Yamaha YZF-R3 Revealed – 321cc Twin Coming to the USA

10/16/2014 @ 6:59 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

2015-Yamaha-YZF-R3-1

The rumors were true, Yamaha is bringing a special small-displacement model to market, the Yamaha YZF-R3. As the name indicates, the new R3 gets a fuel-injected displacement bump over the R25, to the tune of 321cc. Debuted at the AIMExpo today, the Yamaha YZF-R3 is coming to the USA, with a price tag of $4,990.

Said by Yamaha to have “class-leading power”, the new R3 finally adds a small-displacement sport bike to Yamaha’s North American lineup, and makes an attractive offering when compared to the other 250cc/300cc machines from the other Japanese manufacturers. Expect to see it in Yamaha dealers, starting January 2014.

Yamaha North America expects the YZF-R3 to be the volume leader for the company in the USA and Canada, and rightfully so. Small-displacement machines like the Kawasaki Ninja 250R have always had strong sales in the Western markets, and now that the segment is finally heating up, the offerings have only gotten better.

Unlike say…Suzuki, Yamaha has brought a robust package to the table with the R3, and should be able to go toe-to-toe both on the race track, and on the sales floor, with the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Honda CBR300R. We can’t wait to ride one.

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2015-Yamaha-YZF-R3-3

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 Technical Specifications:

MSRP* $4,990
Engine
Engine Type 321cc, liquid-cooled 2-cylinder DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 68.0 x 44.1mm
Compression Ratio 11.2:1
Fuel Delivery Fuel Injected
Ignition TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission Constant mesh; 6-speed transmission
Final Drive Chain
Chassis
Suspension / Front 41mm KYB® telescopic fork; 5.1 in of travel
Suspension / Rear KYB® single shock; 4.9 in of travel
Brakes Front Hydraulic, 298mm
Brakes / Rear Hydraulic, 220mm
Tires / Front 110/70-17M/C 54H
Tires Rear 140/70-17M/C 66H
Dimensions
L x W x H 82.3 x 28.3 x 44.7 in
Seat Height 30.7 in
Wheelbase 54.3 in
Rake (Caster Angle) 25°
Trail 3.7 in
Fuel Capacity 3.7 gal
Fuel Economy** N/A
Wet Weight*** 368 lb
Other
Warranty 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)

Source: Yamaha

  • Tom

    Nice looking bike. Don’t think it’ll beat the RC390 in terms of being a true small capacity track bike, but then that’s really not what it’s for – I imagine only 0.1% of the target audience would track it anyway (being a beginners bike and all). As an entry level machine this looks sweet as I actually prefer the Ninja 300 styling still, but only marginally and not enough to pick it over this R3. One thing – why on earth wouldn’t they stick as close to the M1 colour scheme as possible, as per the prototype that Rossi rode in those early ads for the R25? That livery is awesome and would pull riders in in droves, a la Repsol reps…..

    I do wonder how well that suspension would cope with spirited riding though. Looking forward to the test reviews.

    Still, I’d probably be quite happy to grab one of these for my day to day pootling around and slap some race fairings on my R6 and make it a track-only machine. Nice one Yamaha. Now give is an M1 paint scheme and we’ll talk.

    That, or 5 minutes with Colin’s wife. You could sell me a pink R3 if you threw that in!

  • MrDefo

    Man, I was all set to put money down on the KTM RC390, but if this Yamaha is the business, I may reconsider. There’s a much more robust Yamaha dealer network in the states.

  • Nick

    I did not see that one coming….
    “Kiss her! What are you waiting for dummy?”

  • I like the twin thing. add a pipe and some sticky tyres and carve.

  • Kalle

    Colin Edwards for president! Though I’m sad to see that 167kg is considered “light” for a 300.

  • yooperbikemike

    Possible AMA spec class fodder?

  • I really hope not, I’d rather see a 250cc/300cc open class, rather than one bike being picked for a spec-class.

  • sean

    ABS option?

  • TonyC

    Well done, Yamaha. I can totally see a 300cc open class in AMA. It’d be a great way to develop some talents in the US.

    With the Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha all making great small displacement bikes, who is going to buy that hot mess from Suzuki?

  • Bob

    Looks to be a great bike from first impressions and rumors…. but that Colin Edwards video is lameeeeeee.

