2015 Yamaha YZF-R1

Editor Score: 94.5%
Engine 20.0/20
Suspension/Handling 14.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 9.5/10
Brakes 9.5/10
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.0/10
Appearance/Quality 9.5/10
Desirability 10.0/10
Value 8.0/10
Overall Score94.5/100

Cresting the hill coming onto the front straight at Sydney Motorsport Park (better known as Eastern Creek Raceway), the throttle is wide open in second gear. As I click into third, the front comes up, rests at a neutral position about a foot off the ground, then gently returns to Earth moments later. All the while, the throttle was resting on the stop. Drive never felt interrupted, and despite the roughly 200 horses packed inside the new 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1, there was never a fear of being too liberal with the throttle. That’s when I knew Yamaha has just raised the bar. A lot has changed since the original R1 was introduced in 1998, and with the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M, never has the line between MotoGP and lil ’ol me been so blurred. That’s not just a Yamaha marketing tagline, either. Valentino Rossi himself (along with American Superbike champ, Josh Hayes) had a significant role in developing the R1, with the aim to incorporate the most sophisticated level of electronics on a production sportbike. These are just a few examples:

  • Variable Traction Control (10 settings, 1-9 and off)
  • Slide Control (four settings, 1-3 and off)
  • Lift Control (three settings, 1-2 and off)
  • Launch Control (three settings, 1-2 and off)
  • Power Delivery Mode (four settings)
  • Quickshifter (three settings, 1-2 and off)

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MotoGP Tech For All

With the exception of Slide Control, none of this is new technology. What makes the R1 reach a new level of sophistication is the six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), of which a similar system is also seen on the new Ducati 1299 Panigale. Consisting of a gyro sensor capable of measuring pitch, roll, and yaw, it’s accompanied by an accelerometer measuring acceleration in the X, Y and Z axis at an astonishing rate of 125 calculations per second.


The closest thing to a MotoGP bike Yamaha has ever produced, the 2015 R1 takes after its M1 cousin in many ways.

What this does is allow systems like the Variable Traction Control, Lift Control, Unified Brake System and Ohlins Electronic Suspension (seen on the R1M) to operate at a level of precision yet to be seen on a production motorcycle. Traction control works in conjunction with the IMU to meter power not just according to wheel speed differential, gear position and throttle position, but also in relation to lean angle, all within the pre-chosen TC setting.

Yamaha R1 IMU

This graphic explains the six axis the IMU is monitoring 125 times per second.

The Launch Control System works in a similar fashion. Revs are limited to 10,000 rpm and the IMU detects front-to-rear pitch rate to control engine power via the ECU to only allow the amount of lift you select from one of the three settings.

2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale First Ride Review

Where the IMU really comes into its own is with the all-new Slide Control System, the patent-pending technology that’s the first of its kind on a production motorcycle. What’s amazing is the technology was only first used on the M1 MotoGP machine in 2012! Working in tandem with the IMU and traction control, if a slide is detected during hard acceleration and high levels of lean angle, the ECU will control engine power to help reduce the slide.

2015 Literbike Spec Chart Comparo

Step up to the R1M and the level of tech goes up a notch. On top of the above listed techno bits, the M adds Ohlins electronic suspension that works in conjunction with the IMU. In Automatic mode, front and rear compression and rebound damping are constantly adjusted with input received from the IMU. Three different Automatic settings can be selected from the menu options, allowing the rider to basically select a level of firmness they want for the given conditions.

Yamaha R1 Electronic map

Here’s an excellent graphic displaying each of the R1’s main electronic systems and when they operate. The straight sections are relatively simple to figure out, but take note of the corner exit and how slide control operates mid-corner, when lean angles are steepest.

Manual mode is much like traditional suspension components, where the rider simply chooses which of the 32 different compression or rebound settings they prefer. However, instead of turning knobs or counting clicks, you simply dial in a number on the dashboard display. Both Manual and Automatic modes feature three presets which are completely customizable. A 16% stiffer spring rate is used on the R1M front compared to the standard R1, while the rear is only slightly stiffer at a 2% increase.

