All Tests – Is the new 2009 Yamaha R1 as good as the M1? – From theory to practice: action!

The new 2009 Yamaha R1 as sturdy as the M1 ?

All Tests - Is the new 2009 Yamaha R1 as good as the M1? - From theory to practice: action!

At the dawn of its official launch in French dealerships, what does the new irregular Cross Plane setting of the new Yamaha R1 give? Head to the Eastern Creek circuit in Australia. Engine… Action … Test !

From theory to practice: action !

Impressed by such and a press kit very (too?) Rich in superlatives, we had to take our courage in several hands to approach it! It is therefore in the scorching atmosphere (42 ° C!) Of the Eastern Creek circuit, around Sydney (Australia) where a relentless summer reigns (the southern hemisphere requires), that the all new Yamaha YZF-R1 2009 s ‘is delivered to us…

Redesigned respecting the initial pencil line, the new version seems to have abandoned the radical style of the past to move towards a less tense look and color combinations that highlight the curves and flats of the fork crown and sides..

The stern, even if it retains a design similar to that of the previous model (from all oval to the oval triangle), gained in thickness when the profile of the whole was ballasted a little. As for the bow, it now adopts two round headlights and two small sidelights which advantageously delimit the width of the motorcycle….

Fairly easy to get on despite a substantial saddle height (835 mm), the machine welcomes applicants with deference. The width of the tank and the saddle makes it easy to lock onto the handlebars. The length of the tank does not lay medium and large sizes on the bike and the adjustable footrests offer the possibility of relaxing the legs.

The start of the starter brings the first big surprise (disappointment?), Since the singular crankshaft timing makes the exhaust pipes sound much less angry than on the previous versions … And even if the trend approaches it. ‘matchless MotoGP YZR-M1, we remain disconcerted by this discovery !

Ten turns, two curves and a straight line to find out more…

After the mental construction of rescue diagrams in the event of "driver" / motorcycle incompatibility and a few warm-up laps on the Eastern Creek circuit, the time has come to check if the (almost) first comer can take pleasure in turning. violently the gas handle…

Precise and light to take, the Yamaha YZF-R1 responds to the finger (YCC-T) and to the eye of whoever sticks to it. In addition, she forgives, without qualms, the major part of the errors of trajectory. With each overpriced project, whether on the angle or at high speed or both at the same time, the grip of the brakes and the very reduced inertia make it possible to cancel the order and to recover without staining his clothes…

The brakes with a great feeling and surprising power despite their smaller diameter (since 2007) resist without losing their bite. The suspension tuning provides comfort and stability without major flaws and the grip of the Michelin train of our test does not emit its first signs of annoyance – on a track at nearly 80 ° C – only after a hour of exercise, on a long press in a tight turn.

It will still be necessary to remember that the exceptional quality of the asphalt strip of a circuit has very few similarities with the often marked road network of our beautiful country, and therefore to observe a certain restraint in the face of this comment. !

The firm and clean gearbox, assisted by a nervous clutch mechanism but without any hard point, brilliantly transmits the cavalry by accepting as much the vagueness of the requests as the repetition of sequences of descent and upshifting. The management of the hot air flow of the engine proves its efficiency, particularly under the conditions of our test: with an operating temperature exceeding 100 ° C, it is still possible to remain seated on the motorcycle. !

The electronic controls of the intake control, throttle opening, variable ignition timing and the secondary injector system relayed by a scaling of magic box ratios (on circuit) ensure performance and efficiency against against the clock of a very high level. But the homogeneous linearity that distributes torque and power to all stages naps in the bud the impression of debauchery of horses that one might expect from a machine inspired by a racing animal….

Not even afraid !

The new Cross Plane setting is so effective that even out of a curve on a violent opening of the throttle, the pulling force is so progressive that it seems to erase any feeling of violence..

So much so that the 2009 YZF-R1 does not (almost) impress: we hardly realize that we have long exceeded our competence threshold … But the awakening could be painful !

Questions sensations on open road, we can nevertheless ask the question of knowing what this wonderful tool used peacefully (130 km / h max!), Truncated by almost half of its potential, brings more than a trail…

Conversely, on the circuit, participants in championships of all kinds will be able to enjoy the performance of this tool: the Japanese firm, aware of their thirst for confrontation, has reserved privileged access for them at the Yamaha Motor Engineering counter (), which produces official competition engine and chassis parts labeled "YEC Racing Parts".

Good results for a philosophy dating back more than ten years which has been able to listen to the expectations of its customers and adapt to all constraints, whether political (no meter displaying more than 300 km / h), environmental (three-way catalytic converter) or economic, dictated by market constraints.

Can the very successful Yamaha YZF-R1 in its 2009 version sell out to 1142 copies in France, like its predecessor in 2008, so that a motorcycle whose appeal is more of the technological showcase as a sales lever? Response in Site Market Reports !

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