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2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 First Ride

Monday, January 19, 2009
Eastern Creek played host for the  09 Yamaha R1 press introduction.
Floggin' Yamaha's '09 YZF-R1 at Australia's Eastern Creek Raceway.
Unleash The Spin Doctors

“MotoGP technology for the street.” We’ve all heard this more times than we care to remember, from the very second GP racing went back to four-stroke machines, thus relating them to the production world. No matter how tenuous the connection, GP to street became a PR mantra. Personally, my ears started bleeding about the 100th press release or intro I attended where this was the spin of the day.

After a 15-hour flight to Eastern Creek Raceway outside Sydney, Australia, the first words from Yamaha’s mouth about the 2009 Yamaha R1 are: “born from MotoGP.” Not again... But they did fly us halfway around the world to see the thing, so before I brushed it under the table as hopeless PR propaganda and turned my iPod on, I gave them a couple minutes to explain. And, for once, it was actually worth a listen… 

Real GP Technology


The R1 gets a slightly taller windscreen and wider upper fairing for better aero.
At first glace it doesn't look that much different than last year. But it is...
“1000cc Corner Master” – got to love the Japanese and their direct translation – blunt and to the point. This was the concept behind the new R1, which all starts at the heart of the beast, the engine. To achieve the “corner mastering”, Yamaha needed to make drivability a priority and the connection between the rider and the rear tire was paramount. More traction means better performance.

Say hello to an all-new engine.

Highlighting the entire basis of the new engine is their crossplane crankshaft, which is a first for any production motorcycle ever mass produced, and comes straight from the bowels of the Yamaha M1 that Sir Valentino Rossi throws a leg over.

While it’s new to the two-wheeled world, it has been seen in four wheels before. Some older American-made V-8s have used the basic concept, as well as a few other cars. So they just cut a Chevy V-8 in half, right? Not exactly...

The idea is simple. Well, simple as in memorizing Webster’s Dictionary front to back, simple. Bet here's a shot in layman's terms. Engines produce torque, initially solely from combustion. This is called – yep you guessed it – “combustion torque.” As the revs increase so does the piston speed, in turn driving the crankshaft speed. This creates another form of torque called “inertial torque.” Because of the unbalanced weight distribution of a crankshaft when used with a traditional firing order, this makes for a rotational torque curve that is off axis of the torque curve generated by the combustion torque, which is connected to your right wrist as you twist the throttle. Because these are off, the connection between the rider and the rear tire can get further apart as the rpm increase. Now Yamaha has come up with a way to change this; for the first time on an inline-four cylinder motorcycle at least.

The R1 s crossplane crankshaft.
Yamaha's new crossplace crankshaft comes straight from Rossi's M1 - and shares some in common with old American V-8 automobiles.
By having the firing order 90-degees apart in the crank’s rotation it makes for a linear and constant crank speed at all times, and the end result is a nearly flat inertial torque curve. This, in turn, then matches up almost identically to that of the combustion torque curve. The idea being, the only change of torque happens when the combustion torque changes, hence it exactly follows what your right wrist is doing. With both torque curves lined up, it eliminates another variable of disparity, putting the rider one step closer to the holy grail of rear wheel connection. As the Japanese so elegantly put it: “pure torque plus maximum linearity.” A counterbalancer, to keep the engine smooth with the new firing order, is now needed as a result. (More exact details and a full animation of this are available at: www.yamaha-motor.com.)

First seen on The Doctor’s M1 less than four years ago, it is that much more impressive considering the timeline of development needed to put it into street use. Consider this as well: one can’t simply take the totally-new engine and bolt it into the old frame. Because the power characteristics are so much different and the resulting bike behavior changes so drastically, the entire motorcycle had to be redesigned around the new powerplant. It really was a massive undertaking to get this bike into your hands in the time they did. Kudos to the boys in blues. As I like to say: “no progression leads to more recession.”

Starting from the inside and heading out, new forged aluminum pistons now sit inside ceramic composite-plated cylinders, designed for better heat distribution. Crank journals are now 4mm larger (up from 32 to 36mm) to handle the torque of the crossplane crankshaft. Some small tweaks to strengthen the clutch basket in the ramp-type slipper clutch round out the internal changes.

Yamaha’s YCC-T throttle system returns, controling their YCC-I variable intake system, which is updated for smother action. The system changes the intake funnel length based on rpm for optimum power. It’s a two-part system that changes length at 9400 rpm, with the funnel in its long length below that mark and the two pieces separating there to make for a shorter intake track above 9400 rpm for improved peak hp. Fuel injection is now aided by secondary 12-hole Mikuni injectors for better atomization, a first for any production R1.
State-of-the-art projector beam headlights make room for the new air ducts and feature both high and low beam together.
Ram-air ducts now sit on the outer edge of new projector beam headlamps.

Large ram-air intakes are located where the outer headlamps used to be, with the inner area now using a state-of-the-art projector beam system that acts for both low and high beams, allowing for free space in which the old lights used to occupy.

Highlighting the rest of the new technology is their D-Mode function for the updated YCC-T throttle body system, which allows rider adjustment of three different power characteristics. Standard mode is what Yamaha has determined as “optimum,” while ‘A’ mode opens the throttles bodies 30% faster for the first 50% of the throttle opening, increasing acceleration off the bottom. Finally, ‘B’ mode slows down throttle opening by 30% all the way to redline. While other companies have done this by limiting power and fuel delivery or ignition timing, Yamaha only changes the YCC-T intake system to control the rate of acceleration, thus not hampering peak horsepower at all. Both make the same bhp up top, the only difference being how quickly it gets there.

Exiting spent gasses is an all-new exhaust system, featuring giant, stylized underseat mufflers. While looking a bit over the top, these are there for a reason. Due to increasing EPA noise regulations and extensive emissions standards, the days of tiny, lightweight exhaust are a thing of the past. Suffering as a result is peak horsepower. This and the previous model are claimed to be about the same. Though, we are at a loss of 6 peak hp as compared to the Euro model due to the mufflers alone. Where the Euros have a standard straight-through system muffled by packing, we get a mechanical, two-part system that keeps things quieter but reduces power. (Damn you, EPA.)

New EPA sound laws equals new massive exhaust systems.
New EPA sound laws equals new massive exhaust systems.
To cope with the demands made by the new engine, which makes power in an entirely different way, producing much more down low, an all-new chassis had to be designed around it. A new delta-box frame and swingarm are made from a mix of die-casting, gravity casting and pressed plating to change the frame’s rigidity on all three axis. Vertically it’s 22% stiffer, latterly it’s 37% less rigid and torsionally it’s 2% less rigid. This added flex from side-to-side is aimed to give the rider more feel at corner exit when first applying the throttle.

With an engine angle that is 9-degrees steeper (31 degrees), it allowed the Yamaha men to move the engine 8.2mm forward, thus putting more weight on the front end to make for a 52.4% front and 47.9% rear weight distribution. Wheelbase is now 5mm shorter (down from 1420 to 1415mm), while a low-mounted fuel tank that extends under the seat and a magnesium subframe further focus on lowering the center of gravity.

