Yamaha is on a roll in Southeast Asia. It might have been slumbering for the last few years, but currently, things are looking brighter than ever for the Japanese manufacturer. First, it caused a sensation with its three-cylinder Yamaha FZ-09. Then most international magazines cannot stop praising the Yamaha FZ-07. And, then, it created an absolute show-stopper in the form of the Yamaha YZF-R25 concept.
To say that this is exactly what the doctor ordered would be an understatement, for there was real trouble in paradise. So much so, that you would think their corporate color was blue only because they had taken a beating. But all that is now in the past, and it seems like the good days are back, and are here to stay.
The Yamaha YZF-R25 has already materialized into a production machine, and is already on sale in Indonesia. In fact, we were so excited about it that we decided to go there and try it out. The first thing you notice about this 250cc sportsbike is that it's one good-looking machine. It might be a small motorcycle in terms of engine capacity or even size, for that matter, but the proportions are bang on. It isn't just a small-YZF-R1, it's better! While the concept machine had just the nose job, the production Yamaha YZF-R25 gets something different. The designers from Shizuoka have given it the 'shark-nose' treatment, and the results are quite impressive. There really isn't any motorcycle, new or old, that's got a nose like this, and we think it might well be the shape of things to come for the new 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1. Anyway, that design element gives this motorcycle immense presence.
Yamaha had two machines available, one black, and the other in a typical Yamaha blue-and-white paint scheme that does an even better job of highlighting the aggressive lines. OF course, Yamaha has been doing stripes since the days of Kenny Roberts, and it's got them down spot on this one, too.
The next things that you notice about the Yamaha YZF-R25 is the quality. The way the switches click into place, the bushed aluminum bits, the paint basically everything into the smallest details...everything is so right, it seems like stern Japanese men in white-coats and road glasses spent a lot of time giving it a once-over.
The, there are the details. The crankcase cover is beautifully done to resemble the-running fork logo, and the wheels look like they belong on something Italian. The windscreen has a slight gap at the bottom. Doesn't take anything away from the aesthetics, but lets a nice rush of air sneak through when you re on the move. My only grudge is with the chrome rear-set plates. Why use shiny metal when everything else is brushed aluminum?
But enough of this ogling. Let's just get to the stuff that really matters, shall we? Sentul race circuit which is about 50km's south of Jakarta in Indonesia, and is an Asian F3-level track, it's a mostly smooth squiggle of tarmac. The corners are wide, there is a 3000ft main straight and Turn 2 is a really fast corner. It's hot in Sentul, especially at the track but the heat is not stifling like in Bangkok or Jakarta. Now, the thing about riding at a racetrack is that perspective is hard to come by.
And that's something I noticed as I sat with the throttle wide-open on the main straight, and wondered why I was barely moving. A quick glance at the speedo made me realize I was head-butting the limiter at 170km/h. And speaking of realization, the twin-cylinder engine is so smooth, I only realized I was hitting the 13,000rpm redline when the white shifter lights started going berserk. There are no vibes to speak of, which is good. But a louder exhaust would've been welcome.
The smoothness extends to the transmission, too, and each gear slots into place so easily, you would want to change gears just for the fun of it. The riding position, despite the stance, is not overly aggressive, and should be manageable in traffic. The biggest news here, of course, is the engine. The little Yamaha YZF-R25 gets a twin-cylinder, 249cc engine that puts out 36 horsepower. Now, the second-cylinder means that it's not going to be as high-strung as a single-cylinder once things start getting busyTag: YamahaYZF-R25YZF-R3250ccSportsbikeParallel-TwinLiquid-CooledPerformanceSoutheast-AsiaBusinessConcept