The Yamaha MT15 is the naked sibling of the R15 V3 sportsbike, and it has been spotted testing on Indian roads for the first time ever. Yamaha India will launch the MT15 later this year, as its premium 150cc street bike that will sit in between the Yamaha FZS and the R15.
Spyshots courtesy Team-BHP
The MT15 shares its mechanicals with the Yamaha R15 V3 but takes a street naked styling approach rather than the R15’s full faired design. Also, the Yamaha MT15’s riding position is a lot less aggressive, and is meant to suit commuting more than track riding.
This is not to say that the motorcycle isn’t sporty though. Think of it as Yamaha’s version of the KTM Duke 200. The MT15 will use the same 155cc, four stroke engine that’s now seen in the R15 V3. However, this motor is likely to be tuned for better low end and mid range performance rather than outright top-end power.
Again, this change is to ensure that the motorcycle is quite usable in everyday city traffic conditions, where it is likely to spend time in low and mid range rpms rather than high rpms, which are generally the preserve of the race track and high-speed highway runs.
Accordingly, the 155cc liquid cooled, fuel injected single cylinder engine’s outputs may vary from that of the R15’s 19 Bhp-15 Nm outputs. A 6 speed manual gearbox is expected to accompany this engine. Also, Yamaha is likely to offer dual channel ABS, which was recently introduced on the R15 V3.
As for features, the Yamaha MT15 sold in India could be a whittled down version of the global model mainly in order to price the motorcycle affordably. The slew of changes on the India-spec Yamaha MT15, as visible on the test mule include a revised fuel tank, telescopic front forks instead of upside down units found on the global model, different alloy wheels, a more conventional read mudguard and lesser body work. Just like how the Yamaha R15 V3 is a lower-spec variant of the global model in terms of suspension and body work, the MT15 could be a cheaper variant of the global model. Most buyers won’t be complaining though as the lower price tag is likely to more than compensate for the deleted features.
It’s a good thing that the Yamaha R15’s underbone chassis is shared with the MT15. This detail is expected to give the sports naked excellent handling. The motorcycle is likely to be the priciest 150cc, street naked offering in India, with a price tag of well over Rs. 1 lakh. This will make the Yamaha MT15 a premium sports commuter for city streets, one that sits above the likes of 200cc naked street bikes such as the TVS Apache RTR 200 and the Bajaj Pulsar NS 200. Will enough people buy the Yamaha MT15 at such price levels. Going by how popular the R15 V3 is turning out to be, there’s no reason why Indians won’t fork out a premium for a high quality 150cc motorcycle with great performance and looks to offer.