In the U.S., the Yamaha YZF-R3 is a popular beginner-friendly sportbike. Often recommended to first-time riders, the YZF-R3 has quite a niche stateside, enabling new riders to learn the ropes on an approachable, albeit fairly capable machine. Over in the Asian market, however, the YZF-R3 and its Asian market-equivalent YZF-R25 are bikes to upgrade into, rather than beginner machines.
This is largely due to the way cities in Asia are constructed, i.e., with tight, congested roads and establishments spaced extremely close together. On top of all that, traffic conditions in urban cities like Kuala Lumpur tend to be extremely heavy, and riding high-displacement, performance-oriented motorbikes will result in excessive sweat and quite possibly, an overheated motor. Don't get me wrong, big bikes have a place in the Asian market, but they're seen more as toys for the weekend or lifestyle symbols.
Having said all that, this is where bikes like the YZF-R25 shine – they offer a compromise between the killer looks and sportbike styling of the YZF-R7 and R1, but in a package that's much easier to handle in the city. Plus, it makes for an excellent learner bike on the track, too. With that, Hong Leong Yamaha Motor (HLYM), Yamaha's subsidiary in Malaysia, has just updated the quarter-liter sportbike for the 2023 model year. Granted, updates consist only of aesthetics, and the bike is offered in two new colorways that further tie it in with the bigger Yamaha R bikes.
The two new colors consist of Midnight Star and Racing Blue, with the former being a bold purple hue giving the bike an '80s-inspired aesthetic. This colorway is sure to stand out in the sea of whites, grays, and blacks, and it really gives the quarter-liter sportbike a unique aesthetic. Meanwhile, the Racing Blue livery is the same as that found on the R7, R1, and the now defunct R6.
Performance-wise, the Yamaha R25 is powered by a 249cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine with dual-overhead cams. With a 35-horsepower output at 12,000 rpm, and a 16 pound-foot torque rating at 10,000 rpm, the R25 is more than capable of ripping through the city at a brisk pace. The premium small-displacement sportbike carries a price tag of RM 22,998, or the equivalent of about $5,196 USD.