Yamaha is dialing up the volume for it’s marketing hype before the brand new Yamaha R1 and R1M hit the dealerships in the next few months. They’ve released a new video titled ‘YZF-R1M – The closest thing ever to a street-legal M1 MotoGP bike’ on YouTube which features four time AMA Superbike Champion, Josh Hayes taking the bike through its paces and talking about it.
A big theme of the video is reflected in the title – that the new R1M is just about as close to the real thing as you can get. It some ways however, it goes beyond what’s even in MotoGP as it features both ABS and electronic suspension – rider aids that are not allowed in almost all forms of racing.
There’s a few interesting features about the bike in the video which we haven’t seen or heard of before. The R1M will be limited to 500 units (it’s not disclosed if this is 500 units worldwide or the US market), it’s 8% more aerodynamic than the previous R1, the aluminium fuel tank is 3.5 lb lighter than the R1’s steel tank, magnesium wheels save an additional 1.9 lb and it’s also the first production bike to feature titanium fracture split connecting rods.
But probably the most interesting aspect of the video is it’s discussion about the electronics package. It seems that in the space of a few years, we’ve gone from bikes having ABS and some limited traction control to full blow electronic everything. At it’s heart, the R1M features a six axis Inertial Measurement Unit (also another production first), consisting of a gyro-sensor (measuring pitch, roll and yaw), accelerometer and four axis g-sensor. Measurements occur at rate of 125 times per second.
It’s been interesting watching the grumpy old men and women of the internet lament the good old days when bikes didn’t have any form of technology, making the riders real men. This is despite the same people no doubt riding bikes with suspension, brakes and tires that all benefit from the latest technology which is leaps and bounds ahead of what was on offer even 10 years ago. The R1M is just the continual evolution in motorcycle design – yes, it may make an average rider faster but the better rider will still always be the quickest on the same machine.
The Yamaha R1M has a MSRP of $21,990 and will be available by the end of March.