Year 2002 Yamaha R1 Dyno Run

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
From the desk of John Burns:
Alrighty then, I swang by Yamaha USA's lavish digs on the way in to MO HQthis morning, where I had the not-to-be-taken-for-granted pleasure oftrading an '01 R1 for the long-awaited '02 version, with no monetarytransaction needed. Such a deal.Riding along the freeway in light traffic,it became shortly apparent that this Yamaha is considerablyquicker than a really expensive-looking BMW 850 automobile.

With 280 miles showing on the odometer, we wasted little time lashing thesilvery beast upon the Dynojet 250 for a quick pull; I'm thinking 140horsies easy, thing feels a lot snappier than the old bike...

Dyno!Don't you hate when somebody drops a fact in your lap that contradictsyour preconceptions? Or a dyno chart? This one makes 138.9 horses at 11,200rpm--just four more more than the '01 bike--and 75.7 foot-pounds of torque at 8,300 rpm, five more foot pounds than the old one. Itfeels like more.

What gives? Simple, really, as Mike Cory at Dynojet kindlyexplained: it's all about the throttle response. Peak horsepower numbersbetween two bikes can be exactly the same, but if one bike has betterthrottle response, it'll get around the track (or down the street, ofcourse) faster.

In the same way, two bikes with the same peak power and the same drag willreach the same top speed--but the one with the better throttle responsewill get to that top speed quicker.

Well then, I think we can safely say that the Yamaha men have come up withprobably the best FI we've ever sampled on a motorcycle--as smooth intake-up as a perfectly carbureted bike, but with instantaneous snap thatmakes wheelying home, I mean back to the office, from lunch eveneasier. Who wants to mess with a clutch after a heavy Mexican nosh?

Also, where the '01 bike could get a little buzzy at 6000 rpm and 90-somemph cruising speed, the new bike hits some sort of Harmonic Convergencewith the Universe and goes eerie smooth. So far, we like it. Stand by forthe Superbike comparo, coming up as soon as Honda gives up a CBR954RR.

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