New Yamaha YZF-R3 vs. Kawasaki Ninja 400 vs. KTM RC 390: The Ultimate Showdown

New Yamaha YZF-R3

Yamaha’s much-anticipated reintroduction of the YZF-R3 in India marks a significant moment for motorcycle enthusiasts and the Indian two-wheeler market. After being taken off the shelves a few years ago, the YZF-R3 is set to make a comeback with a host of updates and improvements.

Slated for a launch on December 15, this motorcycle brings with it the promise of Yamaha’s reliable performance blended with new-age features and design cues taken from its larger siblings. As enthusiasts eagerly await its arrival, let’s dive into what the new Yamaha YZF-R3 has to offer, from its expected pricing and style to its engine performance and key features.

Upcoming R3


Indian Motorcycle Market

Top key points on the Yamaha YZF-R3:

  • The Yamaha YZF-R3 is expected to launch in India on December 15, 2023.
  • The motorcycle is expected to be priced between Rs 3.5-3.7 lakh, ex-showroom.
  • Bookings for the motorcycle have already commenced and deliveries are likely to begin at the start of 2024.
  • The new R3 has a more aerodynamic design than the previous version.
  • It comes with full-LED lighting, dual-channel ABS, and a slipper and assist clutch as standard.
  • The motorcycle is powered by a 321cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine that produces 40.4bhp and 29.4Nm.

Supersport Segment

The Yamaha YZF-R3’s upcoming launch in India is certainly generating excitement among motorcycle enthusiasts. Here’s a summary of what to expect from this supersport motorcycle:

Expected Pricing

  • Previous Price (2019): Rs 3.51 lakh
  • Expected New Price: Between Rs 3.5-3.7 lakh, ex-showroom.
  • Reason for Price Hike: Updates over the years and CBU (Completely Built Unit) import status.
  • Booking & Delivery: Bookings have commenced, with deliveries expected to begin in early 2024.


  • Design Influence: Inspired by its larger siblings, focusing on aerodynamics.
  • Features: Full-fairing, split LED headlamps with an air intake, split seat setup, and a sharp tail section.
  • Overall Look: Sporty but not as aggressive as the R15 or the upcoming R7.


  • Safety & Convenience: Dual-channel ABS, full-LED lighting, and an LCD instrument cluster.
  • Additional Features: Slipper and assist clutch, golden upside-down forks.
  • Comparison: Lacks some features compared to rivals like the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and the KTM RC 390, necessitating competitive pricing.

Engine and Cycle Parts

  • Engine Specs: 321cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine producing 40.4bhp and 29.4Nm.
  • Transmission: Six-speed gearbox.
  • Suspension & Brakes: Upside-down forks at the front, a monoshock at the rear, and disc brakes with ABS on both ends.

2023 Ninja 400

321cc Parallel-Twin Engine

When analyzing the upcoming launch of the Yamaha YZF-R3 in India, several key factors stand out, contributing to its potential success or challenges in the market. Here’s a breakdown of these critical aspects:

1. Market Positioning and Pricing

  • Previous Price Comparison: In 2019, the R3 was priced at Rs 3.51 lakh, considered high at the time.
  • Expected Price Range: The anticipated range of Rs 3.5-3.7 lakh might still be on the higher end, particularly when considering the competitive landscape.
  • CBU Factor: As a Completely Built Unit, the R3 might incur higher costs, affecting its final pricing.

2. Styling and Design

  • Aerodynamic Design: Borrowing design elements from its larger siblings, the R3 offers a more aerodynamic profile, which is appealing to enthusiasts.
  • LED Lighting and Fairing: The inclusion of split LED headlamps and full fairing adds to its sporty aesthetics, possibly attracting a younger demographic.

3. Features and Equipment

  • Safety and Performance: The dual-channel ABS and slipper clutch are notable features that enhance both safety and performance.
  • Instrumentation: An LCD instrument cluster aligns with current market trends.
  • Comparison with Rivals: It falls slightly short in terms of features when compared to the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and KTM RC 390, which could influence buyer decisions.

