Luca has been daily riding the 2022 Yamaha YZF-R3, plus hitting the twisties. Check out the lightweight machine that made him reminisce about his early racing days in Europe! Photos: Zane Dobie

The 2022 Yamaha YZF-R3 is not only a great machine for learner riders to understand how to ride a sportsbike, it’s also a popular bike to set up for racing and track days, especially with the younger riders in the ASBK Yamaha R3 cup. It also makes a fine daily rider, as I found out.

Luca has been out putting some KM in on the 2022 Yamaha YZF-R3. Check out what he thought of the LAMS approved machine!

Luca has been out putting some KM in on the YZF-R3. Check out what he thought of the LAMS approved machine!


Read Luca’s review of the 2022 Yamaha XSR700 here…


Honestly, it was initially so hard to swap back the XSR700 I’d had recently for the R3. I had a blast riding alongside my mates but at the same time I was keen to get back onto an everyday supersport bike after not racing in six years. It was very nostalgic and even a bit emotional for me picking up the R3, bringing up historic moments from my childhood career with sportsbikes and racers.



The YZF-R3 sings great too especially in comparison to its younger sibling the YZF-15 which I recently raced on in the Pheasant Wood 4-Hour, so heading home from Yamaha I’m already pumped! One fact I know for sure is that newbie motorcycle riders tend to want a ride that sounds amusing without having to spend an arm and a leg to purchase a sports exhaust, so I took a liking to the stock muffler and induction not being too obnoxiously loud but having that sweet deep grunt!



The supersport design creates awesome eye candy. What I thought was funny is that people who don’t ride or aren’t involved with motorcycles, in a beautiful way, are almost tricked into thinking it’s a monster of a bike like a big brother YZF-R1, all thanks to Yamaha’s awesome design.

From far away, the 2022 YZF-R3 looks like a full-sized bike. Thanks to the YZF "family face" all using the same design inspiration.

From far away, the 2022 YZF-R3 looks like a full-sized bike. Thanks to the YZF “family face” all using the same design inspiration, big front air-duct and small headlights…

The Yamaha R3 is so easy to ride even as a first bike. With a top speed of 180km/h and 0-100 in 5.1 seconds it’s certainly not the fastest LAMS out there yet there’s still some great mid-range power and a really responsive throttle that can be jumpy when opening out of corners, even in a higher gear.



Fuel consumption is phenomenal, saving lots of money and needing fewer stops at the servo, drinking around 2-3L/100km for learners and everyday riders who ride conservatively. I travelled over 300km on a full tank running just under 5L/100km on average, which is still extremely efficient for a supersport motorcycle and my wallet was thankful!

You don't have to be a racer to justify buying one of these. They use such a little amount of fuel that they've even become a popular choice for commuters and delivery riders!

You don’t have to be a racer to justify buying one of these. They use such a little amount of fuel that they’ve even become a popular choice for commuters and daily riders.

The 2022 Yamaha YZF-R3 only features a few new updates from the 2021 model mainly focusing on colour schemes as well as switching to LED indicators from the previous bulbed ones and the bike weighing in at 170kg, 1kg less than the 2021 model.



There’s a variety of colours the 2022 YZF-R3 is sold in – Racing Blue, Midnight Black, Phantom Purple and the newly added limited 60th Anniversary Edition, which is white and red replicating King Kenny’s era, besides the new Vivid Orange.

Yamaha have a variety of colour schemes. The Matte Orange machine that Luca tested looked awesome!

Yamaha have a variety of colour schemes. The Vivid Orange machine that Luca tested looked awesome!

I was lucky enough to get onboard with the new latter, which personally felt strange, riding around on an orange Yamaha which was not what I was expecting upon arriving to Yamaha to pick up! Though personally the longer I rode in these colours the more appealing it became to me [There are currently only three colours in stock on the Yamaha Motor Australia YZF-R3 page, Icon Blue, Midnight Black and Phantom Purple – Ed].


Check out our video review of the YZF-R3 here


The up side to the orange is that it’s quite bright helping to be seen on the roads especially at night. The more you stand out the safer you will be.

LED lighting means less weight, less bulb changes, more visibility and just a better looking bike all-round!

LED lighting means less weight, less bulb changes, more visibility and just a better looking bike all-round!

