On December 16th, 2014, Yamaha Motor Canada invited us to the 2015 Model Lineup Media Preview Day. It was an informative day packed with an insightful presentation of both technical specifications and visual updates to the latest models. Yamaha’s John Bayliss illustrated that Yamaha Motor Canada is currently expecting to sell 55,583 units of both Motorcycles and Scooters for the 2014 fiscal year. Far off from their peak year in 2008, selling more than 89,000 units. Could the revitalized and refreshed line up give Yamaha the boost they need to reach the numbers once previously attained? Only time will tell. Bayliss did confirm that all Yamaha R1M’s (the limited edition R1) that are being produced effectively have already been sold. This is excellent news for Yamaha, but not excellent for anyone that was not quick enough to contact their dealers hoping to get their hands on one.
The star of the show was of course, the Yamaha R1M. Presented in an absolutely stunning carbon fibre and “liquid metal” finish. Side note: liquid metal closely resembles brushed aluminum, and I think its absolutely fitting for something Yamaha calls their flagship supersport. I am very pleased to announce that this R1M looks so much better in person than it does in some pictures that are floating around the internet. Also confirmed is that the lower projector headlights, mirrors, and tailunit can all be dissasembled letting the R1M and the R1 become track ready in minutes.Yamaha was also kind enough to fire the engine up and give the bike a few chances to rev. The sound eminating from this bike is something that needs to be heard in person, it was absolutely intoxicating.
The Yamaha R1M was not the only motorcycle that was the highlight of this day. The 2015 Yamaha R3, which is an all new bike for 2015 was confirmed to deliver 42 horsepower, and 22 lb-ft of torque @ 9,000 rpm from the 320cc engine. Delivering more performance and a bigger displacement gives the Yamaha R3 an advantage over the Kawasaki Ninja 300, and the Honda CBR300R. Sitting on the R3, I felt relatively at home for what a sports oriented motorcycle should feel like. It does feel quite a bit smaller and narrower compared to the outgoing Kawasaki Ninja 250R. As for an actual test ride, we will still have to wait until the Spring.
The 2015 Yamaha Bolt C-Spec was also a major contributor to the fantastic experience on preview day, catching the attention of many that were there. I personally adored the look of the Bolt C-Spec that now gives the Yamaha Bolt series a cafe-racer type look. Painted in a dark metallic green that resembles British Racing Green, the C-Spec was also very eye catching and is something to look out for during the 2015 season.
Rounding out the display models was the 2015 FJ-09, the WR250F, the YZ250FX, the SMAX, and the Stryker and Raider SE’s. The showing of these bikes in mid-December did not help any of my winter blues. But it did give the DoubleClutch.ca team an upclose and personal glimpse of what is waiting just around the corner. Dry roads and warm weather come faster! We here at DoubleClutch.ca would like to thank Yamaha Motor Canada for the opportunity to see the 2015 Yamaha model lineup.
Media Preview: 2015 Yamaha Full Line