(Update: Yamaha Motor Philippines had set the price of the new Sniper 150 at P102,900, an increase of P3,100 from the previous model.)
As Yamaha celebrates its 64th anniversary today, July 1, 2019, the Japanese motorcycle firm unleashes its new Sniper 150cc underbone before a throng of racing enthusiasts at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan.
The new Yamaha Sniper 150 literally took to the podium of Suzuka a few minutes before the start of Race 2 of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) UB150 race. Viewed by the spectators from the grandstands, it turned out the whole exercise was only for the ceremonial launch and photo ops for the Philippine media—no trophies, no champagne involved.
But it’s actually a double celebration for Yamaha. The Sniper (called Exciter, Spark, Jupiter, and Crypton elsewhere in Southeast Asia) turns 15 years old this year, and the latest version brings several technological improvements to this sought-after model that has elevated underbone racing to a higher level. Case in point: Snipers made up almost 70% of the 27-bike grid of the underbone race.
Yamaha Motor Philippines (YMPH) said the first batch is set to arrive in the country anytime now.
Although the previous 149.7cc SOHC four-valve, single-cylinder mill remains unchanged, YMPH senior marketing manager Jude Camus says the latest Sniper boasts new styling that pushes aerodynamic performance up onto a higher plane. Aside from the new set of racing graphics, among the most noticeable upgrades is the triple-cluster LED headlamp that gives this track beast a more aggressive-looking fascia.
Sorry to say, but there’s still no ABS for the front and rear disc brakes. Even the wheel has been carried over from the previous model. But here’s another interesting new feature of the Sniper: It boasts a full LCD meter panel, allowing riders to check the performance of the bike as they push it to the limit.
Knowing the importance of road safety during emergency situations, Yamaha has also included hazard lamps and an engine kill switch. There are new leather seats, too.
McKinley Kyle ‘The Wonder Boy’ Paz, UMA Racing Yamaha Philippine Team rider for the ARRC UB150 series, had this to say about the new Sniper after taking a demo unit for a quick spin back in Manila a few days ago: “It definitely looks more gorgeous than the previous model. I can’t wait to race with the new Sniper.”
For better road grip and steering response, the 2019 Sniper is equipped with a wider front wheel and tire. It’s a welcome change, according to Pinoy underbone racers. They explain that the new bike’s suspension has less of a tendency to bottom out. Before, whenever they changed the front tire to a wider version, it ended up touching the front fender during hard braking. Yamaha engineers have solved this issue with the new Sniper.
“Dati po, tumutukod po yan,” Paz recalled.
Well, you might be itching to know the price of the new Sniper. Unfortunately, Yamaha wants us to wait a few more days before it makes the announcement.
In the army, a sniper lives by the battle principle ‘one bullet, one kill.’ Do you believe the new Sniper 150 will again hit Yamaha PH’s sales target with precision?