Yamaha has introduced two all-new YZF-R1 sportbike models for 2015 that have the potential to make as big of an impact in sportbike and roadracing circles as the original R1 did in 1998. Both the new R1 and R1M are expected in U.S. dealerships in late February 2015.
The 2015 R1 features a completely new, lightweight and compact, crossplane-concept, in-line-four-cylinder, 998cc engine that delivers high horsepower and a strong pulse of linear torque. Yamaha would not disclose power-output numbers, but suggested that power is up significantly from the previous model.
The new R1 has twin injectors fueling each cylinder, and titanium fracture-split connecting rods, an industry first for a production motorcycle according to Yamaha. The specific titanium alloy used to manufacture the new con rods is around 60-percent lighter than steel, and this major reduction in weight gives the new R1 engine extremely responsive and potent character at high rpm. The 2015 R1 is also equipped with a newly designed exhaust system manufactured mainly from titanium as well, and a compact, midship muffler contributes to its mass centralization.
The 2015 R1 also features the first six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) on a street-going motorcycle, which gives the rider what Yamaha calls “total 3D controllability.” This is complemented by banking-sensitive Traction Control, as well as Slide Control, Anti-Wheelie Control, Quickshifter, Launch Control, ABS and a Unified Braking System, so the R1 gives street riders, track day participants and full-on racers an unprecedented level of rider-adaptive performance.
A brand-new Deltabox aluminum frame was designed and developed for the 2015 R1. The engine is incorporated as a fully stressed member and is mounted rigidly to the frame at four points along with an upward-truss-type aluminum swingarm. The new chassis has a 10mm shorter wheelbase and benefits from weight-reducing features such as a magnesium subframe and—another first on a production motorcycle—magnesium wheels. Also, the aluminum fuel tank is 3.5 pounds lighter than if it were made from steel. Claimed wet weight is 439 pounds.
The M1-inspired fairing on the new R1 is equipped with LED headlights and position lights, which provide weight savings and high luminosity and style. Two small-diameter LED headlights are positioned on either side of the central air intake and, because of their compact design, they appear to be virtually hidden in the new fairing.
In addition, twin-LED linear position lights located within the front fairing give the R1 a new frontal expression. When the ignition is turned off, the LED position lights gradually lose their luminosity, as if the bike is gently going to sleep.
The all-new 2015 YZF-R1 will be available in three distinctive color options—Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver, Rapid Red/Pearl White, and Raven—and will retail for $16,490.
If the new R1 just isn’t enough, the YZF-R1M kicks things up to production superbike levels. The R1M showcases an additional range of highly sophisticated components, including Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS), carbon fiber bodywork (upper fairing, side fairings, and front fender), and a Communication Control Unit (CCU) with GPS that enables the rider to capture ride data (including GPS tracking) and then download it via WiFi to the Yamaha Y-trac smartphone and tablet app. Once the data is downloaded, the rider can analyze it overlaid with the track map, make setting changes, and upload those changes back to the R1M.
The R1M’s specially developed tires are the result of a joint collaboration between Yamaha and Bridgestone. The 200/55-ZR17 rear tire and 120/70-ZR17 front tire use a special compound formulated to optimize the performance characteristics of the R1 and allow the rider to experience outstanding levels of traction with extreme lean angles.
Additional R1M features include a clear-coated aluminum fuel tank, a highly polished aluminum swingarm, gold-colored front radial-mount calipers, specially finished gold inner tubes on the 43mm Öhlins front fork, and a special R1M badge on the airbox cover.
Since the R1M is intended for professional racers and highly experienced riders who demand the ultimate in track performance, less than 500 of the limited-edition model will be available in the U.S. Offered in a first-of-its-kind Carbon Fiber/Liquid Metal color scheme, the R1M will carry a suggested retail price of $21,990.