For as much buzz as the Kawasaki Ninja H2 is drawing, arguably the real show stopper seen during EICMA 2014 comes from the Yamaha booth and the new R1 and R1M. Derived directly from the M1 MotoGP machine Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi pilot, Yamaha said bluntly the R1 was designed for the track first, street second. The Crossplane crank inline-Four is back, but that architecture is about the only thing retained from the previous R1.
The new R1 makes considerably more power and weighs significantly less, the latter achieved through the use of aluminum, carbon fiber and magnesium in strategic areas. All the power is harnessed through a very advanced electronics suite, with the more track-focused R1M receiving even more trick bits. E-i-C Kevin Duke is live at EICMA, where he filed this report about one of the most advanced sportbikes to come out of Japan.