Award-winning bikes are universally lauded for a reason: they live up to the hype surrounding them and are far better than what a lot of people think. One bike that falls into that category is the Yamaha YZF-R1.
Named the 2009 Motorcycle of the Year by Motorcyclist Magazine, the Yamaha YZR-F1 is the embodiment of a class-leading bike that offers the kind of technology usually reserved for its race-spec brethren.
But that’s why this superbike is what it is: it’s got a MotoGP-inspired engine and chassis technology to go with an up-standard and luxurious design. It’s also the only commercial motorcycle to carry a crossplane crankshaft, which is a technology pioneered by Yamaha for their MotoGP race bikes.
The fact that a production motorcycle is carrying race-specs is a telling sign that the YZF-R1 was built for the most hardened enthusiasts on the market.
Find out more about the Yamaha YZF-R1 after the jump.
The bodywork of the Yamaha YZF-R1 features a more serious and less busy look, to go with a crowd-pleasing style. For the 2011 model, the side fairing has been designed for a smooth and sleek appearance. Also, instead of using the customary four-bulb headlight design, the YZF-R1 only carries two projector-type bulbs mounted closer to the nose of the bike. This position rams the air ducts closer in for a more compact, smooth look. In addition, the rounded lenses are unique to the supersport industry.
The 2011 Yamaha YZF-R1 is the only production motorcycle with a crossplane crankshaft, carrying a 998cc, DOHC, 4-valve, in-line 4 engine that develops 182 horsepower at 12,500 rpm and 85 lb/ft of torque at 10,000 rpm with a fuel consumption of 40mpg. Unlike typical inline-four engine designs where the two outer and two inner pistons move together in pairs with 180°intervals, the crossplane crankshaft has each connecting rod 90° with a unique firing order of 270° –180° – 90° – 180°. This overcomes the inherent fluctuations in inertial torque
during each engine revolution, while also providing immense experience from its time on MotoGP race bikes. The engine features forged aluminum pistons that take maximum advantage of the power characteristics. The titanium intake valves are lightweight whereas a forced-air intake system has been adopted to increase intake efficiency. This allows the bike to produce outstanding power in the high-speed range while also minimizing intake noise. The bike’s fuel-injected engine also makes use of YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle), the MotoGP-inspired fly-by-wire technology used to deliver instant throttle response. There’s also YCC-I, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake, the variable intake system that broadens the spread of power. Fuel injectors have 12 holes for optimum fuel atomization that translates to the most power from every fuel charge.
Yamaha used an Aluminum Deltabox frame on the YZF-R1, designing it to offer exceptional rigidity balance. This frame is very rigid or stiff at the head pipe, engine mounts, and swingarm pivot point. The rear frame is lightweight Controlled-Fill die-cast magnesium, contributing the optimum mass centralization.
A fully-adjustable 43mm inverted fork features an independent left and right damping system, another technology that was derived from MotoGP bikes. The compression damping is adjusted via the left fork leg, while rebound damping is adjusted on the right fork leg. This system simplifies the flow of oil through the fork and minimizes oil cavitation for a more stable suspension performance. This also allows the bike to have a number of adjustment set-ups, including 5-way spring preload, 25-way rebound, and 25-way compression damping with a front wheel travel of 120mm. A bottom link Motocross rear suspension utilizes a fully adjustable piggyback-style rear shock with adjustments including 16-way spring preload, 18-way rebound, 20-way hi speed compression damping, and 4-way low speed compression damping. The bottom link design lowers the center of gravity for excellent handling. This shock features 2-way (hi speed & low speed) compression adjustment plus rebound and spring preload adjustability too. This is a rising rate or progressive system. The adjustable design allows the rider to tailor suspension settings to match rider weight and road /track conditions to maximize handling and suspension performance. Rear wheel travel is 120mm (4.7").
The Yamaha YZF-R1 comes with a number of pricing figures, including $13,590 for the Raven and Team Yamaha Blue/White models. Meanwhile, the Candy Red/Raven model fetches a more expensive amount of $13,790.
|Model||YZFR1AL; YZFR1AB; YZFR1AR|
|Engine Type||998cc, liquid-cooled 4-cylinder DOHC 16|
valves (titanium intake valves)
|Bore x Stroke||78.0 x 52.2mm|
|Fuel Delivery||Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I|
|Ignition||TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition|
|Transmission||6-speed w/multi-plate slipper clutch|
|Final Drive||#530 O-ring chain|
|Suspension/Front||43mm inverted fork; fully adjustable,|
|Suspension/Rear||Single shock w/piggyback reservoir;|
4-way adjustable, 4.7-in travel
|Brakes/Front||Dual 310mm disc; radial-mount forged|
|Brake/Rear||220mm disc; single-piston caliper|
|L x W x H||81.5 x 28.1 x 44.5 in|
|Seat Height||32.8 in|
|Rake (Caster Angle)||24.0°|
|Fuel Capacity||4.8 gal|
|Est. Fuel Economy||33 mpg|
|Wet Weight||454 lb|
|Color||Team Yamaha Blue/White; Raven;|
Motorcycle.com ---- "This Good Supersport The YZF-R1 is more closely linked to our MotoGP winning M1 than ever. Its innovative 998cc inline four-cylinder engine features a crossplane crankshaft with an uneven firing interval ensuring superb throttle linearity, giving a feeling that the rider’s throttle hand is directly connected to the rear tyre."
Motorcycle-usa --- "Design and styling are an evolution of the previous Yamaha FZF R1, with added air-flow as the key target. Styling is always in the eye of the beholder, so we will let you be the judge of that. From a technical standpoint they have increased the air-exit vent in front of the rider’s legs to keep the engine cooler and a slimmer tail section and higher windscreen aid in aerodynamics. An updated instrument cluster features an over-load of techy gadgets, including an Accelerator Opening Angle Indicator, plus gear position readout and engine mode indication, among many other displays."
Cycleworld --- "This is very good overall package let down by a glitch in its engine-computer software. Perhaps version “R1.2” will unleash its true potential."
Insideline --- "With the speedometer right in front of our nose, it’s terrifying to see how effortlessly the R1 gains velocity. We’re told the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 can blast through the quarter-mile in about 10 seconds at over 140 mph. That’s faster than anything we’ve tested. We’ll go ahead and trust the estimated top speed, which is just north of 180 mph."