2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Look

Rennie Scaysbrook | October 11, 2018

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Look—Yamaha’s little YZF-R3—the smallest displacement sportbike sold by the company in the U.S., has received a facelift for 2019 with a new fairing designed to bring it in line with the YZF-R6 and YZF-R1.

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Look

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Look
Just like dad’s! The new YZF-R3 is a cool looking junior sportbike.

The change is the first we’ve seen for the R3 since it was released back in 2015, however, Yamaha will not be going the route many had expected (and hoped for) with the release of a 400cc version to conquer the Kawasaki Ninja 400 that came out earlier this year.

As such, R3 riders will still have the company’s 321cc parallel-twin cylinder four-stroke to play with, matched to a six-speed gearbox and steel chassis. The chassis does get use of a new KYB 37mm fork and triple clamp, a newly shaped gas tank that’s wider at the knees but lower at the cap, and the handlebars have been moved 22mm lower than the 2018 unit.

The new fairing is a big departure from last year’s R3, one Yamaha claims is much more aerodynamically efficient and completes the lineage between the bid daddy R1 and this machine.

Yamaha has also fitted new LED headlights, a new dash, and new GPR-300 Dunlop Sportmax tires to complete the list of changes.

The YZF-R3 has been up against it in MotoAmerica racing this year but conscious work to level the field by MotoAmerica rule makers finally saw a level of parity that made the Yamaha truly competitive against the Kawasaki and KTM. Racing aside, the R3 has always been a great motorcycle with which to get into riding and this looks like continuing for 2019, even if we are still waiting for the unicorn YZF-R4 to appear.


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Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook is our Road Test Editor. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A. Likes puppies and wheelies.