People have asked me, why the latest Yamaha YZF-R15 is the better 150 class sportbike in Thailand... The answer to start with, the single-cylinder, four-valve, liquid-cooled engine now has in the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R15 model a displacement of 155.1cc as compared to 149cc in the existing model. This is mainly due to a larger cylinder bore of 58mm as compared to 57mm in the outgoing model. The compression ratio has gone up from 10.4:1 to 11.6:1. The engine also gets variable valve actuation for an even torque curve.
The engine and performance figures for the Honda CBR150R has not much changed since it was reintroduced with PGM-FI (fuel-injection) system.
The changes for the Yamaha YZF-R15 have resulted into the engine now producing nearly 20 horsepower at 10,000rpm and nearly 15Nm torque at 8,500rpm. These figures clearly show that the Yamaha YZF-R15 now revs higher and produces more power and torque higher up in the rpm range. Although its six-speed transmission remains unchanged, it now gets a genuine sportbike slipper clutch for clutch-free up-shifts.
The new 2017 Yamaha YZF-R15 also gets a new swingarm, upside-down (USD) front forks and slightly wider tires at both ends. The wheelbase has been shortened from 1345mm to 1325mm and the ground clearance has come down from 160mm to 155mm. These changes promise to make the YZF-R15 more agile and nimble, giving it better handling; however, we will have to wait for some real world testing when we get our hands on the new Yamaha YZF-R15.