While Yamaha would like to draw your attention towards all the technological updates, they pale in comparison with the way the YZF-R15 V3.0 handles. Even though this was my first experience with the R15 on track, the bike had me in my groove in no time. Even the smallest shift in weight and counter steer was enough to tip the bike into corners. The steering is well weighed and the reaction to inputs is instantaneous. Even when you are crouched over, the handlebar positioning allows you to make quick direction changes or corrections with the lightest of effort. This also means that riding doesn’t feel tiring at all and you can spend more time on the track rather than sitting in the pits wondering why you didn’t spend more time in the gym.
The front suspension felt a little soft for the track, a compromise made to keep it street-friendly. There were a couple of instances where I took the bumpy line through C1 and even though the front wobbled, the bike didn’t veer off the line. And once you have hit the apex, you can whack open the throttle without getting overwhelmed by the power. The 19 horsepower engine gives you a spirited drive and has enough power low-down even if you enter the corner a gear higher. Through the kinks and straight between C3 and C4, I managed to hit 134kmph, which is not bad for a stock 150cc motorcycle.
Even the brakes have a good progression and feel. There is no shortage of stopping power, and the bike kept encouraging me to brake later into the corner. However, a sharper initial bite would have been much appreciated, especially considering that the rest of the package is put together so well. But then, this is again a compromise made to keep the bike street-friendly, especially with ABS not even on the options list.