YAMAHA MT-15

Af­ter a brief ses­sion at the BIC, it’s time to put Yamaha’s baby MT to the real world test

Evo India - - CONTENTS - WORDS by MANAAL MAHATME PHO­TOG­RA­PHY by SACHIN S KHOT

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

POS­TURE

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

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