I felt as giddy as a kid at Christmas when I heard Yamaha’s new R1 was prepped and readied for MO’s home-soil evaluation. We already knew it was ready to challenge the best of the best – our Troy Siahaan came back from its launch raving about how the R1 is resetting the bar in the stupefyingly magnificent superbike class – but I was anxious to find out for myself just how impressive it is.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R1/YZF-R1M First Ride Review + Video

And it looks sensational in person, more like a European exotic than a run-of-the-mill Japanese literbike. The MotoGP theme starts at its number-plate-like nose and continues when its crossplane-crank inline-Four is fired up, changing from an animalistic growl to an otherworldly howl as revs climb. It sounds pretty much like Val Rossi’s bike. A quick blast on the freeway revealed power output levels about as good as anything in its class, maybe even BMW’s awesome S1000RR. I expected to see about 170 horses from its rear wheel.

2015 BMW S1000RR Review + Video

So, my first stop was a dyno to see what it could do, but our R1 was handicapped in two ways. First, the engine had fewer than 250 miles on it, which means it was relatively tight. Second, the Moto Shop (formerly CM Motorsports/Cycle Mall) dyno where I was headed is notoriously stingy with its numbers. Their Dynojet 250i is often referred to as the Heartbreaker.

The Moto Shop dyno lived up to its name, registering a peak of 158.2 horsepower from our 2015 R1, which is a nice number but not quite as big as what we anticipated. The R1 is purported to generate 200 horses when factory rated at its crankshaft, and when equipped with the accessory Circuit ECU. Subtract a loss of about 10% after going through a transmission and a chain drive and one would expect nearly 180 ponies at the rear wheel. However, there’s more to this story. Much more.

The (pre-2015) BMW S1000RR produced just 163 hp on the Heartbreaker, placing the R1 just five horses down on the class champ. Also, Moto Shop’s owner, Tige Daane, sets his dyno software to the SAE correction factor, which produces lower numbers than the STD setting, and to maximum smoothing, which polishes off the spikes caused by sensor glitches and/or drive-lash. Simply changing the correx factor from SAE to STD results in a 162.2-hp reading. Removing the smoothing function makes it jump to 165.2 hp.

Here’s how the 2015 R1’s motor matches up to a 2013 R1 as tested on the Moto Shop Dynojet 250i dyno. The new R1’s powerband is more heavily weighted on its top end, enjoying a healthy advantage after 11k rpm, along with a rev limit extended from 13,500 to 14,200 rpm. The  pronounced dip from 6000-8000 rpm is where the new mill loses ground to the previous-gen engine. Interestingly, the 2015’s torque peaks 1200 rpm sooner than the previous R1.

Here’s how the 2015 R1’s motor matches up to a 2013 R1 as tested on the Moto Shop Dynojet 250i dyno. The new R1’s powerband is more heavily weighted on its top end, enjoying a healthy advantage after 11k rpm, along with a rev limit extended from 13,500 to 14,200 rpm. The pronounced dip from 6000-8000 rpm is where the new mill loses ground to the previous-gen engine. Interestingly, the 2015’s torque peaks 1200 rpm sooner than the previous R1.

Now, keep in mind that engines with ride-by-wire throttles are operated by a computer that doesn’t necessarily respond directly to a rider’s throttle hand. Tige at Moto Shop says the R1’s ECU is “really restricted,” dialing back throttles at certain stages of its rev range. He estimates he’d see about 175 hp after an ECU reflash and fitment of an aftermarket exhaust.

We wondered if our experience with the R1 on a rear-wheel dyno was consistent to others, so we reached out to Graves Motorsports, America’s most visible Yamaha tuning company due to its heavy racing involvement. Chuck Graves wasn’t too surprised at the 158 hp our test bike registered, as the last one he had on his dyno kicked out just a trio of extra ponies, 161, which was less than he was expecting.

