alex

116 months ago

 - via web

- Story

Inside the Yamaha garage - A close look at what's new for 2015

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

One of the things I love about what I do is days like yesterday. After the press release event at Yamaha the other day, I got a chance to go back into the Yamaha garage at take a really close look at the new models for 2015.

The 2015 R3 - Standing proud in the middle of the Yamaha garage

The 2015 R3 - Standing proud in the middle of the Yamaha garage

R1/R1M

Lets get the big one out of the way first. The R1/R1M is headline, no doubt about it. We've talked about this before so I'll just recap here.

The R1/R1M is a truly amazing looking machine and for the Yamaha faithful, this is the R1 you've been waiting for. Making exactly 1hp per Kg fully wet and equipped with a lot of the electronics from the M1, it's going to be one of the surest ways to own the track next year.

Electronic Ohlins come as standard in the 2015 Yamaha R1M

Electronic Ohlins come as standard in the 2015 Yamaha R1M

The Carbon-loaded 2015 Yamaha R1M

The Carbon-loaded 2015 Yamaha R1M

The 2015 Yamaha R1M

The 2015 Yamaha R1M

Yamaha R1/R1M 2015 - The dash is superb

Yamaha R1/R1M 2015 - The dash is superb

That dash is TFT and unbelieveable readable (and pretty). Want to see more?

[cid=99946,https://v.cdn.vine.co/r/videos/3461C0FFFD1157391285020250112_3d143f78e24.1.4.18062720479885215614.mp4.jpg]

Not sure which model is right for you? The R1 and R1M are essentially the same bike. Same engine, same tuning etc. So, what does the extra get you? Electronics. The obvious upgrade is the electronically adaptive Ohlins. The one you can't see is the electronics. Inside the bike is comprehensive Communication Control Unit. Nope? Basically, it calculates what's going on 125 per second. You can then see this data via an iOS or Android app, which you can also use to update the performance characteristics of the bike. Track riders can now update their bike whilst checking their email!

Still not convinced? Then you need to hear this.

[cid=99947,https://v.cdn.vine.co/r/videos/C41D5F1CCD1157392086132494336_317dc8448c8.1.4.11589548265365306684.mp4.jpg]

Interested? I don't see why you wouldn't be, so head down to your dealer quickly. Early reports indicate there's a huge demand and that all the R1M's may already be sold...

R3

If you're not convinced the R1 is the right bike for you, maybe the R3 is closer to what you need. Granted, it's not going to get you on the front (or indeed any) row at SBK but it will turn have other riders doing a double take.

The 2015 Yamaha R3 - Entry level is not a disparaging term

The 2015 Yamaha R3 - Entry level is not a disparaging term

For a while, Yamaha have sold a 250 as their "entry level" bike but it was never available in North America. The new R3 has been designed as a "worldwide" bike and fills an important niche in the Yamaha range.

At 366lbs/166kg and with a fairly low seat height of 30.7", it's clearly aimed not just at novice riders, but those of a smaller stature. The engine is not a 300 as you might guess, but is actually 320cc and makes 42hp, comfortably exceeding most of it's competition. While it may be aimed at entry level riders (its' fully A2 compliant in Europe), it's likely many riders would also never outgrow it.

For those of you thinking entry level can mean cut corners, but the R3 somehow manages to avoid that. We think it looks fantastic.

Yamaha R3 - back in black

Yamaha R3 - back in black

2015 Yamaha R3 - That's a shift light on top of the dash

2015 Yamaha R3 - That's a shift light on top of the dash

The Yamaha R3 - take your pick of Blue, Red or Black

The Yamaha R3 - take your pick of Blue, Red or Black

To my mind, the only thing "missing" is an ABS rotor, which seems to be mostly standard these days. Old pros won't miss it, but newbies might.

Personally, I'm looking forward to riding this at least as much as the R1 and can't wait for the sun to roll around.

Bolt c-spec

If neither of the above moves you, maybe you're more inclined to wear open face helmets and shades when you ride. It's not performance you crave but stand-out styling. Fancy a cafe racer instead?

The excellent bolt has proven a great success for Yamaha - I see them everywhere - and we definitely enjoyed riding it, but the cruiser-styling wasn't for everyone. The c-spec addresses that by giving the Bolt some clip on bars, a rear seat cowl and a seriously nice paint job.

Yamaha Bolt c-spec (2015) - Styled for streets

Yamaha Bolt c-spec (2015) - Styled for streets

Yamaha Bolt c-spec in British racing green

Yamaha Bolt c-spec in British racing green

FJ-09/ MT-09 Tracer

The FZ-09 (or the MT-09 in Europe) was our ride of the year when it came out almost two years ago now. That super-sweet triple is still one of the finest engines in any road bike, but the streetfighter styling isn't to everyone's taste.

Rumours of a touring model have floated around ever since the FZ was launched and it's finally here. It's the same engine as the FZ but packaged in a more upright riding position. There will also be an accessory range that includes panniers and plug and play heated grips, which you'd expect to see on a sporty tourer.

Yamaha 2015 FJ-09/MT-09 Tracer

Yamaha 2015 FJ-09/MT-09 Tracer

Highly readable cockpit in the Yamaha FJ-09

Highly readable cockpit in the Yamaha FJ-09

The riding position is definitely more roomy than the FZ so expect to be able to tour with ease but pick up the pace whenever the road gets fun. Those of you with true off-road pretensions may need to wait for the accessories: those low pipes will limit the 09 to gravel roads rather than rocky ones.

Yamaha FJ-09 - Low pipes will limit off-road use

Yamaha FJ-09 - Low pipes will limit off-road use

WR250F / YZ250FX

If you've got this far and you're still not excited, you're likely either dead, only ride Harleys or are a true off-road aficionado. Yamaha have that, too.

First up is the WR250F. This is the recreational enduro, which is classified as a restricted use motorcycle - green plate only in other words. It's a complete rebuild of the outgoing WR250F and in stock for is limited to meet an 82dB sound level. If you are planning on competing, you can get the competition kit ECU which increases the power and permits tuning the fuel injection.

Yamaha WR250F 2015 (Front) and YZ250FX

Yamaha WR250F 2015 (Front) and YZ250FX

The YZ on the other hand is competition only. It lacks the fan cooled radiators of the WR as well as the lights and bash-plate, and is built for cross-country racing/hare-scrambling

Yamaha YZ250FX - The competition bike

Yamaha YZ250FX - The competition bike

Both machines definitely look fit for purpose and, compared to moving my aging 450 around, are amazingly light to boot.

2015 WR250F close up

2015 WR250F close up

Thanks to Yamaha Canada for letting me in with the Camera.

You must be logged in to comment
Login now

alex

116 months ago

@paulr - did you see the R3? Would make an awesome alternative to the KTM RC390. A lot easier to get hold of, too