Yamaha Y15ZR vs Honda RS150R - The better underborn

Yamaha Y15ZR vs Honda RS150R - The better underborn

The Yamaha Y15ZR and Honda RS150R are at the top of performance underbone food chain. Yamaha had an earlier introduction to the segment and therefore pretty much set the benchmark. Honda had a tough act to follow but have managed to carve a niche for themselves despite the fierce competition. In the process, both have become very similar to each other.

So, how do these bikes fare against each other?

Yamaha Y15ZR vs Honda RS150R

As for the styling front, these bikes showcase the design philosophy of their respective parent companies. The Honda goes for a more restrained design language while the Yamaha is more shouty and racy. Both the bikes wear a scowling expression on the front, but the Yamaha is more aggressive. The Honda with its twin stack headlights looks more like a scooter. The RS150R also uses matt colors making it look more mature and easy on the eyes. The Yamaha uses graphics that look like tribal tattoos and is more “in your face”. That being said, the Honda does have a Repsol Honda edition that is the poles apart with orange wheels.

Both the Honda and the Yamaha are equipped with instrument displays that are a combination of analogue tachometer with digital display for everything else. The display on the Honda has an orange backlight while the one on Yamaha is white.

Honda RS150R features

Moving to subtler issues, the ergonomics of the two are very different. The Honda RS150R has wider handlebars making it easier to handle at slow speeds. The seat height on the Honda is 764 mm and its ground clearance is 140 mm. The Yamaha Y15ZR seat is 740 mm above the ground while the ground clearance is 135 mm. The Honda as a result, rides higher. The rider sits more upright too. But the biggest problem with the Honda is the suspension on the rear. It is set on a harder setting meaning that it is not so comfortable for the pillion rider. It also does not cushion the ride on bad roads. The Yamaha seems comfortable on every road condition. The seating position is also convenient. The seats are flat unlike the Honda and don’t require constant readjustment. The Yamaha suspension is also better suited to be driven hard. It inspires more confidence when taking corners. This is despite the fact that it has narrow 70/90 tires at the front and 120/70 tires in the rear compared to the Honda’s 90/80 tires on the front. No wonder, it is so popular among the youth.

In fact, Yamaha knows how its bike is going to be ridden. It provides the bike with a collapsible footrest – unlike the Honda - that won’t get damaged when the rider becomes a little too brave. The Honda is more for cruising on smooth highways. But the Honda seat is narrower and harder than the Yamaha. This makes it uncomfortable on long rides.

Yamaha Y15ZR features

The Honda saves some face on the engine front. Being a Honda, it is a refined unit that does not transmit too many vibrations to the rider’s wrist. It has a Euro 3 compliant 149.7 cc four valve fuel injected and water cooled DOHC unit making 15.6 hp at 9000 rpm and 13.5 Nm torque at 6500 rpm. The Yamaha, by comparison, uses a similar setup that differs in being SOHC and producing 5.1 hp at 8500 rpm and 13.8 Nm of torque at 7000 rpm. Additionally, the Yamaha’s transmission has only five gears while the one Honda has an extra gear that works as an overdrive. Being a Honda, the engine should also be more reliable.

However, the way power is delivered on each bike is worlds apart. The portly 123 kg Honda has a relaxed power delivery resulting in a more sedate acceleration. The Yamaha is one of the lightest underbones in the country at 115 kg. The power delivery is much more aggressive here. It is a wheelie happy revvy machine that is better suited for knee down antics on fast roads.

Coming to brakes, both the wheels on the Honda have hydraulic disc brakes with single-piston callipers. The Yamaha, however, has only one disc brake on the front with a drum brake on the rear. Despite this, braking is satisfactory on both the bikes. At the same time, both of them miss out on ABS.

Finally, the Yamaha Y15ZR sells for RM 8361 and comes with a one year/10000 km warranty. The Honda RS150R is slightly more expensive at RM 8478 but comes with a two year/20000 km warranty.

This was a comparison of two of the biggest players in the underbone market. What are your thoughts? Which one would you rather have?

Abhishek Katariya

Abhishek Katariya

From collecting Hotwheels to actually creating a list of cars driven, Abhishek has been a fanboy of cars since childhood. As much as he enjoys being behind the wheel, he also loves munching miles on big tourer bikes. 

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