A few months ago, a pre-production R1 spun Graves’ dyno to the tune of 177 hp. It is possible that earlier bike may have been equipped with an ECU map that was not yet compliant with U.S. emissions requirements? Chuck says the 2015 R1’s throttle butterflies close down about 20% once revs climb above 10,000 rpm; the earlier R1s also partially re-closed their throttle butterflies at high revs, approximately 15% according to Graves. He adds that an ECU reflash and a Graves exhaust will yield around 180 hp from the new R1.

The high-end fit and finish of the 2015 R1 stretches it into the realm of European exotics, as does its $16,490 MSRP. Seems reasonable after riding it.

The high-end fit and finish of the 2015 R1 stretches it into the realm of European exotics, as does its $16,490 MSRP. Seems reasonable after riding it.

When we asked Yamaha to comment on any differences between U.S. and European specs and tuning, media relations manager, Marcus DeMichele, responded by saying: “The U.S. ECU is developed to meet U.S. regulations for exhaust and noise emissions which are not the same as Europe.” Reading between the lines, American-market R1s won’t produce quite the same peak power as European markets due to noise-emissions regulations. This was also the case for the latest-generation Kawasaki ZX-10Rs imported to America.

DeMichele noted that Yamaha will be offering an unrestricted race-spec ECU, but it’s not intended for street use – it disconnects the headlight and linked braking, plus the ABS system goes into a racetrack setting that eliminates rear antilock control . Yamaha has promised we’ll get a chance to test the accessory ECU in the near future so we “will be able to experience the R1 with full power capabilities.”

To see a big horsepower number from the R1, Graves suggested I check with Attack Performance, as that shop was rumored to have come up with some astoundingly large power figures. Attack is another serious tuning shop for roadracers, well versed in technology and performance tuning.

Attack Performance built this one-off racebike in 2013 to compete in American MotoGP rounds. Billet aluminum makes up the frame and chassis, while a heavily modified Kawasaki ZX-10R motor delivered 230 hp.

Attack Performance built this one-off racebike in 2013 to compete in American MotoGP rounds. Billet aluminum makes up the frame and chassis, while a heavily modified Kawasaki ZX-10R motor delivered 230 hp.

Jozef Tomasovich, a lead mechanic at Attack, told me he saw 178 hp from a new R1, bone-stock except for race tires. He added that BMW S1000RRs usually register 180-182 hp on the Attack dyno, meaning the Yamaha is quite competitive, relatively speaking, with the best in class.

So I took our sexy beast out for a second dyno date, rolling the R1 onto Attack’s Dynojet 250i dyno for another chance at posting an exclamation-point-inducing horsepower number. Attack uses the the SAE correction factor and the smoothing feature set to maximum, so the electronic setups are largely identical to Moto Shop. However, Tomasovich used two methods Moto Shop didn’t to ensure optimum power levels: Tire pressure was dropped from 42 psi to 30, and the footpegs were tied down with straps, both of which help prevent tire slippage on the heavy, knurled steel drum to extract maximum power.

Here is the Attack Performance run on our test R1 overlaid with the Moto Shop dyno run. The traces line up well aside from the approximate 10% power advantage shown from the Attack source.

Here is the Attack Performance run on our test R1 overlaid with the Moto Shop dyno run. The traces line up well aside from the approximate 10% power advantage shown from the Attack source.

So, the new R1 produces 178.2 horsepower on Attack’s dyno, digits worthy of an exclamation point! It’s ironic that Attack’s dyno is known to be looser than most, while Moto Shop’s is known to be miserly – both shops acknowledge their dynos’ inverse reputations. It is likely the R1’s true U.S. output will end up somewhere in the middle, let’s say around 168 hp.

What matters most, including to the above-mentioned shops helmed by nice and knowledgeable people, are the numbers produced relative to others on the same dyno. To prove how the R1 stacks up to its competition, we’ll need to run all eligible bikes on the same day on the same dyno.

Meanwhile, Attack Performance has dug into an R1 to milk out maximum power for racing applications. A Yoshimura exhaust bumped horsepower by 5 to 183. An ECU reflash and individual cylinder tuning boosted peak power to almost 194! Also noteworthy is the 20-horse bump at 7000 rpm and 22 up at the rev limiter.

