In case it wasn’t clear from my 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M First Ride Review, I’m a big fan of both bikes. The complete revamp of Yamaha’s flagship sportbike was a dramatic move, but the incorporation of electronics and technologies directly from MotoGP has made the new R1 duo incredibly impressive machines. Traction control, lift control, slide control, among many others, are just a few of the rider aids seen on the new R1, with development work assisted by none other than Valentino Rossi and Josh Hayes. In fact, the slide control feature is a technology that was only first seen on Rossi’s M1 MotoGP bike in 2012!
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The focal point for the R1’s sophisticated electronics system is its six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit, which keeps tabs on the R1’s yaw, pitch, and roll. Internal gyros also monitor movement on the X, Y and Z axis to make sure the R1 isn’t doing anything the rider doesn’t want it to, while also ensuring the maximum amount of power is being put to the ground effectively. As noted in the review, the electronics system works well, with a level of assistance that’s almost imperceptible by the rider – just the way it should be.
Apart from the electronics, the 998cc inline-Four, with its Crossplane Crankshaft is also all new, coming in lighter and narrower than its predecessor. Clever use of exotic materials like magnesium, titanium, aluminum and, in the case of the R1M, carbon fiber, help the bike flick and steer like a 600. Though once you get on the gas there’s no mistaking the R1 is a liter-class weapon.
Soon after posting the First Ride review, many of you asked for video. Can’t say I blame you, considering how awesome the Crossplane Crank sounds. Your wish has finally been granted, as here now are my first impressions of the new R1 and R1M, directly after riding both bikes at Sydney Motorsports Park (formerly Eastern Creek Raceway) in Australia. There was a lot to process after riding the bikes, and as you might be able to tell in the video, my mouth had a hard time keeping up with what my brain was trying to say. Stay tuned for our 2015 Literbike Shootout, as it’s sure to be the best one yet!