Yamaha has been on quite a roll lately, hasn’t it? After scoring their second AMA Pro Racing American SuperBike Championship in many years, Yamaha wants to build on that momentum by introducing the new YZF-R1.

The model already comes with plenty of MotoGP technology so it’s worth pointing out that with the 2012 model comes all sorts of new updates and innovations that are derived from the company’s rich racing heritage. All bets are off as to how awesome the bike is going to be.

Even better is that the YZF-R1 will also spawn a special World GP 50th Anniversary Edition that will celebrate the company’s aforementioned racing heritage. Only 2000 of these special edition models will be sold and they will come in the company’s race-winning Pearl White/Rapid Red livery with plenty of other unique additions reserved only for the special edition model.

There’s plenty to like about the Yamaha YZF-R1, and there’s no reason for anybody to turn their backs against it, especially when a special edition model is staring right at you at the dealerships.

Find out more about the 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 after the jump.

  • 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:


2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 High Resolution Exterior
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The 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 comes with plenty of new styling cues, including a new upper fairing with a revised headlight cowl, giving the bike an aggressive and more modern styling cue. That’s complimented by new LED position lights, new hexagon-shaped muffler caps, and heat shields for a sharper profile at the rear. The footrests have been redesigned for great boot sole contact and advanced rider/motorcycle interface while new silencer heat guards and end caps are re-styled to give the rear end of the bike a more compact look.

As far as limited editions are concerned, the new YZF-R1 has one with a Pearl White/Rapid Red livery, the same brilliant two-color scheme that was driven by both Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Indianapolis Motor Speedway to celebrate Yamaha’s 50th anniversary in World Grand Prix Road Racing. This model also comes with a 50th Anniversary emblem on top of the fuel tank and a specially engraved and numbered plate showing the production number of the 2000 bikes that will be produced worldwide in the commemorative colors. A number of special gold Yamaha emblems and MotoGP-inspired graphics and sponsor decals are also part of the special edition model.

But if you’re not into the special edition YZF-R1, you can still opt for a number of different color schemes, including Raven, Pearl White/Candy Red, and Team Yamaha Blue/White.


2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 Exterior Drivetrain
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The 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 is powered by a 98cc, liquid-cooled 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve engine with titanium intake valves. Unique to Yamaha is the crossplane crankshaft technology that has proven to be a home-run technology for Yamaha’s MotoGP machines. Unlike typical inline-four engine design, 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°. What this does is overcome the inherent fluctuations in inertial torque during each engine revolution, and the accompanying peaky torque characteristics. Instead, combustion torque continues to build, giving the rider more linear throttle response with awesome power and traction out of the corners. A forced air intake system is also part of the whole set-up, increasing the engine’s intake efficiency by using the natural airflow during riding to pressurize the air in the air box. This, in turn, contributes to the bike’s power delivery characteristics in the high-speed range, while the design also helps to minimize intake noise. The bike’s fuel-injected engine also takes full advantage of Yamaha’s YCC-T technology, the MotoGP-inspired fly-by-wire technology that’s used to deliver instant throttle response. The YCC-T combines with the YCC-I variable intake system that broadens the spread of the bike’s overall power.

For 2012, the YZF-R1 receives another benefit from MotoGP technology – a seven-level Traction Control System. The system has been developed so the rider does not feel any unnatural or has intervention from the system. In addition, traction control can aid in reducing tire wear due to less wheel spin and when you couple that with the three level D-Mode electronics throttle response control, you have a bike that offers 21 different choices available to tailor the YZF-R1 to their riding preference.

Chassis and Suspension

2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 High Resolution Exterior
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The Yamaha YZF-R1 comes with a frame that offers uncompromising rigidity made out of a combination of Controlled-Fill die-cast, stamping, and gravity casting. The front forks are MotoGP-derived with the compression damping duties confined to the left fork, while rebound damping is precisely handled by the right fork, reducing oil cavitation. As for the suspension, the bike has a rear shock that features both high and low speed compression damping to go with an easy-to-use screw hydraulic adjustment for preload. This unit adopts a pillow-ball-type joint for exceptional shock absorption, road hold feeling, and
damper response. In order to achieve maximum performance, Yamaha uses a bottom to work with the rest of the chassis refinements to provide the brilliant, crisp handling characteristics that the YZF-R1 is known for.


2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 High Resolution Exterior
- image 418635
Engine Type 998cc, liquid-cooled 4-cylinder DOHC 16
valves (titanium intake valves)
Bore x Stroke 78.0 x 52.2mm
Compression Ratio 12.7:1
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,
4.7-in travel
Suspension/Rear Single shock w/piggyback reservoir;
4-way adjustable, 4.7-in travel
Brakes/Front Dual 310mm disc; radial-mount forged
6-piston calipers
Brake/Rear 220mm disc; single-piston caliper
Tire/Front 120/70ZR17
Tire/Rear 190/55ZR17
L x W x H 81.5 x 28.1 x 44.5 in
Seat Height 32.9 in
Wheelbase 55.7 in
Rake (Caster Angle) 24.0°
Trail 4.0 in
Fuel Capacity 4.8 gal
Est. Fuel Economy 33 mpg
Wet Weight 454 lb
Color Team Yamaha Blue/White;
Raven; Pearl White/Candy Red;
50th Anniversary Pearl White/Rapid Red


2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 High Resolution Exterior
- image 418604

Visordown ---- "So, what’s the score? Well, not much has changed. As expected, there’s a special version of the bike to celebrate Yamaha’s 50th anniversary in GP racing, plus new colours. The bike’s nose has been slightly modified to distinguish it from the 2009-2011 model, but in terms of chassis and engine things are much as before."

Motorcycle-Usa---- "Yamaha hails the R1 traction control system as a direct byproduct of its title-winning MotoGP racing program. The system offers seven levels of TC. A total of 21 settings will be available when combined with the returning three-level D-Mode “Drive Mode” system"

Motorcycle News ---- "This is the new 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 which has six-stage traction control and a mid-life redesign. Images have leaked a few hours before Yamaha’s official announcement later today and MCN will bring full details later on this afternoon"

Cycle World ---- "the YZF-R1 has been the leading seller in the liter-class supersport category this past year. Yamaha is gaining traction, and it’s a good bet that trend will continue with this latest R1"

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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  (458) posted on 01.30.2012

I’m a big fan of motor bikes and this one’s so cool. 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 has lots of new styling cues that makes the bike the aggressive and more modern styling. And the performance is world-class.

  (4) posted on 11.17.2011

if u say no i dont know what to tell u cause this is a bike right here and if u dont think so then theres something wrong with u

  (276) posted on 10.21.2011

Cool wheels! I love motorcycles but not like this one which is alike to a power ranger set-up. Motorcycles like this seems to form a robot after using it. But this one is different, someone who will ride on this thing will looks like a bad boy in a movie.

  (300) posted on 10.16.2011

I’m not really into motorcycle but seeing this Yamaha, well I can say that I must change my mind. This one, was looking so great on its color and design. I bet they will surely wait for this one and I must say that I am excited to watch the race of it.

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