The new LED lights and indicators are exceptionally vivid, aiding safety for the 2022 models and future YZF-R3 collections. I absolutely love the race style bright digital single display speedometer dashboard, which was released on the 2019 model with all the necessary requirements monitoring speed, revs, fuel  and engine temperature.



The high quality dash is designed to withstand any extreme weather you may encounter riding or even when parked outside. It’s so easy to read with a quick glance so you can keep your eyes on the road and stay focused.

The gearing ratios are optimised for the track. Cruising around town on it is nice and smooth. Hitting the freeway and you'll be met with some high revs at 110km/h.

The gearing ratios are optimised for the track. Cruising around town on it is nice and smooth. Hitting the freeway and you’ll be met with some high revs at 110km/h.

To me the YZF-R3 is a race bike. Technically speaking, straight away opening the throttle onto open roads I noticed the stock gearing ratios are too short for highways and motorway riding, it’s ringing its head off passing the 100km/h mark.


“As a day to day bike getting from A to B the YZF-R3 is a great little bike that is especially agile in changing directions”…



First gear reaches 40-50km/h @10,000rpm, then reaching sixth gear at 100-110km/h@10,000rpm I noticed the whole frame seems to vibrate fairly intensely from the engine surpassing the 9000rpm range. The R3 has great top-end to pull you quickly to the 180km/h top speed.

The YZF-R3 rewards you with a light and flowy chassis when you get the everything right through the twisties...

The YZF-R3 rewards you with a light and flowy chassis when you get the everything right through the twisties…

Riding though Jamberoo on the R3 was bliss, the great chassis design and suspension offering a lot of confidence. I was enjoying the flowy outstanding feel through corners ensuring precise turning without a moment of instability. Feeling very confident on windy open roads, likewise on tight bendy ones, makes it awesome fun.



Being so light, you can stop the bike aggressively, only needing the single disc both front and rear. Pointing out they aren’t the strongest or most sensitive brakes I’ve tested, having to squeeze the front lever somewhat forcefully to brake hard. The brakes include ABS to help prevent accidents on slippery roads and for overall rider safety.

"YZF-R3 novice riders will learn how to carry speed through corners, which helps when transferring to bigger bikes, so they will be better prepared." Sadly it was wet for our photoshoot so no sparks from Luca!

“YZF-R3 novice riders will learn how to carry speed through corners, which helps when transferring to bigger bikes, so they will be better prepared.” Sadly it was wet for our photoshoot so no sparks from Luca!

YZF-R3 novice riders will learn how to carry speed through corners, which helps when transferring to bigger bikes, so they will be better prepared. The R3 of course is not so much a bike for carrying luggage or pillions consistently for exceedingly long distances as with any supersport model.


Kawasaki

But as a day to day bike getting from A to B the YZF-R3 is a great little bike that is especially agile in changing directions and weaving through tight proximities effortlessly, helped by the near 50/50, front/rear weight distribution, while sitting snug on the sporty seat.



Speaking of which, the seat cushion is nice and soft too, not to the extent where you’re sinking but just enough to suit the occasional track days allowing for fast position changes as well as subtle body adjustments, while being good for the road as well.

The R3 design clearly transpired from the famous Yamaha M1 MotoGP machine, which is noticeable by the gorgeous race appropriate fairings improving the aerodynamics.

“The R3 design clearly transpired from the famous Yamaha M1 MotoGP machine, which is noticeable by the gorgeous race appropriate fairings improving the aerodynamics.”

The R3 design clearly transpired from the famous Yamaha M1 MotoGP machine, which is noticeable by the gorgeous race appropriate fairings improving the aerodynamics. Tickling my fancy is the front air intake mimicking that of the M1 yet oddly enough my favourite aspect of the fairings are the fuel tank cover indents on the front with breather holes and the Yamaha logo alongside.

Such an angry looking machine, there aren't many 300cc machines on the market that look as good as the 2022 YZF-R3...

Such an angry looking machine, there aren’t many 300cc machines on the market that look as good as the YZF-R3…

It’s really aesthetically pleasing to look at, the YZF-R3. The entire Yamaha range of supersport bikes all follow the sleek M1 design. It was cold riding some days so to my benefit I’d tuck in behind the screen like I’m racing down a straight, which to my surprise covered most of my body from oncoming wind, keeping me warm regardless looking a bit silly to other drivers and riders around me!



