First Ride Impressions of the 2015 Yamaha R1

Yamaha USA have posted a video of MotoAmerica’s Monster Energy Graves Yamaha (that’s a team name that just rolls off the tongue) rider Cameron Beaubier, giving his first ride impressions of a near stock 2015 Yamaha R1. It’s an interesting insight before the team start taking the bike apart for racing and Beaubier is very positive of the bike, making special mention of the traction control system and electronics package of the machine.

That’s good to hear because with the new crop of machines like the 2015 YZF-R1, the quality of the electronics can make or break it – too much intervention and it just takes the fun out of the bike but too little can make make these super powerful bikes nearly unrideable for mere mortals.

That being said, Cameron Beaubier is hardly the most unbiased source here. A rider for a team that gets a fair amount of cash via sponsorship from Yamaha is unlikely to call their most important bike of 2015 a piece of crap. Nevertheless, it’s nice to hear some ride impressions of the new R1 so we’ll take whatever we can get.


UK | Pricing For 2015 Yamaha R1 and R1M Announced

Yamaha Motors Europe has today confirmed pricing for the brand new Yamaha R1 and if you were hoping it would be the same price as the outgoing model, prepare to be disappointed. The 2015 YZF-R1 will retail at £14,999 – £1,000 more than the outgoing model which is a fairly large price hike and it will be available from around March 2015.

If the cutting edge R1M is what you’re after, you’ll need to let go of £18,499. You’ll need to register your interest in the R1M by filling out an online registration form and then print the email the form generates to take it to a local Yamaha dealer within 14 days. Buyers of the new R1M will also get an invitation to an exclusive Yamaha Racing Experience event in the summer of next year where owners will have access to on-track training and technicians who can provide race set-up advice

If those prices for the new R1 and R1M seem a little bit high, by way of comparison the new Ducati 1299 Panigale will retail for £16,695. Delivery For the R1M expected anywhere from January to July next year, so don’t wait at home for the doorbell to ring.

2015 Yamaha YZF R1 Full Specifications, Price and Image Gallery

It’s finally arrived – the 2015 Yamaha YZF R1. And it did not disappoint. Looks wise it may polarize a few opinions as it’s probably the biggest change to the R1’s looks since the model was first released. Gone are the headlights that look similar to so many other Japanese sportsbikes and in are much smaller lights, both rounded and slits with a more pronounced air scoop.

But you can make up your own mind. What is even more exciting are the specifications of this bike. The likes of BMW and Ducati are generally regarded as having the most technologically advanced bikes in the market, but the new 2015 Yamaha R1 may have beaten them at their own game.

There’s a huge amount of stuff packed in to this bike – here’s the rundown:

  • The 2015 YZF-R1 features a completely new, lightweight and compact, crossplane-concept, inline-four-cylinder, 998cc high-output engine. Featuring a first ever for a production motorcycle, titanium fracture split connecting rods delivering extremely high horsepower and a strong pulse of linear torque for outstanding performance.
  • The YZF-R1 features the most advanced MotoGP®-inspired electronics package ever offered on a supersport machine: a full suite of inter-related technologies, enabling the rider to enjoy the fullest range of performance with great comfort, control, and ease of operation.
  • Featuring the first six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) ever offered on a street-going motorcycle, the 2015 R1 represents the dawn of a new digital era where all riders can experience total 3D controllability.
  • IMU consists of a gyro sensor that measures pitch, roll, and yaw, as well as an accelerometer, or G-sensor, that measures acceleration in the fore-aft, up-down, and right-left directions…all at a rate of 125 calculations per second. By calculating each signal, the IMU finds the precise vehicle position and movement, and communicates it to the ECU, enabling it to control the bike’s systems.
  • The 2015 R1 is fully equipped with banking-sensitive Traction Control, as well as Slide Control, Anti-Wheelie Control, Quickshifter, Launch Control, ABS, a Unified Braking System, and much more. The all-new R1 gives street riders, track day participants, and full-on racers an unmatched and unprecedented level of rider-adaptive performance.
  • All-new aluminum Deltabox® frame is designed to provide optimum longitudinal, lateral and torsional rigidity balance. The engine is a stressed member of the chassis.
  • An all-new titanium exhaust system with titanium headers and muffler canister with mid-ship layout is positioned low and in the middle of the chassis for centralized mass.
  • The styling on the new R1 is inspired by the YZR-M1, purposely sculpted for maximum aerodynamic efficiency.
  • The all-new 998cc in-line 4-cylinder, crossplane crankshaft engine features titanium fracture-split connecting rods, which are an industry first for a production motorcycle. The specific titanium alloy used to manufacture the new connecting rods is around 60% lighter than steel, and this major reduction in weight gives the new R1 engine a responsive and potent character at high rpm. This all-new engine delivers extremely high horsepower and a strong pulse of linear torque.
  • A new 6-speed transmission has also been adopted to match the new engine. The transmission “stacks” the input/output shafts to centralize mass and to keep the overall engine size shorter front to back, which optimizes engine placement in the frame for outstanding weight balance. The new transmission brings out more of the low- to mid-speed torque and excellent response characteristics while reducing the need for frequent shifts.
  • Lightweight magnesium engine covers are used to further reduce weight while rocker-arm valve actuation allows for larger valve lift further boosting horsepower.
  • Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) is the first on production motorcycle featuring six axis of measurement: It consists of a gyro sensor that measures pitch, roll, and yaw, as well as an accelerometer, or G-sensor, that measures acceleration in the fore-aft, up-down, and right-left directions…all at a rate of 125 calculations per second. The IMU communicates with the Yamaha Ride Control (YRC) Yamaha’s most advanced electronics package ever offered on a production motorcycle. Includes Power Delivery Mode, Traction Control System, Slide Control System, Lift Control System, Launch Control System and Quick Shift System. All these systems are adjustable and can be saved within four presets.
  • Power Delivery Mode (PWR), similar to the earlier “D-Mode” system, lets the rider choose from four settings of throttle-valve opening rate in relation to the degree of throttle-grip opening to best match their riding conditions.
  • Variable Traction Control System (TCS) with lean angle calculating the differential in front to rear wheel speed as well as the lean angle, it helps prevent rear wheel spin when exiting corners. As lean angle increases, so does the amount of control…with ten separate settings (off and 1-9) enabling the rider to dial in the exact level of control needed.
  • Slide Control System (SCS), the first of its kind on a production motorcycle, comes directly from the YZR-M1. It works in tandem with the IMU, where, if a slide is detected while accelerating during hard leaning conditions, the ECU will step in and control engine power to reduce the slide. This too can be adjusted by the rider. Four settings (1-3 and off).
  • Lift Control System (LIF) IMU detects the front to rear pitch rate and the ECU controls engine power to reduce the front wheel lift during acceleration. Four settings (1-3 and off). Launch Control System (LCS) limits engine rpms to 10,000 wide open throttle. It maintains optimum engine output in conjunction with input from the TCS and LIF systems to maximize acceleration from a standing start.. Three setting levels regulate the effect (1-2 and off).
  • Quick Shift System (QSS) cuts engine output so riders can up-shift without using the clutch and closing the throttle, for quicker lap times, also with three variable settings (1-2 and off).
  • Assist and slipper clutch is used to give the rider more confident downshifts when entering corners aggressively.
  • The R1 uses YCC-T® (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle), fly-by-wire technology providing optimum power delivery. YCC-I® is Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake which is a variable intake system that broadens the spread of power in both low and high rpm.
  • All-new Aluminum Deltabox® frame and magnesium subframe contribute to a light weight and compact chassis design. The aluminum frame is both strong and flexible, with rigid engine mounts, making the engine a stressed member of the frame for optimal rigidity balance and great cornering performance on the race track.
  • The R1 features an all-new inverted KYB® front fork with 43mm inner tubes and a 4.7 inch stroke with full adjustability, for incredible front end feel on the track.
  • The fully adjustable KYB® shock has a new rear bottom link pivot position that is optimally placed to provide exceptional handling, and excellent transmission of engine torque to the track surface.
  • The wheelbase is 10mm shorter than the previous R1 adding to cornering performance, however the ratio of swing arm length to wheelbase is 40.5%, the same as the current R1 for excellent linear stability.
  • Also featured is an aluminum 4.5 gallon fuel tank, weighing in at a full 3.5 pounds less than a comparable steel tank.
  • The track developed and tested racing ABS and Unified Braking System provide maximum braking performance. UBS inhibits unwanted rear end motion during braking by activating the rear brake when the front brake is applied, with force distribution based on the bike’s attitude and lean angle.
  • All-new Nissin 4-piston radial mounted front calipers ride on big 320mm rotors for excellent stopping power.
  • The 2015 R1 is equipped with a newly designed exhaust system manufactured mainly from titanium. Plus, a compact, midship muffler contributes towards the mass centralization that is a key feature on the R1.
  • 10-spoke cast magnesium wheels that reduce rotational mass by 1.9 pounds over the previous model reduces unsprung weight for quick direction changes and improved handling.
  • The R1 features a thin-film transistor LCD meter, with brilliant color for precise monitoring of all vehicle systems, including front brake pressure and fore/aft G-force making it easier than ever to take the bike to its limits. It features a “street mode” and a “race mode” that focuses on information that’s more important on the track, such as YRC settings, a zoomed in view of the tachometer in the upper rpm range, a lap timer with best lap and last lap feature, gear position indicator and speed, just to name a few.
 RRP is $16,490 and will be available from February 2015 at US dealerships.