2015 BMW S1000RR First Ride Review

Maybe the most advanced bit of MotoGP tech to trickle down to the R1M is Yamaha’s Communication Control Unit. With it, the R1M records several parameters of your time on track, including speed, lean angle, throttle and brake usage, among others. Then, using a GPS antenna, it records a course map and keeps lap times. From there the user can download and overlay this data onto a Google map of the course with the Y-TRAC app for their Android or iOS devices. Ultimately, the rider can study the data, learn where they can improve, and even share the results with others for tips and tricks… or simply to brag. Tweaks to the bike can also be made all from the app. Those changes can then be downloaded directly to the bike from the app. No more bloody knuckles!

The Yamaha Y-TRAC app records 21 different channels of information, which you can then download onto your device for viewing, analyzing, tweaking, bragging... whatever your heart desires.

The Yamaha Y-TRAC app records 21 different channels of information, which you can then download onto your device for viewing, analyzing, tweaking, or bragging… whatever your heart desires.

But Wait, There’s More

While Yamaha has shaken up the sportbike world with this clever array of electronics, it’s the complete revamp of the R1 that has the moto press as wide-eyed about this bike as they were nearly two decades ago when the original R1 was introduced. Drastic steps have been taken not only to shed weight, but also to give it the horsepower needed to compete with the best the rest of the world has to offer.

The all-new R1 engine is only slightly wider than a piece of paper held lengthwise. Meanwhile, it's lighter and more powerful than the model it replaces. Look closely and you can see the transmission gears hollowed out for more weight savings.

The all-new R1 engine is only slightly wider than a piece of paper held lengthwise. Meanwhile, it’s lighter and more powerful than the model it replaces. Look closely and you can see the transmission gears hollowed out for more weight savings.

Yes, shedding weight and adding power is a commonly used phrase amongst sportbikes, but get this: the all-new 998cc inline-Four is 33mm narrower and 8.8 pounds lighter than the 2014 engine, all while making 9% more power. The crossplane crankshaft, and its offset firing order, is back, and Yamaha says crankshaft inertia is reduced 20% from last year. Main bearing journal diameter has increased 2mm, while rod journal width has gone up 1mm. Despite this, overall crank width is 27mm less than before. Fracture-split titanium connecting rods – a first for a production motorcycle – are 60% lighter than their steel equivalents while providing exceptional strength and allowing rpm to increase another 1000 revs (redline is 14,500 rpm). According to Yamaha, the connecting rods are lighter than last year’s bike (270 grams vs. 338 grams), which the company claims makes them the world’s lightest con rods on a production 1,000cc four cylinder engine. From a technical standpoint, this process yields increased circular precision in the rod’s big end to reduce deformation at high rpm. The rod is also 1.0mm shorter than its predecessor. A 10.5-liter airbox carries 24% more volume than the old bike, its air fed through 45mm throttle bodies. Yamaha’s variable length intake tracts have been tweaked, and now high-rpm funnel length is 20% shorter than before for increased high-rpm performance. Roller rocker arms (a first for the R1) replace the shim-under-bucket design of old, allowing for relatively high valve lift without the need for aggressive cam lobes. Secondary injectors get a straighter path towards the intake valves, and once in the combustion chamber, the pistons squeeze the air/fuel mix to a lofty 13.0:1 compression ratio before explosion.

KYB suspension on the standard R1 features preload, compression and rebound adjusters conveniently located atop the fork tube.

KYB suspension on the standard R1 features preload, compression and rebound adjusters conveniently located atop the fork tube.

The aluminum pistons themselves feature a diamond-like coating on the pin and shave 8.5 grams compared to 2014 despite bore size going up 1.0mm (79.0mm x 50.9mm vs. 78.0mm x 52.2mm). A few grams of weight savings may not sound like much, but it’s huge considering how quickly an engine spins. To help reduce parasitic losses, the cylinders are offset 2mm toward the exhaust side, a technique Yamaha says is a first for one of its four-cylinder engines. Further weight reduction in the engine is achieved through magnesium engine covers and utilizing aluminum engine bolts instead of steel. Weight reduction wasn’t limited to the engine, of course. Aluminum is used for the Deltabox frame, and magnesium for the subframe and wheels. With the change to magnesium hoops, wheel weight is reduced by a combined 870 grams (almost 2 lbs.) compared to last year. The lightweight material yields a 4% reduction in polar moment for the front and a 11% reduction in the rear.

