Our last month’s shootout was testament to the fact that the R3 was superior to all motorcycles on the test but due to its premium pricing and the non-availability of key components such as ABS and sticky rubber, it lost out to the TVS Apache RR 310. Don’t get me wrong, the Apache RR 310 is a neat package and you could be satisfied with what you get for your money. But at the end of the day it is no twin. It does not have the brilliance of Yamaha’s chassis dynamics or even the performance that the Yamaha YZF-R3 boasts of.
“For me, and most of the office would agree on this, the Yamaha YZF-R3 is the best motorcycle of the lot and the one everyone would buy if money was no bar”
The perfect motorcycling companion
It will still continue to be a thorn in its side is the premium pricing of the motorcycle as even the updated version of the R3 went on sale for Rs 3.48 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Many argue (quite adamantly and stupidly, might I add) that the pricing is ridiculous and you could have both the RR 310 and the KTM RC 390 for a little more. However, I implore these individuals to have a go on the R3 and experience the brilliance of the chassis and the motor. I know for sure that the Metzeler rubber on the current spec Yamaha YZF-R3 will take the handling to another level and the availability of ABS adds the much-needed safety net that many will appreciate.
Hence what remain the missing piece of the puzzle are the suspension components, which continue to be tuned for comfort. My recent rides around nearby twisties have forced me to consider the possibility of getting aftermarket units for the Yamaha YZF-R3 as in stock tune they just do not offer the stability that I am looking for when pushing hard. I used to fight with the old stock tyres as they simply failed to live up to the motorcycle’s capabilities. But now with these grippier MRF radials, there is tonnes of grip, carrying more speed into corners than before. In this way, there are more forces transferring on to the suspension and the soft tuning means I am scraping foot-peg feelers more than I would like to. Time for me to save up and bring in consultants from Sweden for an Ohlins monoshock unit!