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Rules are rules when it comes to racing, but Yamaha’s new YZF-R1 – the star of EICMA 2014 for some of us – doesn’t have to follow any of them. Things get coy when you ask how much horsepower a factory Superbike makes, and Yamaha USA doesn’t even care to divulge horsepower numbers for an off-the-shelf R1. Its European counterparts, though, make no bones about it: 200 PS, they say, which is about 197 crankshaft horsepower in a 439-pound package that looks a lot like the one Vale rides.

Wherever you look, the new bike’s numbers seem designed to run with the BMW S1000RR and Ducati Panigale, and to lay waste to the other Open-class sportbikes that have had their way with the old R1 for too many years in media comparisons, at least. Here are ten reasons for them to fear the new R1, and areas where it even outshines last year’s AMA American Superbike (may it rest in peace).

  • Old MOron

    Enjoyed the tech talk. In fact I found it so interesting that I would like to have a demo ride on one of these at the Long Beach show tomorrow. I doubt Yamaha will make them available. Oh well, even if they did, it’s not like you could experience all this gadget goodness while putting around the city.

    I do have a couple of nits to pic.

    This artificial clicky-click structure is BS. Just put the items onto one page ferchrissake.

    “its wheelbase is 10mm shorter, 15mm of that coming out of the new swingarm”

    Huh?

    • john burns

      O that is wonky huh? Apparently the main chunk is 5mm longer, so they had to cut 15 out of the swingarm to make the bike 10mm shorter overall.

    • spectralsarah

      “This artificial clicky-click structure is BS. Just put the items onto one page ferchrissake.”

      Multi-page articles produce more clicks. More clicks = more ad revenue.

      • Stuki

        Allows for more consistent formatting between scrolling web browser view and paging tablet view as well…..

  • Stuki

    $17K for all this, doesn’t leave much room for inefficient production…… Judging by the Ti, Mg. Al shares of the bike, scrap metal value sounds to be half of MSRP…… The supplier industry tooled up to build all this exotica cheaply and reliably enough to meet Yamaha standards, must certainly expect to be able to amortize across more than just R1s. boding well even for more pedestrian bikes down the line.

    Now, if we could just get similar development efforts in a new 400cc class, for us slow guys with reaction times lagging a bit behind 200hp street trim motors….. This bike is by far the coolest thing to arrive on the bike scene in years per me, yet I really don’t have much use nor desire for that much motor. And going by the reasonable assumption that I’m a fairly average guy as motorcyclists come, I’m don’t believe I’m the only one……. 600s at one time become the OEMs license to print biannual wads of dough, because average guys like like me realized,in droves, that they were the sweet spot for sport riding, both street and track. With modern tech, 400s should perform similar to where 600s started out. Then, the OEMs can start another cycle of fleecing me, and the rest of us meat-of-the-bellcurve guys, out of 15K every 2-4 years, with just enough power added, weight lost and capabilities enhanced to make another purchase worth vile……. While still making these 200+hp rocket ships for aliens and alien aspir’ers.

    • 1299

      Does the r1 have bluetooth?

      • r1fan

        the r1m can bt to your droid or ios device. the base model cannot

  • Craig Hoffman

    The finger followers sound like a variant of what my ’87 Ninja had. Always loved that bike’s valve train. It was easy to work on.

    Would love to see a crossplane FZ1 variant with the last generation crossplane engine used as is, no stupid retune. The FZ is going on 9 model years old now. It is time for an update. They can get some more mileage out of the old mill too!

    I admire everything this new R1 (and the new Ninja H2) for all they have and stand for, but the reality is I don’t need all this tech and power, and can’t afford it anyway.
    I despise 600s and do like liter class bikes for their broad and plentiful power. They do not have to be this high tech for the likes of me – the displacement does the work.
    Perhaps a little trickle down of the traction control and ABS would be nice though, if it can be done while keeping costs relatively in line.

    What strikes me the most is what you can get for Harley money. HD keeps selling the same thing for premium dollars. Funny how that crowd is willing to pay that kind of money for the simple anachronistic machines they are buying.

  • Jeffrey Degracia

    This bike is not expensive when you consider what you get. It has Ti conrods, Magnesium wheels, and the most sophisticated electronics suite to date. It is similar in component quality to a 2015 Ducati Panigale R at less than half price! I’ve got a deposit on one and my 2012 Ducati 1199 is currently for sale.

    • TechGuy5489

      According to this article the R1’s magnesium wheels weigh around 22lbs. The ’14 1199 Panigale S/R’s forged aluminum wheels weigh 19lbs. How many other instances are there where the R1 uses high spec materials to less effect than Ducati?

      • Jeffrey Degracia

        Single-sided swingarm rear wheels don’t have bearings, sprocket carrier mounts, etc. So they always weigh less than dual-sided swingarm wheels. I have an 1199 and my rear wheel is several pounds lighter than my 2009 Crossplane R1 OEM wheel.

      • Bruce Steever

        Source for those numbers?

        • TechGuy5489

          The Panigale numbers are from my own track bike and digital scale.

  • TechGuy5489

    All of the Panigales have aluminum tanks. That’s three bikes (899, 1199, 1299) just from one brand since 2012.

    • Jeffrey Degracia

      Nope. The 899 has a steel tank.

      • TechGuy5489

        Ok two bikes then. The point was it’s not so uncommon if Ducati has done it twice recently and the 1199 and 1299 certainly aren’t special runs.

      • cathries
      • Greek7

        Talking about the big boys bikes. Sorry 1199,1299 Plastic or pay big money. not me. LOL

    • Greek7

      Sorry bro you are wrong on that. They have plastic tanks. And if you want a aluminum one you will pay over $1000,00 for it. Also Mv agust has plastic tanks. So yamaha has done a great deal for the customers by not over charging the them. Funny I work at a duck dealership and people always complain on there warped tanks from the use of ethanol gas in the usa. Duck just wants you to buy new tanks when you find out about then looking like crap in 6 months.

  • Sean Bice

    John, I’m pretty certain that the only Traction Control Josh ever used on his 2009-2014 R1 SuperBike was his very talented throttle hand and, on occasion, judicious trail-braking.

    • cathries
    • Kevin Duke

      That’s a bit of a myth. according to Yamaha race team director Keith McCarty. Josh had TC on his bike, although he was one of the rare riders to occasionally race with it switched off.

      • Sean Bice

        Not to split hairs here, Kevin, but I didn’t say that Josh’s R1 SuperBike didn’t have TC on it. TC is an integral part of the Magneti Marelli ECU that was used on the bike. Having it available on the bike and actually using it are two different things. If you’d like to talk to Josh himself about it, I’d be happy to arrange an interview for you. Just let me know.

  • cathries
  • r1fan

    john burns is great at paraphrasing a press release and fluffing it up, but what else would you expect of a moto site that has to constantly pump out material. are the new r1s really trick with their variable stacks and magnesium subframes? thosve been on the r1 since 09. does josh hayes bike really rely on 1 set of injectors? the stock 09+ has two to work with the variqble stacks.. i suspect john didnt research this either.. he got his clicks he was supposed to earn though as i had to see what other bs is floating around.