2022 Yamaha YZF-R3: Little Racer
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2022 Yamaha YZF-R3: Little Racer

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By BikeReview - 02 November 2022

Words: Luca Gardner Photos: Zane Dobie

The YZF-R3 sings great too especially in comparison to its younger sibling the YZF-15 which I recently raced on in the Pheasant Wood 4-Hour, so heading home from Yamaha I’m already pumped! One fact I know for sure is that newbie motorcycle riders tend to want a ride that sounds amusing without having to spend an arm and a leg to purchase a sports exhaust, so I took a liking to the stock muffler and induction not being too obnoxiously loud but having that sweet deep grunt!

With the 140-section rear tyre the R3 looks great from the back. 

The supersport design creates awesome eye candy. What I thought was funny is that people who don’t ride or aren’t involved with motorcycles, in a beautiful way, are almost tricked into thinking it’s a monster of a bike like a big brother YZF-R1, all thanks to Yamaha’s awesome design.

The Yamaha R3 is so easy to ride even as a first bike. With a top speed of 180km/h and 0-100 in 5.1 seconds it’s certainly not the fastest LAMS out there yet there’s still some great mid-range power and a really responsive throttle that can be jumpy when opening out of corners, even in a higher gear.

110 Dunlop GPR300 and a single disc brake setup.
Rear brakes are good, cast alloy wheels look great. 

Fuel consumption is phenomenal, saving lots of money and needing fewer stops at the servo, drinking around 2-3L/100km for learners and everyday riders who ride conservatively. I travelled over 300km on a full tank running just under 5L/100km on average, which is still extremely efficient for a supersport motorcycle and my wallet was thankful!

The 2022 Yamaha YZF-R3 only features a few new updates from the 2021 model mainly focusing on colour schemes as well as switching to LED indicators from the previous bulbed ones and the bike weighing in at 170kg, 1kg less than the 2021 model.

There’s a variety of colours the 2022 YZF-R3 is sold in – Racing Blue, Midnight Black, Phantom Purple and the newly added limited 60th Anniversary Edition, which is white and red replicating King Kenny’s era, besides the new Vivid Orange.

The R3 twin-cylinder engine is legendary. 

I was lucky enough to get onboard with the new latter, which personally felt strange, riding around on an orange Yamaha which was not what I was expecting upon arriving to Yamaha to pick up! Though personally the longer I rode in these colours the more appealing it became to me [There are currently only three colours in stock on the Yamaha Motor Australia YZF-R3 page, Icon Blue, Midnight Black and Phantom Purple – Ed].

The upside to the orange is that it’s quite bright helping to be seen on the roads especially at night. The more you stand out the safer you will be.

The new LED lights and indicators are exceptionally vivid, aiding safety for the 2022 models and future YZF-R3 collections. I absolutely love the race style bright digital single display speedometer dashboard, which was released on the 2019 model with all the necessary requirements monitoring speed, revs, fuel and engine temperature.

Luca is a fan of the dash layout on the R3.

The high-quality dash is designed to withstand any extreme weather you may encounter riding or even when parked outside. It’s so easy to read with a quick glance so you can keep your eyes on the road and stay focused.

The gearing ratios are optimised for the track. Cruising around town on it is nice and smooth. Hitting the freeway and you'll be met with some high revs at 110km/h.

The gearing ratios are optimised for the track. Cruising around town on it is nice and smooth. Hitting the freeway and you’ll be met with some high revs at 110km/h.

Cruising through own or up in the hills the R3 is perfect.

To me the YZF-R3 is a race bike. Technically speaking, straight away opening the throttle onto open roads I noticed the stock gearing ratios are too short for highways and motorway riding, it’s ringing its head off passing the 100km/h mark.

First gear reaches 40-50km/h @10,000rpm, then reaching sixth gear at 100-110km/h@10,000rpm I noticed the whole frame seems to vibrate intensely from the engine surpassing the 9000rpm range. The R3 has great top-end to pull you quickly to the 180km/h top speed.

The front forks are a highlight of the chassis.

