With all the eyes and PR going into the launch Kawasaki H2 Ninja with an active super charger and very cool fairing design the new for 2015 but ‘ugly ducking’ Yamaha YZF-R1 has virtually been forgotten! Well not by me anyhow… Sure the latest R1 is not the best looking sports bike out there but that’s just the surface because on it’s on the inside that the R1 gets the best and currently unique updates.
With the addition of so much new tech, race style instrument panel, LED head lights and combined braking system with traction control and electronic adjustable suspension, the standout features of the new Yamaha R1 personally is the new cross plane engine and it’s racing computer and suspension! Sure it’s not headline grabbing like a supercharger or a new styling direction as per the Kawasaki but the availability of the next generation performance electronics to the general public is the next step in sports bike development.
Note that like Kawasaki there are two versions of the Yamaha. The YZF-R1 for road riders and the YZF-R1M for the fans or track dwellers. The R1M is essentially a track version has tech ‘Big Mac’ carbon fibre fairing, magnesium wheels, adjustable ECU with GPS and electronic suspension whereas only the programmable ECU is available as an option for the regular R1 which only has regular suspension pre-sets. The R1M is a limited edition model (500) which is a pity.
The new Yamaha R1 is the start to something great with all the tech on display. However the computer controlled TCS, EFI and electronic suspension should be made available to the regular version although I can see why they only offer pre-sets – maybe these tech features will be standard after a few years. In the end ignoring the hype the regular R1 is a very decent motorcycle to buy but for Yamaha it is a bit of a risk since it is a further refinement of what has come before it rather than just bolting on a supercharger and increasing marketing visibility and street cred. It’s like Yamaha have genuinely used all the high tech tricks and precision work to extract so much power from the engine the ‘smartest person in the room’ but forgotten as the others have used marketing. Personally I would sign up for the Yamaha R1M version while you still can. The only genuine reason and barrier to would be buyers of the regular R1 is that it doesn’t look like one of the fastest, meanest and best handing sports motorcycles you can buy at the moment.
|Yamaha YZF-R1 Key Specifications|
|Engine:||4 Cylinder DOHC (EFI)|
|Power/Torque:||Approx 147 Kw @ 13,500 RPM 112 Nm @ 11,500 RPM|
|Performance:||0-100kph N/A seconds Approx
Max Speed N/A Kph Approx
|Fuel Economy:||17 litre fuel tank
Approx 5 litres per 100km
|Dimensions:||L2055 X W690 X H1150mm|
|Recommended Retail Price:||Est $20,000 AUD (2015)