2015 Yamaha R3 First Ride Video Review

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan
2015 yamaha r3 first ride video review
Video by Ray Gauger; Edited by Sean Matic

After riding Yamaha’s spectacular YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M, stepping down to something like the R3 might seem a bit dull in comparison. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Yamaha’s latest entry into the beginner bike market. As I noted in my first ride review following the R3’s press intro in Northern California, the R3 is a bike gentle enough for a new rider, yet entertaining enough for an experienced rider to still have some fun.

Though there wasn’t a dyno on hand to verify this, according to my butt dyno the 321cc parallel-Twin felt more powerful across the entire rev range than the motorcycle Yamaha used as a benchmark: Kawasaki’s Ninja 300. It’s light, nimble and entirely unintimidating to ride, too – attributes any new rider will appreciate.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Ride Review

With the benefit of more power, the Yamaha’s initial standing over the Kawasaki shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Also consider the fact the R3 weighs in under 370 lbs. (according to Yamaha), uses forged aluminum pistons and offset cylinders, and it’s clear that, like the literbike category, the Tuning Fork company is also aiming to conquer the littlebike category, too. Better still, at $4,990, it slightly pips the $4,999 Kawasaki and comes in about $500 lower than the $5,499 KTM RC390, its real rival in the class. Also consider the KTM comes with ABS at that price, which is an option unavailable for the R3.

Skidmarks – Slow Bikes Fast

In case my written word wasn’t enough to sate your curiosity, here, now, is my spoken word about the R3, shot immediately after my last track session aboard the bike. If it appears as though my mouth is having a hard time processing what my brain is trying to tell it, know this: the R3 is good. How good? Stay tuned, as we’re gathering the main protagonists in the class to discover exactly that.

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3 of 10 comments
  • Aaron Lephart Aaron Lephart on Mar 29, 2015

    You know what would be great? If I could WATCH the video rather then get "Embedding not allowed" errors!

    • Denchung Denchung on Mar 30, 2015

      Sorry about that. We noticed an error in the original video and just re-uploaded a revised version to correct it.

  • Backroad Bob Backroad Bob on Mar 31, 2015

    It looks to be a winner. Street bikes in this size, weight, and power
    range are a hoot to ride. Flickable, forgiving, and capable of three
    lines in any turn and most of all fun. It could be another home run