June 19, 2021

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Yamaha MT-15 long term review, third report

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Parked Motorcycle Syndrome is a thing, believe me. I was just not able to find the time to head outside the city on my MT-15 long-term motorcycle, even after the lockdown restrictions began to ease. But at one point, when staying away from the motorcycle got too much to bear, I decided to at least ease into it with short rides in and around the city, before stepping out of city limits. 

A typical week in the life of the MT-15 includes a few shopping runs and at times, when I’m in the mood for it, a quick dash to South Mumbai’s Marine Drive. This happens once or twice a week, and for the rest of the time, I’m busy testing other motorcycles or working from home. And in all this time, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that the MT-15 always fires up at first crank, even after a gap of four to five days.

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Engine refinement continues to impress, even at high revs.

While out, riding in the city, the MT-15 still seems to attract a lot of attention. I believe that is mainly because it looks different and there aren’t too many on the road. At least, not as many is its faired sibling, the YZF-R15. I, for one, think that the MT makes a lot more sense as a city machine than the R15. In fact, I’m enjoying the rev happy and peppy performance of the engine, along with the agility of the motorcycle, which allows me to own every gap that I set my eyes on. This is such a playful city motorcycle! 

But that doesn’t mean that it is out of its depth on the highway. An impromptu dash to Lonavala, to give company to a friend who wanted to run in his new KTM 390 Adventure, revealed the MT-15’s highway abilities. The thing that I liked about the MT is that it could keep up with an overzealous rider on the KTM (run-in conveniently forgotten about!) and second, it wasn’t as uncomfortable or cramped as I had initially anticipated. It also returned a healthy 41kpl during the trip, a decent number considering the pace we were maintaining. The only niggles I faced during the 200km round trip were the aggressively rear-set foot pegs and the lack of wind protection. I think I’ll have to scout for an aftermarket windscreen online before heading out for an interstate trip that I’ve been planning for a while.

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The chain sprocket set is done for within 9,000km!

But before that, the motorcycle needs attention, as a couple of issues have cropped up. There is considerable slack in the chain and it cannot be tightened any further, so the chain sprocket set will have to be replaced. This in 8,646km only! But I’d have to attribute it to the hard-pressed bike life that this MT-15 had to face before it became part of our long-term fleet. 

Also, the steering head needs to be greased, as I’ve noticed that it now takes more effort to steer the motorcycle. With these two things taken care of, the MT-15 should be prepared for a long-distance trip. Hopefully we’ll have more to share about that in the next report. 

Also see:

Yamaha MT-15 long term review, first report

Yamaha MT-15 long term review, second report

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