Meanwhile, Attack Performance has dug into an R1 to milk out maximum power for racing applications. A Yoshimura exhaust bumped horsepower by 5 to 183. An ECU reflash and individual cylinder tuning boosted peak power to almost 194! Also noteworthy is the 20-horse bump at 7000 rpm and 22 up at the rev limiter.

The R1 is an early favorite to grab the laurels in what’s shaping up to be the most competitive literbike/superbike shootout in history. But the class-leading S1000RR received worthwhile updates for 2015, and Ducati’s new 1299 Panigale might be swinging the biggest pipe in the engine department.

2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale First Ride Review + Video

And then there’s the refreshed Aprilia RSV4 which I’ll be riding next week, boasting the same 200-hp claim as the R1. Kawi’s ZX-10R is also a formidable opponent, and we wonder if the radical H2 might be able to compete. The storm clouds are gathering…

2015 Literbike Spec Chart Comparo

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  • Old MOron

    Normally I’m not that interested in speed bikes. I’m just an average canyon carver, and these superbikes are too much for the riding that I do. But I sure am feeling a lot of MOronic anticipation over the gathering storm. I think it’s a combination of factors: I kind of have new bike lust; Moto GP is just getting under way; and MO is doing a good job building things up.

  • Sentinel

    Of the latest crop of superbikes, the R1 would be my choice. Id’ get the race tune by Attack and call it good.

  • Glenn Lutic

    Yamaha deserve to be overlooked due to their abandoment of the sport bike market for 6 years. They let the Europeans do all the R&D and then just strapped on the latest electronics. For shame! We won’t even mention Suzuki and Honda.

    • Josh

      I thought the electronics package for the R1 was developed in-house from their Motogp experience?

      • Jack Obi

        It was and is.

        • Craig Buckingham

          Yes, the hardware is relatively easy. It’s the software that makes the difference. You can bet your house on it that the R1 will not have the MotoGP M1s latest software running it.

          Before any one who thinks they are tech savvy (but actually are not) I am aware the MotoGP ECU is Magneti Marelli and R1 is Denso. The software can be made cross platform compatible.

    • mra

      Here are just a few small items you overlooked, Lutic.

      Yamaha has been developing this tech in
      MotoGP, WSBK and US Superbike. Yamaha did all its own R & D and won 5
      USA superbike titles, 4 MotoGP titles (not counting manufacturer and
      team titles) 1 WSBK title and a world endurance title with the “old
      bike” for the last 6 years. Abandonment of sportbikes? Do you still have
      a dial up modem on your Atari computer, is that how you’re getting all
      your intel? LOL!!

      Before you make public comments ripping on a company, you should make sure you know what you’re talking about or you could appear ignorant and unaware, like you do today.

      • Glenn Lutic

        Geez, when was the last time the R1 was updated? 2009! Come on, do you believe that if you look at the electronic components on the R1 that they’ll say Yamaha on them? Not likely. They’ll say Bosch or some other company. Yamaha bought the technology, same as everyone else did.

        • Curtis Brandt

          I’m not a Yamaha brand fanatic, but they deserve credit for supporting the US racing scene these last few years when my previously favorite manufacturers took a break.

        • mra

          Well, you seem to have an excuse for everything and give Yamaha credit for nothing. All credit, according to you, belongs to some nameless European font of racing tech. Yamaha’s involvement in MotoGP racing couldn’t possibly have anything to so with the development of this. Right.

          And from ’09 to the present has the economy been really great in your neighborhood? New dealers coming to town, motorcycle sales exploding?

          As much as any manufacturer, Yamaha has developed this kind of tech (as have Honda and Ducati) through racing. The circuit boards may not have their names on them but the software running them and making them effective is proprietary.

          Regardless, this new bike is outstanding and shouldn’t intentionally be “overlooked” by anyone. I say overlook the BMW, they never do MotoGP and bailed on WSBK.