A more compact riding position sees the clip-on handlebars 10mm closer to the rider, with the seat 7.6mm forward and the footpegs 10mm forward. The pegs are also now adjustable and can be put 15mm higher and 3mm further rearward as desired.
Footpegs are now adjustable 15mm up and down and 3mm front to back.
Adjustable footpegs highlight some of the chassis changes.


Like its big brother the M1, suspension has been updated with the latest technology. The 43mm inverted fork features independent damping, with the left fork leg handling the compression damping and the right side solely for rebound damping. This eliminates any kind of overlapping or dead spots for more precise tuning. Out back a new shock benefits from a hydraulic pre-load adjuster (8mm range of adjustability) and is tunable for high- and low-speed compression, as well as rebound. Mated to it is a new bottom link design, from the M1 as well. Though to make it compliant for both street and track use, it’s now more of a progressive curve, which I’m sure Rossi’s M1 doesn't have, as it’s rarely used to go to the grocery store for milk.

The 310mm front brake disks with more rigid carriers improve stability under heavy braking, while an updated front master cylinder now has a changed lever ratio and shape, aimed at increasing feel and power. Tires on our side of the pond will be Dunlop’s D210 Qualifier as standard, with the rear getting bumped up to a 190/55 from a 190/50 to handle the added torque.

Design and styling are an evolution of the previous 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.

Back from the grave is thte original Red White color scheme for the original  98 R1  and it s one of our favorties.
Design and styling is an evolution of the previous R1. Think of it as an R1 on The Juice.
Colors for the US market include the traditional Yamaha Blue, plus Yellow, Black, and Red and White, which pays homage to the original ’98 R1 and is our personal favorite. Prices start at $12,340 for the Blue and $12,440 for the other three colors. The new two-wheeler should be hitting dealer floors come the end of January, so you won’t have to wait long. In fact, I’m sure loads have their money down already.

Feel The Difference

It took us nearly a full day of traveling to get to the other side of the world for our first taste of what is arguably the most anticipated new sportbike of ’09, and when it finally came time to turn the key and unleash the new rocket we were the first in line. When Yamaha says it’s unlike any liter bike that they, or any Japanese manufacturer for that matter have ever produced, they are dead right. In fact, it’s almost strange – at first.

Say hello to GP technology for the street - at a price we all can afford.
Say hello to GP technology for the street - at a price we all can afford.
Hitting you smack in the face like a drunken guy in a bar whose girlfriend you accidentally just hit on, the throttle response is unlike anything I have ever felt. So instantaneous and so precise, it caught me off guard during our first session at the 12-turn Eastern Creek Raceway. On more than one occasion I twisted the grip a bit too far while still at high levels of lean, spinning the street-spec rear tire and popping my butt a few inches off the seat when it hooked up. Wake up time! It's spot-on, in-your-face good.

In just about every Inline-Four sportbike yours truly has ever ridden this side of a fully tuned racebike, there is always roughly an eighth turn of free play, or lag in the throttle opening. This is something that can be tuned out with extensive modifications – pipe, ECU mapping, engine work, etc. – but is always present on production machines. Not the R1.

The R1 should make a great base platform for a race machine.
The R1 shines best when pushed to its limit under pressure.
Overall, the feeling of the engine truly is hard to describe - as is the distinct sound. You still get the sense it’s an inline-four once the revs build high, but in the low rpm it feels almost like a well-tuned V-Twin race bike, and in a way, sounds like one as well. Vibration is far from what you are used to as well, feeling somewhat like a traditional V-8 car. The most amount of disturbance is right off idle low in the rpm, smoothing out as revs increase and becoming almost nonexistent at top-end – completely opposite of any Inline-Four we have ever ridden. Strange initially, but one quickly gets used to it. And it lends itself well to freeway speeds, as 80 mph sits at a fairly high 6,500 rpm, which vibration-wise is smooth as silk.

Once I was able to grasp which corner went which way and on Michelin’s latest race-compound rubber for the afternoon sessions (morning was spent on Michelin street tires, and let’s just say we should be very thankful we are getting Dunlops in the U.S.) we were able to push the R1 good and hard. And no doubt, nearly equally as impressive as the engine is the chassis.

Middleweight-like handling from a liter-bike.
Middleweight-like lean angles from a literbike.
Street tires reared their ugly head and slowed down initial turn-in and flickability in the morning, but the race rubber quickly cured the woes. Front-end confidence is greatly improved from last year due to the updated weight distribution, giving the rider far more confidence to push deeper and flick harder as the fork gives ample feedback. Once on its side, the R1 continually feels as if you can lean it further and further, quickly approaching elbow-dragging territory.

Updated chassis flex characteristics are noticed and instantly felt, as the bike hooks up and is much more forgiving on corner exit, easily coping with the added low-end torque of the new engine. With street tires we were able to exploit the chassis when pushed to the point of tire-smoking power slides, and while the tires failed, the chassis came through with shining colors. Thankfully, race rubber put grip levels back in equal standing with the chassis’ prowess and we recommend doing the same if you plan to take your R1, or any sportbike to the track. All of this that much more impressive when you consider the overall weight of the bike actually increased slightly, somewhat due to the new mufflers (thanks again Mr. EPA).

Brakes are still the weak point of the R-Uno. Despite the changes up front the lever feels a bit wooden throughout its pull, lacking the outright power of some of the competition. Where in this day and age using anything more than two fingers to stop is almost unheard of, on more than one occasion I was in deep enough to require the use of my entire hand, even running off the track into the grass once, something I haven’t done since… well, the last time I rode an R1. That being said, they are slightly better than the previous model.

2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 Highs & Lows
Highs
  • True MotoGP technology and affordable
  • Middleweight handling in a liter-bike body
  • Pushing the evolution envelop
Lows
  • Love it or hate it styling
  • Loses some peak HP
  • Gains weight
Wind protection has never been an issue with the latest liter-class Yamahas, and this edition is even better than last year’s. Stability is also vastly improved, due in part to the updated weight distribution as well as a servo-activated electronic steering damper. The servo opens and shuts a ball to control oil flow into and out of the damper. The ball closes the circuit when the throttle is opened past 50% and also above 125 mph, otherwise is fully open to reduce steering effort as much as possible. The result is a very stable, far less twitchy machine that loses nothing in the slow-speed corners.

Equally cool on the techie side of things is the D-Mode selector. While I personally hate similar systems on some of the competition’s bikes, saying they are nothing more than a ploy to appeal to the video game generation by adding buttons (which happens to be my generation, though the video games were never my thing), on the new R1 it truly works. The standard mode is best just about all the time, but on worn out street tires the ‘B’ mode provided a perfect way to tune out the excessive rear tire sliding without hampering drive or lap times. A-mode takes some getting used to and is a bit jumpy at first, but once acclimated it makes for one hell of a corner-exit drive. I wouldn’t recommend ‘A’ mode on street tires, as it’s far too abrupt on the track if you are at any kind of lean angle when twisting the grip. But overall, the system is fantastic. 

