Three reasons we can't wait to ride the all-new Yamahas.
Yamaha took the world by storm upon unveiling the 2015 YZF-R1 and R1M late last year, derived from MotoGP technology and quickly establishing itself as the most anticipated superbike of the year. In this edition of Countdown, we detail the main aspects that we’re excited for ahead of February’s world launch.
3. Styling and handling:
Ever since Yamaha first pulled the covers off, firstly, the 2015 YZF-R1 and then later the R1M at EICMA last November, we’ve been major fans of the styling and chassis features. Both are visually impressive motorcycles and extremely modern with compact aerodynamic features, streamlined headlights and mirror-integrated indicators for a true minimalist look. Technically at 200kg wet, it has an all-new aluminum Deltabox frame and magnesium sub-frame, which contribute to a lightweight and compact chassis design. The aluminum frame has rigid engine mounts, making the engine a stressed member of the frame for optimal rigidity. The wheelbase is 10mm shorter than the previous R1 for added cornering performance, but the ratio of swingarm length to wheelbase is 40.5 percent, the same as the previous R1 for excellent linear stability. Also featured is an aluminum 17-litre fuel tank, weighing in at a full 1.5kg less than a comparable steel tank. The R1 has a 43mm KYB fork and KYB shock combination, while the R1M boasts Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS). Each have Nissin four-piston radial mounted front calipers ride on big 320mm rotors for excellent stopping power, a newly-designed exhaust system manufactured mainly from titanium, plus a compact mid-ship muffler that contributes towards the mass centralisation that is a key feature on the R1, and there are 10-spoke cast magnesium wheels that reduce rotational mass by 0.8kg over the previous model. And to top it all off, the R1 features a thin-film transistor LCD meter, with brilliant colour for precise monitoring of all vehicle systems, including front brake pressure and fore/aft G-force. If you’re a lover of carbon fibre, the R1M has a number of unique lightweight body components and an exclusive badge on top of the airbox.
2. More crossplane power:
We’ve long been supporters of the crossplane-based R1’s torquey engine character, which has been dialled up in both horsepower (approximately 200hp without ram-air at 13,500rpm) and torque (112.4Nm at 11,500rpm) for 2015. The all-new 998cc in-line four-cylinder, crossplane crankshaft engine features titanium fracture-split connecting rods, which are an industry first for a production motorcycle. The specific titanium alloy used to manufacture the new connecting rods is around 60 percent lighter than steel and this major reduction in weight gives the new R1M engine a responsive and potent character at high rpm. With an ultra-high 13.0:1 compression ratio, the engine also features twin injectors on each cylinder, with a bi-directional spray in the lower injector where fuel is directed toward the back of the intake valves, boosting the number of droplets that go directly into the combustion chamber and at high rpms, the secondary injectors add a boost in fuel delivery maximising combustion efficiency and engine performance. Lightweight magnesium engine covers are used to further reduce weight while rocker-arm valve actuation allows for larger valve lift further boosting horsepower. Without riding it yet we’re unable to make comment on its performance, but all indications are that it’s a mega improvement.
1. Electronic control:
Yamaha says the 2015 YZF-R1 is “the most advanced MotoGP-inspired electronics package ever offered” on a production superbike. Featuring the first six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) ever offered on a road-going motorcycle, the 2015 R1 represents the dawn of a new digital era where all riders can experience total 3D controllability. It consists of a gyro sensor that measures pitch, roll, and yaw, as well as an accelerometer, or G-sensor, that measures acceleration in the fore-aft, up-down, and right-left directions, all at a rate of 125 calculations per second. The IMU communicates with the Yamaha Ride Control (YRC), Yamaha’s most advanced electronics package in history. It includes Power Delivery Mode, Traction Control System, Slide Control System, Lift Control System, Launch Control System and Quickshift System. All these systems are adjustable and can be saved within four presets. To take things a step further, the R1M features an Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) and a Communication Control Unit (CCU) with GPS that enables the rider to capture ride data (including GPS tracking) and then download it via WiFi to the Yamaha Y-TRAC smartphone and tablet app. Once the data is downloaded, the rider can analyse it overlaid with the track map. What’s more, setting changes can then be made via the Yamaha YRC app and upload those changes back to the R1M. It’s a lot to learn, but whether you’re an official race team, a privateer or a track day regular, these types of features are sure to enhance the experience and your results.