The Yamaha YZF R3 might just be my favourite long termer in the OVERDRIVE garage right now. Just like Shumi and Rishaad have been saying, the Yamaha R3 is a great handler with an engine that almost matches the KTM 390 in terms of power and speed. I've been riding around on the YZF R3 for a while now and I am super impressed.First off, it looks like a much bigger motorcycle. I happened to watch one of the other guys on the motorcycle and at first look, it looks a lot like a GP bike. Surprisingly though, once you start riding it, it doesn't feel like a large motorcycle. Not only did the CBR250R, for example, look nice and big, but also felt the same when you started riding it. The R3 manages to hide its bulk very well. The moment you sit on it, it feels like a much smaller bike. In fact, you could even say that the bike feels a lot like an R15 once you start riding it.
There are some chinks in its armour though. First, above 7,000rpm the motorcycle becomes a bit buzzy. Over long distance this becomes a problem since near 7,000rpm is where you generally tend to cruise. But that isn't the biggest chink. My biggest grouse is with the tyres. The R3 really needs better rubber. With the amount of power it makes, the rear tyre breaks traction way too easily. It is something that you constantly have to watch out for. And on Mumbai's paver blocks, the lack of grip on the front tyre can be a bit of a worry thanks to the absence of ABS. The rear tyre misbehaves too, but once you get used to it, it becomes more entertaining than anything else. The only time you really feel the lack of grip is when you're out riding with KTMs and other bikes with similar power. The R3 is not able to put all its power down to the tarmac thanks to the lack of grip. You cannot corner it as hard either.So first order of business - new tyres. I'm expecting them any time now, but more on that next time.
Total Mileage: 1,986km Date acquired: Jan '16