          • Glenn Lutic

            Excuses? “The economy been really great in your neighborhood?” Oh brother, how did a small company(ies) like Aprilia and Ducati manage to put out new models with traction control 5 years ago? Oh, Yamaha probably was in a good mood that day and GAVE it to them? The more you talk the deeper you get in your argument. Yamaha makes more than sportbikes, no really they do! What I’m saying is that Yamaha has been asleep at the production end of their sportbike line up. If not, list thee cool new sportbikes they put out from 2010-2015!?

        • Stuki

          You don’t win any of those race series with an uncompetitive bike. Spies or not. That string of victories clearly demonstrates that Yamaha has been in possession of technology to go as fast as anyone for the entire period you insist they have been sleeping.

          What you are complaining about, is not their lack of technological go-fast prowess. But rather that they chose to apply that know-how only where it dynamically matters; at the racetrack. To a race engineer, extracting an additional 20hp solely so that someone who will never use it can brag about having it, just isn’t all that exciting. Not compared to extracting an addition 50 for a factory rider who may actually make use of it. BMW did the former, but gave up their attempt at the latter …. 🙂

          Of course, in the end, even Yamaha is a business, and if bragging rights bikes is what sells, they have no choice but to follow suit. No matter how silly and crass it may seem to whomever is responsible for doing the tuning that hollows out the power curve all the way up to where the engine wails loud enough to attract too much police attention to really be all that useful. Of course, BMW somehow managed to avoid sacrificing low end despite their crazy top end……… But then again, their non balance shafted engine is quite a bit different from what I suspect Yamaha would be willing to stick in a bike that is first and foremost a street bike….

          Anyway, point is that if you want to see what level of gofast tech a company is in possession of, look at it’s performance in venues where the going is really fast. Not just which bikes they reckon is optimal for selling to 55 year old dentists.

  • Craig Hoffman

    While not as dramatic as this, the ’06 to current FZ1 gains around 20hp from mid to top end with ECU reflash and external mods. I know all about that particular bike as I own one.

    Interesting article – the fact that high performance bikes are quite limited electronically in various ways is an under reported subject. A common tactic is to limit power in the first three gears. My FZ1is so much more fun now that it is fully off the chain. It makes 150 hp at the rear wheel by the way, and it winds to just shy of 13,000 rpm. Not R1 level power of course, but plenty entertaining in a semi naked super standard format.

  • Glenn Lutic

    Is this the same dyno that the BMW S1000RR made 175.8H.P.?

  • Pj Riley

    As a dynojet tuner also, I will say that putting the smoothing down to minimum is a joke. And that’s how you got better numbers.
    The bouncing from the electrical interference is a false hp number. Anytime you want to do a side buy side with the smoothing up and down, and the. Sae correction factors on and off. Come by ventura county motosports.
    Legit numbers is ALL I ever do.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Looked at the charts again, noted that the new R1 continues the tradition of the “R1 Sag” which is seen on the chart between 5K and 7K rpm, which is prime sportin’ around on the street rpm for a liter class bike. My FZ1, which has a several generations older R1 based engine, had this same stupid issue until I spent time and money to fix it. Attack Performance handily erases the R1 sag and of course boosts top end power to an impressive level. Well done!

    Really makes me wonder why Yamaha sends ’em out this way. A liter class sport oriented bike should be effortlessly fast at 5,000 to 7,000 rpm for fun on the street. The GSXR sure is 😉

    • oic0

      They electronically close the intake and exhaust to sqeak by emission and sound laws.

  • Trance Will

    I beyond any doubt am feeling a ton of MOronic expectation over the get-together tempest. I believe its a blend of components: I sort of have new bicycle desire; Moto GP is simply getting going; and MO is making a decent showing building things up.

    dyno tuning

  • Greek7

    What sucks is why not just buy the bmw and do a ecu flash and you are done. I am just made I have had my 2009 and if I did not do the ecu flash it sucked. Now I want the 2015 and it has no hp you have to get the ecu flashed? That’s fine but the bike new with out flash should be around 170 ,170. Dam it’s only 163 hp that’s bad for a $17,000 bike. Bmw looks like the way to go. What do you think. Any o d?

