Yamaha's compact YZF-R3 was an instant sales hit when it debuted in 2015, and it's easy to see why: A spunky yet smooth 321cc twin-cylinder engine housed in a small, sharp-steering chassis that's competent enough to give bigger bikes fits on a tight canyon road in experienced hands yet still confidence-inspiring to the novice rider. And it does all this for just $4,999? Yamaha understandably had a hard time keeping up with demand. Plus the R3 came out on top of our 2015 sub-400cc entry-level sportbike comparison test, with senior editor Blake Conner stating, “I liked the Yamaha’s chassis the most of this foursome. It offers predictable steering, good stability, and a nice degree of feedback.”

For 2019, the R3 gets a face-lift with sleek new bodywork that follows the lines of its R6 and R1 cousins, LED headlights, and an R1-inspired LCD instrument panel. But it wasn't just cosmetic changes; the suspension now features a 37mm inverted fork with firmer spring/damping rates (with firmer shock settings to match), stickier Dunlop GPR-300 tires, and revised ergos with a reshaped fuel tank and repositioned clip-on handlebars.

Likes: Revvy engine, competent chassis, low seat height; $5K price

Dislikes: More power wouldn't hurt, could lose a few pounds

Verdict: Great performance from one of the best entry-level bike values

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 Reviews And Comparisons

Contributing editor Kent Kunitsugu was impressed with the performance of the upgraded YZF-R3 at the Yamaha press launch in San Diego. “The performance upgrades have transformed the R3 into a more capable sportbike. Corner entries that would have the previous model tying itself into knots were drama-free on the 2019 version.”

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 MC Commute Review

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 Competition

This year, the lightweight sportbike category is as competitive as it has ever been in the long history of the class, with the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 facing a strong challenge from the single-cylinder Honda CBR300R, KTM RC390, and Suzuki GSX250R, as well as the twin-cylinder Kawasaki Ninja 400.

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 Specifications And Pricing

The non-ABS Yamaha YZF-R3 is available in Matte Black or Team Yamaha Blue for $4,999, while the ABS version is available in Matte Black or Vivid White for $5,299. And there's a bunch of cool bolt-on parts for the R3 available through the Yamaha genuine accessories catalog.

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 Promotional Video

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $4,999/$5,299 (ABS)
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin
Displacement 321cc
Bore x Stroke 68.0mm x 44.1mm
Horsepower 42.0 hp @ 10,750 rpm
Torque 21.8 lb.-ft. @ 9,000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 30.7 in.
Rake 25.0°
Trail 3.7 in.
Front Suspension 37mm; 5.1-in. travel
Rear Suspension Preload adjustable; 4.9-in. travel
Front Tire 110/70-17
Rear Tire 140/70-17
Fuel Capacity 3.7 gal.
Wheelbase 54.3 in.
Claimed Wet Weight 368/375 lb. (ABS)

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height 30.7 in.
Wet Weight 379 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower 36.0 hp @ 10,700 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque 19.8 lb.-ft. @ 9,000 rpm
0–60 mph N/A
1/4-mile N/A
Braking 30–0 mph N/A
Braking 60–0 mph N/A
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 Left RearYamaha
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3Yamaha
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 Right Front
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 Right FrontYamaha
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 Dash
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 Speedometer and DashYamaha