Both R1 models get aluminum tanks, but the R1M is hand finished, meaning no two tanks are exactly alike.

Both R1 models get aluminum tanks, but the R1M is hand finished, meaning no two tanks are exactly alike.

Fuel tanks are aluminum instead of steel, making the R1’s tank the lightest production tank in its class at 4.6 pounds, according to Yamaha. For comparison, Yamaha research says the Ducati 1199 Panigale’s tank is 6.4 pounds, while the BMW S1000RR comes in close to the R1 at 4.9 pounds. In contrast, the 2014 R1’s steel tank was a rather hefty 8.4 pounds! All told, the new R1 weighs in at 439 pounds, ready to ride, while the R1M comes in at 443 pounds. For comparison, the standard R1 is 10 pounds lighter than the S1000RR and 4.2 pounds lighter than the Kawasaki ZX-10R, but still 19 pounds heavier than the Ducati 1299 Panigale. 2F2G9971


Ultimately, the point of electronic aids on motorcycles is to make them easier and safer to ride. This instills confidence, and with confidence comes speed. In the supersport class especially, speed needs to remain consistent throughout a race, even as the tires start to wear. This is the magic the R1 and R1M are able to deliver.

2014 EICMA: 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 And YZF-R1M Preview

I admit the above tech talk is really long and lengthy, but it’s worth highlighting the complete overhaul Yamaha gave to the R1 in order to appreciate how it rides. By any measure, nearly 200 crankshaft horsepower is a lot to handle, and after cresting the hill in my opening example, the next lap I turned Lift Control off to see what difference it would make.

Our first three sessions were spent aboard the standard R1. Immediately noticeable was just how easy it is to ride quickly.

Our first three sessions were spent aboard the standard R1. Instantly  it was just so easy to ride quickly.

Immediately I noticed the front was coming up not only over the crest of the hill, but at various other places throughout the course. All the wheelies were manageable but required greater throttle modulation. Lift Control, set to its least intrusive setting, works so well I only noticed it once each lap (and very faintly at that) when in fact it was activating multiple times. All the while my right wrist was twisting the throttle to the stop. With less of a need to worry about throttle modulation, my attention could instead shift towards figuring out the track. As the laps piled up, the level of confidence the other rider aids inspired quickly started to rise. Both the R1 and R1M come standard with Bridgestone RS10 tires in 120/70-17 front, 190/55-17 rear (R1M gets a 200/55-17 rear), but for this test Yamaha fit standard R1s with Bridgestone’s DOT race tire, the RS10 Type R. Hot and humid conditions punished both bike and rider, and the RS10 tires were showing signs of wear.

Direction changes happen quickly thanks to the lightweight magnesium wheels.

Direction changes happen quickly thanks to the lightweight magnesium wheels.

Despite this, I still opened the throttle as I normally would, confident the R1’s lean-angle-sensitive traction control would have my back if needed. Other riders clearly felt the same level of confidence – I followed a Japanese journo as he whacked the throttle wide open mid-corner, leaving a huge black line from the middle of the final turn all the way to the track’s edge. Before I knew it, he was halfway down the front straight while I was still picking my jaw up from the floor. It was a brilliant visual demonstration of Yamaha’s Slide Control System working in tandem with traction control. The beauty of the R1’s electronic intervention is how subtle it works. Using traction and wheelie control as examples, it was easier to notice when electronic rider aids from both Japanese and European manufacturers would kick in, as power would abruptly cut in and out to control excessive rear wheel speed. Though the software from these other OEMs have improved over time, they don’t match the refinement seen on the R1. Having established the R1’s software is a cut above the rest, the hardware, too, deserves some mention. With nearly 200 horses, the R1 delivers an enormous rush of speed at high revs. A toe tap up engages the slick quickshifter (no clutchless downshift, however) and the bike simply rockets away from any situation.

With the R1M, and its 200-series rear, one gets more confident carrying greater lean angles. Ohlins Electronic Racing Suspension helps settle the bike in varying conditions.

With the R1M and its 200-series rear, one gets more confident carrying greater lean angles. Ohlins Electronic Racing Suspension helps settle the bike in varying conditions.

