Yamaha rolls out its next commuter bike — YBR 110
Yamaha has turned on the heat in India over the past few years. Its YZF-R15, Fazer and FZ models have served to add zing to the Yamaha stable.
Yamaha's latest commuter model, the YBR 110, is a motorcycle that heads onto crowded Indian roads with a clear intent to lure the commuter bike buyer.
Though the YBR is built on an age-old platform, its large proportions are a bonus as commuter bikes often look and feel undernourished.
The YBR 110 comes with upmarket alloy wheels and deploys a bikini front fairing. Yamaha has done well to provide its new bike with a powerful headlight, and the instruments are smartly turned out too. A speedometer and fuel gauge is prominently placed along with the regular array of warning lights.
The YBR is equipped with decent quality switches, including a pass-light flasher and engine kill switch. Riders are certain to like its well-shaped clutch and brake levers, plus the soft and comfortable-feeling palm grips. The 13-litre fuel tank looks standard, but leads smoothly into the seat and broad flank panel region. Yamaha could have come up with a more attractive brake warning light. It does win some brownie points with its smartly upturned exhaust and alloy footrest mounts.
Typical of any Yamaha, the YBR comes with good paint lustre, neat fit and finish as well as excellent overall quality. Plastic and rubber components are all of a high standard.
The YBR 110 is powered by a button-started, 106cc engine common to its earlier Indian ancestors like the Libero. It's a conventional, four-stroke, twin-valve and air-cooled power plant that mounts its single-cylinder vertically. Air and fuel are monitored via a standard carburettor. Cylinder bore and stroke measure under-square, at 49mm x 56mm. The YBR's power output of 7.6bhp at 7500rpm is slightly disappointing. . Its maximum torque output is 0.8kgm at 6000rpm.
The YBR 110 comes up with a delightfully light clutch and that's one major bonus in urban Indian conditions. This engine also stays silky smooth and totally vibe-free at almost all rpm. Power delivery is smooth, with each gear ratio properly thought out. The Yamaha also gets a smooth-shifting, four-speed gearbox that operates via a heel-and-toe shift lever. Top speed on the YBR 110 is a true 94kph.
The YBR 110 deploys a steel, twin-tube frame, with its engine bolted on just ahead of the swingarm section. The swingarm is tubular though a rectangle section swingarm would have made for good handling.
Suspension is conventional, with telescopic front forks and twin hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear. Both front and rear wheels are 18 inches in diameter.
The YBR comes with a plush seat that offers enough width and length. This new Yamaha provides its rider a well thought out, upright riding stance that is comfortable while riding in the city.
Ride quality is good, with the suspension allowing a plush ride even when riding over poor road surfaces.
The YBR 110 comes with 130mm drum brakes at both ends. Brake feel is adequate but not as good as a disc brake-equipped bike.
The YBR 110 scores really well on the fuel economy front. This Yamaha is just as miserly with petrol as every commuter motorcycle has to be in order to succeed in a mileage-obsessed country such as India. The bike delivered 56.3kms to a litre of fuel during our economy tests in real-world conditions. It improved a bit to provide 57.7 kpl when negotiating our highway test route.
The YBR comes with top-class quality, sound engineering and a really refined engine. But the downsides are bland styling and just-about-average handling.
Having experienced brilliant Yamaha bikes such as the YZF-R15, Fazer and FZ, we know this Japanese manufacturer is capable of rolling out far better commuter motorcycles in India.