Yamaha YFZ-R1: Fast as an arrow and better than ever

Motorcycle fair in Milan

EICMA 2019

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Yamaha YFZ-R1: Fast as an arrow and better than ever

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger

13 photos

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

1/13
The new model has been cleverly improved in detail.

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

2/13
For example, R1 pilots can now enjoy a chassis that is very responsive.

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

3/13
The R1 does not behave as bomb-proof as in an inclined position when the anchor is thrown brutally, because it lurches slightly with the stern – but always friendly and easy to control.

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

4/13
Folded tightly on the machine, the standard higher screen offers useful wind protection – nothing tugs, twitches or wobbles at high speed.

Yamaha YZF R1 driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

5/13
the YZF-R1 still sounds great, but a bit quieter.

Yamaha YZF R1-M driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

6/13
That leaves the YZF-R1M.

Yamaha YZF R1-M driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

7/13
It differs from the standard model by its carbon cladding and the latest generation of semi-active Öhlins chassis.

Yamaha YZF R1-M driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

8/13
We also ride the M in Jerez with Bridgestone V02 slicks in size 200 on the rear wheel.

Yamaha YZF R1-M driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

9/13
The big difference to the standard model is that the R1 M builds up more grip in every situation – a lot more!

Yamaha YZF R1-M driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

10/13
The slicks and the chassis can handle full throttle and a much harder pace earlier.

Yamaha YZF R1-M driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

11/13
During the press presentation in Jerez, the semi-active Track 1 mode works very well without any further fine-tuning.

Yamaha YZF R1-M driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

12/13
The front wheel feel is even better than with the standard R1, and even when braking hard, the R1 M stays quietly on track.

Yamaha YZF R1-M driving report Tobias Münchinger
Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

13/13
Both the YZF-R1 and the YZF-R1 M have reached a very high level of maturity with the new generation of models.

Yamaha YFZ-R1 and R1 M

Fast as an arrow and better than ever before

Yamaha is early on with the press presentation of the 2020 Superbike class. Six turns are available in Jerez to test the two grenades YZF-R1 and YZF-R1 M. We will not be asked any longer!

The Jerez racetrack was only repaved last year and, with very few exceptions, the surface is in excellent condition. Only at the apex of a long left turn, which is at the beginning of the last third of the slope, are there bumps. However, the tiles Yamaha YZF-R1 mastered this tricky passage with ease. This is followed by a few right-hand turns, which you can take in an arc with a little swing and precision – with the precise R1, the maneuver succeeds almost immediately.

Handy and nicely balanced

The new model has been cleverly improved in detail. For example, R1 pilots can now enjoy a chassis that is very responsive. The Kayaba fork and shock absorber have been revised and retuned. In general, the handy R1 feels nicely balanced. In particular, the feeling for the front and the confidence in the grip of the Bridgestone R11 tires (the R1 comes with RS11 tires as standard) is great. The Yamaha drives brilliantly over the front wheel, which gives the rider a great deal of freedom of choice when choosing a line – regardless of whether you are entering or exiting a curve. In addition, the fork dampens hard when braking hard and has plenty of reserves ready. After the first turn, we give the shock absorber two clicks more compression, which makes the rear quieter in the braking zone. The R1 does not behave as bomb-proof as it does in an inclined position when it comes to a brutal anchor throw, because it lurches slightly with the stern – but it is always friendly and easy to control. Incidentally, the brakes with the new pads are more snappy and can be dosed more sensitively than on the previous model. The ABS now also has two modes available, one normal and one with a curve function. During the first rollout here in Jerez, the two modes hardly differ from one another in terms of their control behavior.


Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

Yamaha also lend a hand with the aerodynamics, because the 2020 YZF-R1 is not only appealing with its discreetly pepped up look (redesigned front and side panels). Above all, the machine has become more streamlined, which should even have a positive effect on the top speed. Folded tightly on the machine, the standard higher screen also offers useful wind protection – nothing tugs, twitches or wobbles at high speed.

Crossplane engine became quieter

As far as the performance of the engine is concerned, the well-known performance figures of 200 hp at 13,500 rpm remain. Nevertheless, a lot has happened inside the crossplane inline four-cylinder: the cylinder head, the injection and cooling system and the oil circuit have been optimized just like the intake system. The engine has enough power in spite of Euro 5 coordination, its high revving and the deep vibes of the bigbang drive are still addicting! Speaking of sound – the YZF-R1 still sounds great, but a bit quieter. Now that you can’t even drive with the original exhaust on many racetracks because of the volume, this is a step in the right direction.

Finally, new and improved functions strengthen the electronics package of the YZF-R1. The brake control system (BC) with cornering function has already been mentioned, and the technicians have also adjusted the launch control (racing start aid) differently. Furthermore, it is now possible to set the engine braking torque in three stages and thus adapt it to the driver’s personal preferences. On the Jerez race track, stage two works extremely well with a slightly reduced braking torque, since many corner entrances are fast. It is also noticeable that the R1 with the new mechanical throttle accepts the same as squeaky clean: direct, but not rough. The traction control (ten levels) regulates the slip on the rear wheel cleanly and almost imperceptibly. The wheelie control (three levels) also does its job well, because it gently sets the front wheel down on the ground. At least at level one, it should allow slightly longer wheelies.

R1M always offers a little more grip

All that remains is the YZF-R1M, to which all the technical changes already mentioned apply in exactly the same way. It differs from the standard model in its carbon cladding and the latest generation of semi-active Öhlins chassis, which has been specially designed for the YZF-R1 M. We also ride the M in Jerez with Bridgestone V02 slicks in size 200 on the rear wheel. The big difference to the standard model is that the R1 M builds up more grip in every situation – a lot more! It literally sticks to the road and lies extremely well in the inclined position.


Yamaha / Jonathan Godin

The slicks and the chassis can handle full throttle and a much harder pace earlier. It feels like you get there faster at every curve with at least 20 km / h and out again faster than with the standard R1. Of course, the semi-active chassis of the M version can be set and adapted in all possible directions according to the driver’s preferences, the nature and properties of the tires and the route. During the press presentation in Jerez, the semi-active Track 1 mode works very well without any further fine-tuning. The front wheel feel is even better than with the standard R1, and even when braking hard, the R1 M stays smoothly on track.

Conclusion

Both the YZF-R1 and the YZF-R1 M have reached a very high level of maturity with the new generation of models. Both are lightning-fast motorcycles that are now even better than ever.

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