Yamaha R3

Test: Yamaha R3 (Baujahr 2020)

What can the Bonsai superathlete do?

The predecessor of our test bike called YZF-R3 was a typical Yamaha: decent and solid, albeit sufficiently sporty. The R3 has become sharper and wants to be taken seriously despite only 42 hp among the super athletes. Whether this works is clarified by the test.

Small but oho

The first lap around the bike shows it: Yes, it is a super athlete, no question. It stands low and ducked, the seat height measures only 780 millimeters, so the bike can also be used for smaller people to drive and stand at traffic lights. The last revision also sharpened the optics. Now it resembles Yamaha's R1 super rocket. The large air intake in the new cladding, which resembles that of the larger sister, is striking.

imagePhotos: Motorradtest.de

Sporty is more than just PS

The 14-litre tank was also reworked. It is positioned two centimetres lower than its predecessor, and is wider and flatter to optimize the knee closure. Yamaha now positioned the handlebar ends a little further angled.

With 42 hp one rarely connects a super athlete, but would classify the 190 km/h fast bike in the lower middle class. Of course, there must be an offer for sports machines for A2 licence holders. And so Yamaha shifts to the idea of making a virtue out of necessity. Sportiness is not defined here by PS performance, but by its ability, as self-linked and yet precise to bend the curves. Whether this will work will be seen during the test drive. The R3 already brings with it the appropriate lightness of its existence with only 169 kilos.

The engine is a 321 cubic-cylinder twin engine. In order to achieve its maximum performance, it must be rotated in five digits, which is considered appropriate for a super athlete. 42 hp at 10,750 rpm, the maximum torque of 29 Newton is also quite late, at 9,000 tours.

But now go, test super athletes.


Variable seating position

The first surprise comes immediately after sitting on: the sitting position is by no means as super-sporty as hoped (or feared, depending on the intended use). And it is variable: depending on the position of the most very good, the sitting position changes considerably. Abdominal to the tank means a position that is almost reminiscent of sports tourers. If you push your butt backwards, you're flat behind the disc and ready for the Hatz. The high-laid footrests are good for the slant freedom, but in combination with the low-build machine, they are responsible for a rather narrow knee angle. If you have long legs, you won't find it suitable for long distances.

The second surprise comes after the engine is started. The small two-cylinder sounds suitably sporty, but above all after more than the existing 321 cubic meters. The first gear of the precise six-speed transmission is inserted with a not exactly smooth clutch - and off you go.

As long as the two-cylinder is cold, only restrained turning is made. This in turn means that it is linear, but not very fast. From the middle of the speed band there is thrust. We like the vibrations or the absence of this, never the small motor seems strained.

The Yamaha has reached operating temperature, fire free! Determined, she storms the speed band upwards until it is sealed off at 13,000. That fits, she can do it well, but she has to. Once in the wrong gear and already the R3 has to turn back into higher speed regions. If you want to be fast, you have to drive and switch precisely, then, but only then, it fits.

In fact, the R3 is really fun now. This is also due to the low weight, which is staged by a very good chassis. The small racing machine throws itself with great pleasure in curves of all radii and lets the pilot with his knees taste the slant-free.

We didn't like the brakes very much. Objectively, she has little to blame. And yet we would have liked a little more bite for a super athlete. A second disc at the front would have increased the performance.

Comparatively suitable for everyday use

Finally, let's get to the crucial question: Is the Yamaha R3 a super sportscar despite only 42 hp? Yes, it is. Anyway, if you didn't just look at the PS power. Thanks to the precise chassis, sporty engine characteristics and seating position, she is a true representative of this species.

It is also more: thanks to the variability of the seating position, it is a capable companion in everyday life, and this should make up the majority of its field of application.

The test bike was provided to us by Motorrad Ruser in Haseldorf.

Price / Availability / Colours / Years of Construction

  • Price: 6.188€
  • Used (3 years old): 4,500€
  • Years of construction: since 2014
  • Availability: good
  • Colours: black, blue-metallic

Zubehör für die


Pro & Kontra

  • Turning motor
  • Precise chassis
  • Comparatively suitable for everyday use
  • Operation
  • Only mediocre brake

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Von unserem Team geprüft:




2,090 mm
1,140 mm
170 kg
Ab. Weight
329 kg
780 mm
1,380 mm

Driving Performance & Range

Tank contents
14 l
3.8 l
200 km/h

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
2-cylinder series, 4-stroke
Number of cylinders
321 cc
68 mm
44.1 mm
42 HP
29 NM
Number of gears

Suspension & Brakes

Bridge tube frame
Suspension front
USD fork
130 mm
125 mm
Brakes in front
Single disc, double piston floating saddle
298 mm
Tyres at the front
Brakes rear
Single disc, single-piston floating saddle
Rear tyres