Yamaha R1S – A Cheaper Superbike but for US Only

As was expected, Yamaha will be making available a cheaper version of their new Yamaha R1, titled the R1S. Priced $1,500 below the asking price of the standard R1, it loses its magnesium oil pan, engine covers and wheels (replaced with aluminium) and the titanium exhaust headers and connecting rods are replaced with steel versions. Less aggressive tires are also fitted.

Initially we thought the idea of a cheaper R1 that was more in line with the previous models pricing was a good idea, but seeing on paper what Yamaha have done makes us reconsider. With the changes the bike gains 9 pounds of weight (4kg) plus with the changes to the valve design and the use of the steel connecting rods, peak power and ultimate redline is down, too.

Yamaha hasn’t disclosed how much the performance is blunted but by looking at the dyno chart below, it looks to be around 5hp down on peak power and around a 2,000 rpm lower rev limit. That turns the Yamaha R1 from a bike that has for many, many years maintained a 1:1 power to weight ratio into a bike that is likely probably down a total of 5% on performance.

Yamaha R1S - A Cheaper Superbike but for US Only

For $1,500 cheaper that’s not a big hit but it does somewhat spoil what Yamaha R1 has always been about. Even with the reduction in performance the bike will offer far more than anyone can use on the street and even on the track for most people, but the question we’d have to ask is if anyone who was willing to spend $14,999 on a brand new bike really not going to consider spending another $1,500 on buying the bike the way it was meant to be?

As it stands, the R1S will only be released in the United States with both Europe and Australia having no plans to offer the bike in their respective markets for now.


Yamaha R1S to be Entry Level R1, Released at end of 2015

The all new Yamaha R1 and R1M have been huge critical successes. Packed to the brim with the latest technology, a wonderful engine and a well sorted frame, the all new R1 set the bar for Japanese superbikes. The only criticism of the bike has been its price where instead of competing with other Japanese literbikes, the new Yamaha superbike plays with the European heavyweights from Ducati and BMW. But it looks like Yamaha is set to rectify that with an ‘entry’ model R1 titled the R1S.

We’ve heard whispers of something like this happening ever since the release of the R1 last year. The reason Yamaha didn’t release a cut price model initially was to try and keep the launch simple but also provide a shock and awe introduction of the new machine. Now that the desire and demand is there, Yamaha feels that after a year it’s now time to release a more affordable R1.

So what’s likely to disappear on the R1S? The simplest way to lessen the price of the R1 would be to do away with some of the trick electronics it currently has. That would likely mean the deletion of the Internal Measurement Unit which consists of a gyro sensor that measures pitch, roll, and yaw, as well as an accelerometer that measures acceleration in the fore-aft, up-down, and right-left directions. That however would mean Yamaha would have to use some other system to ensure the R1S at the very least as traction control and engine modes – a necessity for a 200 hp machine. . A lower end dash display may be used instead of the full color TFT currently employed. There’s also the possibility that Yamaha may swap out some of the higher end engine and frame components for cheaper items, however that then runs the risk of diluting the R1 brand as it would quickly move north of 200 pounds of weight and that’s something that Yamaha has been strict about adhering to.

While it’s too early to know what the price of the Yamaha R1S will be, it’s likely to sit between the R6 and the standard R1.

Yamaha R1S to be Entry Level R1, Released at end of 2015