EngineLiquid-cooled inline 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valves, 79.00 x 50.9mm
Power147.1 kW (197 hp) @ 13,500 rpm
Torque112.4 Nm (82.9 lb-ft) @ 11,500 rpm
Gear Box6-speed w/multiplate slipper clutch
Front BrakesDual 320mm hydraulic disc; 4-piston caliper, UBS ABS
Rear Brakes220mm disc; UBS ABS
Front Suspension43mm KYB® inverted fork; fully adjustable; 4.7-in travel
Rear SuspensionKYB® Single shock w/piggyback reservoir, 4-way adjustable; 4.7- in travel
Front Tire120/70ZR17M/C
Rear Tire190/55ZR17M/C
Wet Weight439 lb
Tank Capacity4.5 gal

2015 Yamaha YZF R1 – Live Blog of the Unveiling

Join us here at 21:00 CET (That’s 1:00 pm in Los Angles, 4:00pm New York, 8:00pm London and 7:00 am Sydney) for our live blog of the release of the 2015 Yamaha R1 – likely to be the biggest release of the year for the sportsbike fraternity. We’ve seen the images, watched the teaser videos and read the rumors, but all will become clear in just a few days.

We’ll see you then.



A History of the Yamaha YZF R1

The 2015 Yamaha YZF R1 will be unveiled later this year and all indications are that it’s going to be a massive leap forward. So before that happens, let’s take the opportunity to go back and look at one of Yamaha’s most potent and popular machines which was first released back in 1998. This was a time when 1,000 cc superbikes weren’t the default size for the category as is the case today. In fact, the original Yamaha R1 was made as a competitor to Honda’s class leading Fireblade which at the time had a capacity of 919c and weighed 180kg dry.

A young designer by the name of Kunihkho Miwa was tasked with the creation of a brand new large capacity bike for Yamaha. And instead of repurposing or redesigning an existing engine, Miwa wanted something radical and new. He also wanted the entire bike to be designed at once with everything integrated together to make the lightest, most compact bike in its class.  The goal was a circa 1,000cc bike that handled as good as a 600cc bike with a minimum of 150hp and a maximum dry weight of 180 kg.

Probably the most revolutionary thing about that first Yamaha R1 is the engine. Even today, it’s regarded as one of the best engines designed and built for motorcycles. The YZF R1 screamed willingly to it’s 11,750 rpm redline and features smooth fueling. It has a unique stacked gearbox directly behind engine making the unit far more compact. This enabled a longer than normal swing arm combined with a short wheelbase which gave it excellent handling.

The engine itself was a stressed member of the frame which provided increased rigidity and also lowered weight. Yamaha used bonded aluminum on the handlebars instead of welded ones which provided a 46 per cent saving in weight from that part alone. Miwa designed the bike so that the rider was positioned as close to the center of it as possible to ensure even weight distribution.

Yamaha and Kunihkho Miwa’s team delivered on their objectives with the YZF R1 – the bike reached their stated target of 150 bhp and a dry weight of 177kg. That gave it a power to weight ratio of 0.84hp/kg. That compared to the current model Fireblade at 0.71hp/kg. In fact, the power to weight ratio of the R1 was the best ever for a production bike at the time. Not only did this make the Yamaha YZF R1 the quicker machine, it handled a hell of a lot better than the Fireblade, too.

Not that you could call the R1 a perfect machine, at least by today’s standards.  It was raw and unforgiving. That brilliant power to weight ratio was just a bit too much for the chassis at the time and the suspension was rather poor. The front end wasn’t the most compliant either. But that’s comparing then and now. At the time this was a class leader. Even today, an original R1 would be considered an exceptionally quick bike in a straight line and a competent track bike with upgraded suspension.

Regardless, the YZF R1 was a huge success and is why the model still continues today. Overall reliability was good and remains so to this day, despite a recall for clutch problems early on. The 1999 model had minor modifications relating to the gear change linkage and slightly reduced fuel tank reserve capacity.

Model Years1998-99
0 to 60mph2.96 seconds
0 to 100 mph5.93 seconds
Quarter Mile10.19 seconds
Top Speed168 mph


The first real upgrade occurred in 2000 with the aim to improve the Yamaha R1’s handling. Taking over from Miwa was Yoshikazu Koike who instead of trying to be revolutionary focused on improving the few negatives of the original bike. Weight reduction was also on the cards and the new model managed to shed nearly 4.5 pounds.  Settings on the carburetor were adjusted along with modifications to the gearbox to create a more linear response when twisting the throttle.

Much time and investment were also spent on the exhaust management system to both comply with new strict EU2 emission standards but also improving the power delivery of the bike, especially at low rpm. Cosmetically the bike also received an upgrade which still looks classy and modern today.

What They Said:

Motorcycle Daily:  The bike is, by its very nature, an aggressive machine yet must be respected… In addition to greater stability mid-turn, this means that the rider feels more in control of the machine.
Motorcycle News:  The third and final great sports bike of the nineties. The FireBlade set the agenda, the 916 added finesse and the Yamaha YZF-R1 topped them off with extra power and madness.  We could write this review in one sentence: The Year 2000 Yamaha YZF-R1 is an awesome motorcycle.

Model Years2000-01
0 to 60mph2.99 seconds
0 to 100 mph5.79 seconds
Quarter Mile10.17 seconds
Top Speed173 mph



New 2015 Yamaha R1 – New Images and Rumors

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.


Highly Unlikely

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.