  • GS1100GK

    So, I am facing a dilema. Local dealer has a new 2013 R1 for an OTD price of $11,300. A new R1 is $17,300 OTD. I like the 2013 with one exception…the underseat exhaust roasts my butt. I know, there are worse things the bike could do, but I would have thought manufacturers would have fixed that issue.
    I have never raced, but have owned many types of bikes over the 38 years of riding under my belt. I’ve never owned a sportbike and thought I would give it a try. I consider myself a good rider, but even so, I am sure I will never use the HP that either one of these bikes produce on the street and I have never raced.
    So, which should I buy? The leftover 2013 that is a solid bike, or the new upspec 2015? I am not rich, but money is not an issue.

    • Jack Obi

      I was facing the same dilemma. I am so glad I went with the 2015. The electronic riders aids are amazing. The quick shifter is SMOOTH. Just click the shifter up to change gears. No clutch no letting off the throttle. From the tires that come on the bike (rear only gets 1800 miles) to lift control (which allows you to twist the grip all the way and accelerate a maximum speed an efficiency) in 1st-4th gear. The bike is simply amazing. Traction control and slide control coupled with the super sticky tires will keep you on the road in the corner, going faster. They feedback is amazing.

      • GS1100GK

        Jack, I appreciate your comments. Just curious if you are a young guy or “seasoned” as I am and if you have done any racing? My bike will be on the street 98% of the time, but with this bike I plan to explore my local track.

    • Kevin Duke

      If money’s no object and you want a full-on sportbike, I’d recommend getting the new R1 for its amazing electronics and radical cool factor. But maybe after 38 years of riding you don’t want to reach for clip-on handlebars? The new Tuono 1100 is cheaper than a new R1, is more comfortable, and has more midrange power. A KTM Super Duke is comfy and massively fast. An S1000R can be had with semi-active suspension and enough motor to do 100-mph wheelies. Options are a good thing!

      • GS1100GK

        Kevin, thanks for your input! I agree having the amazing electronics and radical cool factor is very tempting. I’ve ridden the KTM and it is a hoot for sure, but not the other two. Of the Tuono 1100, KTM Super Duke, and S1000R which would you choose if it was your money and why?

        • Kevin Duke

          Those are three of my fave bikes in the whole world. I’d prefer the Tuono 1100 fitted with the BMW’s Dynamic suspension. The SDR is terrific for anyone, but especially big dudes who don’t fit on compact bikes. You can’t lose with any of those bikes!

    • Neither. Get a low mileage 2011 ZX10 or any late model Jap liter bike and put some of the money you’d save in the upgrades you want. This way you could do custom paint, and make the bike truly one of a kind.

      First gen bikes seem to always have problems and the new R1 is no exception. Owners have reported numerous electrical and battery issues – some cause the bike to die while riding it (which can be dangerous).

      Their solution is to use a trickle charger daily to prevent a dead battery. So instead of recalling the entire lot of bikes and fixing these issues, they’re taking the chicken shit way out and blaming the customers.

      If you’re buying the bike to race, buy a late model Gixxer of ZX10 and race spec them. If it’s for street, save the money and buy something which isn’t going to bleed you for every cent you have.

  • Kevin Duke
  • To most, this topic is
    irrelevant. Because, let’s face it, horsepower sells motorcycles, cars, trucks
    and everything in between. The problem is most of what you read and hear is
    bullshit. Let me throw a quick story at you, an angry response to a nonsensical
    publication and then present some facts.

    I live in Oregon and used to run around with a guy that worked at one the
    most well known sport bike tuners in the state. He eventually left and opened
    up his own shop. One of the reasons he left was personal ethics. He now does a
    lot of work for PIR raceway. You wouldn’t believe some of the stories he has
    told me about this tuners shop and their “fudging” dyno pull numbers.
    Unfortunately, this is all too common.

