Solace on a bad day came in the form of a bike, last night. And boy wasn't it awesome! Thanks to my friend Dan, who gave the bike at 1 am even when I was a little high on Absinthe ;)
I'm not a Bike guru or anything but I simply love driving bikes and I can tell you that the all new Yamaha R15 (of the R series) is a boon for the Indian Biker.
As always, honesty first. Pick up just ain't R15's forte and the first 3 gears wouldn't give you any better feeling than an Apache or a Pulsar. In fact, the RTR technology in Apache can give you a better push on first gear.
"If you have charm, it doesn't matter if you don't have anything else.
If you don't have charm, anything else you have does not count"
This is all I can think of when it comes to the Yamaha R15. It has got the looks and charm that will tempt any guy who can afford it. I don't think the pick up would be a major parameter considering the looks(and the top speed of course).
But the best part of R15 is simply the riding comfort. With full fairing (I guess this is the first Indian bike with full fairing), you'll feel like ripping on the roads. The engine wouldn't mind it since it's a liquid cooled one and it can take the load much better than other engines. Hats off to Yamaha for introducing the first Indian made liquid cooled Engine.
The speed is also unprecedented by Indian standards. I hit 75 on the 4th gear and it was smooth. 5th on 90 and I was done. But when I take it on the highway, I'm expecting to hit the 140 mark with the 6th Gear as Biking gurus have certified.
Above all, is the maneuverability. Do not let the thin tyres scare you! The bike is friggin' solid on turns and overtaking fast cars on 4th gear would be a cake walk on average traffic. Don't you worry about split second braking. Disc brakes on both front and rear work like a charm.
Gurus claim the bike is very reliable and the performance will bowl you over. For blokes who're expecting mileage out of this bike, I would suggest you go for the "much appreciated" byk. Well byk did give 90 Kms/Litre but most bikers later realized that the 90 was split into 50 while driving and the remaining 40 on pushing the bike when it breaks down ;)
Sorry for digressing, but I was in splits when I saw some mileage freaks in Chennai pushing the "byk" on roads till the nearest mechanic! Talk about greed!
Bottomline : R15 is a supercool performer and is here to stay. But also note that the number of R15's sold would exactly equal the number of rich kids in India :p