Yamaha Motor India introduced the MT15 back in March 2019. Earlier this year, the naked-sports or streetfighter motorcycle was updated to BS6 emission norms alongside subtle additions. It is essentially a naked version of the Yamaha YZF-R15 sportsbike. Prices currently start at roughly Rs 1.39 lakh ex-showroom.
With no direct rivals but several sports-commuter alternatives, the Yamaha MT15 boasts of class-leading equipment such as Variable Valve Actuation (VVA), Assist & Slipper Clutch (ASC), deltabox frame, etc. Indian motorcycle enthusiasts were a bit disappointed at the fact that it (and the R15) lacked USD forks even when the lesser KTM 125 Duke sported them. The Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer might have omitted the feature to cut costs.
Abhinav Bhatt (@abhinavbhatt19 on Instagram) has shared a suspension swap done on his friend Vetrivel's BS4 Yamaha MT15, using a pair of 43mm 'WP' USD forks (including upper and lower triple-trees) sourced from a second-gen KTM Duke 390. The entire conversion project (dubbed 'Project 15') was done at home at a cost of roughly Rs 10,000. Abhinav states that the modification comes with significant advantages and a few non-dealbreaker disadvantages.
Starting with the merits, the motorcycle offers a noticeable bump in comfort while being more 'stable and predictable' at high speeds and corners. Furthermore, road undulations are better absorbed than on stock setup. On the downside, the front-end became heavier by just over 1kg (hardly noticeable). There is a slight increase in turning radius as well.
Since the components were sourced from a different manufacturer, a minor alteration was done to fit the headlamp assembly. For this, Vetrivel only had to fabricate three extra brackets. Although the MT15 wears the 390 Duke's Bybre axial calliper, wheel and rotor remain stock. Most importantly, the motorcycle looks really good from the front quarter.
The 2020MY Yamaha MT15 BS6 is powered by a 155cc liquid-cooled SOHC single-cylinder engine making 18.25bhp @ 10,000rpm and 13.9Nm @ 8,500rpm. This is mated to a 6-speed transmission. The previous Yamaha MT15 BS4 (as the example shown) churned out a marginally better 19.03bhp and 14.7Nm at similar rev ranges.
Changes in the BS6 version are limited to a new colour choice (Ice Fluo Vermillion or dual-tone white + red), engine side-stand cut-off and a 140mm-section radial rear tyre. It gets the same single-channel ABS unit, coupled to a 282mm front disc brake (220mm at back). The motorcycle rides on 100/80R17 and 140/70R17 tubeless tyres.