Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test

27 photos

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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After six years, Yamaha has completely redesigned the sporty top model. The new YZF-R1 now has a completely different character.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Here the display in street mode, it can also be switched to race mode.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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In this picture the display shows an overview of all settings.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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If the engine really goes off in first gear from around 7000 rpm, the driver can simply stop using the lift control.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Positive: Reversing the circuit diagram is easy to do with the R1. You only have to move the lower eye of the shift rod from the front screw point of the shift lever to the rear. The driver should then also attach a warning sticker in the cockpit, which reminds of the modification.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Negative
(I): Normal racing boots and driving a few kilometers are enough to scratch the rocker arm. A cover would be helpful.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Negative (II): When threading the rear brake after changing a tire, it was noticed that the ABS sensor cable can easily be pulled out of its holder. Then it rubs against the brake disc. Meticulous control is necessary.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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This is not a posing, but a sitting position in which the R1 can be directed smoothly. And extremely precise.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Most of the emergency braking takes place in this position.
Nevertheless, the motorcycle stays in lane when braking straight ahead.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The R1 unfolds its potential on the racetrack, while on winding roads it demands sensitive work on the throttle.
Incidentally, it is not suitable for off-road use – the picture meets purely aesthetic requirements.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Compact engine construction: The abbreviation CP4 stands for the crossplane four-cylinder with a 90 degree crank pin offset

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The top test shows that the R1 demands a lot, but can also give a lot.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The new Yamaha YZF-R1 (I).

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The new Yamaha YZF-R1 (II).

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The new Yamaha YZF-R1 (III).

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The new Yamaha YZF-R1 (IV).

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The new Yamaha YZF-R1 (V).

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The one-piece brake calipers are machined from one side and sealed with plugs.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The large central air inlet requires unusual headlights. Their light output is decent.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Fork setup, appetizingly presented. Nobody can say more, …

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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… the adjusting screws are difficult to achieve.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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It is the same with the shock absorber.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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The electronic steering damper makes an important contribution to the unshakable stability of the R1.

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
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Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test

Don’t complain, work!

After six years, Yamaha has completely redesigned the sporty top model, the YZF-R1. The result was a motorcycle with a radically changed character. The top test showed that the Yamaha YZF-R1 demands a lot, but can also give a lot.

How much M1 is in the Yamaha YZF-R1? How much of the legendary MotoGP Yamaha Jorge Lorenzos and Valentino Rossis has gone into the brand’s newest female super athlete? More than ever, even in terms of design. The distinctive central inlet for the intake air, the start number field above, the entire shape of the front fairing are closely based on the appearance of the YZR-M1. “I am a racing motorcycle of the purest kind, built to be fast,” is the announcement.

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Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test

Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top test
Don’t complain, work!

199 kilograms with a full tank

So the effort to create a completely new engine for the Yamaha YZF-R1 was worth it. A brief summary of the most important changes shows how much effort Yamaha has put in: The new engine has one millimeter more bore and 1.3 millimeters less stroke than the previous model. This enables larger valve diameters and better filling. The new cylinder head is an even bigger step in the direction of racing technology: Instead of bucket tappets, the valves are now operated using light rocker arms – as in the MotoGP class. Not to mention fine components such as titanium connecting rods and forged pistons.

As a further indication of the enormous progress that the new Yamaha YZF-R1 represents, two further comparative figures should be mentioned: 215 and 199 kilograms. This is how much both motorcycles weigh, the old and the new with a full tank. It should be noted that the old R1 had no ABS and its tank was only one liter larger than the new one. The reduction from 18 to 17 liters only saves around 0.8 of a total of 16 kilograms. Most likely, there is not a single part on the new R1 that is not lighter than the comparable one on the old one.

