Yamaha revealed its new 320cc YZF-R3, bringing in MotoGP star Colin Edwards and his wife Alyssia to ride the entry-level sportbike before the gather media at AIMExpo in Orlando, Fla.

Discuss this at our Yamaha R3 Forum.

While its traditional competitors such as Honda and Kawasaki engaged in an incremental (small) displacement war with its CBR and Ninja, Yamaha followed KTM in entering the U.S. market by skipping directly into the 300s with the new R3 instead of importing the YZF-R25 introduced earlier this year for Asian markets. Though still down a few cubic centimeters from the KTM RC390, the 321cc R3 should still hold an edge over the CBR300R and Ninja 300.

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The R3’s liquid-cooled parallel-Twin engine has a 68.0mm bore, giving it an 8.0mm advantage over the R25. The stroke is 44.1mm, the same as the R25’s powerplant. Like the R1 and R6, the engine uses forged aluminum pistons for light weight and higher strength when the engine gets hot. Other features include an off-set cylinder to reduce power loss to friction and a 180-degree crank.

Yamaha Motor USA did not provide any performance figures but its European counterpart says the Euro model produces 42 hp at 10,750 rpm and 21.8 ft-lb. at 9000 rpm. U.S.-spec figures may differ to meet emission requirements, though Yamaha Motor USA did confirm peak power arrives at 10,750 rpm.


The engine is a load-bearing part of the chassis, mounted to the high tensile steel tube frame. KYB supplies the 41mm telescopic fork offering 5.1 inches of travel. The KYB rear shock offering 4.9 inches of travel. Like the R1, the R3’s swingarm is longer than what you’d typically find, giving it the same swingarm to wheelbase ratio as the literbike. Yamaha says this provides strong straight-line handling performance and more efficient power delivery.

Discuss this at our Yamaha R25 Forum.

The braking system consists of a two-piston caliper paired with a 298mm disc up front and a 220mm disc with single-piston caliper at the rear.

Visually, the R3 also borrows from its larger R-series siblings, with similar lines and slanted dual headlights.


Other features include 17-inch 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels, multi-function display, 30.7-inch seat height and a 3.7-gallon fuel tank. Yamaha claims a wet weight of 368 pounds.

Yamaha will offer three color options: Raven, Rapid Red, and Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver.  Expect to see the R3 arrive in showrooms in January 2015 with a $4990 price tag.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Specifications
Engine Type 321cc, liquid-cooled 2-cylinder DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 68.0 x 44.1mm
Compression Ratio 11.2:1
Fuel Delivery Fuel Injected
Ignition TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission Constant mesh; 6-speed transmission
Final Drive Chain
Suspension / Front 41mm KYB telescopic fork; 5.1 in of travel
Suspension / Rear KYB single shock; 4.9 in of travel
Brakes Front Hydraulic, 298mm
Brakes / Rear Hydraulic, 220mm
Tires / Front 110/70-17M/C 54H
Tires Rear 140/70-17M/C 66H
L x W x H 82.3 x 28.3 x 44.7 in
Seat Height 30.7 in
Wheelbase 54.3 in
Rake (Caster Angle) 25°
Trail 3.7 in
Fuel Capacity 3.7 gal
Fuel Economy N/A
Wet Weight 368 lb
Warranty 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
MSRP $4,990 – Raven – Available from January 2015
$4,990 – Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver – Available from January 2015
$4,990 – Rapid Red – Available from January 2015

Follow the rest of our 2014 AIMExpo coverage for more information on new 2015 motorcycle announcements.

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Yamaha Communities

  • Ted

    It just keeps getting better. What a great time to be a biker! :-) CBR, NINJA, R3, each will be the answer for different peoples needs. I don’t think there is a loser.

  • Benji

    I want them to make a full plastic version of FZ09, and they should call it R9

  • Reid

    KTM RC390 looked like a great proposition…until this came along.

  • Yuri Calmon

    In 1980 RD 350 LC already had 55 hp !!! where’s Evolution ???

  • ‘Mike Smith

    If I had this, my R1 might get cob webs.

  • Nicholas Wild

    In 1981 RD350LC had 47 hp not 55.

  • Matt Howerton

    Nice little bike. Would be nice to see a yellow and black “Kenny Roberts” paint scheme. I was the one rambling on about wishing for a R3 with a 300cc 3-cyl or a R4 with a 400cc four a couple years back. Still might get there, hopes an old RD-400 Daytona fan. Also smitten by the KTM 390. Little fast bikes are fun. Bravo!!

  • http://statesofmotion.blogspot.com/ FastPatrick

    Sigh. Why couldn’t they have done all this fifteen or twenty years ago?

    Signed, increasingly crotchety and embittered Gen X dude.

  • cathries

    Welcome to buy motor fairing :http://www.aliexpress.com/store/203487

  • falcn

    Argh if they would only put this in a light weight dual sport/adv bike!!!

  • Reformation

    A 1973 R5 would exceed 100mph with two up. A 1980’s Rz350 would lay waste to all these overcomplicated and overpriced valve munchers….and they call this progress. pfft.