New Yamaha R15 previews incoming Yamaha R125, adopts R7-face

The pint-size Yamaha R15 and new R15M may be for Asia-only but the R7-inspired design is set to be reflected by the forthcoming Yamaha R-125

Yamaha R15M

The latest generation of the smallest sportsbike in Yamaha’s broad ‘R’ range - the Yamaha R15 - has been unveiled with a fresh look dictated by the recently launched R7.

Though this model in particular is for Asia-only, it will almost certainly be mirrored by its European equivalent - the Yamaha R-125 - the update of which is expected in the coming weeks.

The significance of the Yamaha R15 cannot be underestimated with the Yamahas held in high regard in the ultra competitive and huge-selling sub-200cc market across Asian markets, particularly India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Even more so when considering trendy sportsbikes, with the R15 - much like our R-125 and R3 - appearing like shrunken versions of the firm’s halo R1 flagship in the past.

This time, however, Yamaha has leaned heavily on the fresh R7 - on sale in the states, but still TBA for a European launch date - for its latest design, adopting the same rather divisive ‘cyclops’ central headlight cowl, flanked by thin light clusters.

The rest of the design is more recognisable Yamaha fare but with a more sculpted moulding to disguise its more modest underpinnings, while enthusiasts will spot trendy inverted front forks this time.

Powering the R15 is a 155cc single-cylinder generating 18.35hp, which is a little less than its predecessor, though reflective of exhaust tweaks to bring it into line with BS6, the Indian equivalent of our Euro5.

Perhaps the most interesting news though is that this generation will feature an ‘M’ edition - the Yamaha R15M - to further echo its R1 big brother, complete with a similar blue and grey/silver colourway.

The new Yamaha R15 comes to lock horns with another high-profile pint-size sportsbike, the KTM RC125, which has just undergone a major overhaul for 2022.

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