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Yamaha YZF-R1 consumes 6.1 liters

Only when it comes to pulling power does the new Yamaha YZF-R1 find it difficult to set itself apart from its older sister. In fact, the measured values ​​do not give any reason for a lazy driving style at low speeds in high gears. And although this was exactly what was practiced on fuel consumption, the R1 engine allowed itself to be 6.1 liters per 100 kilometers. If you could fully use the 17 liter tank capacity, you would get 279 kilometers. However, a self-sacrificing self-experiment has shown that about one liter of petrol cannot be used, so the actual range is reduced accordingly. At a constant 130 km / h, the R1 swallows only 5.5 liters.

The reason for the mediocre draft lies in the engine characteristics: Up to around 7000 rpm, the Yamaha four-cylinder seems to be deliberately slowed down. The steep increase in torque between 7200 and 8800 rpm is then, however, extremely spectacular and feels that way. At these speeds, you are already driving in third gear on the country road, far beyond your driver’s license. And as quiet as the crossplane four-cylinder may run and sound, the response is rough, at least in power modes one and two. The numerous load changes on winding roads require concentrated, sensitive work on the throttle. In mode three, the engine of the new Yamaha YZF-R1 accelerates a little more gently after coasting, but here the even lower torque in the middle is noticeable even when driving in public traffic.

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To the registration page for the Yamaha YZF-R1M

Tears almost unbelievable, sounds relaxed

It’s trips to the autobahn, and better still the race track, that allow the engine of the new Yamaha YZF-R1 to unfold its full power and glory. And his very special way of tricking the driver’s perception into making it easier for him to drive fast. Because even under full load close to the performance zenith, when the four-cylinder cracks almost unbelievably, it still sounds calm, relaxed. This not only tempts you to use the rich range of services, but also helps to keep the driver’s focus on the important things. Beyond all measured values, this is one of the great advantages of the crossplane principle.

At least since Valentino Rossi’s first world championship on a Yamaha, the M1 chassis have been regarded as exceptionally good, as the top of the line. We don’t know what the new Yamaha YZF-R1 may have copied from them. The fact that it has an excellent chassis can be seen after the first few turns. It lies incredibly well on the front wheel, finds its curve path with the highest precision and does not allow itself to be unbalanced by the harsh load change at the apex. In the acceleration phase it gives the feeling of a precisely leading, neatly resilient hindquarters. That already captivates you when driving fast country roads for the Yamaha YZF-R1 and can really inspire on the racetrack.

"Are you still cornering stable or already stubborn?"

The test team allowed themselves a short excursion from the hinterland of the Spanish coastal town of Cambrils to the Circuito de Alcarràs. One of the specialties of this race course consists of a fast, steeply downhill double left curve in which several long and deep bumps are embedded. It is in such passages that the Yamaha YZF-R1 shows its greatest strength: It guarantees the driver that there will be no problems with the front wheel and that the bumps will never take him off course. You would probably even feel a front wheel slide so early and unadulterated that you could still catch it.

These virtues are not to be confused with a playful handiness and are not necessarily compatible with them. The Yamaha demands strong steering impulses, especially in changing bends. As if proof had been needed after countless country road curves, the narrow left-right chicane in Alcarràs delivered it in an impressive manner. “Are you still cornering stable or are you already stubborn?” The Yamaha YZF-R1 is asked with regard to this section, but it replies unmoved: “Don’t complain, work.”

Bent over, hanging next to the front wheel

Yes exactly. The price for the chassis qualities of the Yamaha YZF-R1 is to be paid with physical work in the form of high steering forces or dynamic weight shifting. Because it curves best when the driver sits down low, better still hanging next to the inside of the curve of the front wheel.

In any case, leaning on the handlebars with your elbows pushed in is not recommended. The Yamaha YZF-R1 cannot be steered smoothly from such a sitting position. With its high seat and low handlebars, it brings a lot of rider weight forward. A comparison value: The Ducati 916, which is considered extreme, carried the handlebar grips a good four centimeters higher than the seat, the R1 around 3.5 centimeters. The driver has to keep his weight out of the abdominal and back muscles when driving slowly, according to R1 standards, i.e. at country road speed – and that becomes tiring in the long run. Over time, the slogan of a well-known DIY chain is changed: There is always a lot to do. For hardcore racer drivers who are always on the road with full commitment, that goes without saying. But the majority of supersport motorcycles are still used most of the time in public transport.

