2024 Yamaha R3 Road Test Review: A Costly Affair

  • Jun 30, 2024
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The 2024 Yamaha R3 is a potent motorcycle that is a ton of fun to ride, but carries a hefty price tag. We explore its capabilities in the real world to bring you a detailed review

Talk to any Yamaha fanboy about the R3 and they immediately have a grin on their face. It is a motorcycle that has had a reputation for being the perfect balance between sporty riding and daily commuting. The previous generation model had a short run in India because of how expensive it was at that time, but it has always been an extremely desirable machine. Owing to the growth of the 300-400cc segment, Yamaha has brought the R3 back to India in its new avatar, but it carries a heavy price tag of Rs 4.65 lakh (ex-showroom). We spent time with it to help you make an informed decision before making a purchase.

2024 Yamaha R3: Design

The new Yamaha R3 has a sleek and aggressive sportbike design. The older-gen R3 sported a great design for its time and looked just like a baby R1. But fast forward to 2024 and the updated model looks more like an R15. This new-gen R3 gets a redesigned fairing, LED lighting all around, and an inverted fork as well. These are pretty much the extent of the updates when it comes to styling. The bike is available in two colour schemes: Yamaha Black and Icon Blue. While the black option is surely stealthy, it might be a bit too subtle for everyone's liking. The blue on the other hand surely makes it stand out better. Overall, looks are subjective and the overall design of the Yamaha R3 is neat, but personally, I preferred the styling of the older-gen model.

2024 Yamaha R3: Engine, Performance, and Mileage

This parallel-twin motor has been well known for its refined power delivery and rev-happy nature. There is ample power in the mid-range rpms to make quick overtakes in the city but higher up in the rev range is where it truly comes alive. It revs up to almost 13,000rpm, making it extremely engaging to wring out on twisty roads and at the same time, also has an extremely tractable nature, allowing it to chug along at low speeds of 45kmph in sixth gear. This makes it quite versatile in nature. What further adds to the whole experience is the sweet exhaust note.

There are a few vibrations that creep in at the bars after it crosses 7,000rpm, but this gives it more character rather than bothering the ride experience. The gear shifts are really slick but it does miss out on a slip-and-assist clutch, and the clutch action is on the heavier side. This makes it a bit of a task while riding through stop-go traffic. In our tests, the bike was able to do a 0-100kmph sprint in just 6.09 seconds. At this price point, a quickshifter would have been a welcome addition to the whole package. 

In our tests, we got an average fuel efficiency figure of approximately 28kmpl with a mix of city and highway riding conditions. This surely makes it quite efficient for a 321cc motorcycle and ultimately a bike you can use for the daily grind. 

2024 Yamaha R3: Comfort

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The R3 is surprisingly comfortable for a sportsbike. The reach to the clip-on handlebars is not too aggressive and it has a really accessible seat height of 780mm. The footpegs are set towards the rear and while I was quite comfortable astride the bike with my 5.7 foot frame, the lower body might feel cramped for taller riders. Usually, the naked variant of a motorcycle is always the more practical option for ride comfort, but in the case of the R3 and MT-03, the R3 surely feels like the much better option.

2024 Yamaha R3: Handling and Ride Quality

With a kerb weight of 169kg, the R3 feels really light once it is on the go, quickly tips into corners, and is also really good fun while flicking from one side to the other. As mentioned above, the updated R3 gets inverted forks. The suspension setup is on the stiffer side but still really good for a motorcycle in the sportsbike category. This makes it a bike that can be used for day-to-day commutes as well as for longer weekend rides, thanks to its compact proportions and nimble handling abilities. 

The Dunlop tyres are decent but we would have liked to see better rubber offered as stock especially considering the price of the motorcycle. I would suggest swapping them out immediately if a rider really wants to exploit the full potential of this chassis in the twisties. The braking is really nice with a sharp feel at the lever which gets the bike to stop quickly and in a predictable manner. There is minimal intervention from the ABS, and that ultimately allows riders to get on the brakes later and also feel safer if they need to grab on the lever in case of an emergency. 

2024 Yamaha R3: Features

When compared to other modern-day motorcycles, the R3 still has a vintage feel to it in the features department. It gets dual-channel ABS and a fully digital LCD screen. This screen has a clean layout, giving riders important information at a quick glance.  The switchgear is also pretty basic and will take some getting used to. This is because Yamaha has decided to flip the placement of the horn button and indicator switch. 

Being someone who has enjoyed riding motorcycles without electronic aids, I don't see any issue with the bike not having rider aids. Unfortunately, what will bother the average Indian customer is the fact that even the current-gen R15 has more features on offer. Because of this factor and the hefty price of the R3, it is difficult to justify to a Yamaha R15 owner looking to upgrade.

2024 Yamaha R3: Verdict

The R3 does lack modern features but is an enjoyable motorcycle to ride. Additionally, what a customer will get is the reliability of this tried and tested Japanese engine. Yamaha also has a large service network and a good reputation for supporting all of their big bike owners. But, priced at Rs 4.65 lakh (ex-showroom), this is an extremely expensive proposition. The reason for this hefty price tag is because the bike is coming to India via the CBU route. 

At the end of the day, the average Indian consumer is price-conscious, so if Yamaha wants to make waves with the R3 and MT-03 in India, they are going to have to do something about this steep pricing.  Making it more accessible will only increase sales and help it go up against the competition. I'm sure there are many enthusiasts out there who would pick this over a feature-packed motorcycle just for the engaging riding experience that it delivers. So, we do hope that Yamaha India finds a way to reduce the price as it is going to be difficult to suggest to anyone until then.

Yamaha R3 Video Review

Yamaha R3
Yamaha R3
Rs. 4.64 Lakh
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