Yamaha YZF-R3 (2015 - present)

Manufacturer
Category
Available from
2015
A2 licence compliant, good looks and ABS as standard
Not as powerful as the KTM RC390
A bigger and faster version of the YZF-R25 to take on the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and KTM RC390

User Reviews

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Overall Review

An excellent commuter tool which handles motorways as easily as a twisty backroad. Very comfortable, even after a 4 hour trip on the M25. Confidence inspiring, especially for the shorter rider. The 320cc parallel twin is a capable all rounder; easy to get on with around town and on carraigeways. As echoed in most reviews, power delivery is in the upper end on the rev counter, from about 7000rpm to 10000rpm, with noticeable extra pull at 9000rpm. Plenty of power to pull away from traffic when required, either at the lights or in 6th while overtaking. However, this isn't mini R6 in the same vein as the 400cc sportsbikes of old. Made in Indonesia, the R3 is well put together with solid feeling plastics, lustre paint and sound mechanicals thus far after nearly 2000 miles. Not a spot of corrosion in sight. The combination of an analog rev counter and digital display add to the premium feel other bikes in this class lack. ABS is very welcome for the newer rider although I've yet to experience it. Very cost efficient, costing £4982 OTR, returning 67mpg on average and £38 a year in tax. However, the R3 is relatively expensive to insure as Yamaha have defined the R3 as a 'supersport', (it would be cheaper to insure an MT07 for example). In conclusion, the R3 is a worthy step up for a 125 rider or step-down for someone looking for something more sensible than a 600 supersport. If it had a just a little more power I would probably keep it forever.

Strengths

-Absolutely gorgeous. Easily the best looking sportsbike of the new A2 breed. -Highly capable. The R3 is comfortable riding through town, tackling the daily commute and in the outside lane of the M25. -Light and slim, with a low seat height that will improve the new and/or shorter rider's confidence. -Surprisingly punchy engine for a 320cc, having no issues with pulling away from traffic, overtaking and getting out of tight spots. -Well equipped with ABS as standard and an informative dash.

Weaknesses

-While the power may feel exciting stepping up from a 125, and is certainly up to motorway cruising, for those with a A license, you will be wishing for an extra 20bhp. The 320cc parallel twin makes most of it's power above 7000rpm so downshifting for overtakes is a must. -Suspension is adjustable for rear preload only and is initially too soft from the factory. However, aftermarket front fork and rear springs are already available. -Insurance is on the pricey side due to being classed as a 'Supersport' by Yamaha. -Quiet exhaust note.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

Overall I love my R3 and will be sad to see it go when I upgrade onto my full licence. It has given me miles of smiles commuting on a and b roads and has also served me well on motorways to Nottingham from south Devon and has never skipped a beat for me. A new tail tidy is a must and smaller indicators clean up the look (I have flush mount front indicators and Ryde nano indicators for the rear. Some braided lines and a brembo conversion for the front brake will work wonders as well as a decat pipe and new end can to free up some more power. The following and parts avaliable for this bike in the states make this a bike what A2 license holders can have bucket loads of fun on while learning the skills needed for larger bikes.

Strengths

I've owned my Yamaha R3 since mid August and have put 5000+ miles on it now. Unfortunately 6 weeks into ownership I was hit by a stolen car causing it to become a cat D but the fact I've done 3000 miles on it since without repair (only cosmetic damage) is a testament to the build quality of the bike. The engine pulls well up to 115mph where mine has topped out (private road of course) and will easily over take cars at speed limits in 3rd gear.

Weaknesses

The plastic tank gives the bike a thin feel compared to the ninja 300 and rc390 (both bikes I had considered having instead of the R3) and some of the fairing feels cheap and poorly thought out such as the chunk of black plastic on the leading edge of the front fairing.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
Click for more details
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