After a brief session at the BIC, it’s time to put Yamaha’s baby MT to the real world test
How’s it in the real world?
WITH THE FZ 16, YAMAHA KICKED off the premium 150cc segment in the country, garnering great response from the classes as well as the masses. The FZ-25 followed it up and it turned out to be a great commuter owing to its torquey engine. If you were looking for an out and out performance-oriented Yamaha, the R15 was your only bet, other than the pricey R3 , of course. Well, until the MT-15 arrived.
A few months ago, Aatish rode the bike at the Buddh International Circuit and was all praises about its agility and that liquid-cooled motor. But the ideal environment to test the MT-15 would be the urban jungle. And that’s exactly what we did this time around. Of course, never discount that trip to Lavasa, our favourite winding road.
The bike is a hoot to ride in the city. There’s no lack of power all the way up to the 12k mark thanks to the variable valve actuation that ensures linear power delivery through the rev range. This makes the engine friendly in the city and puttering around as low as 30kmph in the sixth cog is easy for the MT. The flat handlebar, tall seat and slightly rear-set pegs make for a commanding riding posture. Add the sinister styling to the equation and you’ll have a hard time nitpicking.
Though the bike has the same rake angle as the faired sibling, it has a shorter trail, which makes it super agile. Just point and the bike bolts in that direction. At 138kg, it is very easy to flick around and make your way through the city traffic. Add the zealous motor to the equation and something as monotonous as commuting is so much fun with the MT-15. The brakes offer great feedback and provide ample stopping power.
Take the bike to your favourite ghats and you’ll be a tad disappointed. The short 1335mm wheelbase, which gives you an edge while cutting through the city traffic, is troublesome when you go around corners. There is minimal feedback from the front and the high-profile MRF tyre robs you of confidence when leaned over.
Yamaha has tweaked the suspension on the MT-15 for better everyday usability, however it still feels a bit on the stiffer side. On broken roads, you’ll feel almost every rock you ride over. The low suspension travel is to be blamed for it as well.
Though the bike seems to be well put together, weirdly, the position of the indicator and horn is interchanged which takes time getting used to. Then there’s the huge panel gap beside the rear seat which looks like a hurried job.
The Yamaha MT-15 will leave a lasting impression on you. The motorcycle’s sinister styling, enthusiastic engine and everyday usability will urge you to write that cheque. But the MT’s fit and finish and the stiff suspension is something you might want to consider. The lower-spec components including single-channel ABS, box-type swingarm and poor quality switchgear at `1.36 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) make the MT-15 one pricey affair. ⌧
THE FLAT ‘BAR, TALL SEAT AND REARSET PEGS
MAKE FOR A COMMANDING
Facing page, top to bottom: Mid-corner stability is not its forte; the engine will surprise you with its practicality; headlight looks undeniably cool; console is not easy to read on the go