What do you get when you want the performance of an entry-level sportbike, but the ease of use and daily rideability of a commuter moped? Well, you get what's colloquially referred to as a "sport-moped." Interestingly, lots of manufacturers play in this extremely popular subcategory of motorcycles. A cross between a scooter and a motorcycle, these bikes feature whats called an underbone chassis, and have their fuel tank situated under the seat.
Yamaha has long dominated the sport-moped segment in the Asian market with its Sniper 150, also known as the Exciter in other markets. Other popular bikes under this category include the Suzuki Raider 150 and the Honda RS 150. For the 2021 model year, Team Blue has revamped the Sniper, giving it quite a slew of updates which give the sport-moped an even sharper edge against its competitors. Introduced in the Philippines just a couple of days ago, the new Yamaha Sniper 155 is quite possibly the sportiest, most performance-oriented underbone in the market.
The new Yamaha Sniper 155 is derived from the YZF-R15, one of the best-selling entry-level sportbikes in the Asian market. It uses the same 155cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine, and produces an impressive 18 horsepower thanks to Yamaha's VVA (Variable Valve Actuation) technology. It does, however, get slightly different tuning than that of the YZF-R15, which is rated at 19 horsepower. It gets a manual six-speed transmission equipped with a slipper-assist clutch—a feature commonly found on premium, more expensive machines.
Engine aside, the Sniper 155 makes use of an underbone chassis which features comfortable, upright ergonomics, and the ability to carry small luggage in between the rider's legs. Getting on and off the bike is a lot easier, too, as the rider can board the bike in a similar fashion as a scooter. Other features include a fully digital LCD dash, as well as LED lights all around. The new Yamaha Sniper 155 has been priced in the Philippines starting at PHP 114,900, or the equivalent of $2,390 USD for the base model. The R variant, which features better brakes and a Matte Titanium color option, fetches PHP 120,900, or around $2,500 USD.