    Reading motorcycle magazines and aftermarket parts manufactures is
    essentially like watching partisan news. You know their agenda before hand, yet
    they still piss on your head and tell you it’s raining.

    Below is response I sent to Motorcycle News (MCN) after reading one of
    their ridiculous articles. Evidentially, this publication practices
    the same nonsense.

    “Hey MCN –
    Motorcyclenews.com, please have your “journalists” take a course in
    basic mechanics before you publish anything else.

    Quick lesson for you (from
    the kindness of my heart):

    Brake horsepower (BHP) is
    the measure of an engine’s horsepower before the loss found in things like
    tires, wheels, wheel bearings, axle, chains, brake drag, etc etc. Wheel
    horsepower (WHP), or Rear wheel horsepower (RWHP) is the information a dyno run
    provides and usually reads around 10-15% less than the power measured at the engine
    (BHP). WHP or RWHP will always be less than

    marketing tool. If you’re simply working for the highest bidder than at least
    be honest and admit you’re nothing more than a marketing firm.” 

    Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get into a few facts.
    First and foremost, you can and tuners do manipulate dyno numbers. How you
    might ask? Simple, by not “correcting” the numbers.”

    One of the reasons that dynos differ so much from day to day and dyno to
    dyno is because of the different standards being used. Some dynos are set up to
    calculate “Engine Horsepower”. Some are set up to calculate “Wheel
    Horsepower”. The problem is and always has been with the individual
    mathematical calculations which are open to manipulation by the
    individual tuner. I challenge you to get the same results, on the same day from the
    same dyno using the same bike. It simply doesn’t work that way. Dynos are a
    great tool for tuning, but extremely unreliable for accurate horsepower
    ratings. The best rule of thumb is to take SAE BHP numbers and deduct about 10-15%. This will get you in the ballpark and
    save you 2 -300 dollars for a fabricated piece of paper.

    An article from
    Harleytalking.com illustrates these assertions quite well while recounting an
    article from HotRod Magazine from many years ago.

    Apparently, in 1972,
    the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) decided to incorporate one standard
    for measuring horsepower. The formula that is used to calculate horsepower
    is Torque multiplied by RPM divided by 5252. This is
    the formula that most dynos use.

    If everything was on the “up and up” all tuners
    would be using this standard. Unfortunately, they don’t. All dynamometers can
    change the standards they’re using and can also change the formula. The tuner
    ultimately has the control over the formula and standards used. And let’s be
    honest, businesses are in business to do what? You got it – make money. And
    nothing makes an unsuspecting and naive customer happier than walking out of
    their local tuners shop with a piece of paper showing huge gains over some
    dumbass ECU re-flash or exhaust switch.

    After years of
    working on and owning motorcycles I can tell you one thing. That is this – If
    you want large horsepower gains you are going to have to at the very least dig
    into your motorcycles valvetrain. Period, end of story. No exhaust system in
    the world or PC/Bazzaz mapping is going to substitute for actual engine mods.
    Manufactures build their bikes to last and limit what the motors are capable
    of. No manufacturer in their right mind is going to push their motors to the
    ragged edge and offer a warranty.

    And in this day and
    age is it really an issue? Is anyone out there on a literbike really lacking
    power? If you think so, go hit an open road and floor it. If you don’t lose
    your license in the process, die, or get arrested, you’ll be greeted with a
    rush that’s near orgasmic. This has been the case for the last 14 years or so.

    Ride what you like
    and forget the rest. And whatever you do, don’t invest your hard earned money
    on some reported dyno figures. Because after all, dyno numbers are…

    And yes, if the R1 is
    producing 163 rwhp (corrected number) than it’s 17 grand price tag is
    outrageous. Gixxers and ZX10’s were doing that 10 years ago. And for those
    thinking of dropping the cash, think about this. Yam is now advising their
    customers to invest in trickle chargers as their bikes battery systems seem to
    be dying for no reason. I’ve heard a couple rumors or people crashing when
    their bikes loose power while riding. Something to think about.

