​2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Is Further Proof It's A Good Time To Be A New Rider

Illustration for article titled ​2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Is Further Proof Its A Good Time To Be A New Rider

If you're just getting into bikes, the smart money has always been buying something used and then working your way up. That's still the case, but there's been a raft of great new entry-level rides in the last year, including the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Honda's CBR300 (as well as the CB300F). And now there's this: the Yamaha YZF-R3.

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Slotting in below the middle-child of the Yamaha's R-series, the R3 gets a 320cc liquid-cooled inline-two cylinder, with DOHC, fuel injection and friendly curb weight of around 370 pounds. There's no official word on output for the US-spec model, but the Euro version puts out 42 horsepower and 21.8 pound-feet of torque.

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Illustration for article titled ​2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Is Further Proof Its A Good Time To Be A New Rider

It's packing KYB suspension at each end, lightweight 10-spoke wheels, a single disc up front, a low seat height of 30.7 inches, and a new LCD instrument cluster. The only thing that's missing compared to the rest of the 300-class pack is ABS, but for a starting price of $4,990, it's a hard bargain to beat when it lands this March.

Illustration for article titled ​2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Is Further Proof Its A Good Time To Be A New Rider
Illustration for article titled ​2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Is Further Proof Its A Good Time To Be A New Rider

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DISCUSSION

Axel-Ripper
Axel-Ripper

Question: I've never ridden but I've wanted to get into it. I know I don't want anything near 600cc. I don't trust myself with power (Why I don't own a vehicle with over 200 hp). Would I be better off looking at one of these, a slightly used one (Blasts are temptingly cheap, but I'm also 6'1" and 230 lb) or something more classic (I've been incredibly tempted by the old 70s CB350F's... Dat noise, but they're hard to come by and at least $2k)? I'd like to just get a beater bike in the $500-1000 range as it would be a second/third vehicle and I don't really wrench on my DD, but they're almost impossible to find near me for some reason.

I'd also love a Spyder (Because 3 wheels good and I grew up on snowmobiles) but damn they're costly.