    How many old guys did it take to write that one into a script?

  • Westward

    I love it, I’m on it, this is exactly what I was looking for, a Yamaha 300cc bike. I want one with Rossi liveries…

  • rt

    looks like a tourer bike with those handlebars

  • Superlight

    So Kawasaki moves from 250cc to 300, Honda follows suit with their CBR300 and now Yamaha does an R3 with 321cc to have the “biggest” entry-level bike. What’s next? A Suzuki bragging about 345cc?

  • Roadrash

    MrDefo says:
    October 16, 2014 at 7:28 AM
    “Man, I was all set to put money down on the KTM RC390, but if this Yamaha is the business, I may reconsider. There’s a much more robust Yamaha dealer network in the states.”

    Yes, that might be a good idea, and the Yam is a twin. KTM is surely a better bike though? The problem is they are building bikes that people want, and not bike people need. I find that people are stupid lol, so they don’t know what the best thing is for them lol.
    Why have a bike that looks like a racer but it’s NOT, it’s a begginer bike? lol, how stupid?
    If I buy a beginer bike it is going to have a center stand, just for starters?

    Superlight says:
    October 18, 2014 at 9:12 AM
    So Kawasaki moves from 250cc to 300, Honda follows suit with their CBR300 and now Yamaha does an R3 with 321cc to have the “biggest” entry-level bike. What’s next? A Suzuki bragging about 345cc?

    Lol, isn’t that the truth. I don’t buy into all this garbage and it is ruining the cycle industry.

  • Bob

    Really Roadrash? “Ruining the cycle industry.” Really?

    I see better products coming out every day, and you see arbitrary displacement classes as the most important thing in the entire industry right now? That’s… odd.

    As far as the quality of the KTM 390 versus the R3, both are all-new machines, so it’s wayyyyy to early to tell which bike is the more solidly built platform. Who do you trust more to build your next bike, India or Indonesia?

  • Roadrash

    Bob says:
    October 23, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    “Really Roadrash? “Ruining the cycle industry.” Really?”

    Yes, really lol?

    “I see better products coming out every day, and you see arbitrary displacement classes as the most important thing in the entire industry right now? That’s… odd.”

    Arbitrary displacement clases?…Hmm…I never said anything about displacement classes? However I do like this bike and it would be good for a begginer. Looks great and supposedly the most power in it’s class? well with more displacement it should be? Although, if you build a race replica it should really meet some cc standard so that a class can be made to race them? After all it is a race replica? isn’t it? So if it is not good for a particular class then that is a mistake, or they should have another bike in that class. No sense in making a bike with more cc just to claim that it is the most powerfull in the class.

    “As far as the quality of the KTM 390 versus the R3, both are all-new machines, so it’s wayyyyy to early to tell which bike is the more solidly built platform. Who do you trust more to build your next bike, India or Indonesia?”

    No disrespect brother but I hardly believe that the Yam will be of better quality than the KTM.

  • Roadrash

    Bob says:
    “As far as the quality of the KTM 390 versus the R3, both are all-new machines, so it’s wayyyyy to early to tell which bike is the more solidly built platform. Who do you trust more to build your next bike, India or Indonesia?”

    I believe the KTM to be a better built bike, clearly, as in all cases the KTM would be better. Let’s see, more displacement, Digital Timing adjustment, better frame, WP Upside-down forks, 300mm disc, four pot calipers, X-Ring Chain, Lighter by 44lbs! and last but not least, it is not a new bike-I believe it is a 2014.

    Just ribbing ya bro, just talking a little smack. Again this new Yam looks great, but I just think it is all going in the wrong direction. Guys in their shorts, no helmets on their race replicas flying down the interstate weaving in and out of cars, what do these people know about the sport I love? not much it seems. Just in my opinion a bike that looks this aggressive should be a little bigger displacement. You know a person that wants to get out and flog it a little would IMO like a little more displacement. A beginner IMO should have a little more upright position, center stand, and a little bigger fuel tank-although, the tank should be big enough for this displacement. I understand it is nice for a beginner that is young and wants to look like Rossi, but hopefully they have an option for the other side of the spectrom, comfort, strap-down points etc. See ya Whoopwhoop!

  • Roadrash

    KTM RC390 also has 150 rear tire and! Standard ABS! whoohoo!