Updates Coming for the Yamaha YZF-R3 in 2019?

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It looks like the Yamaha YZF-R3 will get a refresh for the 2019 model year, as photos of the bike – complete with a facelift – have surfaced in Indonesia.

The new design brings the R3 closer into the rest of Yamaha’s supersport family, particularly with an intake shape that looks inspired by the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike.

There is a split on rumors as to whether the rest of the machine will get an update as well, specifically the frame and engine, though we can expect some some minor refinements to the overall package, no matter what the case may be on that front.

LED headlights and lighting all around have been tipped, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see an updated dash as well.

The Yamaha YZF-R3 has been a popular pick in the small-displacement category, with the Japanese brand predicting the trend in the space well, namely the rise of twin-cylinder engines and larger than 300cc displacements.

The 321cc parallel-twin engine on the R3 competes very well against the KTM RC390 and Kawasaki Ninja 300, though this space is rapidly evolving.

KTM has been offering more potent versions of the RC390 to racers, and Kawasaki has lived by the old adage of “there’s no replacement like displacement” in creating the Kawasaki Ninja 400.

This could see Yamaha left behind for the 2019 model year, as a simple cosmetic refresh of the YZF-R3 might not keep the Yamaha relevant in this important category.

As such, we hope we are wrong in our hearing that the chassis, and more importantly the engine, go unchanged for next year. No one wants to bring a 300cc bike to a 400cc battle.

If Yamaha does overhaul the YZF-R3 and turn it into the YZF-R4, that would certainly help them compete with the offerings from KTM and Kawasaki – where are you Honda and Suzuki??? – though wonder how much further this displacement creep can go.

We would expect the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3/R4 to debut at the AIMExpo in Las Vegas, which is the same show that launched the bike, back in 

Source: Macantua via BikeAdvice