The MT-15 is the newest offering in the hyper naked family of MT bikes from Yamaha. In simple terms it is the street version of the extremely popular R15 motorcycle. MT stands for master of torque and Yamaha says that is in abundance here. The MT-15 is the fourth Yamaha motorcycle in the very popular 150 cc category ( after the FZ, Fazer and R15) and the Japanese bike maker is catering to all sorts of riding styles and philosophies. The Buddh International circuit played host to our ride but since Yamaha says there’s a lot of torque on offer a traffic laden road would’ve been just fine as well.
The design of the MT-15 is really radical and it looks every bit of the street fighter family. Some of the highlights on this naked machine are the LED headlamps (combination of twin LED position lamps and a single LED projector lamp) and sleek fuel tank that has a capacity of 10 litres. The quality of the switchgear is pretty good too. The instrument cluster is all electric and provides a lot of vital information. And just like the cluster, even the exhaust is borrowed from the R15. The rear is equally appealing with LED lamps and unique grab rails. The bike is available in Matt blue and Matt black colour options.
We have seen this engine on other Yamaha bikes before but on the MT15 it has been re-tuned to give a more spirited ride while commuting in traffic. More power is available to the rider initially to aid in quick overtaking maneuvers. The 155 cc liquid cooled single cylinder engine churns out a good 19.3 PS of peak power and delivers 14.7 Nm of peak torque. VVA (Variable Valve actuation) makes acceleration faster and a 6-speed transmission with an assist and slip clutch ensures a stress-free gearshift. When compared to the R15 this MT is lighter by around 10% (kerb weight 138 kgs) and that makes for a compelling ride that is aggressive and sporty. A bigger 52 teeth sprocket at the rear also helps in faster acceleration. It will not reach the top speed of the R15 but will be much quicker off the blocks, and that makes all the difference in urban chaos. And the grunt you so want from a street fighter is very much there. The sound just adds so much character to the bike.
Ride & Handling
If agility is what you’re looking for, the MT15 fits the bill quite nicely. The way it turns makes the rider feel confident about the ride. A box section swing arm doesn’t hamper the handling wee bit. The seat may not look too big initially but it did play its part in ensuring a comfortable ride. It doesn’t look like it but the bike comes with a good seat height of 810 mm which means even tall riders will get a comfortable riding position on this one. Like the R15 the Delta box frame aids in efficient dynamics however unlike the R15 it gets a conventional telescopic setup which is a letdown. But having said; that we couldn’t find anything to complain about the ride quality during our ride at the BIC. A ground clearance of 155 mm will also ensure that the bike will be able to take on the undulating surfaces with ease. However the bike for all its sporty character gets just a single channel ABS and a 282 mm front disc brake.
The MT-15 is almost the perfect naked street fighter you’ve been waiting for the 150 cc segment of motorcycles. And we say almost because everything works for the bike but its price. At Rs 1.36 lacs (ex-showroom) Yamaha feels a bit expensive and may deter some from going for it. And to confuse you a little another fantastic bike from the company, the bigger more powerful FZ-25 costs lesser than the MT15. However, if you’re willing to spend the money on this bike it will keep you happy while you’re on the saddle and the smile will stay even when you’re looking at it after the ride. The iconic MT-01 may not be around anymore but this baby carries forward the legacy pretty well in its own sweet way.