Last May 27, Yamaha Motor Philippines invited us to a press conference to announce the participation of Yamaha Racing and McKinley Kyle ‘The Wonderboy’ Paz who is set to race in the 2021 FIM CEV -REPSOL MOTO2 Category, the next big step to MotoGP. Right after the press conference we were invited to their test ride area where several 2021 model Sniper 155 and Sniper 155R were parked side-by-side.
Doing a quick walk around on both bikes show no obvious differences except for the Sniper 155R that only comes in Matte Titan colorway, whereas the Sniper 155 comes in several colorways like Black Raven, Yellow Hornet, and Race Blue (I particularly like the matte gray with bright yellow accents of the Yellow Hornet). Closer inspection however reveals that the Sniper 155R comes with a 12v power outlet on the front apron, a smart key system with keyless ignition and answer back function, 2-piston front brake caliper biting on 245mm disc, and IRC tires. The Sniper 155 on the other hand only has a 1-piston front brake caliper and Maxxis tires.
The Sniper 155 and Sniper 155R share the same liquid-cooled, fuel injected, 155cc, sohc with VVA, single cylinder motor also found on the YZF-R15 v3, MT-15, XSR155, and WR155R. The new motor is said to be 17% more powerful than on the previous Sniper 150. It produces 17.7 hp at 9500 rpm and a maximum torque of 10.62 lb-ft at 8000rpm. They also share the 6-speed manual transmission and the new slipper/assist clutch that offers smoother gear changes and reduces engine braking. A new lightweight frame and a more efficient exhaust system layout rounds off the technical updates to the Sniper 155 and 155R. Other features added to the new Sniper 155 models are the kill switch on the right side switchgear and a passing light switch on the left. The large multi-function LCD instrument panel displays gear position, tachometer, odometer, trip meters, fuel gauge, clock, and VVA indicator.
On the short test course both Snipers handle similarly and accelerate eagerly. The 6-speed transmission is smooth and precise even with aggressive gear changes (upshifts and downshifts) at high rpm. What I notice about the new Sniper compared to the previous model is the lightness of the handling. The new Sniper 155 responds quickly to handlebar inputs and goes exactly where you point it. While the suspension is a tad firm on the off-road portion of the test course they offer good balance and control on tarmac and also reduce nose dive under hard braking. Speaking of braking, the Sniper 155R provides more stopping power with more feel and less effort on the lever. The Sniper 155 1-piston front brake set up on the other hand is sufficiently powerful for everyday riding and most riders will hardly feel the difference.
The 2021 Yamaha Sniper 155 retails for PhP114,900 while the Sniper 155R retails for PhP120,900. They are now available at Yamaha dealers nationwide.