Riding though Jamberoo on the R3 was bliss, the great chassis design and suspension offering a lot of confidence. I was enjoying the flowy outstanding feel through corners ensuring precise turning without a moment of instability. Feeling very confident on windy open roads, likewise on tight bendy ones, makes it awesome fun.

Being so light, you can stop the bike aggressively, only needing the single disc both front and rear. Pointing out they aren’t the strongest or most sensitive brakes I’ve tested, having to squeeze the front lever somewhat forcefully to brake hard. The brakes include ABS to help prevent accidents on slippery roads and for overall rider safety.

Neat muffler but needs a bit more sound. 
Smooth slipper clutch. 

YZF-R3 novice riders will learn how to carry speed through corners, which helps when transferring to bigger bikes, so they will be better prepared. The R3 of course is not so much a bike for carrying luggage or pillions consistently for exceedingly long distances as with any supersport model.

But as a day to day bike getting from A to B the YZF-R3 is a great little bike that is especially agile in changing directions and weaving through tight proximities effortlessly, helped by the near 50/50, front/rear weight distribution, while sitting snug on the sporty seat.

Luca enjoyed the steering of the R3.

Speaking of which, the seat cushion is nice and soft too, not to the extent where you’re sinking but just enough to suit the occasional track days allowing for fast position changes as well as subtle body adjustments, while being good for the road as well.

The R3 design clearly transpired from the famous Yamaha M1 MotoGP machine, which is noticeable by the gorgeous race appropriate fairings improving the aerodynamics. Tickling my fancy is the front air intake mimicking that of the M1 yet oddly enough my favourite aspect of the fairings are the fuel tank cover indents on the front with breather holes and the Yamaha logo alongside.

It’s aesthetically pleasing to look at, the YZF-R3. The entire Yamaha range of supersport bikes all follow the sleek M1 design. It was cold riding some days so to my benefit I’d tuck in behind the screen like I’m racing down a straight, which to my surprise covered most of my body from oncoming wind, keeping me warm regardless looking a bit silly to other drivers and riders around me!

Looking stunning in Vivid Orange.

If you plan to use the R3 all year round I highly recommend the purchase. Brand new complete for $8,399 R/A it’s worth the investment especially if you plan to take part in track days or circuit events.

My favourite features are the lightweight chassis and the KYB 37mm inverted forks, which help turning by less steering inertia and give a responsive and great feel, and have great compression and rebound damping. It handles well for what it is.

It is certainly a stunner and looks like a big bike despite the size.

The Liquid-cooled four-stroke, DOHC, four-valve 321cc fuel injected engine is a fast revvy motor that loves pumping through the gears. It’s a durable high-quality street/race bike that will definitely bring a smile to your face and will surely run the race distance.

2022 Yamaha YZF-R3 Specifications

Price: $8,399

Colours: Icon Blue, Midnight Black and Vivid Orange

Claimed power: 30.9kW [41.4hp]@10000rpm

Claimed torque: 29.6Nm [21.8ft-lbs]@9000rpm

Wet weight: 167kg

Fuel capacity: 14L

Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline twin-cylinder, eight-valve four stroke, 68 x 44.1mm bore x stroke, 321cc, 11.2:1 compression, TCI ignition,

Gearbox: Six speed, constant mesh Clutch: Wet multi-disc

Chassis: Steel diamond-type tubular frame, long steel asymmetric swingarm

Rake: 25° Trail: 95mm

Suspension: 37mm KYB USD forks, 129.5mm travel, Monocross shock, preload adjustable, 124.5mm travel

Brakes: ABS, single 298mm floating rotor, two-piston caliper (f), single 220mm rear rotor, single-piston caliper (r)

Wheels & Tyres: Cast aluminium 10-spoke, 110/70–17in (f), 140/70–17in (r) Dunlop Sportmax GPR300

Dimensions:

Wheelbase: 1380mm

Ground clearance: 160mm

Seat height: 780mm

Overall height: 1140mm

Overall length: 2090mm

Overall width: 730mm

Instruments & Electronics: Full digital multi-function display, ABS

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