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Meet the Yamaha YZF-R3

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If you've been a bit cross with Yamaha for not being nice to us folks by not putting the YZF-R25 on sale here, here's something to cheer you up. This is the motorcycle we'd said would appear very soon. And, it has. Welcome everyone, to the YZF-R3.

We'd seen this coming the moment Yamaha revealed the R25. The game's moved on, rivals are busy churning out products with 300cc motors, and to launch a 250 at a time when customers have mightier toys to choose from would've been like offering a floppy disk in the age of pen drives. Wisely enough, they'd worked that out, and so, here's the larger-hearted R25 we were so eagerly looking forward to.

As you can see, it doesn't look vastly different from the R25. And that's because it isn't. In terms of dimensions, it's exactly the same as the 250, and so, even with a full tank of fuel, it weighs just 169kg. Even the gearbox is the same six-speeder that you'd find on the R25, but the powerplant is a 321cc, liquid-cooled twin-cylinder unit that puts out 41.4bhp and 29.8Nm of torque, a jump of about 6bhp and 8Nm over the R25's 249cc mill. This, as you'd have guessed, now puts it on an equal footing with the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the KTM RC390.

A diamond-type tubular steel frame is in place, as are telescopic forks up front and a monoshock at the rear. It's even got the same swinging arm-wheelbase ratio as the R1, which, says Yamaha, will bless it with 'strong straight line handling performance and more efficient transmission of power to the road'.

To rein it in is a single 298mm disc brake up front, with a 220mm disc at the back. ABS is available as standard, as are three paint shades, blue, red and black.

It will make its debut at the EICMA show at the start of November, with its European market launch scheduled for April 2015. Knowing Yamaha, we don't expect it to rush things and bring the R3 here in a hurry. But when it does eventually arrive sometime next year, it will be a top-class product, that will be priced very competitively for a twin-cylinder motorcycle. To give you an idea, the R3's been pegged at $4,990 in the US of A, which translates to a touch over Rs 3 lakh.

We've ridden the R25, and we loved it. With added firepower, the R3's only going to turn up the wick. On like Donkey Kong? You bet.

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