Assistance systems of the Yamaha YZF-R1

Highly engineered motorcycles can hardly be recognized without their assistance systems being appreciated. Despite the complexity of these systems and even though some of their components can be adjusted in many stages (for operation see next article pages), the Yamaha YZF-R1 does not make it as difficult to find your way around them as it initially seems. You can tell that there is a lot of development work behind this complex too. 

The most likely to feel the differences between the four power modes during routine drives, which are sorted after a short test period. The MOTORRAD testers chose mode one for the racetrack, otherwise one or two. The traction control of the Yamaha YZF-R1, which can be set in nine stages, was set to two for the racetrack and mostly three for the country road. This setting allows quite a lot of slip on the rear wheel; those who like it more defensive should choose four or five. Attention: If you switch off the traction control, you also automatically deactivate the drift and wheelie control. As far as this Slide-Control SCS is concerned, even ambitious sports drivers should get along well with level two out of three, level one would allow those who need it more drift angles.

ABS of R1 cannot be switched off

On the rising and undulating home straight of the Alcarràs course, the author preferred the lift control in level one when accelerating fully, which allows nice acceleration wheelies despite the increased safety. It can remain in this level without any problems even when driving on country roads. And please don’t let anyone believe that you don’t need them there. The differences between the two shift assistant modes were so small that they seem insignificant.

When it comes to ABS, Yamaha does not allow any deviations from the factory settings. The anti-lock braking and combined braking system cannot be switched off either. Unusual for a super athlete. As already indicated on the country road and confirmed on the race track, the braking system is not the limiting factor when braking into corners, but rather the mounting of the rear wheel. When braking straight ahead with the clutch pulled, the Yamaha YZF-R1 stays neatly on track, even with a light gap between the rear tire and the road. 

As announced in the manual, the control processes are noticeable, but do not interfere. The average deceleration from 100 km / h is flawless at 9.4 m / s². But if you want to shift down when braking on the racetrack and / or also want to brake into the curve, you have to do this very carefully, otherwise you will often find yourself with the rear end exposed far outside the targeted line with the Yamaha YZF-R1.

It cannot be due to the tuning of the fork. It offers a firm spring and steep progression, and more preload would make the Yamaha YZF-R1 even more sluggish. The same applies to lowering the stern by lowering the spring preload. The reason for the rise of the rear is probably to be found in the extremely front-wheel-oriented seating position. Suspension specialists could try this or that, but for the time being it will probably be more useful to practice a special braking technique: not abruptly, but still late and moderately well into the corners. As the pros do. It fits the Yamaha YZF-R1 to make such demands. It probably got that from the M1 too.

Control processes noticeable but not disruptive

As announced in the manual, the control processes are noticeable, but do not interfere. The average deceleration from 100 km / h is flawless at 9.4 m / s². But if you want to shift down when braking on the racetrack and / or also want to brake into the curve, you have to do this very carefully, otherwise you will often find yourself with the rear end exposed far outside the targeted line with the Yamaha YZF-R1.

It cannot be due to the tuning of the fork. It offers a firm spring and a steep progression, and more preload would make the Yamaha YZF-R1 even more sluggish. The same applies to lowering the rear end by lowering the spring preload. The reason for the rise of the rear is probably to be found in the extremely front-wheel-oriented seating position. Suspension specialists could try this or that, but for the time being it will probably be more useful to practice a special braking technique: not abruptly, but still late and moderately well into the corners. As the pros do. It fits the Yamaha YZF-R1 to make such demands. It probably got that from the M1 too.