If you plan to use the R3 all year round I highly recommend the purchase. Brand new complete for $8,399 R/A it’s worth the investment especially if you plan to take part in track days or circuit events.

A great bike for the daily rider that wants to commute, plus have some fun on weekends.

A great bike for the daily rider that wants to commute, plus have some fun on weekends.

My favourite features are the lightweight chassis and the KYB 37mm inverted forks, which help turning by less steering inertia and give a responsive and great feel, and also have great compression and rebound damping. It handles well for what it is.

There are very few bikes that have this racing pedigree from such a small price!

There are very few bikes that have this racing pedigree from such a small price! Just $8,399 rideaway…

The Liquid-cooled four-stroke, DOHC, four-valve 321cc fuel injected engine is a fast revvy motor that loves pumping through the gears. It’s a durable high-quality street/race bike that will definitely bring a smile to your face, and will surely run the race distance.

"Just waitin' for a mate officer"...

“I’m just waiting for a mate officer”… Or is Luca waiting for a bus after one too many wheelstand warnings?

Second Opinion – Zane Dobie

I’ve always viewed the YZF-R3 endearingly and dropping the 2022 model back to Yamaha just reaffirmed why it’s on the list of bikes I tell people to look at when they’re considering getting into bikes. The chassis and engine you get for the price are next to unbeatable!

Zane has spent plenty of time on the Yamaha YZF-R3 over the years, a quick spin of the 2022 model reminded him of how awesome of a bike it is!

Zane has spent plenty of time on the Yamaha YZF-R3 over the years, a quick spin of the 2022 model reminded him of how awesome of a bike it is!

I’ve spent A LOT of time on the YZF-R3. I’ve had stints on R3 Cup bikes, attended the Australian launch of the updated model, thrown plenty down the track and cut countless laps around Wakefield Park, Luddenham and SMSP on them.


GS Adv

First thing you notice is that rev-happy 321cc parallel-twin, extremely easy to ride low in the rev range. But, as you keep the throttle pinned, the power comes on like it has a VVTI setup, gaining a second wind as the revs fast approach the redline. This means you really have to get your cornering and gearing correct while out on track, you’ll be gluing seconds onto your lap time if you pick the incorrect gear for corner exit.



The KYB USD forks blow away just about everything in this category. Front-end stability is second-to-none as you keep the throttle pinned through turn one at SMSP, the YZF-R3 doesn’t even think about getting unsettled through the big bump mid corner. Slamming the brakes on into turn two and the front end stays firm as the rear wheel lifts slightly but comes down with ease.


Check out our feature on how to build an R3 Racer and racer test here… 


The shock isn’t anything special, it’s the first thing you change when you go racing on one of these. However, it holds up well to an 80kg rider pushing the bike well beyond it’s daily duties as a commuter. The suspension all-round handles daily riding superbly, you expect harsh rebound when hitting bumps on the road but the 2022 setup handles them better than other machines in the category.

Huge amount of lean angle for those skinner tyres. The bike just falls from side to side.

Reasonable amount of lean angle for those skinner tyres. The bike just falls from side to side.

I’m 183cm tall so a bike as small as the R3 does start to cause cramps in my legs and back while commuting. The rearset setup does do wonders for track riding, allowing the knee the come down no worries and allowed me to get in my tuck position by sitting on the rear seat, picking up around 15km/h more speed down the straight.


Zero Motorcycles

The overall geometry of the bike for racing is excellent, and the minimal weight is noticeable even when riding on the road. I forgot how easily the bike leans side to side, zero effort required to get the bike cranked over in tight corners. Even while I was doing the photos for Luca’s test, I moved the bike around with ease. One hand moving it around and my camera in the other!

"There are very few four-stroke 300cc machines I enjoy riding as much as the R3. If I was a bit smaller, I'd own one again."

“There are very few four-stroke 300cc machines I enjoy riding as much as the R3. If I was a bit smaller, I’d own one again. Alas, I’m blessed/cursed with being an above average height.”

There are very few four-stroke 300cc machines I enjoy riding as much as the R3. If I was a bit smaller, I’d own one again. Alas, I’m blessed/cursed with being an above average height.

Yamaha YZF-R3 Tech Talk

Yamaha’s 321cc liquid-cooled, inline twin -cylinder engine delivers broad power and performance throughout the rpm range. With a 180-degree crank design and integrated counter-balancer, the layout minimises vibrations for a smooth, refined engine character.

