Check out our update to this article here.
The Yamaha R1 might not be as popular or successful as it’s smaller brother, the R6, but it’s still a great bike and a new 2015 Yamaha R1 is expected to be unveiled by the end of this year. There’s been plenty of rumors in recent months and thankfully a more solid picture has begun to emerge about what to expect. And with the descriptions and spy photos are also giving a clearer idea on what it will look like. The pictures below are the work of Tamus Jakus, who has created these renders based on what we’ve learned so far.
The rumors about the R1 are varied, and we’ve listed everything that’s out there so far and grouped them based on the highly outrageous to the sure things.
The new 2015 Yamaha R1 will feature a semi-automatic/dual clutch gearbox. This rumor is based off some obscure patent filings made by Yamaha, but it seems unlikely. Firstly, even though a semi-auto box on a superbike won’t offer any sort of clutch lever free shifting, it’s risky to even have the term ‘auto’ anywhere near the R1 and that Yamaha would risk softening the image of it’s flagship racer given such connotations seems doubtful. Secondly, motorcycle gearboxes already provide rapid shifting compared to cars and it would seem to create unnecessary complexity and expense to the bike for very little gain.
The engine will change from an in-line four to a triple. This rumor actually had some legs earlier, but the latest indications are that the new 2015 Yamaha R1 will retain the existing engine configuration.
The 2015 Yamaha R1 will produce 230 bhp. While it hasn’t been confirmed, this is a figure that is gaining credibility. If it is true, it’s a massive increase from the current model’s 180 bhp and would easily see the bike crack the 300 kph mark if it wasn’t for electronic limiting. The only reason this rumor is still a ‘possible’ and not a ‘highly likely’ is that other stories state that not a huge amount of work has gone into engine changes, which would make a 50 bhp increase seem difficult to achieve.
The new Yamaha R1 will feature electronically adjustable suspension. In isolation, this rumor has probably sprouted because things like electronically adjustable suspension, engine mapping and so on is becoming the new thing for top tier bikes. But given that it seems Yamaha is targeting the BMW HP4 with the new R1, it’s a distinct possibility.
The new 2015 Yamaha R1 will be released in two versions – a road legal track version and a ‘standard’ version. There are two reasons why this rumor is likely to be true. Firstly, Yamaha wants to take a real crack at the WSBK and with it’s new rules, you pretty much have to race with what you sell. Secondly, it makes sense to have a hero bike that is top of the pile, but also sell a version that the mass market can afford (and how many people really need a superbike championship winning bike for everyday use?).
It seems the track version will feature as many technical gadgets as possible, such as traction control, throttle control, engine maps, cornering ABS and so forth, as well as the previously mentioned electronically adjustable suspension. The track version will produce the full 230 bph, while the standard version will receive a ‘de-tuned’ engine and less (or perhaps even none) of the electronic aids, save for ABS.
The new Yamaha R1 will continue to attract Squids all over the world. Believe it or not, this rumor has actually already been confirmed by Yamaha as the new R1 was designed to go faster when a rider isn’t wearing anything but a helmet, shorts and t-shirt.