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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gonna be a lengthy review, maybe- :laugh:

Rider Details-
- New Rider
- No MSF Course
- Yamaha R3 is my 1st bike
- Had manual transmission experience from cars (helped a LOT transitioning to bikes)

Cliffs-
- 16.8K miles on bike (Did NOT do recall yet)
- GREAT 1st bike
- Reliable
- Easy on maintenance
- Replacement parts aren't too pricey

Bought this bike back in late February for a birthday gift to myself, and have used it for pretty much everything. Mainly commuting, with the occasional long ride from time to time. When I bought this bike, I was pretty much set on the looks. IMO, looks best out of all the other 300s in its class, with the exception of the KTM (that RC 390 looks awesome!). Didn't care much for non-ABS, slipper clutch, etc.. felt like I'd be okay without those.

To a beginner that had no prior riding experience at all, the bike is really awesome! I've learned a lot with it, and have much more learning to go. It's pretty forgiving on most accounts. Accelerating, you can go full WOT from the start, the front will come up a little bit, but you're not going to end up on your ass. For braking- you can grab a LOT of front brake and it'd be hard to lock up. I know other reviews have said the front brake is weak, but I find it fine for street use. However, the rear does tend to lock up easily, IMO..but not hard to recover from. I've had maybe...4-6 instances where the rear has locked up, but you can predict what's going to happen and can correct it.

The ergonomics of the R3 is pretty comfortable, and everything is easily accessible. I'm 5'7, 160lbs, 32" in-seam, I feel fine.. other bigger/taller riders may feel a bit more cramped. I've done two long-distance trips, from Orange County, California to Las Vegas and back.. Around 4 hours average each way, 3 hours and change is achievable too (did it this past weekend). Never felt fatigued or the need to take long breaks. The bike chugs along and goes as far as you can take it.

Gas.. the tank may be small (3.7L), but averaged around 40-44~ on the highway, depending on road conditions and such. I filled up 3 times, with gas to spare when I arrived in Vegas. The trip is about 265 miles, so not too bad..especially when I was pinning it at 85-90MPH. It struggled a bit going uphill, climbing up to 4000ft elevation, but was able to keep up and hold its own until the road evened out again. As for day to day, street mixed with highway use, I've managed about 48MPG~, but I beat on it everyday haha. Constant 85MPH plus short bursts from light to light, it's still fine on gas. I know others have managed better mileage than me, so that's a good deal.

Acceleration, I think it's fine. You're quicker than most cars out there from the start, and have jusssst enough to pass IMO. You're not going to get that quick burst or anything, but you can definitely get by on the freeways. It won't be breaking any records, but I think it's just enough where you won't get bored of it, nor think it's much of a snooze. I've ridden on 600s, and yea..I love those things, but the R3 is fine for day to day use and spirited riding.

Handling with this bike really comes alive if you take it out to the track/canyons. It can handle just about anything you throw at it. And I know guys on here with aftermarket tires (I see lot of S20 EVOs) really take the R3 to some newfound limits. From my experience, with the stock tires, you get a wash.. Either these things will grip you through a turn, or you'll feel some slip from the rear. I've been able to scrape the stock pegs with stock tires, but I wouldn't go all out on these things. There's just not enough confidence in them to go all out IMO. The suspension may be a bit soft, but you can adjust the rear preload if you'd like to somewhat help you with that. Overall, it's really fun to take around corners and EASY to flick around.

Maintenance/parts- I low-sided once, bad body positioning and leaning too much, went down on my left. No big deal, hopped back on and went about my business. At the time, not many parts were on sale on forums, eBay, etc.. but fast forward to today, you'll see more and more R3's being parted out or parts popping on eBay for very very reasonable prices. Maintenance wise, very easy to do on this bike. I recommend searching for YouTube videos if you're questioning how to do basic maintenance on it, it's easy. Cheap to maintain as well, it costs about $35~ for the Yamalube change kit (incl oil filter) out here. I've gone 16K, almost shooting for 17K and the sprockets are fine, chain is okay (looking to replace soon), and still starts right up every time (spark plugs still fine). I've changed the rear tires twice now, stock ones lasted around 8-9K miles (mostly commuting- 60 miles a day). I BARELY changed the front tire just now, and currently running on Bridgestone Battlax BT45s on the rear.

Overall, GREAT bike to learn and ride on. If I could do it all over, would I start on a 600..mmm, I don't think so. I think I'd have too many bad habits with the 600s and would only love that straight line acceleration. The R3 teaches you to love corners and embrace them. Also- I didn't take the MSF, but after riding the R3 for 2-3 weeks straight after purchase, it gave me enough confidence to just head out to the DMV and take the test. And sure enough, I got my M1 that way. That's not to say you should go that route too, but the R3 is just THAT easy to ride.

Any questions, feel free to ask. :)
 

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Very well written and a lot of great info too. Thanks for sharing and the lookers at our forum and the members like me will appreciate the details you've provided.

The Yamaha R3 is an easy bike to ride and learn to ride. I would think that if this bike is too much for a new rider then maybe riding a motorcycle isn't right for them right now.

I'm just around the block from you in Orange. Maybe there could be a ride we can do in the future.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Very well written and a lot of great info too. Thanks for sharing and the lookers at our forum and the members like me will appreciate the details you've provided.

The Yamaha R3 is an easy bike to ride and learn to ride. I would think that if this bike is too much for a new rider then maybe riding a motorcycle isn't right for them right now.

I'm just around the block from you in Orange. Maybe there could be a ride we can do in the future.
Yea definitely can plan something out, I'm out here where 5/22 freeways meet hah. Maybe I've seen you scootin' around!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update-

Hit 20K this past Friday and finally changed out the tired chain. I'm very surprised the chain lasted as long as it did, since I wasn't the best with it maintenance wise. Replaced it with a Vortex sprocket/chain kit that I bought from MotoUnited in Fullerton, CA. Couldn't be any happier. This thing continues to scoot around and stay reliable.
 

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Very good review, late to read this. I've also changed tyres to Michelin Street radial and it turns very quickly. I rode my friend's R3 which has stock tyres and couldn't turn as easily as this, it's like auto cornering.
My head light (low beam) got fused and last day horn was also not working. I wanted to fit something like roots horn but fear that it will hit mud guard (we use horns as much as brakes here :D)
I'm now running in 300v which makes bike very smoother. I'm not sure how you feel about vibes there but it's a major problem in most R3s here in India. Maybe it's the fuel or the assembly. With 300v and so called premium fuel vibes comes down a lot. It's prominent after 5-7rpm at normal condition. If you have rode ninja 300 we could evidently feel the difference, it's super smooth.


Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk
 

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Update-

Hit 20K this past Friday and finally changed out the tired chain. I'm very surprised the chain lasted as long as it did, since I wasn't the best with it maintenance wise. Replaced it with a Vortex sprocket/chain kit that I bought from MotoUnited in Fullerton, CA. Couldn't be any happier. This thing continues to scoot around and stay reliable.
Have you had the recall done yet?
 

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Have you had the recall done yet?
Anyone have a quick link on the recall? My R3 was sold when this was on the forum so I never really paid attention. I bought a new bike, in 249 cc instead of 321 and was wondering if it affects the 249's as well. My current bike was bought overseas, so not sure if the recall affects it.
 
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