    And on the same topic, we’re
    are still talking about a bike that’s 17 grand right? So with full exhaust, ECU
    flash, dyno tune and finance charges (for those that don’t have that cash
    outright) you’re looking at what 25-30 grand over 5 years (without maintenance).

    Doesn’t sound like much of
    an investment to me. At the reputed HP ratings remind me of the r6 from years
    ago. Yam is famous for overstating hp and performance.

    • Kevin Duke

      “Reading motorcycle magazines and aftermarket parts manufactures is essentially like watching partisan news. You know their agenda before hand.” Not this magazine.

      • You’re basing this on what? The fact that you collect a paycheck from this company? You’re telling me this narrative wasn’t written before the article? I don’t know man, I just don’t buy it.

        Additionally, why no road test? How many riders buy their bikes for the track -1% maybe. And along those lines, how about ranking some of these bikes based on reliability and cost of ownership? You people continue to praise BMW and Duc, yet these bikes rank almost lower than Harley Davidson in regards to reliability, maintenance fees and cost of ownership? With Yam’s new issues, I would be willing to bet it’s reliability is going to go downhill as well. Which is a shame, because I’ve been a customer for years and it’s sad to see and iconic look and reliable bike turn into turd which looks like a disabled catfish.

        These are more than just subjective factors. The Yam has any number of electrical issues and now owners are asked to invest in trickle chargers because their bikes batteries die (sometimes while riding) due to the zero-to-hero nannies. Some owners have reported wreaking when their bikes die on them for no apparent reason.

        And on top of all that, you guys poor on the excuses for lack of advertised hp. Buy this, buy that and tune this. What bikes can’t you do that with? How many bikes were pushing out this HP 10 years ago? And the “add on’s and mods” you’re suggesting, cost thousands. Not a great bargain in my book.

        So what’s the point? The point is this. A bike is more than a lap time. It’s more than HP. It’s how it feels, how long it lasts and how much reliable riding you can get out of the thing. If I wanted a Yam, I would buy a 2009, dump a fraction of the savings I would have left over into some mods and have a reliable bike with more power, which looks better, at a fraction of the price.

        At least give people the full story. Your valued readers deserve it.

        • denchung

          What full story? Like how manufacturers’ claimed hp figures aren’t reliable or realistic? Or that different dynos can produce different numbers (which this article points out)?

          Like a road test, which is coming up in the street segment of our shootout? Or that we review other elements of a bike besides the hp (the Ducati easily had the best dyno figures in our track shootout yet did not win)? It’s funny how your one of your main points is that a bike is more than a lap time, yet we also get roasted by numerous commenters on our shootout because we didn’t share lap times.

          Are you saying we should promote the advantages of buying used bikes (like we did here: http://www.motorcycle.com/features/buying-your-first-used-motorcycle-without-getting-taken-for-a-ride.html)
          Or perhaps you suggest we should stop reviewing new bikes altogether and instead review bikes from 2009 (you know, like we did back in … 2009)?

          • You’re cherry picking my argument and making facile analogies. I’m suggesting exactly what I suggested. Write a complete story for your readers. One that points out the advantages and disadvantages of owing any particular bike.

            How can a bike that should for all intensive purposes be recalled be a top bike? And why wouldn’t you mention the dangers that even the manufacturer is acknowledging out in your article?

            I just found the article misinformed. But thank you for the sarcasm. Put a smile on my face, which I could use today.

          • denchung

            But aren’t you also cherry picking, looking at one particular article as an example of some sort of sinister yet unspecified agenda but not accounting for our full body of work?

          • Touche. No, I’m not stating your entire body of work is nonsense. I’m saying this article is. I’ve been reading this magazine and your articles for over 10 years and this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to write something in response to an article.

            MCN is another story entirely, but there are some similarities in the 2015 class articles.In fact, the entire article gives credence to my initial point about how unreliable dyno numbers are. I would go so far as to say they are B****. And trust me, I’ve been around this long enough to say that with certainty.

            All this said, why even include them? Your numbers are so inconsistent that including them at all serves to confuse those who aren’t mechanically inclined.

