Yamaha India is set to launch the YZF-R3 in India in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, we rode it recently in Thailand, and here is how it will compete against the segment benchmark, the KTM RC 390, on paper.
The Yamaha R3 seems to take inspiration from its bigger sibling, the R1. It gets split LED headlights with a transparent visor up top. Then, it gets large side panels, and the overall bodywork has lots of cuts and creases, which make it look sporty. On the other hand, the KTM RC 390 features a single-piece LED headlight with LED DRLs. It, too, gets a transparent visor but looks slightly more modern than its Japanese rival.
Yamaha has offered few features on the R3 even in its latest generation. It only gets LED illumination, LCD, side-stand sensor, and ABS. There are no connectivity features on the Japanese supersport. Then, we have the RC390, which is loaded with rider aids, including ABS modes, traction control, bi-directional quickshifter, side-stand sensor, full LED illumination, TFT, smartphone connectivity for media controls, notifications, and navigation. So, it is quite clear that the RC has an upper hand in the features department.
Powering the new Yamaha YZF-R3 is a 321cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine. It dishes out 40.4bhp and 29.4Nm and is linked to a six-speed gearbox. Moreover, the R3’s engine is notably smoother and revs higher. On the flip side, the RC gets a single-cylinder engine with punchy power delivery and a comparatively lower redline. It is a 373cc, liquid-cooled mill and belts out 42.9bhp at 9,000rpm and a peak torque of 37Nm at 7,000rpm. Both bikes get different engine dimensions, and the overall character, too, varies. We have covered the R3’s package in our first ride review.
Both bikes ride on USD front forks and a monoshock at the rear. Then, the braking setup on the Yamaha YZF-R3 and the KTM RC 390 includes a single disc at both ends with dual-channel ABS. These are mounted on 17-inch wheels, but the R3 comes with Dunlop tyres, whereas the RC uses Metzelers.
We expect Yamaha to price the R3 at around Rs. 4.3 lakh (ex-showroom) since it will be sold as a CBU product, while the KTM RC 390 retails at Rs. 3.18 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Overall, the RC 390 is notably less expensive than the R3 and even offers better equipment on paper. But how the two will fare in the real world is something we will find out soon.