Spinnin  the Euro-spec OE Michelin street tire was quite easy. A bit too easy.
Could this be the view the competition is seeing come Shootout time? Stay tuned...
Believe The Hype

When the OEs fly us to exotic locations to ride new bikes, while we never complain, sometimes it is to mask a lack of changes with a fancy racetrack and nice dinners. This is not the case with the new R1. It truly is all-new and leaps and bounds better than the previous model in every single area, bar maybe a hint of top-end power. And while some may complain about said loss in top-end power, the added torque and drivability, plus improved chassis, will have them circulating the track or ‘B’ road so much quicker that they will soon forget any peak power gripes whatsoever. To this I say: bring on the Shootout as Yamaha has a real contender on their hands with this one.

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2009 Yamaha R1 Spec Sheet
Changes from the ground up for  09 from Yamaha.
Engine: Liquid-cooled Inline Four
Displacement: 998cc
Bore x Stroke: 78 x 52.2mm
Compression Ratio: 12.7:1
Horsepower: 179.5 hp at 12,500 rpm (claimed)
Torque: 85 lb-ft at 10,000 rpm (claimed)
Clutch: Wet, slipper
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Aluminum Deltabox
Front Suspension: 43mm fork, fully adjustable, 4.7-in travel
Rear Suspension: Single shock, adjustable, 4.7-in travel
Rake / Trail: 24 degrees / 102mm (4 inches)
Front Brake: Dual 310mm discs
Rear Brake: Single 220mm disc
Front Tire: 120/70 Dunlop D210 Qualifier
Rear Tire: 190/55 Dunlop D210 Qualifier
Wheelbase: 55.7 inch (1415mm)
Seat Height: 32.8 inch (835mm)
Fuel Tank: 4.8 gallon (18 liter)
Other Yamaha Sportbike Reviews
2013 Yamaha YZF-R6 Street Comparison
The 2013 Yamaha YZF-R6 takes on its Supersport rivals on the street in MotoUSA's Supersport Street Comparison.
2013 Yamaha YZF-R6 Supersport Comparison
Yamaha’s racy YZF-R6 chases another win in the tenth edition of our Supersport Shootout.
2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Bike
By adding some components from Yamaha’s accessories catalog, the YZF-R1 proves to be more than just a one trick pony allowing for cross-country touring escapades as Motorcycle-USA discovers.
Yamaha YZF-R1 Traction Control Comparison
Yamaha is the latest brand to fit traction control to its YZF-R1 sportbike. Read to find out how it compares to other systems in this traction control comparison review.
2012 Yamaha FZ6R Comparison
Find out how the 2012 Yamaha FZ6R compared to the other rides in the 2012 Women's Streetbike Shootout.
Yamaha YZF-R1 Dealer Locator

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Comments
arless   December 2, 2011 09:16 PM
This is a race bike not a cruiser or everyday ride, If that is what you are looking for, buy a FZ1 or an FZ8. We all are looking for a bike that can do everything, really really good. Haul the girl friend for more than thirty minutes, without being cramped up. After all the FZ1 is only a couple of blinks of the eye, slower than a R1.If I had the money I would buy a R1 but for the race track only. Where in the world, would you be able to run this bike all out on the highways. Or a FZ1 for that matter. Way to much bike for a everyday ride. Nuff said
Pururava R -BM the best  October 11, 2010 10:25 AM
BMW S1000RR without any shadow of a doubt is the most sofisticated S-bike and a state of art machine,nothing can come close to the new champ.
Z -Dont comment if you didn't ride R1  September 7, 2010 09:45 AM
I didn’t waist my time with reading all comments posted here but one took my attention: B-Real - lots of BS July 4, 2009 11:25 AM

This poor idiot I am sure did not see R1 yet except maybe on the internet. If he rides anything, it must be some old pc of crap so he criticizes what he can only dream about. Everything he said is plain stupid. Unlike him, I actually own brand new R1 2009. Although I was always ninja rider, and this is my first Yamaha, I must tell you that you simply can not compare this bike with others. Yesterday I give my bike to a friend of mine who also rides ninja at the racing tracks and he is very, very good. As soon as he stopped, he said: I am buying this bike. He recently sold his 1000 ducati after racing it all summer. He said: at least 20% stronger in every aspect then my ducati. That’s what he said. Meanwhile I was riding his racing ninja and first impression was: man, so short gears especially first one, no gear indicator is annoying when stopping, where did all that engine power went, leaning is much harder and so on. I regret giving him my bike every one of 5 minutes I was riding his ninja. It’s like after month driving new ferrari I had to drive old subary or something like that. Yes, I tried to fallow him pulling every last bit of power from his ninja but he disappeared from my site in 2-3 sec.


I don’t race on tracks but on the streets I easily smoked bunch of suzuki’s hondas kawasaki’s and ducatis...My advice is: don’t ever try to street race against R1 with experienced rider on it if you are not riding another R1. You will just embarrass yourself. And don’t believe fisherman stories how they won against R1 at streets. It’s just impossible. I was told that Busa and ZX14 have faster top speeds then R1 but on the streets they can never keep up with R1. Other bikes are not worth of mentioning. So, in order not to sound stupid, ride R1 before you start typing about it.
Spath -yamahar1 2010  May 21, 2010 02:14 PM
guys cut the crap i had honda and suzuki never a yamaha but i always liked them i bought the 2009 rq and i am juts impressed the bike is awesome in all aspects
AZIronhorse -Just for FUN  December 6, 2009 03:47 AM
AS dumber stated above..all these bikes are so close in performance its just a matter of what fits you best and which bike you have more fun riding. Thats what its all about , "the ride" whether its a yami sport or a harley cruiser. As far as these new sports less than 1 percent of us can ride these bikes to where the fraction of the difference in torque, hp and handling makes any difference on the street or track it all comes back to the skills of the rider. DONT fall into the hype of PR and advertising go with what feels good and Have some fun riding!!!
Jerry -the R1 dominated the world in racing 2009  November 7, 2009 09:09 AM
Kinda weird how these guys rank the r1 last in superbike smackdown but the r1 dominated the world this year in racing, Second in the usless watered down AMA superbike league, The r1 Won world superbike championship, british superbike championship, dutch superbike championship, 24 hrs endurance the list goes on and on......R6 won the world supersport championship, M1 won first and second place in MOTOGP championship, what happend to Suzuki gixxer1k, honda cbr100rr, and kawasaki zx-10r and ducati 1198? i don't see any of them winning any championships hmmm makes you wonder how these guys tested these bikes?
Brad Grupenhagen -Miguel - Question  August 13, 2009 07:45 AM
As a first bike, I would not recommend an R1 its a supersport track bike, lots of power, and not really made for duel riders. I do put my girl on my bike from time to time, but not for more than about an hour, they are just not comfortable for passangers. My first bike was a Suzuki Kanatuna (Katana) it was a great first bike, it is not a supersport class bike, it falls under Sport touring which I would recommend for first time riders, especially if you are going to have a passanger. They corner pretty tight so you can take corners at speed, but they are comfortable enough to ride 500 miles and still be able to walk when you get there and passanger can actually sit back and enjoy the ride not having to worry about sliding into you, do matter how smooth you are on the clutch and braking on an R1 my girl is all over the place trying to sit on a 6 x 6 pad. Ultimately if you have made it up in your mind that you are getting a R1, then get it and you will not be disappointed, just know that you will not be able to ride the bike to its full potential, not many riders can or want to, me included. Hope this helps.

