Yamaha MT-15 India Launch Likely In 2019

After trying their hand at low displacement commuter motorcycles, Yamaha is in the process of shifting its focus back on launching mid-capacity sporty motorcycles in India. And this product offensive will most likely be spearheaded by the MT-15. Essentially based on the popular Yamaha YZF R15 V3.0, the MT-15 looks more muscular and features a more aggressive design. Yamaha is also looking at the possibility of bringing in the MT-03 (the naked version of the R3) and the MT-10 to India.

Besides the motor, the MT-15 will share a lot of parts with the R15 including the all-digital instrument cluster, front and rear suspension, brakes (282mm front and 220mm rear discs) and wheels (100/80 R-17 front and 140/70 R-17 rear). And like the R15, the India-spec MT-15 will also do away with the USD forks of the Thai-spec bikes. But, unlike the R15, the riding posture will be a lot more upright and the seat too will be more comfortable. In terms of equipment, the MT-15 will come with ABS, most likely a dual-channel unit as standard, thus complying with the ABS norms effective from April 2019.

As mentioned earlier, powering the bike will be the same 155cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder motor with ‘variable Valve Actuation’, which enables good low-end torque without compromising on performance in the higher end of the rev band. Its 6-speed gearbox will transfer 19.3PS of power and 15Nm of torque to the rear wheel via a chain drive. Given the fact that the MT-15 will weigh less than R15, it is expected to be peppier and sharper than the latter. The engine might be slightly retuned for better low-end torque. That said, even in its current tune, the engine is flexible enough to suit the character of a naked street bike.

The MT-15 was recently showcased in Thailand where it is expected to replace the M-Slaz. As far as pricing is concerned, expect it to be priced slightly lower than the R15, which currently retails for Rs 1.27 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). However, post the implementation of the ABS norms from April 2019, prices for the R15 are expected to go up to around Rs 1.4 lakh. Considering the inclusion of ABS, the MT-15 should be priced close to Rs 1.3 lakh (ex-showroom) when launched in the first half of next year. Even though there are no direct rivals with similar displacement in the same price bracket, the MT-15 will take on the likes of the TVS Apache RTR 200, Bajaj Pulsar NS200 and the yet to be launched KTM 125 Duke. On a side note, expect Yamaha to most likely launch a facelift of the FZ-S by the end of this year too.