2019 Yamaha YZF-R3: First impression

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3: First impression

The 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 has been available in a number of international markets for quite some time now. We were long waiting for Yamaha to bring it to the Philippines. And we aren’t kidding you guys, the wait ‘was’ really painful. Yes, 'was', because Yamaha Philippines has finally got the new 2019 R3 in the country. We’re so glad and excited about this new twin-cylinder machine. But before we get a chance to ride it, here’s our first impression about the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3.

2019 Yamaha YZF R3 design


This is where Yamaha has done the most amount of work in the new R3. The outgoing model was a handsome machine, no doubt, but the new one is much better. It is clear that Yamaha has tried to make it look like its elder siblings like the Yamaha R6 and maybe even the mighty R1.


The new R3 gets twin LED headlamps with a ram-air intake placed in between. This set up makes the bike look like the bigger R-series motorcycles. The windscreen has also been tweaked a bit to channel air away from the rider when tucked behind and improve aerodynamics. It works. The side view is as sporty as ever, and the rear gets a sharp LED tail light. Overall, the new 2019 R3 is a much sportier package than its predecessor.

LCD dash

2019 Yamaha YZF R3 FRONT

We appreciate and understand Yamaha’s intention of incorporating a new all-digital LCD dash in the 2019 R3. Just like the design, this is also very much similar to that of the bigger R bikes but not that informative, obviously. The display is nice and bright, and we are confident that the sunlight or daylight legibility won’t be an issue. However, we did like the analog tachometer on the outgoing R3. Seeing the needle climbing up the rev band and reaching the red line, that’s a feeling that can’t be described in words. Unfortunately, we are advancing towards all-digital layouts, and the R3 is no exception.

Mechanical upgrades

The new 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 is sportier than its predecessor and that's not limited to just the design and styling. It is sportier even in terms of handling and riding ergonomics. Yamaha wanted to make sure that the R3 becomes a proper R-series machine, therefore, it made some key changes.


Instead of the conventional forks, the new R3 gets USD forks at the front. The suspension setups at the front and rear are stiffened up to promote sharper handling. Yes, doing so would push rider comfort to the back seat, but we think that’s alright.

Also, the clip-on handlebars have been lowered by 22 mm to give a more aggressive, dedicated, and demanding riding position. And with a wider and low-set fuel tank, it would be even more fun and thrill to ride this machine with complete focus. To provide you with all the grip needed while killing corners, Yamaha has got Dunlop Sportmax GPR300 tyres. In short, the new 2019 R3 has changed its path from being a more street-friendly motorcycle to a track-focused bike. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t ride it daily.


2019 Yamaha YZF R3 side

Yamaha didn’t change anything here. The new YZF-R3 specs sheet shows that it is powered by the same 321 cc parallel-twin engine that produces 41.4 hp at 10,750 rpm and generates a peak torque of 29.6 Nm at 9,000 rpm. It is mated to a 6-speed gearbox and is a great engine. It revs high, will not run out of juice, won't give any hiccups when being tortured. But we really would have liked to see an upgraded engine on the new R3. Perhaps, a 400 cc engine with a bit of more horsepower and torque would have been great. Anyways, this one still gets the job done, doesn’t it?

So, this was our first impression of the new R3. There is still room for improvements like we would have loved to see ABS at least as optional. But again, we think it’s a good update over the previous model and would be liked by the masses. The 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 price has been set at Php 259,000 and is available in three color options - Race Blu, Matte Red, and Black Raven.

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