If they are coming straight at you there is little chance you’ll be able to tell apart the R15 V 1.0 from the newer R15 V 2.0. From the rear however, it is a totally different story. You can be forgiven for thinking they’re two different bikes entirely. The most obvious and the most eye-catching difference is the tail of the new R15, which resembles that of the R6. The new R15 now sports a split seat design, with the pillion’s seat considerably higher than the rider’s. Coupled with the rear fender assembly and the beefy tyre that customers desired for so long, the new R15 is that much closer to looking like a full-fledged supersports-bike.

The tail lights are now LEDs, which are bright and also energy efficient and is placed in a triangular housing. The rear number plate holder and mudguard is positioned below the tail-lights, attached via an aluminium bracket. Removing it when hitting the tracks is a simple process.

 Looks and feel:

The most sought out change that people wanted for their R15’s were for fatter tyres. At the front, we now get a 90/80-17 MRF Zapper-FY1 instead of an 80/90-17. At the rear, we have an MRF Revz-S 130/70-R17. The R stands for Radial, which means the tyre uses radial ply-cords and steel belts in its construction. If you did not get the last bit, just take it to mean a fat tyre with stiffer tread and lighter weight. Both the tyres are made of soft compound and offer exceptional levels of grip. They are mounted on 17 inch alloys that have excess metal carved out to keep weight to a minimum. The rear now has a tyre-hugger with an integrated saree guard to comply with legal requirements. Yamaha have put some good work into integrating this legal requirement quite well.

When you get onto the V2, you can instantly notice the increase in the seat height, but your attention soon diverts to the seat surface itself, which feels very grippy beneath your bum. It prevents unintentional sliding on the seat, but without being too restrictive. So now you get lots of grip not only from the soft compound tyres, but also the seat! This is particularly helpful for the pillion as the grab-rails have been discarded and all you get to hold on to is a  half-inch wide strap at the front of the seat.

The handle and foot-peg positions seem unaltered, but due to the raised seat, the riding posture feels a bit more aggressive, especially when tucking in at high speeds.

Given the fat tyres and the low end torque of the previous-gen R15, we expected to see the torque take another steep dive, as on paper the peak power and torque figures remain unchanged. But we were pleasantly surprised. Despite the extra 5 kilos, the new R15 V2 pulls more strongly and easily at lower revs, which makes the bike more usable in stop and go traffic and touring by keeping gear changes to the minimum. This is achieved by changing the secondary gear reduction ratio from 3.000 to 3.133, a previous 14/42 front-rear sprocket ratio, to 15/47 so that you get more torque in every gear.

Apart from the revised gearing, the engine feels the same as before. The exhaust note however has more bass to it and sounds better. The silencer has been redesigned with a plastic heat shield that looks like carbon fibre and rises at a steeper angle to keep in line with the new tail. There is a name tag on the silencer to help anyone wondering what bike it is.

Handling and braking:

The new aluminium swing-arm that has trickled down from the R15’s bigger brothers increases the wheelbase by 55mm which imparts more high-speed and mid-corner stability to the bike. It feels less twitchy when making small corrections or going over bumps. Flicking it from one direction to another however requires little more effort compared to the older R15. Those who are new to the bike might prefer the older version’s manoeuvrability while veterans might opt for the increased stability to carry more speed out of a corner. Overall, the bike feels more planted and less eager to change directions due to the increased wheelbase and extended trail, but once you get it leaned over, it is easier to stay that way through the corner.

The Nissin brake calipers are unchanged except for their colour which is now plain black, while the disc rotors have been upgraded, the front is the same size as before but the rear is now 220mm in diameter. Braking remains as good as it was with the previous generation.

List of changes:

  • Increase in wheelbase from 1290mm to 1345mm
  • Seat height up from 790mm to 800mm
  • Decrease in over all length from 1995mm to 1970mm
  • Larger radius 220 mm rear disc
  • Larger section 130/70 rear tyre, 90/80 front
  • Increase in weight by 5 kilograms, the R15 V.20 weighs 136 kilograms
  • Changes to the ECU programming (re-mapped) to ensure a better off the line performance
  • Long aluminum swing arm
  • New Sprockets
  • LED tail lights
  • Re-designed middle and tail section
  • Upgrades to the clutch and throttle pulley (Twin throttle cables)
  • New design alloy wheels
  • New exhaust pipe
  • Louder, twin-tone horns
  • Slightly tinted visor
  • “Sticky” split seats that provide more support to the rider when hanging off to the side

The redesigned front fairing now protrudes a bit further below the headlights reducing the apparent gap between the mud-guard and the headlight assembly, lending the bike a sporty crouching-and-ready-to-pounce look. And with the pointy tail, the image of a wasp that’s ready to sting comes to mind.

