With each revamp that Yamaha performs on its machines you go through the specs sheet and at one moment you end up saying that there isn’t any way to make the product any better. But, usually after two years you’ll be surprised to find out that they’ve pulled it through very nicely again. So you start wondering which key opens the front door of the liter class each and every year for this manufacturer. An appropriate answer would be innovation as new systems are continuously being developed and implemented by Yamaha on its machines. The new R1 is probably the best example.
Although Yamaha never said it straight, it has always had troubles in achieving that perfect balance between the awesome amount of power produced by R1’s engine and the way that it was delivered to the rear wheel. Pretty surprisingly, that is. That was a very well-known fact so if you’d be searching for the most aggressive supersport bike out there, this was the recommendation on everyone’s mouths.
In order to have the engine deliver more linear power and the bike to remain a favorite of its class, Yamaha engineers turned their eyes to MotoGP machines. They implement crossplane crankshaft technology involving high-tech uneven firing interval. The technology puts each connecting rod 90° from the next, with an uneven firing interval of 270°- 180°- 90°- 180°. This eliminates unneeded inertial crankshaft torque allowing compression torque to be built smoothly and so the engine to deliver linear power when accelerated hard. It would be like riding on top of a V-Twin at low revs and on a mighty inline four at high revs.
2009 Yamaha YZF-R1
Being completely reengineered, the engine features a host of changes that are meant to keep pace with the new technology: the coupling-type balancer rotating in the opposite direction as the crankshaft, new forged aluminum pistons, lightweight titanium intake valves, and a forced air intake system. This last increases intake efficiency by using the natural airflow airing riding to pressurize the air in the air cleaner box. More air into the engine means more power and that can only be good with the new technologies that smoothen out the ride while making the bike more competitive than ever before on the race track.
From race track motorcycles, Yamaha inspires to add the Chip Controlled Throttle to the fuel-injected engine and the fly-by-wire technology for awesome throttle response at all engine rpm. Also, featuring Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake, the bike’s engine delivers broadened power.
Another ingenious new system, Yamaha’s D-MODE variable throttle control, lets riders choose their riding mode. Riding in “A” mode means you’re in for more low-to-mid range grunt while “B” mode helps you when working gently with the throttle. “C” means you haven’t selected any of the previous modes. Easy to activate, the variable throttle control makes the R1 an easier bike to ride.
2009 Yamaha YZF-R1
The chassis also contributes to that as it features new everything. The best of it is that it features standard electronic steering damper. The aluminum frame itself is a piece of engineering, combining CF die-cast magnesium, contributing to awesome mass centralization while the smart, MotoGP-inspired SOQI front forks share tasks to its arms. So compression damping to the left fork, rebound damping to the right fork. They still move together so you get maximum efficiency with minimum effort.
At the rear end, the new SOQI rear shock also achieves maximum performance thanks to the new bottom linkage working closely with the rest of the chassis.
Goodies such as the gear position indicator make life on board more interesting and complete the new instruments panel.