Yamaha has given its YZF-R3 junior supersport machine a comprehensive restyle for 2019, with a new MotoGP inspired fairing said to lead to a 5mph increase in top speed due to its improved aerodynamics.
Faced with increasing competition from the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and KTM RC390, Yamaha has updated the 42bhp, 321cc, R3 in line with its other R-series models. The most obvious change is the adoption of a new fairing that echoes the sharp lines of the MotoGP YZR-M1, as well as the roadgoing R1 and R6, with its central air intake. The company says that wind tunnel testing has shown the new fairing and screen to generate 7% less drag when the rider is tucked in behind the screen. This, in turn, leads to a 5mph/7kph increase in top speed, with the new air intake also improving engine cooling.
While the tubular steel frame and parallel twin motor are carried over from the existing model, the 2019 update features lower handlebars and a redesigned fuel tank to create a sportier riding position. The latest version also features new 10-spoke alloy wheels and 37mm upside down forks which, if nothing else, look far more bling than the rather low rent items that previously graced the R3’s front end. Other detail changes include the new LED headlights and an LCD instrument display that’s packed full of features.
There’s no doubt that the restyle takes the 300 from the slightly dowdy sibling of the R-series range to a stylish and highly desirable A2 compliant sportsbike that carries off the family look with great aplomb. Yamaha will also be hoping that the updates can help improve the R3’s competitiveness in the increasingly popular World Supersport 300 racing series, where Kawasaki’s switch to a bigger capacity engine saw it take over from Yamaha as the most competitive bike in the class during the 2018 season.
Yamaha says that the new R3 will be available in black or blue colour options, and will go on sale in March. The bike will be officially launched at next month’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, and will be on display at the Yamaha stand at Motorcycle Live, which takes place between 17-25 November at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.