Gear ratios have been lowered for the first four gears to better suit the new engine, and though the R1 excels at high engine speeds, I never found it lacking any guts in the mid-range. Best of all, thanks in part to the uneven firing order, power delivery is seemingly telepathic from right hand to rear tire. Nearly 600-like in its narrowness, the R1 changes direction like one as well. Much of the credit goes to the magnesium wheels. Yamaha engineered the chassis to deliver front-end confidence, succeeding in its quest, if these pictures are any indication. KYB provides the 43mm inverted fork and single shock for the standard R1, both units all new for this bike. Compression and rebound clickers are located on top of the fork cap, making for easy adjustments. Brakes also get an upgrade for 2015, with rotors increasing 10mm to 320mm. They’re mated to ADVICS monoblock four-pot calipers now using a standard 108mm bolt pitch (instead of 130mm previously) for easy upgrades to aftermarket calipers. Steel-braided lines come standard. Also standard is ABS and Yamaha’s Unified Braking System, which applies rear brake pressure when the front is engaged. Brake pressure distribution is dependent on lean angle, wheel speed and front brake pressure readings from the IMU.

With the throttle pulled back and the front about to come up, if lift control was activating while this photo was taken, I really don't know.

With the throttle pulled back and the front about to come up, if lift control was activating while this photo was taken, I really couldn’t tell.

From an ergo perspective, the R1 is relatively comfy for a sportbike. Seat-to-bar distance is increased 55mm, while seat to peg is up 10mm; the peg-to-bar distance has decreased 5mm compared to the outgoing model. For my 5-foot, 8-inch frame, there was plenty of room to move about in the seat and/or scoot backwards to tuck behind the bubble. Without a doubt, the R1 is tall-rider friendly.

Riding a Video Game

Step up to the R1M and the ante is elevated even more. Overall feel and the impressions above all apply to the R1M, but B-Stone fit these bikes with V02 slicks instead of the standard rubber. So, it’s easy to see why handling impressions get top billing. That said, I’ve no reason to believe the R1M wouldn’t be a great handler with the standard tires. Ohlins suspension components are world renowned for being top notch, and the electronic suspenders on the R1M leave nothing to be desired. There wasn’t nearly enough time to test every single electronic setting, but in the most track-oriented Automatic setting, A-1, the difference compared to the KYB units is noticeable. The bike maintained its composure much better under hard braking, with limited dive. Same can be said about the shock on acceleration, as reduced squat helped the bike maintain its line.

Aerodynamics, especially in a tuck, was a big priority for the design team. Even at triple-digit speeds, the R1 and R1M have nice cocoons of still air for the rider to tuck into.

Aerodynamics, especially in a tuck, was a big priority for the design team. Even at triple-digit speeds, the R1 and R1M have nice cocoons of still air for the rider to tuck into.

Where the R1M really gives the rider the MotoGP experience is with the Y-TRAC app. After the track sessions, ride data was downloaded to the app where I could see Google map overlays and graphs of individual or multiple laps displaying engine rpm, throttle position, road speed, gear position and lean angle in both numerical and graph representation. It also displays instances where traction control, slide control and lift control were activated. Turns out, looking at my graphs, that I didn’t use traction control at all but slide control was activated in several spots. Until looking at my data, I had no idea.

This Is The Future Of Going Fast

Herein lies the beauty of both the R1 and R1M. The electronics don’t interrupt the ride experience. Instead they enhance it, instilling confidence by helping you tame tricky situations. All the while you hardly know it’s working – just as it should be. Standard R1s will carry a price tag of $16,490 and will be available in Raven, Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver, and Rapid Red/Pearl White. R1Ms will only come in the Carbon Fiber/Liquid Metal color scheme for $21,990.

If you're the competition, consider the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M the new benchmark to beat.

If you’re the competition, consider the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M the new benchmark to beat.

I really try to use the following cliche as rarely as possible, but Yamaha’s produced a game changer with the R1 and R1M. After overhearing several of the assembled journos from around the world, and chatting with the other Americans, we were all in agreement: the R1 kicks ass. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or an average Joe, never has it been so easy to go so fast. The amount of engineering incorporated into both the hardware and the software are equally impressive. A smaller, lighter and more powerful engine, combined with an equally compact chassis and extremely sophisticated electronics create a total package all other OEMs are going to have a hard time beating.

