Compact and fun! Two words to describe the Yamaha MT-15. The compact dimensions, 138kgs of kerb weight and upright ergonomics makes the MT15 a perfect tool for the city (even though it was tested on a race track). The lower seat height means it’s easy to mount and unmount for a majority of Indians.
The MT-15 is quick off the start line. The bike felt energetic and responsive throughout the 25 mins ride at BIC. The tall first two gears will make sure you have attained the best positions and the speed is good enough to get you through the corners. The 155cc engine is refined, revs smoothly, and provides great low and mid-range performance. The top-end though, misses out on some fun, due to the change in final drive. But just like in the R15, the engine on the MT-15 continued to impress us. At higher rev range, it neither feels strained nor does it feel crude. The six-speed gearbox which also comes with assist and the slipper clutch is super slick, which enhances the overall experience. The light clutch will be a boon for city dwellers.
Just like its fully-faired sibling, the MT-15 is a great handler. This bike wants to be played with around every corner, thanks to its lightness and compact dimensions. It’s very easy to steer the MT-15 into corners, and it kept on doing that willingly. But the lack of space on the seat makes it difficult to move around quickly. While the MT-15 happily obeys to easy inputs, the sudden shift in weight makes the bike a bit uncomfortable.
One place that the MT-15 needs some improvement is in the braking department. The 282mm disc at the front and a 220mm disc at the rear have been carried forward from the R15. This setup doesn’t inspire confidence, blame the lack of bite and feel on the lever. Plus, the MT-15 gets a single-channel ABS which is disappointing in a bike at this segment and price point.