The Maruti Ignis and the Yamaha R15 have a lot more in common than you would think
You see, there is a point in our life when we realise that true joy comes in small packages. It can be related to almost everything if given a thought. In the case of vehicles, since the time I started understanding cars and bikes, I have always been fascinated by them for their design and machinery. And while most of them have been supercars and superbikes, it’s a league that requires a hefty bank balance, which most of us might not have. And even if you did, how often do you see yourself driving or riding that machine? Not regularly, and definitely not on a daily basis. So, in the same scheme of things, wouldn’t it be nicer to have a car or a motorcycle that is intriguing rather than it burning a hole in your pocket just by standing in your garage? On that note, we have two machines which have a lot more in common, despite seemingly being poles apart.
First up is the Yamaha R15. It’s a motorcycle known for its sweet, forgiving nature right from the first-generation model. And with the third generation, it has only become better, with more edginess. The R15’s split headlamps with an air-scoop in the middle, the fully-faired fairing and the beautifully sculpted tail section with the vertical slits are bang on for the stance of a SuperSport. As much as it looks fast and intimidating while standing, it does equal justice on the go as well. A power output of 19 bhp, a redline of 10,000 rpm and the rev-friendly nature, the R15 is an extremely engaging motorcycle. Ducked behind the tinted visor, the shift light flashes as you reach the 9000 rpm displayed on the all-digital instrument console. It reaches triple-digit speeds with much eagerness, making it a fun motorcycle.
Moving to the other machine over here on four wheels is the Ignis. Quirky in design, the Ignis is a car that stands out from most of the other cars on the road. It has the right proportions for a fun zippy car which, like the R15, felt extremely eager and engaging the moment you get behind the wheel. Looking at the car, on the first impression you might feel it would drive and feel like any other Maruti, but believe me, it’s a whole lot different. From the moment you get in the car, you’ll notice the prominent side support from the front seats which are limited to only high-end cars. Under the hood, there is a 1.2-litre 4-pot motor that churns out 80 bhp. You might say that isn’t a lot of power to feel the rush but for a vehicle that weighs just 860 kg that much power is more than sufficient to bring a wide smile on your face. The Ignis is peppy and makes you want to floor the throttle for every open patch of road you come across in it. You see, every car has a distinctive note. In the Ignis as the revs build up, there is a sweet exhaust tone from the four-pot naturally-aspirated motor that hits the ears. The tone is so exciting that an auto enthusiast like me would listen to the exhaust melody tune rather than the stereo.
You must have noticed, both the Ignis and R15 do not produce some staggering performance numbers that would make your eyes roll. But at the same time, they are not even that less to make them any less than a peppy machine on the road. Which is because they make the best of what is available from their respective engines. And this is achieved from the handling attributes. Inspired by the mighty R1, the R15 is an absolute hoot when it comes to handling. The motorcycle just loves to dive into corners while inspiring confidence to take the same corner next time with more speed. There are very few motorcycles which would allow you to do so. The response from the forks, the feel from the brakes, the grip from the tyres gives a clear idea of what is happening, which ultimately lets you learn a lot at understanding a motorcycle.
Moving to the Ignis, it is simply amazing how well it handles. All you need to do is point the Ignis where you wish to go and just floor it. Other cars would screech and understeer in most cases, but the stiff suspension setup of the Ignis keeps it on the intended line. The compact dimensions combined with the sharp handling make you feel as if you are strapped onto a go-kart with a shell. The Ignis stands on 15-inch blacked-out wheels that look the part for its tall-boy stance.
At this point in the story, the R15 and the Ignis have both scored equal points which makes it difficult to select a winner of the two. Frankly, it would also be unjust to do so as both machines are individual examples that prove that one does not necessarily need to have a powerful car or a bike to enjoy it. It is more about being able to use all the power that is available from an engine rather than simply just cruising fast in the big car or motorcycle. Machines like the Ignis and the R15 have their own way of giving you a dose of speed and adrenaline. Something that is a lot safer, practical and easy on the pocket in the long run. So true joy, in this case, comes in small packages and the two machines here are a testament to it.
Photos by Vishnu G Haarinath
MARUTI SUZUKI IGNIS
Displacement: 1198cc, i-4
Max power: 80 bhp@6000 rpm
Max torque: 11.52 kgm@4200 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed, Manual
TYRES F/R: 175/65-R15
DIMENSIONS L/W/H (mm): 3700/1690/1595
Wheelbase: 2435 mm
Ground clearance: 180 mm
Kerb weight: 860 kg
Fuel capacity: 32 litres
PRICE Rs 6.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
YAMAHA YZF-R15 V3.0
Displacement: 6155cc, single
Max power: 18.7 bhp@10,000 rpm
Max torque: 1.52 kgm@8500 rpm
SUSPENSION (F/R): Telescopic forks/Monoshock
BRAKES (F/R): 282 mm disc / 220 mm disc
TYRES (F/R): 100/80-R17 / 140/70-R17
DIMENSIONS L/W/H (mm): 1990/725/1135
Wheelbase: 1325 mm
Ground clearance: 170 mm
Seat height: 815 mm
Dry weight: 139 kg
Fuel capacity: 11 litres
PRICE Rs 1.26 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)