Honda and Yamaha have introduced their latest bikes in Auto Expo (Delhi) this year. Honda has astonished all the visitors, journalists and auto fans by introducing new Honda CBR150R, a new sports bike on the block. On the other hand, Yamaha has also launched its first sport bike for the domestic market. This is R15 featuring a new level high balance and pleasant running performance on winding roads. Both the bikes have gained a lot of appreciation from the visitors of auto expo and of course bike lovers.
Honda CBR 150 R
Honda CBR150R looks promising and a lot of potential customers were waiting from last two years for this amazing bike with 150cc engine. This brilliant bike features an extremely neat mechanism cluster that is equipped with an analogue tachometer in middle and digital speedometer is also placed below it. Apart from this, the orange backlight of the bike looks extremely impressive especially in the night when it glows. Telescopic shocks are used at the front wheel while the rear wheel has monoshock. In addition, 4-level adjustable monoshock suspension provides highly responsive and dynamic road handling still in difficult road conditions.
In terms of style and design, it seems that the designers of Honda had superbike VFR1200F in the mind while designing this bike. The design of little exhaust system pipe on the rear, looks amazing due to its fine finish in chrome to give it up sporty look. The step-up seat feature this cool bike gives it a sporty touch along with split grab handrail which further adds more glamour to the looks of the bike. The twin tubular of this bike automatically increases stability. Apart from this, the engine has fuel injection and is liquid cooled. In addition, the bike has disc brakes in wide and mono-suspension front and rear tubeless tyres.
Yamaha introduced limited editions of their well-known model R15 with 2 new special color schemes, fiery red and white. This, all exclusive graphics scheme, sports a fire flame which really looks amazing for this bike as it elongates till the rear. The USP of this bike is its distinguished looks, when placed with its predecessors on a lineup. The second one is the white scheme which is similar to that of the version 1.0 but it suits this v2.0 even better.
This New Yamaha R15 Version 2.0 has all the characteristics of motorcycles which are designed by Yamaha to represent the R series which reflects the philosophy running through these models, expressing performance visually. For example, Yamaha YZF-R1 shows a strong body line that springs up in a single line from the rear axle to the pivot and then to the head pipe. This is a visual expression of the straight shape of the Delta box frame. These elements are a visual expression of "frame rigidity." Viewed from the side, the shape of New Yamaha R15 Version 2.0 created by the side panel and the upper surface of the tank creates an impression of the center of gravity shifting to the front wheel. A characteristic of the R series is that, when you view the machine, you get a sense of its concept and performance. This philosophy has been fully transmitted to 2011 New Yamaha R15 Version 2.0. It features all-new LED tail lamp cluster, new engine fairing, proper step-up seat, all-new alloy wheels and new rear fender and tyre hugger.
The 149.4cc liquid cooled DOHC 4-stroke motor of the Honda is rev-happy and has a strong pull right from 3000rpm. The power delivery is extremely refined and the CBR feels like it's on rails! The bike makes 17PS of power at 10,500rpm and a humble yet enough, 13.06Nm of torque at 8500rpm. The bike redlines at 11,500rpm that is 1000rpm higher than the Yamaha R15. The power delivery on the Honda too comes from lower revs, precisely from 3500 rpm as against the higher-revving nature of the R15 motor which starts singing only after 7000rpm.
In terms of power figures, there is not much of difference in both the bikes but thanks to the peppy motor and 7kg lighter frame of the Honda CBR 150 R is faster than the Yamaha R15. While testing at the Chennai circuit, the stock Honda CBR150 motorcycles ridden by expert riders posted the fastest lap time of 2 min 12 seconds around the long loop. The tuned and modified Yamaha YZF-R15 motorcycles currently running in the championship experts' class ridden by same riders along the same full loop are posting lap times in the region of 2 minutes 13-14 seconds. That means with a minor tweaks to the Honda, this two second difference between the lap times can be increased even more.
Although the Honda surpasses the Yamaha in engine performance, in the handling department its feather weight chassis and tiny size work against it. The CBR150 lacks the handling prowess of the Yamaha R15 and on high-speed corners it does not inspire enough confidence. The Honda is more agile and flickable out of the two but it is not as composed as the Yamaha and fails to tackle the mid-corner bumps with smoothness and surety. On the other hand, the Yamaha YZF-R15 is a composed and brilliant handling machine which allows the rider to push it to the limits.
"The Honda is very easy to ride around tight circuits. It is extremely agile and nimble around corners. Compared to the Yamaha YZF-R15, the Honda's engine revs quicker and provides solid grunt from lower revs. The only shortfall I noticed on the Honda was its instability through high-speed corners and bumps. That is mostly because of the weight and small size of the bike. As this was our first time on the CBR150 it took us sometime to get used to the bike and push it. I think a little fiddling with the suspension might improve the feel on the Honda around fast corners." Emmanuel Clarke (Expert Class rider & Honda CBR150 Race Winner)