Pictured above is the Yamaha YZF-R15, a 155cc sportbike recently announced for the Indonesian market. The third iteration of the R15, like its predecessors, is unlikely to come to North America, but some of the updates introduced on the V3 may be coming to the Yamaha R3.
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:
On Friday, yours truly will be among the first journalists in the world to throw a leg over the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 at the Sydney Motorsport Park (formerly Eastern Creek Raceway) in Australia. Yamaha’s flagship sportbike is littered with tech derived from MotoGP and as such is one of the most hotly anticipated motorcycles of 2015. In fact, the MO crew equates the buzz surrounding this new R1 as being similar to when the first R1 was released 17 years ago. That’s the test we wanted to bring you for this week’s Church feature, but that story seems to have been lost once MO ownership changed hands several years ago. Instead, our review of the 2000 Yamaha YZF-R1 will have to suffice. A slightly more polished version of the original, the 2000 R1 loses none of the edge that made the original so wild. So while a trip back in time to the original R1 would have been nice, this 2000 edition should be equally as entertaining/informative. Here to bring you the deets, come along with Brent “Minime” Avis as he rides the R1 in Spain.