Brad
Miguel -Question  August 11, 2009 08:34 PM
Just wondering is the person on the back comforable??
Is it recomended for ppl who have driven a motorcycle in ther life?
Is it a good bike to buy as your 1st motorcycle?

Dumber -for reading these comments.  August 10, 2009 10:13 AM
Some of the the BS here amazes me. We have more "world class" riders here on this forum! Track prowess... Shootout... Specs this... HP that... What a bunch of crap. Take all the top 2009 1000 cc sport bikes and line them up. You (Joe average rider/track day guru), can't equate a substantial difference in your "track times" between them. Find a bike that fits you or one that has a color you like and buy it. If someone smokes you, you just got out classed by a better rider. That's your fault not the bike.

I just happen to love twins and the sound they produce. I now have the luxury of a 4 with the same sound of the twin. I'm certain that I will have no problem keeping up with an overweight/under powered motorcycle.
sunny -HOW FAST  July 28, 2009 03:20 AM
how fast does this bike do from 0-60 ( mph ) .. and wat is the top speed and how much time does it take to reach 300 kmph and wat mileage does it give per litre ?? .... does the bike look cool on the streets ?? .... can some one answer to these b'coz i am planning to take 1 ;)
Brad Grupenhagen -Reply to Mark Webster  July 27, 2009 04:35 AM
I have a track race commander, with full Akro Exhaust, ALL Carbon upgrades, and new rear sprocked and drive sprockets performance air intake, and flush mounts on the front. Dropped near 45 lbs. from stock, I am not running NOS there is no point in blowing up a brand new bike that all ready hauls a$$. I did but a 210 on the rear to help with traction between 2nd and 3rd, especially with the new sprockets, got rid of some of the low end torque for a higher top speed but I only really notice the difference in the mountians. And it doesnt take 200 HP to go that fast it has to do Power to weight to drag ratios. I cant take all the credit for the work on my bike, Thai Davis is a good friend of mine, and built my YZ450f for me and I had him do some of the work on my R1 as well.

