BikeWale TrackDay 2019: Yamaha MT-15

06 May 2019, 05:13 PM Janak Sorap

Introduction

We all know what the Yamaha YZF R15 V3.0 is capable of when it comes to the track. It is dynamic, agile, packs a potent motor and is, nevertheless a good-looking motorcycle. Now, using these same ingredients, Yamaha has got the streetbike version based on the former, in the form of the MT-15.

The bike features an upright riding stance accompanied by a wide handlebar and slightly-rear set footpegs. It is a sporty yet comfortable setup that is ideal for everyday riding. Besides that, the MT-15 carries forward all the goodies (well almost) from its faired sibling. First up, it features the same Deltabox frame that is the main key to the R15’s fantastic handling quality. Next is the updated 155cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder mill that pumps out a good 19bhp and comes with VVA (Variable Valve Actuation) that offers improved top-end performance. Lastly, it shares the same suspension and braking setup from the R15 V3.0, except for the dual-channel ABS.

Yamaha MT 15

Yamaha MT 15

  • Displacement155 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)17.9 bhp
  • Kerb Weight138 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,39,509

On that note, the MT-15 ticks all the right boxes to qualify for this year’s track day theme. It’s a streetbike that has the underpinning of a track-inspired machine.

Performance

Out on the track, riding the bike through a few corners is enough to get comfortable with it. The larger rear sprocket (52 teeth) has resulted in shortening the overall gearing by a wee bit which makes the bike peppier around corners.

Speaking of corners, the MT-15 comes off as a well-balanced motorcycle. Diving into a fast sweeping corner like C1, the MT-15 sticks to the intended line well. The chassis does a fine job of keeping the weight uniformly distributed between the two wheels.

In tighter bends, when shedding speeds, the brakes on the MT-15 have a good bite and offer feedback to the rider allowing late braking into a corner. Mid-corner, the MT-15 offers excellent lean angles. At no point did the footpegs scrape, even at C10, which is known for its high lean angles. Which means, getting that knee down on this motorcycle is easily manageable.

While exiting corners, thanks to the larger sprocket and the VVA tech, the MT-15 offers a good mid-range punch. The dynamics of the motorcycle lets you remain off the seat while exiting, keeping the bike more upright and thus allowing to open the throttle earlier.

And all the above is possible because the suspension setup which feels just about right for the motorcycle. The front doesn’t dive down aggressively upon braking nor does the rear skip upon accelerating while exiting a corner. With each passing lap on the MT-15 comes the growing confidence and realisation that more speed and lean is possible on this bike.

Handling

The MT-15 is a kilogram lighter and 10mm shorter in terms of wheelbase as compared to the R15 V3.0. Now, while the difference of one kilogram can be ignored, the shorter wheelbase does change the dynamics of the bike. Passing through a sequence of corners, like from C2 to C3 and from C10 to C11, the MT-15 is quick in changing direction. The wide handlebar helps to keep the bike in the intended line while shifting the weight from one side to the other. All these factors make the MT-15 a fast and fun bike around corners.

Track Goodness

The MT-15 is a bike that will not leave you unsatisfied no matter how many laps you ride. It has all the necessary qualities for the track and it fulfils them by bringing a smile behind that visor every time you’ve cornered faster or leaned further.

For a newbie rider on the track, the MT-15 fits the bill just right since it offers the practicality of a daily runner and capability of a track bike in one package. It’s a bike that is comfortable enough to not break your back with the mundane daily commutes but at the same time also inspires the rider to go faster around a corner on those track days.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

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