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Itching to upgrade to an R3...need your opinion

10181 Views 17 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  xorbe
Currently I ride an old 1996 Yamaha XT225. It's an unaerodynamic dual sport pushing 12 horsepower (at best) through a set of knobby tires. Its a blast to drive (great agility, and very versatile), but its very very slow. It pretty much tops out at 90kmph, but can hit 110 with excessive instability and engine whine. 0-60 in...eventually.

I'm looking to switch to a pure-street bike, and the R3 is firmly in my sights. Its pushing 3x the HP (12hp vs 37-38 at the wheel) while only being 30% heavier (280lbs vs 366lbs), and being much better adapted to the street (suspension, wind cover, tires, etc). So I feel like it will knock my socks off...but will it? I rode a Bonneville a few weeks ago, and it pushes about 50hp at ~500lbs (basically the same power/weight ratio), and I almost soiled myself with that.

So ultimately, do you think this bike could satisfy someone for years to come, considering I've already been riding a 250cc for 2 years? Will it be that much of an upgrade, or am I in for some serious disappointment when I wack open up the throttle? I really like these light-weight bikes; I felt like the Bonnie was too **** heavy and had poor maneuverability, so I'd hate to go bigger.

Thanks guys, and I apologize for the lame "what bike should I get" thread.
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It satisfies me when I tip into corners at 187kph,

your results may vary.
test ride them all, buy the one that gives the biggest boner.
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I wish I could test ride them. My dealer here in Canada doesn't do test pilots except on Demo Days - which usually occur in May-June. I'm SOL until next year.
@Swordth. I have a Yamaha FZ16, and have had it from a year and a half now. It can reach 130 kph and from 0-100 kph sometimes in around 15 secs lol (pathetic). I already gave a deposit for a 2016 R3 that will be arriving to my country October this year. I haven't tried yet. I did a test ride on a Kawasaki Ninja 300 (around 4 hp less and less torque as well) and it felt really good on the acceleration (compared to mine of course) and very confortable. I also did a test ride to a KTM RC390 and it had an insane acceleration (some hp and torque more than the R3) but kind uncomfortable and a weird noise. Unfortunately the dealers from Yamaha here did not have an R3 for a test ride, but I think that the R3 is in the middle of those two motorcycles. Fun and fast enough and very comfortable as well and good quality in all senses, so I decided myself for the R3 :D

Hope you can choose the best bike for you, but for me, someone who rides around 70 kilometers per day and a 600cc or 1000cc would be very expensive to maintain, the R3 is great.
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My biggest problem with 600-1000CC bikes, in addition to the cost like you pointed out, is that the temptation to do horribly illegal things will be too much for me. If I'm going the speed limit in 2nd gear...how can I resist not opening it up and doing double that?

I think I'm going to pull the trigger on an R3. The KTM 390 duke/RC looks nice as well, but I'm a Yamaha fanboy. The wiring on the KTM looks extremely exposed too which makes me very concerned about future electrical gremlins.

My XT225 does 0-60 in about 11 seconds. The R3 does it in ~5s. I think that will be plenty. I hope.
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I had a 600 and downsized to the r3. I have done hours on the highway with no problems at all.

I've whipped it on curvy roads like the dragon in NC. Its an absolute blast at any speed.

My only complaint for the whole bike so far is to ditch the stock tires as fast as possible. And the suspension is soft and non adjustable.

I've had so much fun with half the power I used to have. Test ride one and see if you like it. :)
I ride a FZ07. 689cc with around 60-something HP (I have no clue, too lazy to look it up). It is a very torque-y bike with a low powerband and I love it...

But recently after breaking-in the wife's R3, I've been riding it a lot and redlining it. It is a drastic difference in sensation compared to my FZ07. It is visceral and more exciting. I cannot redline the FZ07 for a few reasons. One being that that bike easily lifts its front wheel up on 1st and 2nd due to its torque, so if I were attempting to do that on my FZ07 (wide open throttle), I would crash (I do not know how to wheelie so if my wheels come up, it will be a disaster for me) (also there is a youtube vid of some guy test-riding the FZ07 who wasn't aware of this and wheelied the bike and fell on his back). Also, the FZ07's power is non-existent over 8k rpm so redlining it is useless.

But on the R3, I can just blast the throttle all the way and keep shifting at redline and I love it. I'm actually getting jealous because it is such a great sensation, and I might even consider switching my FZ07 for something like an R6. No clue, still thinking about it.

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I'd wait a little bit. Some new beginners bike are coming out. R3 will always be there if you still want it later
So many choices - in general, I'd recommend something in the 250-500 cc class. Best thing to do is go to some dealerships, sit on some bikes - get a test ride (if you're lucky, a lot of dealers won't do the test ride thing), take the MSF - they usually have several bike options you can try. For sport bikes, the R3, Ninja 300, CBR500 all good entry choices. Dual sports, supermotos, thumpers give even more options. 35-50 hp is enough to get you grins, but not as easy to get you into trouble like a hundred or more will do.