Armando -NEW R1  July 21, 2009 09:19 PM
I am interested to know more about the R-1 2009. Looking at possible getting one soon. Just wondering how it compares to the other bikes out there as far as performance, comfort and agility. Please let me know what you guys think now that you have gotten some riding time.
brian -what its about  July 20, 2009 11:04 PM
3600 miles and going strong, you can always tell the haters in these blogs they always hi light the flaws, but you can do the research and anyone can see no mater what brand or model of any thing every realsed in the first year had flaws no mater what!!! i see people upset about power output, 3 ?s for you, how was it broke in, how many miles do you have on it, how do you ride it daily?? first off the POWER break in doesn't even begin until after the 1000 mile recomended break in, the first 1000 is just to seat bearings and rings properly so they don't overheat and seize under power, so if you make a dyno run b4 about 3000 mi, you won't get good #s; hp #s depend alot on how the engine and drive train were TRAINED, if your driving miss daisy day in and day out the bike is trained to perform like that, so again bad numbers on the dyno. you can ask anyone who has run a dyno for a while that bikes make more power with miles and bikes that are riden like they were designed, to be reved to the moon full throttle a few times each ride. and it doesn't take 200hp to go 200mph, it power to weight ratio. for example a 200hp honda prelude will not go 200mph, only about 150 maybe 160 on a good day going down hill with the wind at its back. so a lighter bike takes less power to just as fast as a higher hp bike that weighs more. now i'm not saying the 09 r1 will go 200, in fact i highly dought itin stock form, i've had mine up to 185mph on the speedo with the tach right at the redline of 13750, rev limiter kicks in at 15k, and my bike was still pulling hard, my speedo is off 5mph at 70 so roughly actual speed was around 172, all jap bikes are limited at 186mph from the factory, look it up, so the i believe the guy that said he got it to 195, he just didn't calculate for error. with all that said the new r1 is an awsome machine just like every other bike from every other brand, they just all have different personalities and for all you sceptics just throw a leg over the new r1 to see what it has to offer, or any other bike you are hating on for that matter, they all have something great to offer. and besides where else can you get a street legal moto gp bike for under 15k??? not from ducati!!! give yamaha some time by 2010 they will have most of the debut flaws worked out, the downside of buying a BRAND NEW bike in its first year...
john -fz1 vs r1?  July 20, 2009 12:33 AM
I have an 08 fz1, I am at 156 hp at the rear on it with about $1500 in upgrades. I wonder what the HP would be on an R1 with full akra exhaust, airbox mod, pc v, and a dyno tune... 165-170? pluss loose 40 lbs also? hmmm
alex Imperial -first gear  July 14, 2009 07:20 PM
i have a question i just got my r1 09 july 1st my first gear seems not kicking when i turn to corner specially when im following a car its shake if i slow down,, its that normal.. i have to press my cluth all the time,,
gravano -jerseyboy  July 13, 2009 08:21 PM
i live in nj too so if u want to bring ur ferrari out and see what a nissan would do 2 it?? [R1]vs[duck] thats if u can keep up???
gravano -2009 yamaha R1  July 13, 2009 08:07 PM
this bike rips asphalt!!!!! i have one and loving it!!!!! took it 2 the drag strip and ran a 10.0000000 flat stock!!!! at 143mph!!! but went threw a clutch....o well..took it to a road course and dominated like spies and rossi,sweet!!!nothing like 175 mph wheelies on the hwy!!!! starting 100 mph!!!!! doing endosss?? easy with this bike 6 piston!!!sweet!!!iam rocking this bike like i always do!!! i can not wait 4 the new R6 crossplane in 2010!!!! hurrry up !!i want one!!!
B-Real -lots of BS  July 4, 2009 11:25 AM
Most ANY modern liter bike will do 100+ MPH in 1st gear (and the '09 R1 won't), so that's not much to brag about. While, the cross plane engine, the selector box and other tech is cool, is it really useful? Even Spies says he's winning IN SPITE of the bike (not that his is anything like what people are buying at the local stealership). That front end is butt ugly. The bike is down on top end power. The usable power is still too high in the revs for practical street use. The brakes suck. The materials are cheap and flimsy. Why are you fan boys so high on this gimmick of a bike??
kezzer -r1 2009  July 1, 2009 02:01 PM
This bike is awesome if you have,nt rode this bike don,t talk crap about it......
doczx10r -taken prisoners  June 29, 2009 07:11 AM
2005 Zx10r will spank this any day
paul keena -i have it  June 27, 2009 05:47 PM
i give the bike an A- it a great bike love riden it but the engine noice when u start up make me upset engine pull hard as ball tho so i think the start up the most upseting like u said down there. bike can take turn like u will not believe go up in almost all the gear but 6 power band is crazy 100 just in first alone 125mph i went so far and it did not breAK a sweat but if your in to bike these is a super cool and fast bike becare ride when u see my white bike passing u
The NorthStar -Oil Change...Bike Exchange  June 24, 2009 11:28 AM
I went in last Saturday to get an oil change on my '07 R1. They let me check out a new '09 R1 with the Graves titanium exhaust w/Y pipes in the showroom that had been modified while I waited. After I listened to it, looked at both the '07 and '09 side by side...and fought off everything rational. I traded my '07 in on the spot....Enough said about the new R1!!! It is SICK!
Yamaha Fun -Yamaha deltabox R1  June 23, 2009 12:22 PM
The Yamaha deltabox R1 is the best Bike i like this bike i have this bike in my garage ! but i cant drive it im very busy ! ^^ i sell it who want buy it for 78,000 Doller
boss hog georgy -R1  June 22, 2009 10:14 PM
yAMAHA ALL THE WAY HOES I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE BUY 600 AND DROP A COUPLE GRAND ON MODS AND THINK THEY COULD HANG WITH THE BIG DOG R1 O FOR THAT GSXR1000 GO PUT PUT A POWER COMMANDER BEFORE U COME GET SOME.... dADDY
mark Webster -top speed  June 22, 2009 02:05 PM
Brad it takes 200 HP to go 200.The R1 with a pc5 only makes 160 at the rear wheel so how do you get 194 to 195 out of it?
Brad Grupenhagen -Love it/Hate it  June 21, 2009 10:43 AM
I love the Yamaha R1 series bikes I always have, you just cant argue the performance and looks of the R1. This 09 with its new race motor and finally intergrated the A, B, and Standard riding modes which GSXR has had on there bikes for some time now, just makes this yamaha the best. I have topped my bike out at about 194-195 mph and still feels like I am crusing at 60, the smoothest street bike I have EVER riden. However what did they do to the lights and front end? WHY WHY WHY, the looks of the 08 were so much cleaner and sleak. I bought the 09 from a showroom floor and had it shipped, I knew what it looked like and thought it would grow on me, and 6 months in I still cant get used to this front end. If you like this bike, and the new re-designed front end, buy it. Yami Rider 12 Brad
richard r1 -yamaha  June 16, 2009 08:21 PM
little upset about my 09 r1 it only got a 143 horse from factory and did pc5 and a full acropovic and it did 156 and tought that from the factroy it wass suppost tb be 160 at the rear tire and also have so kind of engine nosie and not happy about that but other then that love but havent been able to realy get on it and someone help to get answer from some because the deal is giving back the bike tell me there nothing wroung with it or how to tell how to a hold of a rep.
cuttumm -09R1  June 2, 2009 10:47 PM
hey living in new mexico i have plenty of mountain time 2 cut up plenty on my 09 R1.it is without dought running real hard with my graves lowboy full system and power commander (me)all others look out.cutting all come ers out west
wil -stop bad mouthing the ride  June 1, 2009 05:23 PM
I brought my R1 about A month ago and i love it. I just got off an R6, and i really feel the power that power that it offers. So all of you that are scared to ride the R1. stop hidden behind your key boards and hit the road.
racinjason -09 r1  May 22, 2009 10:11 AM
they should do a 08 vs 09 shootout
Luke Pickens -Mindblowing!!!  May 18, 2009 09:23 PM
I just rode the '09 R1 with full Akrapovic exhaust through the mountains of the Ozarks and this is quite possibly the best bike money can buy. Scary fast!
