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.


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