On the other hand, features that come to be expected of a bike that screams of racing heritage like a lap timer and/or a top speed recorder are sorely missed. At the very least, a clock could have been provided!

Commuter Review:

With the engine tuned for more low to mid-range torque, the bike becomes more rideable at low speeds, in traffic, even with a pillion. Pulling off the line when the light turns green is a breeze as you don’t need to rev the engine high before the power kicks in. The riding stance though is still more inclined towards superior high speed control rather than comfort so daily commuters will be as bothered as they were with the previous version.

The pillion’s story is in a different league altogether. The first problem would be to get on to the high slung seat. A combination of height and a degree of flexibility is essential to get up there without much ado. Shorter people will find the feat more difficult without using the foot-peg as a ladder. Then comes the issue of the small seat and missing grab-rails: all you get is a strap between your legs to hold on to. Since the seat is higher than the rider’s by a good 4-5 inches, it’s easier to grab the tank for support rather than hang onto the rider. Either way, the pillion will have to be leaning forwards on the rider for more stability, especially when braking. Good news if you’ve got your guy/girl on the back, not so good if it’s someone you don’t want to get too intimate with. Passers-by will notice the rider hunched over the bike and the pillion hunched over the rider. It will be a bit tiring for the pillion to sit through long rides.

Tourer Review:

Thanks to the wide power-band, the R15 V2 is better at touring than the original, by minimizing gear shifts and facilitating relaxed highway cruising with its 2 overdrives. The need to downshift as often as in the V1 is also reduced. The longer wheelbase and wider tyres add to the straight line stability of the bike. The downsides are the sporty riding position, un-encouraging pillion seat and the inability to mount existing saddlebags without altering them first. The new horn is louder and sounds better since there are two of them, each with a slightly different tone. They do a good job of making sure other road users notice you.

The twin throttle cable enables one to keep riding even if one of the cables snaps in the middle of nowhere. The tyres have bigger, deeper and a greater number of treads to provide optimum traction over a range of terrains. There is however, no under-seat space for storing small articles like toolkit, puncture repair kit, vehicle documents, etc.

Final Verdict:

The R15 was very good as a track-bred machine, but there were some shortcomings for everyday use, most notably the meagre low-end torque. One would have to rev the engine a lot more than rival bikes to get it up to speed from a stand-still. While the bike looked awesome with its full fairing, the tyre size was an eyesore. The R15 Version 2.0 overcomes these issues with altered gear ratios so that there is torque available right from the lower revs. The new body work, the pointy tail, the meaty swing arm, the beefy tyres and a deeper exhaust note up the ante to a new level. This simply has to be the best looking 150cc out there.

With an ex-showroom price of 1,07,000INR in Delhi, 8000INR more than the old R15, we think the V2 is definitely worth buying, the technology and detail that has gone into the R15’s in general still remain unmatched and add to that the new looks its definitely a winner. However with the on-road price inching dangerously close to the CBR250R’s which offers a more complete package for a fractional increase in cost. For an extra 30k, you get more power, more torque, more comfort (for the pillion and the rider), and a bigger fuel-tank, which practically speaking is more usable than the sheer handling of the R15. The new R15 V2.0 has never been just another 150CC, its always been more of a lifestyle choice, and now it comes with a more dedicated purpose than the older R15. Definitely worth the money you pay, but the competition is not far.


  1. I hve both the byk with me v1.o and v2.o but guys let me tell you something YAMAHA is the only company who can make this kind of bikes i love yamaha my frst bike was rx 100 then fz now r15 but V1 has japnes engine 5 clutch plate bike (old model) best engine in india V2 has indian technology it is also gud for long drive v1 is gud for style and impress people v2 is cool for modification of v1 use 120/80 17 for rear Tyre for V1 it wll looks awesome if you want then contact me 9051914290 i modified yahama bikes

  2. Hi,
    Saw the reviews, Thanks a ton, i need a suggestion i am planning to buy R15 for which i have shortlisted 2 2nd hand bikes that is R15 V1 model 2009 rode 31000kms priced at 67k and another R15 V2 model 2013 rode 5000kms priced at 90k kindly suggest me your opinion to which 1 to go for.

