The MT range from Yamaha is all about hitting the streets with an easy to ride machine that has enough power to excite you and the looks to stand apart. The Yamaha MT-15 according to us definitely has the looks, but with DNA shared with the R15 V3, can it really be that street friendly? Lets find out!The MT-15 is basically a naked version of the R15 V3 we already have and adore. It loses the faring, it gets a funky headlight, loses the beautiful swing-arm and now has a single channel ABS system.
Let’s start with its performance, thanks to a bigger rear sprocket and of course the VVA technology the MT-15 is quick off the line. In-fact due to its light weight and the peppy engine nature, the MT-15 is very eager to lift that front wheel and get going in a hurry.
The gearing is so well sorted out with very well thought out ratios that enable you to potter around city in top gear in speeds as low as 20-30 kmph and even when you do have to slow down it still does pull cleanly even in 3rd gear.
This allows you quite the tension free ride without much gear shifts required. The refinement levels are typical Yamaha and even when you rev hard thigs are well composed until you reach near the rev limits.
The MT-15 can do triple digit cruising with ease and at the same time return a mileage in excess if 40 kmpl consistently. The gear shifts are also quite precise and confident with light and easy clutch pull. Yamaha have retained the slipper clutch also on the MT-15, it also functions well during those quick downshifts and keeps that rear wheel in check.
Coming to the handling the best words that describe the MT-15 are light weight. The slightly lower weight than the R15 definitely helps, but the revised rake angle and wide handlebars give you immense control over the bike.
Changing directions is a breeze, making navigating through traffic so much easy to the extent of being fun. The comfortable riding stance which allows you to still tall on the bike in typical street fighter stance also give you confidence on the machine. Even the turning radius is quite small.
Out on the highway the same lightweight feel does make you a bit susceptible to crosswinds but all that is forgiven when you finally reach some twisty corner scrapping roads.
The MT-15 is so stable and precise through corners that it would give its fully faired twin a run for its money. At no point do you really miss the aluminum swing arm.
The front suspensions are on the softer side, again aiding street riding, a bit more softer rear would have made the whole setup ideal for its intended use.
And then when you need to drop anchor and really bring down those speeds, the brakes backed by the single channel ABS probably could have used a bit more initial bite.
Don’t get us wrong, the brakes do their job quite well, a bit sharper initial bite would have made it more confident while pushing it. A dual channel ABS system is also definitely missed though and would have made it a better package overall.
The projector headlight on the MT-15 is actually quite functional. The build quality all around is good and you definitely can see that it is built to last. There are definitely a few bits and pieces that could have been better but overall the it’s a well-made machine.
So then, the Yamaha MT-15 is every bit the street machine that it is intended to be. Its quick, light, efficient and most importantly fun to ride. The only remaining elephant in the room is its pricing.
The MT-15 can almost get away with it by being such a good motorcycle to ride, but with competition in that price range being quite severe it surely has its job cut out.