Yamaha has just taken the wraps off the YZF-R3, a motorcycle it intends to launch in Europe and UK in April 2015. A quick scan of the spec sheets shows that in essence, the 320cc twin cylinder engine in the R3 is basically a bored out version of the YZF-R25's engine. The bigger engine, naturally, runs slightly lower compression. If you remember, the Ninja 300 also switched to a lower compression over the Ninja 250, allowing the cubes to work less hard but still offer more performance overall.
The R25 is on sale in certain South-East Asian markets. The R3 makes 29.5Nm of peak torque and 42PS of peak power. This is, obviously, higher than the R25 but more importantly, better than the Kawasaki Ninja 300, the motorcycle the R3 will take on head to head. The power output will also give the Yamaha a performance edge over the CBR300R and will take it close to the new KTM RC 390 as well. Both the RC 390 and the Yamaha R3 sit right at the limit of the European A2 licence.
Under the exact same bodywork as the R25 lies a tubular steel frame that allows the Yamaha to hit a relatively light weight of 169kg (the R25's weight is three kilos lighter) fully fueled. That's light for a twin. That makes it 5kg lighter than the ABS Ninja 300.
Yamaha will reveal the full detail on the R3 at the Milan show in early November when the curtain officially goes up on this motorcycle.
As you will now read everywhere, this is the motorcycle Yamaha will shortly bring to India and the YZF-R25 - the South-East Asian bike - will not come to India. We asked Yamaha India officials and they declined to comment.
We have said in the past that the YZF-R3 for India is going to be a single-cylinder motorcycle displacing 300cc and making around 30-32PS. Does this YZF-R3 give us any reason to change our line of thought? Watch this space.