2022 Yamaha MT15 Review – The Perfect Update?

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Yamaha has already registered a record sales volume of almost 10,000 for the new MT15 in April 2022

2022 Yamaha MT15 Review
2022 Yamaha MT15 Review

Yamaha launched the updated version of MT15 over a month ago. The naked street fighter has always lived in the shadow of his fully streamlined sibling who is highly regarded by the Indian motorcycle community. Based on the fourth-generation R15 launched last September, the new 2022 Yamaha MT-15 comes with a series of updates over its predecessor. So is the latest version of MT-15 able to establish its own identity this time around? Let’s find out.

2022 Yamaha MT15 Review – Design, Quality

In terms of styling, there is no significant change in the new MT15 compared to its outgoing version. However, subtle updates, such as the addition of gold anodized front forks, have increased the bike’s visual appeal. It also gets an interesting color palette, including Racing Blue, Metallic Black and new additions like Ice Fluo-Vermillion and Cyan Blue.

Our test bike was wrapped in the cyan blue livery which we personally felt was eye-catching and matched the bike’s personality well. The color-coded alloy wheels further accentuate the sporty contrast of the motorcycle. Visual updates on the naked motorcycle on the street end here. It gets the same front end with a single pod LED projector headlight and dual eyebrow shaped LED daytime running lights.

While the design has remained largely intact, Yamaha has certainly made some improvements in quality and fit and finish compared to the older model. While not very premium, the quality of the switchgear is acceptable and the instrument console is clearly legible even in sunlight. More importantly, there are no gaps in the panel and the quality of the plastics and rubber used in the bike is better.

2022 Yamaha MT15 Review
2022 Yamaha MT15 Review

Ergonomics & Comfort

In terms of ergonomics, the new MT-15 has footpegs positioned slightly back that allow for a committed riding position. If the older and new models are kept side by side, you would notice that the updated MT-15 gets a slightly lower stature due to the lower adjustment of the handlebars. This results in a slightly more aggressive riding position, but is still quite comfortable for city commuting.

The rider’s seat is wide and comfortable, but that’s not the case for the pillion passenger where real estate is limited and can be painful for even a few minutes longer than half an hour. If you regularly want to transport a co-driver for your commute, we recommend that you look elsewhere.

Functions

Yamaha has made some minor updates to its equipment. For example, the instrument cluster is now compatible with Bluetooth connectivity and the Y-Connect mobile app which offers features such as call, message and email alerts on the console. That said, we would have liked Yamaha to offer the more advanced X-Connect mobile app that comes with turn-by-turn navigation. It also benefits from an engine lockout switch on the sidestand.

2022 Yamaha MT15 Review
2022 Yamaha MT15 Review

Driving and handling

The new MT-15 is supported by the same delta box frame as its predecessor, but mated to a new aluminum swingarm instead of a box-section unit. More importantly, it gets new 37mm upside-down forks that bring a noticeable change in dynamics. While the MT-15 has always been a good handler, the latest version is a lot sharper and more accurate, giving new riders more confidence.

Weighing in at 139 pounds, the naked streetfighter is extremely agile and easy to corner and maneuver through tight spaces in bumper to bumper traffic. In addition, a wide and low handlebar offers a good purchase for lock-to-lock turns and quick changes of direction. Thanks to the new aluminum swingarm, the rear of the new MT-15 feels a lot more stable and offers more confidence when leaning into corners

2022 Yamaha MT15 Review
2022 Yamaha MT15 Review

The outer tube is bolted to the chassis for stiffness and balance. One down side of this is that the whole suspension now feels a lot firmer, which is great in terms of handling, but loses a plush ride. Any undulation on the surface, including bumps and potholes, is felt quite sharply when you’re on top. A softer setup considering the Indian roads might have been more welcome.

Engine & Performance

The latest version of the MT-15 is powered by the same liquid-cooled 155cc engine with four valves and variable valve control (VVA0 technology). However, this time it has been tuned slightly differently for friendlier urban use and as a result the output has been increased by 0.1 hp and peak torque has been increased by 0.2 Nm. The engine now delivers 18.14 hp at 10,000 rpm and 14.1 Nm at 7,500 rpm.

2022 Yamaha MT15 Review
2022 Yamaha MT15 Review

The most notable update in this bike is how tractable it has become at city speeds. In fourth gear one can easily crawl at speeds of 20-25 km/h without fear of the engine stalling. This also helps in extracting better fuel efficiency. Even in higher gears there’s plenty of torque to play with and whatever gear you’re in, all you need to do is hit the throttle hard to get all the juice out.

The best highlight of this VVA engine isn’t its peak performance, but how easily it builds up speed from the bottom up. That said, Yamaha has kept the high-revving character of this bike intact and you can feel the boost kick in right away thanks to VVA after 7,000rpm all the way to a 10,000rpm redline. However, significant vibrations are felt in the handlebars and footpegs once you get above 5,500rpm.

2022 Yamaha MT15 Review
2022 Yamaha MT15 Review

Also, the engine starts to sound very coarse when taken close to the rev limiter. Although we didn’t get a chance to test the performance figures, the bike does feel tense at around 100-110 km/h. A smooth and fast-shifting gearbox complemented by a quick clutch with slip and assist makes it a very sympathetic city bike. However, an optional quick-shifter could have resulted in a more engaging experience.

One disappointing aspect is the braking that needed more bite, especially for the rear wheel. Also, for a bike that would easily cost around Rs 1.80 lakh (on the road), it lacks dual-channel ABS that we can’t wrap our heads around.

2022 Yamaha MT15 Review
2022 Yamaha MT15 Review

verdict

The new 2022 MT-15 is priced at Rs 1.60 lakh (ex-showroom) and is about Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 more expensive than its predecessor. For the extra premium you get important updates, but you also miss a few crucial updates. It certainly feels more appealing to ride, thanks to the updated hardware and is also easy to handle for any amateur rider.

However, the lack of a two-channel ABS and an optional quick-shifter detracted from the value for money. Given the updates R15 V4 has received, we think Yamaha missed a crucial opportunity by being a little too conservative in its approach to MT15 V2. Should you consider it? Certainly, people looking for a fun, compact and fast motorcycle, mainly for commuting, will love what the new MT-15 has to offer.