D Harry -Ducati vs Yamaha  May 18, 2009 12:40 PM
It seems that some Ducati lovers don't get what this bike represents...so let's break it down. Ducatis (and V-twins in general) have always been known for their low end torque, but relative lack of top speed. It's for this reason that Ducatis are considered corner masters. What you have now, is a bike (the R1) which gives the best of both worlds; low end torque AND top speed. And before you Ducati worshippers get upset, let it be known that on real world streets, the Yamaha seems to have the upper hand. Forget about racing, as those guys are WAY better riders with WAY better talent, on WAY better equipment most us mere mortals will never have the capability to possess. Yes, the Duc will always be the Ferrari of motorbikes, but you can't argue with technology!
Digger 98. -09 R1 on order.  May 17, 2009 04:17 AM
Just been to my local Yamaha dealership and traded my blue 98 R1 in for new R1.With moto-gp technology and looks to die for what more can you ask for....can`t wait.
J-Dawg -Black and Yellow 09 R1  May 15, 2009 06:00 PM
I JUST BOUGHT IT TODAY! 7 YEARS AND 7 BIKES LATER I FINALLY FOUND THE PERFECT MATCHINE. I TRADED AN 08 1000 GSXR, R1 GOT IT BEAT BY FAR OVERALL. ANYONE WHO HAS THEIR DOUBTS ABOUT THIS BIKE I DARE YOU TO SIT DOWN AND PULL BACK ON THAT THROLLTE. CANT WAIT TO BREAK IT IN!
Jersey Boy -V TWIN POWER  May 14, 2009 01:45 PM
The R1 is a great bike... The new crank is "flat" out the best idea the japs have made yet on there inline 4's. I have a 1098 and love the torque. Im not a wheelie king, but it is nice to be able to pull a wheelie at 2k rpm's if you want. The R1 has a similar feeling. I think it's funny how everyone here thinks they are going to be faster on a different brand. on the street or track, unless you are riding in a pro-class, it comes down to balls... I still like the feeling of pulling into a bike show and having everyone (even the fat harley dudes) checking out the Ducati! it's like Nissan Vs. Ferrari sorry
josh sizemore -2009 r1  May 8, 2009 03:24 PM
my 2009 yamaha r1 is really the bike every man dreams of. I ordered my blue r1 back in september 08 and every day of waiting made me feel like a kid on christmas eve for months----but all of my waiting was definitely worth it because this is one of the baddest bikes i have ever ridden to be in stock form. I have an 08 gsxr 1000 and an 02 gsxr 750 also and neither of those bikes compare to the new r1.
josh sizemore -2009 r1  May 8, 2009 03:24 PM
my 2009 yamaha r1 is really the bike every man dreams of. I ordered my blue r1 back in september 08 and every day of waiting made me feel like a kid on christmas eve for months----but all of my waiting was definitely worth it because this is one of the baddest bikes i have ever ridden to be in stock form. I have an 08 gsxr 1000 and an 02 gsxr 750 also and neither of those bikes compare to the new r1.
Adam -can't stand haters  May 6, 2009 02:51 PM
I keep hearing people bad mouth the new R1. well, the other day, i was at a light behind to GSX-R's, not knowing that they were going to take off at the light. well, once i saw them take off, i decided to toy with them and cranked on my throttle and in no time caught right up to them....them blew right by them. Love my 09 R1
Adam -can't stand haters  May 6, 2009 02:51 PM
I keep hearing people bad mouth the new R1. well, the other day, i was at a light behind to GSX-R's, not knowing that they were going to take off at the light. well, once i saw them take off, i decided to toy with them and cranked on my throttle and in no time caught right up to them....them blew right by them. Love my 09 R1
Bill -Nick in shorts  May 6, 2009 05:33 AM
brad - clown in shorts May 3, 2009 06:26 AM did you read the comment from the clown who said the left side of the bike gets hot especially in shorts-my advice-ride in your underwear for better air circulation and cooling. HAHA........ Nick, You are OWNED!
chika -Desire  May 4, 2009 02:27 PM
I Want one!
brad -ricky rockets  May 3, 2009 06:33 AM
You forgot the most important thing-what does the engine sound like when all the ricky rockets are idleing along at 5 mph or sitting at a stoplight and incessantly bliping the throttle just like all the lard arse Harley boys?
brad -clown in shorts  May 3, 2009 06:26 AM
did you read the comment from the clown who said the left side of the bike gets hot especially in shorts-my advice-ride in your underwear for better air circulation and cooling
Larry Willman -06' Smokin'  April 30, 2009 04:34 PM
Thunbs up Yamaha, Again you've upped the ante by bringing Moto GP tech to the street. Last week I was tooling around and ran across a new R1. My '06 anniversary R1 smoked it lock stock and both tail pipes. And it's a better looking bike to boot!
Dazza -Blade is best  April 28, 2009 07:11 PM
the 09 fireblade is the best and kicks the r1's butt
mason -love it!  April 25, 2009 03:24 PM
I just picked up the white/red R1 and I love everything about it. Maybe not the mufflers but those will be swapped soon. I just can't decide which way to go.
Money Mike -R1  April 23, 2009 12:21 AM
THIS BIKE IS THE BEST THATS THE BOTTOM LINE. I SEE PEOPLE TRYING TO GIVE IT BAD REVIEWS AND TALK SMACK. I JUST GOT 1 AND THAT THING SCARES THE SHHT OUT OF ME AND IVE BEEN RIDE N FOR OVER 15 YEARS. MY FRIENDS WENT WITH THE OTHER 09 MANUFACTURES OR AS I CALL IT THE BRAND X BIKES AND THEY CANT KEEP UP STREET OR TRACK SO FOR THOSE WHO JUDGE IT RIDE LIKE ITS MEANT TO BE THEN YOU WONT TALK SMACK. PUT YOUR 500/600CC PIZZA DELIVERY BIKES AWAY AND RIDE THE R1.
R1Master -Top Speed  April 22, 2009 01:04 PM
no one mentions the top speed becouse everyone knows that all japanese motorcycles are blocked to 300km/h and this R1 will do it for sure ;)
tony butler -speed  April 21, 2009 07:19 PM
not one person on here mentions the top speed, what will it do?
Chuck Penn -R1  April 14, 2009 10:35 AM
Tricker than F*** Bad as F*** BADDDD!
Stoner number 1 -.....  April 14, 2009 07:08 AM
Ducati did it first and better. peace
shane4000 -r1  April 13, 2009 07:20 PM
this r1 is going to be a sweet bike i own a 2007 zx10r and thinking about trading in my bike for this r1
MJ -I found an 09 R1 I like  April 6, 2009 12:48 AM
I don't know how I haven't noticed this before, but whilst watching this weekend's SBK round from Valencia I noticed the Akrapovic exhausts on the Yamaha WSB R1s (Spies and Sykes) are tucked under the seat a lot more than the road bike and I think this improves the back end of the bike tremendously.
Lucky Asshole -Great bike  April 5, 2009 01:53 PM
I just won one yesterday. I had a 600 before this but it was night and day in terms of power and torque. So far it handles very close to my 600 as well.
MJ -Great tech, shame about the looks  April 3, 2009 07:55 AM
I'm impressed with the technology advances Yamaha have made, but I'm not keen on the 09's styling. I'm more than happy to continue to keep my 04 R1, nearly four years together now. :)
nick -bought a month ago  April 1, 2009 07:14 PM
hey i love this bike and everything it stands for except one thing... the left side gets really hot especially in shorts. all in all this is the best bike i have ever owned..
Troy -new R1  March 30, 2009 04:32 AM
hmmmmmmm! yamaha does it again and again and............. what a machine!
Yuri -R1 2009  March 29, 2009 03:26 PM
FANTASTC!
Rusco -r1  March 29, 2009 03:20 PM
This bike looks really sexy and the colours are nice. I only hope this model does not cook your thighs like the previous models.
ELNINO -R1  March 27, 2009 07:47 PM
REALLY FANTASTIC
ibrahim -R1's looks  March 24, 2009 12:24 AM
I thought R1 had the best looks compared to other Japanese bikes, please don't take it away to round up the bike for a fraction of better lap time, it's not worth it, street riders don't care about laptimes that much, they want fast bikes with good looks cause we are going to ride the bike not race it. Turkey.
Sysco -No more  March 22, 2009 06:20 PM
Everybody want to said a lot off things about this ride, only matter that not much people cant buy this dream. I´m going to invest a lot of my money to final get this amazing bike. Good luck duds, see u at the highway.
Joey C -Yamaha 2009 R1  March 20, 2009 04:06 PM
Saw the bike in person at the bikeshow and it looks great in person. Now let's see if it can win the superbike shootout.
KT -09 R1  March 18, 2009 12:02 PM
