Small capacity sportbikes designed for street use are all the range in Asia, particularly in countries like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The logic behind the proliferation of sub-200cc sporty machines is simple, really. The fact that roads and traffic conditions in these countries tend to be extremely congested means that high-capacity, performance-oriented sportbikes simply aren’t practical for use around the city.
On top of that, these markets tend to be extremely price-sensitive, so it really makes sense as to why motorcycles like the Yamaha YZF-R1 are a rare sighting. That being said, a good number of manufacturers offer the sportbike experience, albeit packaged in an affordable, street-focused package. For several years now, Yamaha has been leading the charge in the Asian market with its YZF-R15. Featuring a full-fairing, similar styling, and similar colorways as its bigger siblings, the R15 has become a favorite among sportbike enthusiasts on a budget and commuters alike.
For the 2022 model-year, the YZF-R15 gets even better. In what is arguably the biggest revision in this particular motorcycle’s model history, Yamaha has completely redesigned the bike’s bodywork to more closely resemble that of its bigger siblings. Its front fascia now looks nearly identical to that of the newly released Yamaha YZF-R7. What’s more is that the YZF-R15 now comes in a special edition M variant—available in a special blue and silver colorway just like the YZF-R1M.
On the performance side of things the Yamaha YZF-R15 and YZF-R15M continues to sport a 155cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine rated for 18.35 horsepower. Do note that this is slightly less than the outgoing model, as Yamaha had to make some tweaks to the exhaust and mapping in order to account for BS6 and Euro5 emission standards. For India, in particular, the 2022 YZF-R15 finally gets premium inverted front forks.
As far as pricing goes, the 2022 Yamaha YZF-R15 continues to be an extremely enticing, value-for-money offering. The standard model fetches the equivalent of $2,300 USD. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line YZF-R15M retails for the equivalent of $2,415 USD.