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.