The discription of the engine makes me want to ride it. I don't need the extreme top end power. I'm not going to use the top end much anyway. Give me a bike with great handling manners and midrange and I'll do the rest. Sweet ride!!!
Jordan -Midrange Please  March 14, 2009 05:56 PM
I love the looks of R1s always just does it have midrange power this time. Cause its been embarassing compared to GIXXERS and Kaws.
Jordan -Midrange  March 14, 2009 05:54 PM
The majority of people will ride the R1 on the streets so I seriously hopes it has midrange power this time. Because you have ti regear sprockets just to make it compete with a stock Gixxer or Kaw.
Vaibhav Prakash -She lacks ABS...  March 14, 2009 05:24 AM
I am very disappointed to know that it lacks ABS... But her "Crossplane" crankshaft is simply a beautiful trick to have a very liner feel of the throttle response given to the engine. Credit Yamaha! Still, include an ABS with her. It will be a great success for "R1 Revolution"!
Jerry -Fools who think any liter bike can match the 09 r1 is a newbie to bikes  March 13, 2009 07:36 PM
Come on just look at what Ben spies on the new R1 is doing in world superbike and that pretty much sums up what the new R1 is all about. All you Gixxer 1k fans can argue against me all you want saying Gixxers dominate AMA superbike, i got news for you nobody gives a rats arse about AMA superbike comparing AMA superbike to World superbike is like comparing a Mini Cooper(AMA) to a Ferarri 360 Modena (WSBK). How can you compare American racing to World Class racing? hahah what a joke, if the gixxer and honda are such great bikes how come they are getting their tails kicked all over the place at the world's highest stage of racing?? come on now, even Haga on the Ducati is going to lose against Ben spies on the R1. There's nothing Suzuki, kawasaki, Honda or even Ducati can do about it but just sit and watch and ADMIT they're going to get spanked all over the place!
Understandable -Yeah Ok...  March 12, 2009 07:02 PM
[Lester Gass - Guess it's understandable that Yamaha didn't explain that they copied the feature from their competition, but that's the truth of it.] To Lester: Guess it's also understandable that Ducati didn't explain that they design *cough*copied* the Ducati 916 feature from their competition (The Honda NR750), but that's the truth of it. Seriously..get real. Stop being bias for a sec and maybe you can appreciate technology when you see one.
Understandable -My Ass  March 12, 2009 06:55 PM
"Lester Gass - Guess it's understandable that Yamaha didn't explain that they copied the feature from their competition, but that's the truth of it." Guess it's also understandable that Ducati didn't explain they copied almost every feature from their competition when they design *cough*copied* Honda NR750, but that's the truth of it.
Lester Gass -Yamaha Cross Plane Crankshaft  March 9, 2009 09:48 AM
Your claim that the new R1 represents the first time inertial torque has been tamed on a motorcycle is incorrect. The 90 degree disposition of the crank throws on the R1 accomplishes the same thing that the 90 degree disposition of cylinders does on Ducatis - while half the cylinders come to a screeching halt at tdc or bdc, the other half are at full speed, so reciprocating inertia is not transferred into and out of the crankshaft, but rather between pairs of pistons and rods so reciprocating inertia remains nearly constant. Guess it's understandable that Yamaha didn't explain that they copied the feature from their competition, but that's the truth of it.
John McClimans -Awsome Bike Guys....  March 8, 2009 06:27 PM
I got to ride the new R1 about 3 weeks ago and it is a monster waiting to be unleashed!! I kid you not. It sounded like a Ducati V-Twin and had the low end Torque like it. But.... When the RPM's get above 2 grand... better seriouly hang on. The only thing that I thought was a negative and it could have just needed a bit of tweeking and that was the initial take off. Had vibration like the bike wanted to take off... like now! but after that it was like noting I have ever ridden and I had the 2008 R1. It is a whole new ball game now. Be careful on this one guys... They did thier home work and extra credit.
mike -2005 R1  March 4, 2009 11:36 PM
2009 R1 is exciting but so was the 07 and changes with he ycc and the speical yellow val ross and you know what I still love my 05 and still waiting for more to come. Mean while I will enjoy the hell out of my Raven with two extra teeth in the back and droped a tooth in the front ,, this takes a lot of the flat out of the bike and makes it more like a track bike ,it's more than you can imagine . signed happy to have respect..enjoy the ride
Oshi -front end  February 24, 2009 11:17 AM
Oh noes...R1 always look great but since 08 seem to look ugly to me D; whyyy noo...not this front endddd
John -Boo :/  February 23, 2009 10:29 PM
The Honda Will still win for 09...as for as overall rideability, handling, weight, and power.
mE1! -R1  February 13, 2009 02:15 PM
Should've bought a KTM
Ali Mansfield -way ahead  February 13, 2009 11:15 AM
this bike is amazing what is the deal with people slating it ? i tell you what i expect it will be the people who have old tec bikes .... look at closely its now years ahead of the rest looks and engine wise , every one who wont be buying it will be getting passed by it on the street or the track , you have to take ya hat of to yamaha for pushing it instead of just playing it safe
Dustin -your all missing the point  February 6, 2009 04:34 PM
Yamaha's point in this new engine wasnt just increase power to make the masses happy. Who cares that suzuki, honda, kawasaki gave their customers more power by playing with the stoke yada yada. The crossplane crankshaft was designed to balance out the motor more so that the acceleration and deceleration of the inertial torque of the crankshaft didnt interfere with torque production to the wheel. Now that each cyclinder fire 90 degrees from the other the cranshaft is totally balanced for a completely linear throttle response. I can only imagine how smooth this engine will be compared to past sportbike engines. Hope fully it will be vibration free.
steve -r1  February 3, 2009 01:43 AM
i think the new bike looks great...im not a yamaha rider i prefer hondas but it has always been a sexy machine..i have to agree with an earlier comment made, that the air ducts should be taken away from in between the headlights..i think it looks horrible and even worse on the r6. it takes away from a set of great looking headlights yamaha always produces..thanks.
Christina -Yamaha Rocks Again!!!  January 28, 2009 01:18 PM
Hey Jason - You will see!
Rated "R" -you guys still dont get it......  January 27, 2009 08:21 PM
you guys still dont get it.....well at least some of you do! yamahas have always been track oriented bikes. they are the NISSANs of the bike world, and the R1 is the GTR. some manufacturers go the power way, some go the weight route, some go the chassis and feedback route, some go the balance route. yamaha has taken the technological route. technology guarantees speed and acuracy. there actually really isnt more low down torque on the new R1. check out akropavics website for dyno number with the new bikes exhaust. the new crankshaft firing order has big gap where the tire has enough time to grab the road, this is tranferred into grip, and grip give the illusion of more down low. thats why when you ride V-twins it feels like there is alot more torque. well partly because there is initially, the firing order has alot to do with the grip of a V-twin. but these engines lack top end cause they cant spin as fast as I-4s. yamahas like spinning fast cause they know understand that RPMs and torque equals HP! then they had to balance out the chassis to accomidate for the new levels of grip. brain is overheating!
Rare Breed ABQ -2009 R1  January 27, 2009 08:07 AM
I didn't like the styling of the front end at first glance but it's starting to grow on me. It has a demonic look which seems perfect for it after hearing the reviews. All the other makers seem to care about looks, other than the new GSXR and the Italians. As for the ass end, aftermarket pipes will clean that up. Can't wait to ride that bad boy! Come on shootouts............
Skj-downunda -good thing!  January 26, 2009 08:44 PM
