Unique Sounds of the New Yamaha R1

Kevin Duke
by Kevin Duke

An exhaust note like no other streetbike

When Yamaha announced its new R1 literbike last fall, company reps told us about the tractability assets of its new, MotoGP-derived crossplane crankshaft for the four-cylinder engine. It’s unique in that cylinders fire 90-degrees apart, allegedly enabling better grip during acceleration.

A byproduct of this design is an exhaust note that is distinctive in this world of cookie-cutter designs. The new R1 sounds most like a V-Four engine, although it also has sonic elements of a V-Twin and a traditional inline-Four.

We’ll be sampling it for ourselves next week, but in the meantime let me direct you to a couple of YouTube videos in which you can hear the engine now.

Here’s a European promo video that includes comments from none other than MotoGP God Valentino Rossi:

For a better look at the bike, plus some more sounds, check out this other Yamaha-produced video:

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We’re getting our bags packed for a trip to sample the distinctive new R1 at Eastern Creek in Australia. We’ll have a full report for you next week, so stay tuned!

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Kevin Duke
Kevin Duke

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