A lot has changed on the new Yamaha MT15 v2.0, and we explain…
Words: Neeraj Padmakumar Photography: Amal Ramdas
We’ve known the Yamaha MT15 as the naked cousin of the much-adored R15. Ever since its 2018 debut, the motorcycle has been loved for its crisp proportions and interesting performance. In the recently launched MT15 V2.0, however, a lot has changed about the streetfighter, and mostly for good. We rode the MT15 v2 for around 300 kilometers and over almost a week to hand-pick the same…
Yamaha MT15 V2 Design
Most of the body panels and core design cues remain unchanged on the new motorcycle. However, the colour palette has been revised. A few new funky shades like a Cyan Blue have now joined the clan. However, I personally think the ‘Matte White’ (Ice FLuo Vermillion as they call it- fancy!) on our test bike is just perfect for the motorcycle’s overall persona. The USD forks at the front are finished in a shade of Gold, (much like what we had seen on the R15 V4), adding to the overall aesthetics.
Like its predecessor, the MT15 V2, continues with the weird-looking rear grab handles that still feel like design afterthoughts. However, the good thing here is that the new motorcycle doesn’t feel like having had the ‘lesser cousin’ treatment like its predecessor.
|Dimension||2018 MT15 V1||MT15 V2|
|Length||1965 mm||2015 mm|
|Width||800 mm||800 mm|
|Height||1065 mm||1070 mm|
|Wheelbase||1335 mm||1325 mm|
|Seat Height||810 mm||810 mm|
In terms of dimensions, the new motorcycle is a touch longer and taller, but the wheelbase is now down by 10mm. This essentially means that rear seat is now smaller and the pillion should not expect much room or comfort.
The rider triangle remains to be that of a proper streetfighter. You get a low, flat handlebar, upright seating, and slightly rear-set footpegs offering you comfortable rides and maximum control over the motorcycle.
The kit levels have been upped. The motorcycle now gets an improved reverse LCD instrument cluster, that packs Bluetooth-based connectivity features and mobile app integration. There are now alerts for missed calls, SMS, and emails on offer, but no proper navigation assist.
Material and build qualities are decent in most places. The switchgear feels neat and nice. The design of the single-piece seat is neat, but the finish feels flimsy in some places.
The mechanical side sees some major tweaks on the MT15 V2. It draws its juice from the 155 cc, 4 valve engine borrowed from the R15 V4. However, on the naked, it produces 18.4 PS and 14.1 Nm. This, if you might remember, is 0.1 hp down and 0.2 Nm more than the BS6 MT15’s output. The transmission on offer is a 6-speed unit, with assist and slipper clutch, smooth shifts, and a rather smart gearing.
|Engine Displacement||155 cc|
Assist and slipper clutch
The MT15 v1 had made us smile with its peppy engine and acceleration. This was, however, toned down a bit with the BS6 update. The new motorcycle, however, improves the performance in a rather unconventional way. You would love the way the MT15 v2 accelerates, but it is not just the figures that are responsible! The delivery and overall engine behavior are totally different from those of the BS6 motorcycle.'
The V2’s engine gives you the oomph in a very linear manner. The new MT15 misses out on the strong mid-range grunt that its predecessor had. The torque comes to you at around 6,000 rpm. Revv further and there is a sweet flow till around 8500 rpms. The engine thus feels very revv-happy, and doesn’t fall behind on refinement. It feels decently smooth at most rpms, except when pushed to the extreme highs (which is not something you’d have to do often, thankfully!).
The engine’s character is backed well by the gearing. The lower gears are quite short while the higher ones are set fairly tall. This makes the motorcycle very tractable and city-friendly. You can do 20 kph in fourth gear! Also, the motorcycle is quite rider-friendly in cities and tight traffic scenes. Improving the performance further is the sprocket size. The new MT15 v2 uses a larger 52-teeth rear sprocket, compared to the 48-teeth unit on the R15.
|0-40 kph||4.95 s|
|0-80 kph||8.50 s|
|0-100 kph||14.28 s|
Acceleration is quite enjoyable. 0-60 kph is achieved in around 4.95 seconds. It is definitely slower than what the BS4 MT used to be. But, pit it against the R15 V4, and the numbers are close! The new MT feels almost as quick as the V4! 0-100 kph widens the gap. The BS4 MT used to do it in just 12.08 seconds while the new motorcycle takes around 14.28 seconds for the same. (2 seconds is quite a difference!) This is also almost a second slower than the V4- much expected considering the aero and other advantages on offer on the faired bike.
100 kph feels quite nice on the new MT15. The sweet spot for cruising, I would say, would be 85-90 kph. You can push the motorcycle beyond 100 kph, but no skipping of the vibrations creeping in or the bike feeling slightly restrained though…
Ride And Handling
The MT15 v2 has two major mechanical improvements to boast of- the lighter Aluminium rear swing arm and the USD front forks. With these and the shorter wheelbase in place, the ride and handling have had great leaps up. The front end now gives a better feel and feedback and ups your confidence while cornering. The old MT15 was loved for how flickable it had been and the new motorcycle is even faster in executing direction changes. Also, the high-speed stability seems to have improved from the predecessor.
The suspension setup is quite stiff and translates to a bumpy ride on rough roads- an inevitable trade-off for the extravagant handling that the rider enjoys…
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Mileage: The Biggest Catch!
The unsung, but intensely adorable side of the way the engine is tuned on the new MT15, is the fuel efficiency it delivers. Despite being a 155cc product, the MT15 returns mileage figures in the range of 45-50 km per liter, in real-world commutes with mixed riding behaviors. This if you might remember, is more than what the BS4 product used to deliver. The mechanical changes, engine maps, VVA, and gearing could be the ones to credit. Performance served with fuel efficiency- meet the MT 15 v2.0!
Price And Rivals
The new MT15 V2 is priced at Rs 1,62,900 (ex-showroom, Delhi) for all colors except Black. MT15 V2 Metallic Black is slightly cheaper, retailing at Rs 1,61,900, ex-showroom. This is Rs 12,000-13,000 dearer than the previous bike. Market rivals could include the likes of Suzuki Gixxer 250, KTM Duke 125 (!), and Dominar 250, going by prices alone.
What’s Missing On The New MT15 v2?
From how it is placed, the Yamaha MT15 V2 is indeed a premium product. Despite this, there are a few things uninteresting or even disappointing about this motorcycle. Some are listed below:
- MT15 V2 gets just a single-channel ABS. Dual-channel ABS is nearly a ‘should-have’ at this price point.
- Material quality and build are good at most places. Some areas, however, feel sub-par.
- The ride is stiff and barely comfortable on rough roads.
- Mostly a single-seater, going by the size of the rear seat.