Test Yamaha YZF 1000

Test Yamaha YZF 1000

What is trump?

Who knows. But it doesn’t matter as long as you have an ace up your sleeve – a Thunderace from Yamaha, for example. Let the game begin.

The rules of the game in sports have not changed in the past nine years. It’s been that long since Yamaha took a decisive stab in the sporting game with the first FZR 1000.

Even today, the specifications for engineers are still stronger, faster, lighter. However, the number of players has changed. Back then it was hardly a handful of large-volume big bikes, but now a whole pack of wild 600, 750 and 900 cc is fighting for the sports-loving clientele.

New game, new luck – a new motorcycle is needed, said the marketing strategists at Yamaha, and according to the well-known rules of the game, stronger, faster, lighter. The product of this knowledge: the YZF 1000 R Thunderace.

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Test Yamaha YZF 1000

Test Yamaha YZF 1000
What is trump?

YZF 1000 R have something written on your credit account. The centerpiece is a bridge frame based on the 750 Superbike from the same company. Not only is it more stable and 5.2 kilograms lighter than the old FZR frame, it also ensures that the wheelbase is 40 millimeters shorter. So it is hardly surprising that the new YZF reacts to steering commands in an unusually handy and agile manner.

This light-footedness is supported by the high quality and very sensitively appealing spring elements. Both on the rear suspension strut by Bilstein and on the massive telescopic fork with 48 millimeter thick stanchions, the damping and spring base can be adjusted as required and adapted to the prevailing conditions. Whether soft and comfortable on a Sunday stroll with a pillion passenger or sporty and firm in rapid traverse, the YZF can be transformed from a cuddly cat into a big cat in just a few simple steps.

However, if you get involved in the game with the big cat, i.e. choose a significantly tighter suspension setting than the well-functioning standard setting, you shouldn’t be surprised that the cat shows its claws from time to time. The YZF can threateningly twitch its handlebars, especially on undulating slopes.

If the playing field is relocated from winding country roads to the motorway, the Yamaha, on the other hand, cannot quite convince. Although the greatly improved aerodynamics of the YZF help achieve a significantly higher top speed, the 1000 model now reacts with slight pendulum movements. The cause of this harmless but unnecessary instability is probably more due to the tires than to the handy chassis geometry of the YZF. The test motorcycle is equipped with Metzeler ME Z2 tires, i.e. tires that were developed more for a touring bike than a thoroughbred athlete. According to Mitsui Germany, part of the YZF contingent is also delivered as standard on the sportier Bridgestone BT 50.

On the other hand, the drive unit leaves no doubt. The heavily revised FZR engine already shows on the MOTORRAD test bench that it is in a good mood. In the throttled 98-hp version, it presses 110 hp onto the roller. What the YZF 1000 R is capable of in the open version, it currently has to show in a large comparison. The result can already be found in issue 9.

Until then, the throttled version at least outshines all the big bikes that have been measured so far. Regardless of whether it is a Honda CBR 900 RR, Kawasaki ZX-9R or Suzuki GSX-R 1100, the YZF does not burn anything either in acceleration or in pulling through. The unauthorized additional power due to the sloppy throttling is of secondary importance. It is rather the voluminous performance curve that makes the Yamaha the boss in the ring.

The revision of the five-valve valve has clearly paid off. Especially in the range between 3000 and 5000 rpm, the water-cooled four-cylinder shows itself to be extremely powerful, without reacting aggressively and bitingly to gas changes. His strength lies in calm, and he maintains this calm up to higher engine speeds. And because the performance curve already reaches its peak at 9XXX / min, there is no need for excess speed up to the limit of the red area at 11500 / min.

The shift work in the five-speed transmission can be severely restricted due to the outstanding pulling quality. No mistake, because shifting is not the greatest fun with this transmission. The individual gears engage too jerkily, and the search for neutral is too annoying when the engine oil is still a little too cold. The drive unit compensates for this with smooth power transmission to the rear wheel.

Another praise goes to the brakes. Great delay, excellent dosage and finally more stable than previous Yamaha systems. Incidentally, the same braking system that already got top marks on the small YZF 600 R. The four-piston calipers made from one piece can easily handle the 233 kilograms of the 1000 series. However, that’s only ten kilograms more than the 600, so the Yamaha engineers have also met their specifications in terms of weight. The competition with Thunderace will certainly not have an easy game.

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