Technical data: Yamaha YZF-R1


fact

The switching pattern is reversed in a jiffy. 🙂

Reversing the circuit diagram is easy to do on the Yamaha YZF-R1. You only have to move the lower eye of the shift rod from the front screw point of the shift lever to the rear. The driver should then also attach a warning sticker in the cockpit, which reminds of the modification.


fact

The swing arm is also scratched in no time. 🙁

Normal racing boots and a few kilometers of driving are enough to scratch the swingarm of the Yamaha YZF-R1. A cover would be helpful. 


fact

And if the ABS sensor cable slips out in no time at all, then it is broken in no time.

When threading the rear brake after changing a tire, it was noticed that the ABS sensor cable can be easily pulled out of its holder. Then it rubs against the brake disc. Meticulous control is necessary.

Switch and rule


fact

All settings can be changed quickly and easily using the rotary menu switch in the display.

A driver’s manual used to be reading, now it is almost a study. The German manual for the Yamaha YZF-R1 comprises 134 pages, 36 of which describe the choice of electronic driving aids and display options.

But don’t worry, the menu navigation of the Yamaha YZF-R1 is exemplary and clear, without incapacitating the driver by overly simplifying it. Specialists will find plenty of options for configuring their motorcycle according to different needs. If necessary, these previously created configurations can be activated quickly. In order not to distract the driver’s attention from the traffic situation, such a change is only possible when the vehicle is stationary.

The core of the electronics package consists of the YRC settings


fact

The display provides a clear representation of the settings for all four driving modes.

These are the settings of the so-called Yamaha Riding Control.

They are divided into four modes from A to D, and for each mode the individual components – traction control, engine characteristics, drift control, shift assistant and racing start aid – can be selected in different stages. You can put together a race track mode A with little traction control intervention, a strong drift angle and fast shift times, configure a mild country road mode under B and one for driving in the rain under C. Or, if you share a Yamaha YZF-R1, you can have your own mode ready for each of several riders. All of this works with a few twisting and pushing movements on the menu switch on the right. Once the modes have been put together, they can be easily activated with the mode switch group on the left end of the handlebar. It even allows the individual functions to be reconfigured quickly, in the case of TCS and SCS even while driving. The VRC Setting table, in which changes can also be made, offers a quick overview of which system intervenes and in which mode.

Displays such as the two trip meters, current or average consumption can also be called up and reset while driving using the rotary menu switch.

Aprilia RSV4 RR


fact

Competitor 1: The Aprilia RSV4 RR.

Four-cylinder V-engine with 201 hp

Weight 199 kg

0-100 km / h n / a.

Vmax 290 km / h

Consumption n / a.

18490 euros *

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BMW S 1000 RR


fact

Competitor 2: The S 1000 RR from BMW.

Four-cylinder in-line engine with 199 hp

Weight 205 kg

0-100 km / h 3.2 sec

Vmax 299 km / h

Consumption 5.7 liters

17,200 euros

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Ducati Panigale 1299 S.


fact

Competitor 3: The 1299 Panigale S from Ducati.

Two-cylinder V-engine with 205 hp

Weight 194 kg

0-100 km / h 3.2 sec

Vmax 299 km / h

Consumption 5.8 liters

25,490 euros

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Conclusion


fact

More of a case for the racetrack? – The new Yamaha YZF-R1.

A lot of top performance, a comparatively weak middle and tough response. A chassis that is trimmed for extreme precision and stability and demands full commitment from the driver. A wide range of assistance systems that are easy to use. High quality components, solid workmanship. A reasonable price given what is on offer. This is – in a nutshell – the new Yamaha YZF-R1. 

Offers for the Yamaha YZF-R1

Used Yamaha YZF-R1 in Germany

The first-class road racing machine is very popular and can often be found on the used motorcycle market. There are many Yamaha YZF-R1 in top condition and at reasonable prices: Used Yamaha YZF-R1 in Germany

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