With a compression ratio of 11.2:1, double overhead cams (DOHC) and four-valve cylinder-heads, the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R3 motor is designed for quick revving performance and high-rpm efficiency to deliver an exciting ride with a broad spread of power.

Yamaha’s 321cc, inline 2-cylinder engine delivers excellent power and performance throughout the rpm range.

Yamaha’s 321cc, inline twin-cylinder engine delivers excellent power and performance throughout the rpm range.

A downdraft induction fuel injection system provides easy starting, excellent fuel economy, and responsive performanceYamaha’s unique DiASil—a high-silicon aluminium alloy engine block is used to ensure excellent heat dissipation, with an innovative offset cylinder design that reduces horsepower loss and improves both power and fuel efficiency.


Yamaha 2

Forged aluminium pistons—the same technology used for the YZF-R1 and YZF-R6—means lighter weight and excellent strength at higher temperatures, ensuring reliability at higher rpm. The short muffler design features modern styling and helps to centralise mass, improving agility.

Forged aluminum pistons means lighter weight and excellent strength at higher temperatures.

Forged aluminium pistons means lighter weight and excellent strength at higher temperatures.

The YZF-R3 features an inverted fork with optimised spring and damping settings, significantly improving fork rigidity, front-end feedback and control feel. The design also includes a YZR-M1-inspired top clamp for improved supersports style.


Shannons Q2 24

The single-shock design further centralises mass and is tuned to strike a balance between ride comfort and sporty performance, for capability across a wide range of uses, from urban commuting to track days. It’s also adjustable for spring preload, to account for passengers or cargo.

The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R3 features a near 50/50 front/rear weight distribution for enhanced performance.

The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R3 features a near 50/50 front/rear weight distribution for enhanced performance.

The 298mm floating-mount front disc is featured, supported by a 220mm rear disc. The YZF-R3 ABS model also features an antilock braking system.

Stylish 10-spoke cast aluminium wheels minimise unsprung weight for improved suspension responsiveness and refined handling.

The 298mm floating-mount front disc brake ensures excellent stopping power, supported by a 220mm rear disc.

Thanks to the engine placement and overall machine dimensions, the YZF-R3 features a near 50/50 front/rear weight distribution for enhanced performance.

The R3’s aggressive design continues the legendary styling born from the YZR-M1 MotoGP machine and improves overall aerodynamics at high speeds, too. The R3 features compact LED headlights with a central air duct that maximises cooling airflow for the engine.

Styling born from the YZR-M1 MotoGP machine and improves overall aerodynamics at high speeds.

Styling born from the YZR-M1 MotoGP machine and improves overall aerodynamics at high speeds.

LED elements are used for both the taillight unit and headlights.



The compact multi-function meter informs the rider of gear position, fuel capacity, real time and average fuel economy, water temp, clock and an oil change trip meter.

2022 Yamaha YZF-R3 Specifications

yamaha-motor.com.au

Price: $8,399
Colours: Icon Blue, Midnight Black and Vivid Orange
Claimed power: 30.9kW [41.4hp]@10000rpm
Claimed torque: 29.6Nm [21.8ft-lbs]@9000rpm
Wet weight: 167kg
Fuel capacity: 14L


Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline twin-cylinder, eight-valve four stroke, 68 x 44.1mm bore x stroke, 321cc, 11.2:1 compression, TCI ignition,
Gearbox: Six speed, constant mesh Clutch: Wet multi-disc


Chassis: Steel diamond-type tubular frame, long steel asymmetric swingarm
Rake: 25° Trail: 95mm
Suspension: 37mm KYB USD forks, 129.5mm travel, Monocross shock, preload adjustable, 124.5mm travel
Brakes: ABS, single 298mm floating rotor, two-piston caliper (f), single 220mm rear rotor, single-piston caliper (r)
Wheels & Tyres: Cast aluminium 10-spoke, 110/70–17in (f), 140/70–17in (r) Dunlop Sportmax GPR300


Dimensions:
Wheelbase: 1380mm
Ground clearance: 160mm
Seat height: 780mm
Overall height: 1140mm
Overall length: 2090mm
Overall width: 730mm


Instruments & Electronics: Full digital multi-function display, ABS


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2022 Yamaha YZF-R3 Gallery


GS Adv

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