1. Yamaha R1/R1M


Yamaha played the hype machine just right with the R1 and R1M, letting the bike’s features and specifications speak for itself. So much so, it’s the 2015 model we at Motorcycle.com are most anxious to ride. Where do we even begin when discussing the reasons why? We can start with the 998cc inline-Four, its crossplane crankshaft, and the nearly 200 hp it’s claimed to put out at its crankshaft.

2015 Literbike Spec Chart Comparo

And then there’s the nearly endless amounts of MotoGP technology littered throughout the R1, like magnesium wheels, titanium fracture-split con rods, aluminum fuel tank and a plethora of top-tech electronic rider aids built around a six-axis Inertial Measuring Unit. The multi-axis IMU senses pitch, roll and yaw data 125 times per second to mitigate wheelies and stoppies while providing sophisticated traction control and MotoGP-derived slide control. And on the up-spec R1M, there’s GPS telemetry and Ohlins electronic suspension. Yamaha’s latest R1s, at least on paper, have the markings to be a real game changer in the liter-class superbike field.