2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 could feature variable valve timing, USD forks and more!
Japanese motorcycle scoop generators Young Machine are reporting that the Yamaha YZF-R25 is set for a full model change in 2019. This is important for us because the YZF-R3 we get was derived from that same platform which debuted in 2014. The Yamaha YZF-R3's sales were interrupted by the switch from BSIII to BSIV but the motorcycle returned with ABS at the 2018 Auto Expo. The Yamaha is known to be a sweet-natured motorcycle with its 42PS complemented by great dynamics and manners as well as real street-friendly comfort despite the sporty riding position. And now, let's see what to expect in the new update - the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and the KTM RC390 in India, after all.
The new Yamaha YZF-R3 will take after the R15 v3 in getting closer to the design and looks of the current R1 and the more recent new R6 (Image source: YoungMachine)
Variable valve actuation
Honda took a fairly high-price route for their CBR250RR adding a lot of technology for a motorcycle that plays in this class. But the Yamaha YZF-R15 v3, to us, shows the way forward. And that means, the new Yamaha YZF-R25 and YZF-R3 engine will almost certainly boast VVA, Yamaha's term for variable valve actuation. Of course, Yamaha uses a simple system that switches valve timing at a preset rpm and that's good enough for this segment. If you assume that the displacement remains the same, that means Yamaha could bring a lot more torque to the R3 while preserving the top-end performance - something that's already enlivened the R15 considerably.
2019 Yamaha R25 speculative rendering
But why should they keep the displacement to 321cc? The race regs where applicable require a 250 and the R25 does that job already. We expect that the new R3 will boast a slightly larger engine that should bring a lot more torque than it does actual horsepower. The Yamaha, as a result, should be vastly faster both around the racetrack and on the street.
Side profile of the new-gen Yamaha R25 is believed to be more radical than the present offering. (Image source: MotoBlast)
We don't expect Yamaha to make major changes to the frame itself. However, some of the chassis aggregates should see upgrades. The Young Machine article clearly points out that a move to upside down forks is imminent and this time, the brake calibers will be radially mounted as well. We are also expecting that the R3 will move to a linkage-type rear monoshock - there is sufficient criticism from the R25 race teams saying that the direct-mount monoshock reduces that amount of race-tuning possible on the Yamaha.
You can bet that the new Yamaha YZF-R3 will take after the R15 v3 in getting closer to the design and looks of the current R1 and the more recent new R6. That means LED head lights, a more race-like fairing, gills on the tank and a vented tail piece in that fetching Yamaha blue and silver paintscheme we know only too well.
India launch plan
Unfortunately, a dramatic change of price requires Yamaha India to consider CKD-assembly or ideally, local production. We believe that Yamaha is working on the feasibility of a CKD-line in India but the R3 is not on that radar at all. We expect that the new bike will arrive in India late in 2019 if revealed at the 2018 year-end motorshows. If the R25/R3 isn't at Intermot or EICMA, though, the India launch could be as late as March 2020. Expect prices to remain in the sub Rs 4 lakh ex-showroom zone unless Yamaha India surprised us with a CKD assembly decision for the R3.
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Team OD | 14 Nov 2019
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