4. Engine and Performance

  • Engine Specifications: The 321cc engine offering 40.4bhp is robust for its class, ensuring a blend of performance and efficiency.
  • Gearbox and Suspension: A six-speed gearbox and sophisticated suspension setup (upside-down forks and monoshock) promise a smooth riding experience.

5. Market Dynamics and Consumer Preferences

  • Target Audience: The R3’s target market likely comprises young riders and enthusiasts looking for a blend of performance and practicality.
  • Competition: The bike enters a highly competitive segment, where brand loyalty and specific feature preferences can significantly influence buyer choices.

6. Brand Legacy and Reliability

  • Yamaha’s Reputation: Yamaha’s strong brand reputation for reliability and performance could work in favour of the R3.
  • After-Sales Service: The brand’s service network and post-purchase support will also play a crucial role in the bike’s success.

The Yamaha YZF-R3’s re-entry into the Indian market is characterized by a mix of promising features, a strong brand reputation, and the challenge of a competitive price point. Its success will depend on how well it balances these elements to appeal to its target demographic, amidst stiff competition. The R3’s blend of style, performance, and Yamaha’s engineering might make it a desirable option for those seeking a middleweight sports bike that doesn’t compromise on practicality or thrill.

RC 390

Overall Expectation

The Yamaha YZF-R3 is poised to be a strong contender in the Indian supersport motorcycle segment, offering a blend of performance, style, and Yamaha’s renowned engineering. Its pricing strategy will be crucial in determining its competitiveness against established rivals. The bike’s appeal lies in its balanced design, blending sporty aesthetics with practical features, making it a potential choice for riders seeking a middle-ground between aggressive sports bikes and more practical everyday motorcycles.

The Yamaha YZF-R3, Kawasaki Ninja 400, and KTM RC 390 are all great motorcycles that offer a lot of performance and value for the money. Here is a comparison of their specifications:

Specification2023 Yamaha YZF-R32023 Kawasaki Ninja 4002023 KTM RC 390
Engine321cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin399cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin373.27cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder
Power40.4bhp at 10,750rpm45.5bhp at 10,000rpm42.9 bhp at 9000 rpm,
Torque29.4Nm at 9,000rpm37 Nm at 8000 rpm37 Nm @ 7000 rpm
Rear Suspension37mm upside-down forks41mm upside-down forksWP APEX 43mm upside-down forks
Front: 298mm disc with dual-piston calliperMonoshockMonoshockWP APEX monoshock
BrakesRear: 220mm disc with single-piston calliperFront: 310mm disc with dual-piston caliperFront: 320mm disc with Brembo 4-piston caliper
Front: 310mm disc with dual-piston calliperRear: 220mm disc with single-piston calliperRear: 200mm disc with Brembo 2-piston caliper
Weight170kgs (374bs)166kgs (366lbs)172kgs (379lbs)
Seat height810mm (31.9 inches)800mm (31.5 inches)820mm (32.3 inches)
Fuel tank capacity14.5 litres (3.9 gallons)14 litres (3.7 gallons)13.7 litres (3.6 gallons)
PriceRs 3.5-3.7 lakh, ex-showroomRs 5.04 lakh, ex-showroomRs 2.79 lakh, ex-showroom


The upcoming Yamaha YZF-R3 stands as a testament to Yamaha’s commitment to innovation and quality in the competitive Indian motorcycle market. With its expected pricing between Rs 3.5 and 3.7 lakh, the new R3 seems poised to offer a compelling package of performance, style, and advanced features.

While it faces stiff competition from rivals like the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and the KTM RC 390, the R3’s blend of a refined engine, stylish full-fairing design, and rider-friendly features could make it a popular choice among Indian motorcycling enthusiasts. As bookings open and anticipation builds, the YZF-R3 is set to revitalize Yamaha’s presence in the supersport segment, offering a blend of exhilaration and practicality for riders seeking a versatile and dynamic riding experience.


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