            Additionally, as someone whose owned boosted bikes pushing well over 250 rwhp (again reputedly), horsepower isn’t everything.

            Which circles back to my initial point. Cost of bike, cost of ownership, behavior, longevity, durability, maintenance intervals, etc etc etc.

            I just find it troubling when a first gen bike which should be recalled is praised when there are known issues which are not only dangerous but potentially very costly for those who look to your publication as somewhat of a buying guide.

            All these things were left out and I find that to by not only lazy writing, but irresponsible for a magazine which so many rely on.

            All this said, I still like you guys a hell of a lot more than anything MCN has ever produced.

        • Kevin Duke

          I’m basing it on two decades of working in the industry an no one ever telling me how I should hedge my opinions. Also based on awarding many manufacturers wins in our shootouts despite their complete lack of advertising support. As for the road test you ask for, please check back with us tomorrow!

          • 2 separate journalists responding to my posts. Look at me blush. I simply don’t understand the lack of depth in any of the articles I read. Take a page from Road & Track and do some long term tests. Report recalls and serious issues when reporting on new bikes. From all recent reports from actual owners, this bike is a bust. At least at this point.

            I’m 38 years old. Like you, I have over 20 years experience both riding and building bikes (closer to 30). Unfortunately, many don’t. And most the 20 somethings out there know little more than what they read. This is why I ask your publication to add more depth. Something beyond horsepower figures and how the bikes feel under certain conditions.

            A bikes reliability, safety, and actual cost of ownership should be a factor in picking winners and losers.

          • denchung

            Don’t let it get to your head. We respond fairly frequently to comments, but especially so when you question our integrity.

            We do report recalls, in fact, we put our recall coverage up against our competitors, usually providing more detailed information and earlier than they do. Just yesterday we published a second article about a developing story of a massive Honda recall that no one else have even made a peep about yet and hasn’t even made it through NHTSA’s system yet.

          • Trust me, I didn’t. I just wonder why publications such as yours would say something like: “The R1 is an early favorite to grab the laurels in what’s shaping up to be the most competitive literbike/superbike shootout in history.”

            All this when a bike either should be recalled or will. Not a peep of this well known knowledge. You also haven’t hesitated to praise the S1000rr endlessly when their valve-trains fall apart. Still labeled Literbike of the year how many times?

            I guess what I’m questioning more than anything is the metrics used to grant the title “best.” Best at what? Bleeding your pocketbook, breaking down, or slamming you into a poll. Because the bikes you proclaim to be best are the same ones the riding community know as unreliable money pits.

            Let me give you an example. A buddy of mine had a 2013 s1000rr. I’ve rode this bike on any number of occasions and found this bike to have the most nervous steering and chassis I’ve ever felt. Any movement or cross wind seemed to produce massive wiggle which seemed like it was heading towards full on tank slappers. Very nervous bike.

            Yet now many titles has your publication given this bike? The same guy sold the bike and now drives a Blade which he can work on himself and hasn’t given him any problems.

            The metrics matter and leaving them out makes some of us question your publication.

          • Kevin Duke

            If your buddy’s, S1000RR was nervous and unstable, it had a problem unrelated to is factory setup, which I’ve never had any headshake whatsoever.

          • Your publication would be the first on the planet to not mention this trait then. And just because you haven’t felt it personally, doesn’t mean it’s not true. Because I’ve felt it, hundreds of owners have complained about it and I’ve seen it both on track footage and shootout footage from the riders point of view. It kind of reminded me of my time on an 04 ZX10r.

            And he did. He took it to three separate dealers and they all indicated the bike was “solid.”

            Additionally, I suppose because your valve train hasn’t fallen apart that means there isn’t an underlying problem with these motors?

            Now granted, I haven’t ridden 2015 1000rr or the newest Duke. But history would suggest that they will be money pits whose miseries far outweigh any joy an owner may get from them.

            Sad to see Yam taking that route. The more crap you add, the likely you’re going to have problems – mechanics 101.