Yamaha has gone and pulled a rabbit out of the hat. In a surprise move, the company has launched a more 'practical' version of the R15. Called the R15-S, it is essentially the first generation R15, but incorporating all the v2.0 tweaks.
Apparently, the decision to launch the R15-S was based on customer feedback to the R15 V2.0, especially with regard to its pillion seat. Being a sports bike, Yamaha designed the R15 V2.0 with a lithe and sporty rear end. It looked the part, but on the flipside, it resulted in a rear seat that was small and placed really high, which didn't bode well for pillion comfort. The R15-S addresses this by offering a single piece rider + pillion saddle which has a lower seat height, and offers better pillion comfort, thereby improving the practical aspect.
Other differences over the V2.0 include a shorter wheelbase, and a lower kerb weight, thanks to the usage of the first-gen's chassis. This should make the R15-S a sharper handing bike than the V2.0. Mechanicals remain the same, with the bike being powered by a liquid-cooled 150cc single-cylinder engine that produces 16.8 bhp and 15 Nm torque.
The R15-S retails for a smidgen more than the R15 V2.0, at Rs 1,14,741 (ex-showroom, Delhi), and is available in three colours. This is the second time a bike manufacturer in India has re-launched a discontinued product based on customer feedback, the first being the Bajaj CT100, and the first time in the highly-competitive sub-250cc performance bike segment. We think that this is a neat move by Yamaha to have both generations of the R15 on sale, giving consumers a choice between practicality and style.