Inside the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP Prototype

MotorcycleUSA Staff | April 20, 2015
In the past decade no brand has won more MotoGP championships than Yamaha with its YZR-M1, and its 2015 machine represents its best effort to date. Known for its extreme handling prowess the Yamaha excels at fast and flowing circuits where the rider can carry deep lean angle with plenty of corner speed. For a brief moment we gained access to the Movistar Yamaha team’s garage at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, long enough to capture a couple photos of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo’s bikes.

The cockpit of Jorge Lorenzo’s racebike offers a multitude of adjustments in terms of electronics and chassis. Interestingly, the new YZF-R1 production bike features many of the same styling elements as well as electronic strategies employed on the ’12 M1.
The YZR-M1 is known for its high-level of adjustability. The position of the swingarm is finely adjustable. Like other MotoGP bikes the M1 employs a dry, racing-style clutch which reduces parasitic power losses compared to a production motorcycle’s ‘wet’ bathed-in-oil clutch.
Yamaha’s M1 is known for its relative mechanical simplicity. The shock absorber can easily be swapped out in just a few minutes which helps maximize set-up time during MotoGP’s timed Free Practice sessions.
Yamaha claims its factory YZR-M1 weighs just 348 pounds. That’s a whopping 91 pounds lighter than its all-new 2015 YZF-R1 liter-bike.
The M1 employs a pair of 320mm diameter carbon fiber front brake rotors and Brembo’s latest monobloc-style four-piston calipers. Compared to metal discs, the carbon fiber set-up requires significantly higher temperatures for optimum operation.
While both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo’s factory M1s use Akrapovic exhausts, Valentino’s bike (pictured) features a different, more open looking exhaust tip/muffler set-up.