+ Highs

  • Incredibly sophisticated electronics
  • Middleweight-like agility
  • Tall rider friendly
– Sighs

  • Pegs a little low
  • Quickshifter only for upshifts
  • MotoGP-caliber data guy not included
Yamaha YZF-R1 Yamaha YZF-R1M
Engine Type Crossplane crankshaft inline-four cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, liquid cooled Crossplane crankshaft inline-four cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, liquid cooled
Displacement 998 cc 998 cc
Bore x Stroke 79 x 50.9 mm 79 x 50.9 mm
Compression Ratio 13.0:1 13.0:1
Power (claimed) 197 hp 197 hp
Torque NA NA
Fuel injection Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I, 45mm throttle bodies Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I, 45mm throttle bodies
Exhaust Titanium 4-2-1 system with mid-ship muffler and exhaust valve Titanium 4-2-1 system with mid-ship muffler and exhaust valve
Emissions Euro 3 Euro 3
Gearbox 6 speed with Quick Shift up only 6 speed with Quick Shift up only
Ratio 1=30/24 2=29/21 3=30/19 4=35/19 5=37/17 6=39/15 1=30/24 2=29/21 3=30/19 4=35/19 5=37/17 6=39/15
Primary drive Straight cut gears, Ratio 1.634:1 Straight cut gears, Ratio 1.634:1
Final drive Chain 525; Front sprocket 16; Rear sprocket 41 Chain 525; Front sprocket 16; Rear sprocket 41
Clutch Wet multiplate with slipper mechanism, cable actuated Wet multiplate with slipper mechanism, cable actuated
Frame Aluminum diamond design Aluminum diamond design
Wheelbase 1,405 mm (55.3 in) 1,405 mm (55.3 in)
Rake 24.0° 24.0°
Trail 102 mm (4.01 in) 102 mm (4.01 in)
Front suspension KYB 43mm inverted fork. Fully adjustable. Öhlins 43mm Electronic Racing Suspension w/TiN plating. Electronicaly adjustable rebound and compression damping
Front wheel travel 119 mm (4.7 in) 119 mm (4.7 in)
Front wheel 10-spoke cast magnesium 3.50″ x 17″ 10-spoke cast magnesium 3.50″ x 17″
Front tire 120/70 ZR17 Bridgestone Battlax RS10 120/70 ZR17 Bridgestone Battlax RS10
Rear suspension KYB unit adjustable for preload, high/low speed compression and rebound damping. Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension unit. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment
Rear wheel travel 119 mm (4.7 in) 119 mm (5.12 in)
Rear wheel Tri-Y spoke light alloy 6.00″ x 17″ 3 spoke forged light alloy 6.00″ x 17″
Rear tire 190/55 ZR17 Bridgestone Battlax RS10 200/55 ZR17 Bridgestone Battlax RS10
Front brake 2 x 320 mm discs, radially mounted ADVICS Monobloc 4-piston calipers with ABS and UBS 2 x 320 mm discs, radially mounted ADVICS Monobloc 4-piston calipers with ABS and UBS
Rear brake 220 mm disc, 1-piston caliper with ABS and UBS 220 mm disc, 1-piston caliper with ABS and UBS
Fuel tank capacity 17 l (4.5 gallon US) 17 l (4.5 gallon US)
Wet weight 199.1 kg (439 lb) 200.0 kg (441 lb)
Seat height 856 mm (33.7 in) 861 mm (33.9 in)
Max height 1150 mm (45.3 in) 1150 mm (45.3 in)
Max length 2055 mm (80.9 in) 2055 mm (80.9 in)
Warranty 1 year unlimited mileage 1 year unlimited mileage

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  • Kyle

    Been waiting for this review since I saw the first pics and specs last year! Sounds like a truly awesome bike and extremely jealous of your (well-deserved) opportunity to be one of the first to experience it. Sounds like the main competitors for the title of the 2015 superbike comparison will be the R1/R1M, 1299 Panigale/S, RSV4 RR/RF, and the S1000RR (although, I must admit the first three tickle my fancy more than the Bimmer…). The other manufacturers better get with the program regarding updating their electronics packages, especially Honda and Suzuki!