    Thanks Again

  3. hi,
    saw the reviews it helped me a lot, Thanks a ton, i am a fan of yamaha from my school days have rx 100 and rx135 , yzr and planning to buy r15 . i am going for 2nd hand vehicle, their are 2 vehicles shortlisted 1 is R15 V2 at 90k 2013 model rode 5000kms and R15 V1 at 65 k 2009 model rode 31000km. kindly suggest your opinion at the earliest i need to decide to buy i this 2 or 3 days.

  4. hi friends……plz hlp me!
    can I fit the new R15 v2’s front tyre (90/80 17) in my R15 V1’s front rim?
    Please reply in my mail…. my tyre got torned & I have to replace it right now….

  5. Can we adjust the rear seat height of new r 15 version 2.0? (OR) Can we replace the new r 15 version 2.0 entire seat with the old one?

  6. i had got R15 V1 and i want to change the front part of my bike, i would like to join V2 parts in V1, is it possible change parts?
    I would like to know the similar parts between V1 and V2.
    so please provide me the similar parts between two bikes

  7. is it good to decrease the mono shock .. can we make the height of the tail a bit small ? how will it look like ? though R15 v 2 is best !

    • Hi jay, although we have not done this, we would suggest you not to perform this, it could lead to the rear tyre hitting the tail section with pillion and on bad roads, it could also change the handling a bit due to the change in weight distribution.

  8. Hi EDITOR,
    I’m owning R15 V1, is it easy undergoing for it to be changed to R15 V2.
    Moreover what are the advantages V1 is having and what about the mileage of V2?

  9. Hey, r15 lovers… I am a big fan of upgrading bikes.. so can any one please tell me what performance upgrades can i do.

  10. Just to add,even the handling on CBR is quite mean and point and shoot,cornering is as good. Maybe(maybe) on the real race track,R15 might overshine CBR on cornering,but the blend of high performance and design on CBR will still play spoil sport anywhere.. All in all,an expensive machine

  11. After riding this bike and a CBR later,Yamaha has made a big blunder.
    This bike disappeared in the CBRs rear view mirror in seconds,more so with a 80kg pillion on CBR. Come to think of it,not a good choice. I. M. O. only.


  12. one more question do i buy this bike as i am going to buy one in jan 2012 or there are many new better bikes coming up ? max budget is 1.3 .

  13. hi guys even i have the same question as rohit what is the manual gear system of this new r15 ? all gears in front ?? reply asap thanks :)

  14. Superb review and comparison. The gear u guys are wearing seems pretty much high end. Do you mind sharing the prices for the same?

  15. Dude,
    As a fan of yamaha I am happy to read this article, But in this article u said there is no under seat compartment for holding some small articles.I m afraid that it s wrong.I found in net there is a small compartment available below the pillion seat, Which is more than enough for holding such article.U better Please verify it.

    Other than this the article is well and good.

  16. The R15 V2 is far better than older one and it also has an under seat space which is just under the rear seat and also having a lock mounted between the rear and front seat. The under seat space is enough to keep toolkit or any other small usable articles for use in emergency, so kindly rectify that point.

  17. hi..
    after increasing gear ratio ,torque produced on lower rpm has been increased noticeably, it would have certainly affected the mileage also. m i right?

  18. Nice Review.
    You say it doesn’t have any under-seat space, but we’ve seen that the rear seat is removable and has some space for tool-kit and documents.
    Secondly is the bike a better option than the CBR (purely in terms of performance and handling)?

  19. Hai sir,

    You said that the height of the seats were increased.. So will a 6.1ft rider(i.e., ME) will feel comfortable while riding this..,unlike the older version…?? And won’t it look awkward…?

  20. Its one of the best review about R15 V2… was looking for long time. I believe there is no sense in comparing R15 and CBR 250. Both are different on its own. R15 is very sports centric and thts the way they defined from start

    If you are real sports bike enthusiast, can’t afford big bulky high cubics… then its the miniature :) Go for it!

    • Nope… you will have to go through a lot of mess to get it done.
      If you have a V1 then we suggest you keep it stock instead of making it v2-ish. V1 has some goodness of its own if you look back at it.
      and lets keep our fingers crossed for Yamaha to get a 250 rolling soon… :)

  21. A very neat review indeed!But the negativity with respect to lack of touring comfort,bungee points,pillion comfort etc sorrounding the R15 is actually not justified both at the manufacturer’s end and the customer end!Yamaha never intended the R15 to be a touring bike.Its an outright sportsbike.So a customer expecting it to be a touring machine and be comfortable over long distances is not justifyable.On the customer end though,it is more serious.India is devoid of race tracks and expecting people to buy a bike solely meant for tracks is again worng on Yamaha‘s part.
    But Yamaha has done its job (and done it well) by giving us a true blue supersports machine which IMO should not be compared to the CBR250 (as it is more tourer oriented) and ultimately boils down to the rider as to how he intends to use it!

