Test drive Yamaha R3: a small track – a small motorcycle

You can do with technology with a modest engine and affordable price?

Is it worth it to spread almost one million rubles for an “adult” sports bike to join the world of fast motorcycles or can you get by with a modest engine and affordable price?

We are still skeptical about road motorbikes with a modest engine volume: “If it’s a” four hundred “(400 cm3), then only for beginners or girls! Anything less is laughter at all!” “Sport-bike is less than a liter (1000 cm3) – not serious!” “The option of 600 cubes – only as a first step into the world of these guys.”

The largest motor, the largest shopping center in Europe, the most oval skating rink in the World, the deepest oceanarium in the universe. Where do these complexes come from ?!

The fashion for hyper-bikes of the 90s is a thing of the past, downsizing has penetrated into the moto world, but not because of the ecology and fuel consumption, but rather because of the weight, size of the engine and the development of technology. If fifteen years ago to remove a liter of volume of 130 hp. was a success, but now 200 is the norm. So if you need 130, you can buy a bike with a smaller engine, it’s lighter, smaller, and most importantly, cheaper. Add fuel to the fire and legislative European requirements: a newcomer behind the wheel of a powerful motorcycle road is ordered, and the first few years you need to ride a technique with a modest cubage. And developing Asian markets should not be ruled out. There a motorcycle with a motor of 300-500 cubes is the limit of dreams. And why not to release a successful “Asian” model and the world market? In difficult times, manufacturers minimize costs. But all this is lyrics. In fact, I always liked small motorcycles. Even in spite of the fact that in the championship of Russia on highway and ring motorcycle races I once acted on “liter”. There is something fascinating in the race and simple movement on malokubaturnoy technology. The light and compact device turns better, later brakes, it’s easier to shift in turns of turns and does not take absolutely all forces during the arrival. In the city you do not worry about wet markings or sand under the wheels. In addition, if the pocket does not have an annual subscription to the Moscow Raceway, and the family budget is only enough for a couple of sessions a week on a small cartogram, where the entire distance can be traveled in one gear, do you need a big sports bike at all?

In full combat equipment, terrifying neighbor’s grandmothers on the bench, I leave the entrance and proudly sit in the saddle of a microbike. I turn the key in the lock and, in anticipation, press the starter button. The arrows shivered, the light caught fire, the engine started working. Or not? Rechecked by turning the throttle stick. Accurately earned. That’s what good earplugs mean in combination with modern noise norms.

In the mode of urban traffic at each traffic light I experienced the increased attention of others. But what more did the neighbors like in the stream: the rusty lines of plastic fairings in the style of the now-past generation R6 or the man behind the wheel of a motorcycle in a bright racing overall of an absurd size? Yamaha R3 is the smallest road bike I used to drive. Nevertheless, driving is convenient even with the growth of 176 cm. And how simple! Narrow and light R3 gladly penetrates into such mirror channels that many mopeds will envy. At the same time, in the city of dynamics of the row-two, the volume of 321 cubic meters is enough. Of course, you have to constantly turn the handle of the gas and click short gears. For an active ride requires just the same racing strategy. Errors with the choice of transfer are unforgivable, no slow turns – otherwise it will not go at the exit, you need to brake quickly and “not enough”, so as not to lose the course. On the country road the motorcycle bravely accelerates to 120 km / h. The remaining 30-40 km / h (much depends on the weight and dimensions of the driver) R3 is gaining a long time.

Adjusting the pressure in more than road tires Michelin, went to the asphalt road mapter. The first two 15-minute sessions were very strange with a single sensation: I’m not comfortable and everything is not with my hands. But after weighing all the pros and cons, I came to the conclusion that the end of the season is not far off, and the Yamaha representative has another similar test R3. So I passed the third session as last time. And in such a fighting mode on the verge of a foul, the younger Yamakhov sports-bike revealed all its secrets.

The work of a single front brake disc in conjunction with a two-piston caliper was flat throughout the entire session. Not ideal, with a slight lack of feedback, but not changing. For a large track, the brake pads and brake fluid, of course, have to be changed to sports. The suspension settings do not quite fit the standard tires. The stroke is too big, when braking, the motorcycle strongly squeezes the plug, but at the same time it does not work to “flatten” the tire. That is why the R3 slightly frighteningly slides the front wheel in the apex. If you do not have time to raise the bike at the exit, and open the gas knob to full, then the rear tire slides, because of the rigidity, it also does not have enough grip. But you can learn how to get out of the rotation with the drift of the rear wheel. Slightly affected by the softness of the suspension and with a quick change of direction. R3 does this easily and quickly, accurately responding to the counter-control, but if the plug with a diameter of 41 mm in diameter would have been collected, then with a wheelbase of 1380 mm, a weight of 50/50 and a curb weight (with a full tank) of 169 kg you can plug most of the kart-club regulars-sport bikers. Although from a pair of 600-cubic meters I managed to leave, despite the preponderance of almost 80 hp. in their favor.

Yamaha R3 – fussy malokubakaturnik. At an equilibrium price with beuvennyh options with slightly larger motors, I would choose R3. The motorcycle is good in the city. Far not the fastest, but easy and “all-proliferation”. For the track, R3 also works. Beginners can ride in the drain, improving and fast will have to change tires, brake pads, high steering clips and footboard. Loving with pendants. Given that this minimal set of changes is prescribed to any motorcycle before leaving for the track, it is not worth worrying about. And if in the Russian ring there would have appeared a mono-cup with the support of the representative office of the brand (the usual practice in European countries) – the weight of R3 in the domestic moto community would grow radically.