  • WTF

    Now that I’ve wiped the drool off, a video please 😀 I wanna hear that soundtrack!

    • TroySiahaan

      Patience is a virtue. One will be coming, and rest assured, it sounds awesome!

      • WTF

        mmmmm, while fidgeting with my hands.

    • GS1100GK

      +1 on that WTF….Bring on the audio!

    • spring is coming. it’s time to ride out. looking for female motorcycle companions at Motorcyclesingledating . com

  • Old MOron

    Nice review, Troy.
    I’ve never really been interested in speed bikes. I like roadsters.
    But that may be changing. Wow!

  • Craig Hoffman

    Great write up! I too am waiting for the video.

    It occurs to me that like high performance luxury cars, where abundant power and handling capabilities are table ante (Mercedes owners may scoff, but Hyundai’s Genesis car makes over 400 hp for example) , a motorcycle manufacturer has to do something truly special to make an impression in the power rich liter class super sport category. The new Yamaha R1 is such a bike, even in the presence of very stiff competition.

    To be honest, I am not even remotely worthy of all this as a rider. Not many people are. 16K is a lot of cash, but it really is a bargain too when one considers what they are getting here.

    Yamaha has really been on the gas lately, across many categories, even off road. Good for them.

    • Jeremy

      Unfortunately the Japanese have been creeping up in cost at the tune of $300 to $500 every year since the early 2000’s regardless of any improvements. While there is not as much as a difference in cost anymore between the European and Japanese bikes, the quality is still in my opinion superior (especially when it comes to maintenance easy and cost, motorcycle reliability… check out my rant as my BMW S1000RR clutch cable breaking at 6,000mi but wasn’t covered under warranty, and part options as well as price). In any case, sadly I think that if you look at any one of the big 4 Japanese liter bikes they are all above $16k now. Long gone are the days of a $10 a cc for a sport bike, they are now more equal to the cost of your basic car.

  • Sam

    Nice write up, love the new R1…the weight was an issue on previsios models, now its the second lightest ! …forged wheels ,hand made tanks ,motogp electronics….it`s a true work of art ! it worth waitin for ! The price is good too ,its under S1000 and Panigale …I want one 🙂

    • TroySiahaan

      Don’t mean to correct you, but the wheels are cast, not forged, magnesium. Tanks are hand polished (on the R1M, anyway), but a robot does the welding. Either way, it’s still an awesome bike.

  • Glenn Lutic

    Though I drool over the idea of this ride, the reality of living with a bike like this intrudes. My 2004 Honda RC51 makes only 125 r.w.h.p.. and it is hard to open the throttle all the way. Either it’ll wheelie, slide or rocket off so fast you need a lot of room for the ride. On the new R1, even with electronics, it’ll be a rare event indeed. Where is a person going to be able to use this bike? Certainly it’ll suck on the street! Too much horsepower. You’ll be able to hold the throttle open for maybe 5 seconds, and only in the higher gears. Or the electronic nanny will need to help you. Also, insurance, tires and fuel will suck as well. Not to mention comfort. Don’t get me wrong, I love this bike, but won’t be buying one. Now a modern TZR250, or even an FZR400 would be a lot of fun. Something that is light and trick. Something that is half way comfy.

    • Old MOron

      Exactly. Thank you for bringing me back to reality.
      As for the modern FZR400, depending on how you feel about singles,
      ahem, http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/ktm/2015-ktm-rc390-video-review.html

    • TroySiahaan

      The R1 makes way more power than the RC51 (one of my all-time favorite bikes, btw), but the electronics make it absolutely easy to ride. At least on track (haven’t ridden one on the street yet). Plus, four power modes mean you can dial down the crazy on the street. One point I wanted to drive home in my story is that this is, so far, the best integration of electronics I’ve seen on a sportbike. You hardly know it’s working. At the launch, riders much better than me were saying the same thing. It’s not a beginner bike by any means, but assuming you have the skillset to ride a literbike, it’ll make you feel like Valentino Rossi.

