Honda CBR150R vs Yamaha YZF-R15 version 2.0: Comparison
It’s been four years since the Yamaha YZF-R15 drew first blood in 2008, a world class motorcycle to hit Indian shores unheard of by the masses. Just as the old generation blue-smoking 2-stroke Yamaha bikes did, the new YZF-R15 too brought back cool to Indian motorcycling. Last year the YZF-R15 received its first update with more aggressively styled bodywork replicating a true blue supersport-like demeanour in its new 2.0 guise. Undoubtedly this Yamaha has been the most able track scorcher amongst the current crop of motorcycles in the country.
This year though, Honda slipped in the CBR150R to challenge Yamaha’s potent track tool in a rather low key and subtle manner. Priced a little higher than the Yamaha YZF-R15 2.0, the Honda CBR150R is well matched on paper with regard to the power and performance, the only aspect where it fails to match the Yamaha being the features. Here the Yamaha YZF-R15 2.0 clearly takes top honours, with the Honda CBR150R making do with poor quality switchgear, cheap footpegs and lacking an important feature like a pass switch, which though minor is much needed on Indian roads.
These track-bred pocket rockets are to be ridden and raced hard. But with just two race tracks being accessible (barring the BIC due to its costs and more importantly due to the impracticality of running 150cc machines on it!), the Indian biking junta will be riding these machines on public roads. It was our cue to take the two machines to on one of our favourite mountain roads near Pune, with corner-carving veteran Abhishek Nigam astride the Yamaha YZF-R15 version 2.0 and the Honda CBR150R was straddled by Ravi Ved, a regular tourer who is new to the thrills of knee-downs and cornering. But before we get to their ride experiences, let’s talk a bit about the design and style of the two motorcycles.