2018 Yamaha R3 sportsbike launched by John Abraham at the Auto Expo

John Abraham, a keen biker himself, did the unveiling honours of the 2018 Yamaha R3 sportsbike at the Auto Expo earlier today. The brand new bike now gets ABS and stickier Metzeler tyres. The bike has been relaunched in India at a price of Rs. 3.48 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi.

The 2018 version of the R3 is now BS4 emission norms compliant, but the mechanicals remain unchanged except for meeting the tighter emission regulations. Even styling remains unchanged. Bookings for the R3 are now open at Yamaha dealerships around India, and deliveries will start soon.

The R3 uses a 321cc, parallel twin, liquid cooled engine that generates a peak power output of 42 PS at 10,750 rpm and a peak torque output of 29.6 Nm at 9,000 rpm. The high-revving engine is known for its very high levels of refinement and is a joy to operate at high rpms.

The engine gets fuel injection, 8 valves and twin overhead camshafts. It’s paired to a 6 speed manual gearbox. The torque is transmitted to the rear wheel through a chain drive. The R3 features 17 inch alloy wheels, with the front and rear wheels using 100 section and 140 section tubeless tyres.

Both wheels get hydraulic disc brakes, and the presence of ABS makes the R3 a much more safer motorcycle to operate, even in wet conditions. Other key details include a kerb weight of 173 kilograms, a ground clearance of 160 mm, telescopic front fork suspension and an adjustable monoshock rear suspension.

The R3 competes with the Kawasaki Ninja 300R, which is another bike that is imported to India in completely knocked down (CKD) kit form, and then assembled here. This means that both Yamaha and Kawasaki have to pay steep import duties, making the bikes costlier by at least 30 %. Local manufacture would mean that the R3 would be priced at about Rs. 2.5 lakhs, which will make it extremely attractive for buyers. However, limited demand means that Yamaha will continue to CKD import the bike and assemble it here rather that undertaking full scale manufacture.

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