      • Glenn Lutic

        The point I was making was that it is impossible to actually use a bike like that. At least on the street. Even on my old underpowered RC51, I have waaay too much power, on the street, and even on the track. Nowadays, the way our Society is demonizing speeding and taking risks, if you get caught going even moderately fast you’ll lose your license with one ticket. It is so easy to go 120 m.p.h., in 3rd gear! A person cannot, in any gear, open the throttle, and hold it open from idle to redline without breaking a lot of laws. Sad but true. That’s why a small(er) bike is maybe a better idea, for me anyway. Or maybe I am just getting old?
        Don’t get me wrong, I’d love an R1, especially with the Electronic suspension, etc., but I think it would get me in a lot of trouble!

  • GS1100GK

    Troy above you write “I followed a Japanese journo as he whacked the throttle wide open mid-corner, leaving a huge black line from the middle of the final turn all the way to the track’s edge. Before I knew it, he was halfway down the front straight while I was still picking my jaw up from the floor.”
    I would have loved to see that! 🙂

    • TroySiahaan

      It was definitely a sight to see! This guy had complete trust in the electronics and his own talent.

      • Timmy

        He, Mr. Wakayama is ex-test rider in Yamaha factory.

        • TroySiahaan

          I don’t know who was riding, but he was certainly a very skilled rider.

  • john phyyt

    3 Cylinder; 1100 Semi-Naked. 180 hp.plus massive torque: With this electronic package and good suspension ; 190 kg max : MSRP $11500 . .. PLEASE ;YAMAHA:

  • TalonMech

    Although I will never own another race replica type motorbike, I can certainly appreciate how the tech from these machines trickle down to more practical rides. I’m guessing that within 5 years, most of the electronics from the R1 will be common on the SuperTenere, or the FJ-09. Over my many years of riding I owned several litre sport bikes, and had lots of good times riding whatever the latest/greatest, baddest bike happened to be. But age and wisdom eventually pushed ego aside, and I began looking for more than raw speed in my bikes. All that aside, these are great days to be young and affluent enough to afford a bike such as this.

  • Billlllyyyyy

    I’m curious about the ABS system which sounds like the bosch / continental cornering ABS units in that it manipulates both brakes and takes into consideration lean angle – yet Yamaha aren’t calling it cornering ABS.
    Any thoughts on how it might compare to the other two systems?

    • TroySiahaan

      To be honest, I can’t give you much in terms of riding impressions with the ABS, other than to say I didn’t see one instance where I used it, according to my downloaded data from the Y-TRAC app. I haven’t tried the Cornering ABS on other bikes, either, so your question will have to wait until we get all the literbikes together for a shootout.

  • Andrew Capone

    Fantastic report, Troy, on a game changing bike. I must add that it is, IMHO, a stunning-to-look-at machine as well….I was taken by it at the NYC MC show. No doubt it’s aimed at the track, but for most of us, the R1 would inhabit the roads for a good deal of it’s time. I live 90 miles from NJ Motorsports Park. Could you envision the R1 as something a late middle aged bloke could survive 2 hours on public roads of varying repair to get to the track? Or live with as a fast road bike?

    • TroySiahaan

      Good question. We didn’t get any street time with the bike, but the seat is pretty roomy, the pegs aren’t very high (for a sportbike), and if the power is too much, it can always be toned down via one of four power modes. To me, no sportbike is fun for long distances in a straight line, so as long as you spend those two hours to NJMP on a bunch of twisty roads I think you’ll be fine. 🙂

  • John B.

    Among the BMW s1000rr (92.3%), Panigale 1299 (91.55%), KTM Superduke 1290 (94.0%), and KTM 1290 Super Adventure (92.75%), it appears the R1 received the highest score of 94.5%. With an MSRP under $17,000, the R1 may provide the best value proposition among the highest rated full production bikes. Impressive!!! I’m looking forward to this year’s literbike shootout!

    • TroySiahaan

      For the record, I didn’t check the scores of the other bikes before giving the R1 a 94.5%.

      • John B.

        Duly noted. You gave the R1 an 8/10 for Value. Given the R1’s relatively modest MSRP and first-to-market technology, you could have easily justified giving the R1 a 9/10 (or even a 10/10) for Value, which would have made its score even higher. You wrote a great article for a great bike; congrats!