    • True Abhishek, the R15 v2 is in a league of its own and plugged in more closely to its own “racing”(R) family. And purpose wise, it cannot be compared.
      But like you said, there are not many race tracks in India, and there are only a handful who would hit the tracks everyday or weekend.
      Club that with the more common choice of Indian customers to buy a more all-rounder package than purpose oriented. And thats when you find the CBR250r nosing in around the corner.
      We at IAMABIKER werent comparing the R15 v2.0 and CBR250r. Just putting forth what an Indian customer would generally look for while buying a bike.
      But all said and done, the R15 v2.0 is a beautiful machine and we sure are rushing to the track with it… :D

  22. Hi guys… Just admiring the whole review. Amazing job, very well written, beautiful photographs. I am a proud owner of a 5 month old R15 V1. Going by your pillion review, how good is the pillion comfort over long periods? How long was the pillion on the bike to provide the intel on how good/bad the comfort was. I do a lot of touring on my present bike with my GF on-board. So will she be comfortable enough on the highways? I test rode the bike recently & was overwhelmed to see the power kick in so early, it would surely be a delight to ride one on the highways. But what about mounting saddle bags? Will it be a sensible move to swap my V1.0 to V2.0? Or should I just wait before I have enough funds & buy either the CBR250R or the Ninja250R? Please advice.

    • Thanks Benak.
      Pillion comfort comparatively is not that great as you can see in the pictures and review itself. many of us did try it for quite some time and results were the same. For the fairer sex, well, very few who would opt for it.
      Yes, the bike definitely is much more delightful to ride. :)
      No you cant use the saddlebags on these either. would need mods.

      The new v2 would mean more solo riding ideally. but fun filled none the less.
      But if your GF and saddlebags are definite companions to you on most of your rides, esp on highways, then an upgrade to a 250 would make more sense.
      End of the day, we suggest heading down to your nearest Yam dealer with your GF and checking it out.

    • Thanks for the quick reply Shadez,
      I completely agree with you that it is a delight to ride it alone, no wonder they say “Arrive Alone” :p
      We just checked it out today & she felt she was sky high on the pillion seat! She even complained too many wind blasts @ anything above 60kmh! We rode it for a 4-5 odd kms, she was very uncomfortable with the seating for just this short stint & while braking, she was all over my back! :p
      Well, after the ride I had made my choice that I aint swapping it for anything & she agreed with me for the same :) But still, Yamaha is really losing the competition! With the bike being 1.27L on road in Bengaluru, its better to spend another 20kays odd and go for the CBR250R. But if one is seriously looking for a potent track bike, then this has gotta be it!

  23. Looks good,but ergonomically a disaster.
    Price points are too high to offset the bare minimum power/performance increase.
    I definitely ‘will’ not compare this bike to CBR 250 CC,albeit for price points.

    CBR is definitely a better bet and rather capable/potent machine. If anything that could help us compare is a 250CC yamahayamaha 150CC,leaves a lot to be desired.

    • Hi Aj,

      Exactly! The price point is what makes the good handling, sharp looking Yamaha loose points to any other bike in the similar price range, which in this case is the CBR250R.
      At the end of the day apart from the enthusiasts like us, people really want more bang for the buck that they shell out. Hence that’s why at the verdict and only at the verdict ;) we mentioned the CBR250.
      The R15 is definitely good, but now is more targeted at enthusiasts who want that extra handling and the supersport feel which comes at premium over the older R15 :)

    • Agree! This is indeed a MOTOGP Bracket :),I wish we could have had track day culture in every city in India,this bike would have made greater sense…It’s indeed a lifestyle product :)

  24. I am totally surprised with this review. Most of all it’s not very much biased towards the new Yamaha this time. R15 is a gem, no questions asked. But the CBR is always at sight when you are dishing out nearly 1.25 lacs for the R15. It’s actually more practical, more powerful, good looking as well, and because I do NOT hit the track every Saturday, it will be more than enough to provide me with the joys of a mini-super bike.

    • Hi Shivank,

      Glad we think alike, our verdict was definitely keeping the practicality bit in mind, The R15 is a really amazing machine and this change makes it better. Just more a lifestyle product now.


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