine is a single cylinder handling 373cc isnít that refined and the long gearing ratios make riding in traffic difficult, as you will have to ride it in 1st gear and due to which the engine heats really fast and the hot air is deflected to your legs.
Kawasakis are also offering the ninja 300 and the z 250 but they are very expensive, less powerful compared to the ktm siblings and the maintenance is expensive and time taking too (ninja 300 is good Rs 2 lacs more than the 390 duke) . But, they are refined as they are parallel twin and the riding stance is sporty yet not that track focused, so basically they are comfortable machines. Benelli is also there with its tnt 300 which is very comfortable and has cruising capability but it is heavy. It has 38 ps of power but it doesnít feel that agile and sporty. And yes with a price tag of Rs 3,37,754 on road delhi, it is good 1 lakh rupees more expensive than the 390 duke.
The Yamaha R3 is stepping into a market which is seeing competition already. It has to be different and appealing at the same time. If I am a perspective quarter litre buyer, I would want it to be fast, powerful, nimble, confident so that I can take to the track, should be comfortable while cruising in the highways and the engine shouldnít heat up while stop and go traffic or else it will make my daily rides painful, and should be a head turner. Concluding it, I want it all at a price which will provide me the most bank for my buck. Coming back to the r3, if we talk numbers, it is a liquid cooled parallel twin fuel injected 321cc motor making 42 PS power at 10750 RPM and 29.6 Nm of torque at 9000 RPM. It has 41 mm telescopic suspension at the front and adjustable monoshock at the rear. The front tyre is 110/70 17inch and the rear is 140/70 17inch. The tyres would be Michelin probably. It has ABS
as standard which most of the bikes in this segment doesnít even have as an option. The tank capacity is 14 litres which is good enough for the highway rides. Unlike the r15, r3ís stance isnít that track focused. Though the riderís triangle is sporty as the foot pegs are rear set but the rider sits more upright which makes the stance comfortable. It looks sporty and neat,*weighs 169 kgs wet which is few kilos heavier than the rc but still is lighter than the other motorcycles in its class. This will make it easy to ride. The built quality is excellent too.
I cannot tell you about its performance unless I ride one but I feel that it wont disappoint at all seeing itís sibling, the R15, which was an excellent motorcycle. Rumors say it would be competitively priced around 2.2 to 2.6 lacs which wont hurt your pocket seeing the configuration.
I cannot wait to ride this Japanese machine. Watch out for the detailed review of the R3 when it hit the Indian shores.