You must be dreading the terrible holiday traffic by now.
Unfortunately for us city-dwellers, we might have to put up with this horrible situation until the end of the year. To avoid getting stuck in the chaos, you could stay home and pass the time surfing the net. Or, you could break for it and escape the urban jungle so you will be surfing the waves instead.
Baler, in Aurora province, is one of the most popular surfing spots in the country. But it also has plenty of scenic trails and back roads just begging to be explored. So, I went ahead and did just that.
There is a saying among dirt bike riders, “Your motorcycle can go fast, but mine can go anywhere.” Indeed, the WR155R is virtually unstoppable. It could go on muddy trails, on the beach, and you could even race it on the dirt track. Well, I didn’t run on the track, but I rode around the Baler Moto Park for a while as I acquainted myself with the WR155R loaner bike from Yamaha.
They let me use their newly-launched stock unit with the updated color scheme instead of the slightly modified demo units they use on their Yamaha Off-road Experience event series.
Power for on and off-road adventures
The WR155R is powered by a 155 cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected single with Variable Valve Actuation (VVA). Yamaha’s VVA technology enables the engine to automatically adjust valve timing to match the RPM, resulting in better torque at low speed and more power at high speed. The little thumper produces an impressive 12.3 kW and 14.3 Nm.
The WR stands for “wide ratio,” referring to the gearing ratio of the easy-to-manage 6-speed manual transmission. This enabled me to stay in second gear for a smoother throttle input when riding on sand or mud.
The WR155R did not stall even at very low revs. I also found that you could stay in 4th or 5th gear even when moving at 20 kph along Barangay roads.
When exploring Baler, you will encounter different types of riding conditions. My favorite was riding on scenic farm-to-market roads that cut through vast rice fields. Yet, these narrow pavements sometimes suddenly terminate to give way to dirt trails. With the WR155R, thankfully, the fun doesn’t stop at the end of the road. Just take note of the 880 mm seat height, though. I am 5’11,” and it takes a bit of effort to straddle the bike with both feet flat on the ground. Because of this, I opted for flat terrain and headed to the beach.
The WR155R’s 21-inch front and 18-inch knobby tires have surprisingly good grip on the sand, and it was pretty easy to keep my rubber side down, save for the strong wind, which mildly disrupts the bike’s composure. Consequently, the stock tires tend to be a bit noisy when on concrete. I bet the WR155R would also look badass with street tires. Yamaha, a motard variant please.
The ₱180,000 SRP of the WR155R might be a bit steep for a toy bike, especially if you compare it to the ₱87,000 tag price of Yamaha’s XTZ125. As an owner of the latter, though, I can confidently say that the WR155R is well worth the premium.
Where would you take the WR155R if you were fortunate enough to have one in your garage?