  • Alexander Pityuk

    So, TC is now probably for straight lines, because in corners slide control seems to have priority and uses the same intervention principles (closing the throttle). I guess they could easily unite both systems into one, if not for marketing purposes.

  • Infadel Macgee

    Very cool bike but I’m still totally content with my modded 97 TL1000S

    • Glenn Lutic

      Now you’re talking! I had one, and am still kinda missing it. Tons of power, and they sound great, and I like the way they look too. Not to mention the fact it hardly needs any maintenance.

    • Craig Hoffman

      I had a ’97 TLS with a Yosh full exhaust on it. My neighbor’s brother, who is a Harley rider, was in the front yard chatting with my neighbor and came over after I came home from a ride. He appreciated the sound and wanted to blip the throttle. He blipped it, up to 6,000 rpm or so and said “whoa!”

      Naturally, I took over and gave it a quick sharp sharp zing to 10,000 rpm and right back down to idle. He literally about crapped in his pants – LMAO…

      That TL had a light front end and lots of torque. It did really sweet 3rd gear wheelies. Sounded like a rolling thunderstorm and nicknamed it “The Bull Moose In Heat”. The TL was a fun bike and it never let me down 🙂

      The new stuff is awesome for sure, but for us poor boys, an older liter class bike will more than suffice. Even if it is not class leading, stupid amounts of power never really goes out of style.

      • Infadel Macgee

        Were your 3rd gear wheelies clutched up? Or throttle and bounce ? Mine throttle wheelies easily in second but not third . I don’t clutch up my wheelies . I also really enjoy riding it a couple of gears high and lightly lugging it on a windy road .

        • Craig Hoffman

          I throttled it up in 1st and shifted gears while riding the wheelie. Old dirt bike habit and all. Never was comfortable clutching up wheelies.

          It would pick up the front end on throttle in 3rd on this one spot on Pacific Coast highway – there was lip where the road, which was on a gentle incline, met a bridge. Rolled on the throttle right at that spot and it would do a nice smooth 3rd gear wheelie all the way across the bridge for about 1/8th mile. When it softly came down, the front end would chirp like a plane touching down. No doubt the absolute sea level elevation and cool air helped. Good times!

  • Jeremy

    The R1M is MSRP in the US as $22,999.00, not the $21,990 stated in the article. http://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/details.php?model=4582&group=MC&catId=79
    I would also add that most dealerships are tacking on destination, freight, setup, and whatever else they can to increase profit if they can even get one of the R1M’s at all (the ones in San Jose, CA are adding $750 Freight and $750 Setup, other dealerships are buying as many as they can without buyers secured yet and adding straight dealer markup to make even more profit. From what I have been told is that only 500 are being manufactured worldwide, 250 coming to the US, of that only 57 to California and if you haven’t found a dealership that can order it and plopped down $2,500 to secure yours you are out of luck. A dealership was allowed to order one R1M for each quantity of 7 x R1’s sold in 2014 so smaller dealerships will not even get to see one. Check these details, but the claimed MSRP doesn’t paint the true price, not to mention I am not even including tax and license DMV fees.

    Can anyone confirm switching to GP/Reverse shifting is possible with the stock rear sets/quick shifter?

    Does the R1M come with two passenger seats? One with the GPS and one for an actual passenger? It is hard to understand what the bikes has because the photos that Yamaha provided you for this article are not stock. That seat is not the one shown on the Yamaha website, that bike has rear stand hooks which are not on the stock R1M Yamaha website photo but offered as an optional accessory for $345, and neither bike in this photos have passenger foot pegs. I also think it unfair to have switched out the stock street tires to DOT race tires for testing. Looking forward to the street ride testing to see how this bike compares to other liters.

    • TroySiahaan

      The website and price you posted is Yamaha Canada’s. The $21,990 in the story is the correct U.S. price. http://www.yamahamotorsports.com/sport/models/yzf-r1m.

      Yes, you can switch to GP shift with the stock rearsets.

      • Jeremy

        Thank you for the catch on the wrong Yamaha website used by me.

  • Alclab Ventek

    Great article Troy! Seriously thinking about gettiing one… But I’ll still wait to see the final veredict woth some street riding, a good shootout and also dealership bikes, not these track prepared beauties! Props to Yamaha for pushing the limits so much!

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