AIMExpo 2014: 2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Coming to America

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

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.

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 Type321cc, liquid-cooled 2-cylinder DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke68.0 x 44.1mm
Compression Ratio11.2:1
Fuel DeliveryFuel Injected
IgnitionTCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
TransmissionConstant mesh; 6-speed transmission
Final DriveChain
Suspension / Front41mm KYB telescopic fork; 5.1 in of travel
Suspension / RearKYB single shock; 4.9 in of travel
Brakes FrontHydraulic, 298mm
Brakes / RearHydraulic, 220mm
Tires / Front110/70-17M/C 54H
Tires Rear140/70-17M/C 66H
L x W x H82.3 x 28.3 x 44.7 in
Seat Height30.7 in
Wheelbase54.3 in
Rake (Caster Angle)25°
Trail3.7 in
Fuel Capacity3.7 gal
Fuel EconomyN/A
Wet Weight368 lb
Warranty1 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.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

More by Dennis Chung

Join the conversation
2 of 10 comments
  • Falcn Falcn on Nov 07, 2014

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

  • Reformation Reformation on Feb 05, 2015

    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.