Yamaha’s flagship YZF-R1 superbike receives a much needed refresher after remaining nearly untouched for six years. Improvements include a new powertrain, electronics and a revamped look, along with the introduction of a more potent YZF-R1M model.
Like previous R1s, the updated bike is powered by a 998cc water-cooled dual overhead cam inline-four, but gets new titanium connecting rods and upgraded engine management to produce 200 hp. Power continues to be routed through a six-speed multi-plate wet-clutch transmission which now gets a standard cable-actuated slipper clutch.
The 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 is powered by a revamped 998cc water-cooled dual overhead cam inline-four.
An adjustable 4.2-inch digital LCD gauge cluster is also new with bar-style readouts for speedometer, tach and brake pressure. Riders can choose between a traditional street mode gauge layout and a more performance-oriented track display.
Rider support is standard and features a six-axis inertial measurement unit including pitch, roll, yaw, acceleration, deceleration and wheel spin sensors. Feedback from those help the ECU decide when to activate traction control, slide control, lift control and the quick-shift feature.
The new appearance is sleeker and more compact with smaller fairing surface areas and cross-layering. The central ram air intake resembles that of Yamaha’s M1 MotoGP bike. The hidden headlights also add to the race-bike look.
Yamaha’s introduction of the R1M is aimed squarely at the likes of the BMW S1000RR, Kawasaki ZX-10r, and Honda CBR 1000RR with an ÖHLINS electronically controlled race suspension, carbon fiber bodywork, performance data recorder and a wider 200 mm rear tire.
The new R1s go on sale in early 2015 starting at $16,490 for the base model and $21,990 for racier R1M.
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