2020 Yamaha YZF-R3

Small sportbike brings big fun to street and track.

YZF-R3 Right Front
2020 Yamaha YZF-R3Yamaha

Small sportbikes needn’t be restricted to riders with small budgets. In fact, if you gather together a group of motorcycle journalists, many of ’em current or former roadracers, the bikes that they claim excite them most might surprise you. When pure, unadulterated fun is the objective, the folks who ride pretty much everything will more often than not choose a small-displacement machine for burning laps at a trackday. Being so light, the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R3 rewards smooth inputs through the controls. And with less than 40 hp on tap, there is nowhere to hide if you blow an apex or botch a braking marker.

YZF-R3 Right Side
2020 Yamaha YZF-R3Yamaha

The R3 was unveiled in 2015 and given a MotoGP-inspired cosmetic makeover in ’19. Keep its revvy, liquid-cooled parallel twin on the boil, and this MotoAmerica Junior Cup-eligible model will make you feel like a hero. Not so many miles under your belt? Still mastering the fundamentals? A short first gear and light-effort clutch ease getaways, and a relatively low seat height inspires feet-flat confidence. An inverted fork, a liquid-crystal display, plus LED head- and taillights further equip the R3 for commuting as well as back-road duties.

2020 Yamaha YZF-R3 Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

YZF-R3 Left Rear
2020 Yamaha YZF-R3Yamaha

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $4,999
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, two-cylinder
Displacement 321cc
Bore x Stroke 68.0mm x 44.1mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 30.7 in.
Rake 25.0°
Trail 3.7 in.
Front Suspension 37mm nonadjustable; 5.1-in. travel
Rear Suspension Preload adjustable; 4.9-in. travel
Front Tire 110/70-17
Rear Tire 140/70-17
Wheelbase 54.3 in.
Fuel Capacity 3.7 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 368 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications (2019)

Seat Height 30.8 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 5.2 sec.
1/4-mile 14.18 sec. @ 92.78 mph
Braking 30–0 mph 45.0 ft.
Braking 60–0 mph 165.9 ft.