Heh, my MSF only had CRF230Ls and Honda Rebels - both good bikes, but neither of which provide hilarious thrills. The dealer around me definitely doesn't do test pilots, but I'm going in today to get a trade in value for my bike and pop a squat on a two-tone blue R3. I have enjoyed riding my dual sport for 2 years now, but offroad riding areas are being blocked off (private logging company land).


What new beginner class bikes are coming out? I've heard of the naked Ninja 300 (not coming to Canada), and the FZ/MT-03 (who knows when that will be released up here). The market for small bikes right now is the best it has ever been from the looks of it!


I like to think I'm a capable rider, but realistically I'm probably not (regardless of having the MSF and 2 years experience under me). I would be right there with you...landing on my bike after attempting a wheelie!
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With your riding experience, and depending on your budget, I'd seriously consider a used Suzuki SV650S (they quit making them around '09 but have a huge following) or perhaps a Yamaha FZ07. The R3 is an awesome bike but if it is your only bike it's possible that you would outgrow the power in a riding season or two...
For what it's worth I had a CBR 1100xx before the R3. I loved the speed and comfort of the CBR. I like the R3 for its light nimble body and she has just enough power to still make me grin. Great gas mileage and good looks help to.
Got my 2008 Honda CBR125R the day after getting my M1. Just dropped off for me to enjoy, without ever riding a motorcycle before. Beautiful little bike, and at the time it was enjoyable. Quick off the line compared to a bicycle, but the little guy would corner like a dream. However, you needed to make sure that you were riding in the right gear all the time or the bike would chug like an asthmatic one legged pirate trying to play soccer (football).

Fast forward.

There I was getting ready to drop off the little guy at the dealership. Took the nice slow highway to get there, of course I had the bike full throttle. Don't even think about passing on a 125 unless you're prepared to ride in a full tuck
for at least 7 seconds full throttle, after you make sure the oncoming lane is clear for about three days. Starting to feel a little sad because I knew I wasn't going to be able to beat up that little bike around town anymore. Definitely had a emotional connection with it.

Pulled into the dealership parking lot. Took one last look at the CBR125R before I walked into the door. Met the sales manager and proceeded to exchange ownership papers. He brought me outside and around the building to the garage area where the R3 was sitting.

As he pulled open the door to the garage I immediately remembered what it was that I loved initially about the R3. Just the silhouette of the bike in the corner waiting for me got my heart racing. It was the bike I've been stalking online for months on end, finally mine. I could finally take it home.

The sales manager was talking to me about something, unfortunately all I could pay attention to was the Yoshi exhaust on the bike and how badly I just wanted to start it. When that moment finally came, I had the biggest dumb grin on my face. Turned that key, press the starter button ... and fell in love with the nice raspy grumble of the engine idling.

The entire lot of the dealership was super loose chunky gravel so I had to take it extra easy. Then the road was right in front of me. Clicked my turn signal over to the right and set off.

As soon as I twisted the throttle I was infatuated with the increase in power off the line. Yeah ... I know, a John Deere riding lawnmower probably has more grunt than that little CBR. It wasn't until I got to a little town that the highway goes right through and came to the first set of lights that I found out just how much more I had to play with. I took off from the light "gradually" and looked behind me, let out a laugh that caught me off guard and shouted "God my CBR was terrible" lol.

Got back into the city and started seeing how much passing power I had compared to the CBR. 5th gear at 4k rpm roll on to get around someone on the R3 felt like 9500rpm on the CBR in 2nd gear. Couldn't believe that I actually road that little guy on the highway. Kept riding around and was enjoying it so much that I ended up two towns over without any idea where I was.

NEVER!! ever had that many people wave to me on passing bikes, it was like going through puberty and ending up with the most beautiful girl at school that no one ever could get (yeah, little dorky but still).

Wish you all the best if you decide to get this bike. Honestly fantastic and extremely comfortable. Plus it doesn't move like the speed of smell breaking CBR125R :)
However, I am but a simple commuter. I like the look of the R3. Just don't really need to go 0-60 in 3 seconds. If you're looking for more power than what the R3 gives you, check out a used 650. If you just want a nimble but respectably quick little machine I don't think you'd regret getting an R3.

my two cents I guess...
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I enjoyed reading that story of yours Trevor lol.. makes me wish I could get my R3 sooner!
I felt the same but picked up my R3 and fell in love. You wont regret it.
Go for it! worth every penny
Buy the r3. I've owned 50 bikes from Harley's to Triumphs and all big four brands. You can't go wrong. It easy easy to maneuver in the city and cruises at 70 very smoothly. Oil changes are easy and valve adjustments every 26,000 miles!
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Guys, OP hasn't logged in for 4.5 months
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