It is interesting to see the way the different manufacturers take different paths to address the same issue,i.e midrange power.Suzuki have messed about with the stroke of their thou and yamaha have done the crossplane thing-someone thought it silly in light of how suzuki fixed the problem but I think that just gives more power to the consumer because if the manufascturers all did things the same way then there'd be no point in shopping around as they'd all be pretty much the same bikes. kudos to yamaha,albeit styling could be a little less challenging!previous incarnation was way ahead lookswise.
Sean -So close  January 26, 2009 01:59 PM
Please put the air ducts under the headlights so that you can get rid of the big open gaps next to the lights. It's very annoying.
Sean -Looks  January 26, 2009 01:55 PM
It's sad the R1's have always been the most beautiful Jap liter bikes and if they fell 1/10 of a second off here or there it didn't matter. Now it seems that they lept forward in performance but now they are just as ugly as the rest! Who at Yamaha approved that front end???
omlh -I like it  January 26, 2009 01:01 PM
shootout shootout shootout, yeah baby....great article Steve, technology and style.
willem -r1  January 26, 2009 11:39 AM
it didn't gain weight. the bike's full weight is 1kg less then last years r1.! weight them if you don't believe me. it didn't lose some peak HP, it has 6bhp more over the 2008 r1. and wasn't that were all of you has complaint about it always(only peak hp?!) yes you did. and about the styling. didn't you say that over the 2008 cbr1000rr?! yes you did!!!! i love the styling.
Corey -R1  January 24, 2009 01:47 PM
The engine is awesome but what's up with the styling? THE FRONT IS UGLY. The lights make the bike look like two eyes hanging out. 08 model looks much better. Add two more lights and bring back the protective glass PLEASE.
Hanif Dawson -which to buy  January 22, 2009 08:36 PM
i have always been with honda since i started riding motorcycles. From 125-1000cc's. This yamaha has me excited in ways that makes me feel like this new r1 is right for me. Honda has proven itself once again in 2009 with an innovative application which in fact is the first time applied on motorcycles and thats ABS. Anywayz this bike sounds cool and looks different and performs like a super street bike should and to me thats all that matters since i only ride on the street.
Larry -VFR vs. R1  January 22, 2009 05:42 PM
I have a 2000 VFR800 and a 2007 GSXR 1000. I commute on the VFR and ride my 1000 on the track. The 1000 must have racing tires in order to keep from crashing and is really too much for the street. I feel like I must make it clear that all new liter bikes regardless of manufacturer are worlds apart from the VFR bikes. In every aspect; torque, horsepower, cornering and aggressive riding position. I would respectfully recommend ,that only the people who are prepared for the unbelievable performance of today's superbikes, even consider buying one.
David Matthew -2009 R1  January 22, 2009 04:38 AM
I have a 1992 VFR750. About every 2 years, for at least the last 8, I have tried to "upgrade" to something newer. The most recent was when I put a deposit on an '07 R1. The dealer made a mistake and let me test drive it. I kept thinking "Yeah, it's a nice, fast R6." But it once again, left me wanting that "real-world" torque that my faithful, V-4 produced. My friend who works as the parts guy for said dealer, let me ride his Suzuki DRZ-400 Super Motard. I took the deposit back and ended up with a street legal Yamaha WR450F converted to Super Motard. It shares the garage with the VFR750 and is used to terrorize most 600 sportbikes in the hills near my home. Having said that, I am now ready to move on to a "new" sportbike. It sounds like Yamaha has built the bike that I have been looking for all these years. It has the size and handling of a 600 but now with that "real-world" torque and midrange power that I have gotten used to all these year on my V-4. If it is good enough for Valentino Rossi, it should be fine for a duffer like me. All you guys who are complaining about the “loss” of top end and the extra weight, are simply a pipe(s) and power-commander away form the gates of Heaven. Thank you Yamaha! Oh, and new Galfer brake pads, Motul DOT-5.1 fluid and braided brake lines should address the “lack of brakes” issue just fine. Respectfully, David Matthew
Aaron -R1  January 21, 2009 12:35 PM
great review guys. thanks
Andrew -all this jiggery pokery? to make a fat bike?!  January 21, 2009 03:40 AM
I think yamaha has lost the plot completely . Lets be honest and stop thinking this bike is road legal M1 .The yamaha folks ,i think have painted themselves to a corner and pretty much had no other option,as their previous models lacked mid range and 07's lack of mid as well as top end power pretty much sealed their fate in shootouts.So basically the slimmer CBR achieved the same things without all the tech and the cbr is 15 lbs lighter too!! . Once the tire tech improves this crossplane tech will become a milestone around yamaha's neck ,because of weight , vibration and lack of top end power issues with this tech.The suzuki manages the same thing with bigger stroke, and it has no top end power issues either !!
Dustin Collins -awesome new yamaha.  January 20, 2009 08:04 PM
my god i want this new R1. I sold my 06 R1 in july an purchased an 08 CBR 1000rr and now im kicking my self in the arse for it. But peak HP is not all that it seems as i have learned from the 08 CBR 1000. I would much rather have a fat midrange than all the peak HP hype. As many know the 08 CBR 1K lack in top end due to emissions the mid range power is way above all the other 08 liters. So i for one can appreciate the new R1's midrange and slightly less top end. I tired of my 06 R1's weak midrange so im finally glad to see yamaha come up with a machine that has midrange power. And this is coming from a guy that has owned a 2003 R6, 2005 r6, and a 2006 R1.
Superlight -R1  January 20, 2009 03:12 PM
I'm anxious to hear one of these run, to see what it sounds like, but the styling is not at all to my tastes. I keep thinking maybe the Japanese sportbikes will start looking better, but then they don't (too many plastic covers, ugly headlight lenses, god-awful mufflers, etc.). To make matters even worse, all four of the Japanese 1000s look alike to me (same basic engines, same fairing shapes). Oh, well, to each his/her own, I guess.
Ian -Great Article  January 20, 2009 10:39 AM
Really well written, lots of great info. Thanks Steve!
Ben -New R1  January 20, 2009 09:38 AM
The red and white color is one of the most beautiful bikes I've ever seen. I wouldn't need a shootout test or dyno chart, if I were in the market for a liter bike, I would already have had the down payment in. Granted I also love both the new Aprilla RVS4 and new BMW 1000R, but it would come down to price in the end and Yamaha would make the sale. 2009 is going to be awesome WSBK racing! GO BEN SPIES!!!!
Tim -How to make the R1 2009 even better  January 20, 2009 09:27 AM
All the lowes (weight, down on top end power, looks) mentioned in the article can be fixed by this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG9vQfvMPVM&feature=related It looks, sounds and (must) ride so much better like this!
Desmolicious -Frickin sweeet!  January 20, 2009 08:12 AM
Dat's all I gotta say. Honda releases the Fairy, Yam a cross plane crank R1. Pretty much sums it up.
snehal gandhi -captcha image  January 20, 2009 12:05 AM
beautiful imeges i wanna to captcha
x2468 -aprilia  January 19, 2009 10:13 PM
I really can't wait to see how this thing compares to the new aprilia too. i forgot about that bike. I'm surprised you liked the dunlop stock tires more than the michelins. i know a lot of people that really like the michelin tires and more people that hated their stock qualifiers. i wonder what michelin street tires were being used.
x2468 -awesome  January 19, 2009 09:49 PM
awesome write up. I'm drooling over this bike now.... i'm partial on the looks. i think the old version looked better, but the new one still looks better than the other jap liter bikes. When you get the bike in this country, you should shoot it out with the 08 model. I'd like to see more retrospective shootouts between the same models of different years. Also, i wonder if what you perceived as a slight lack in top end power compared to the last model is caused by an actual difference in peak power, or they they just have the same peak horsepower and the newer models top end doesn't hit as hard because the mid range is so strong. in other words, perhaps the step from midrange to peak horsepower on the 08 is greater, creating the illusion that it's top end had more steam.
Steve Atlas -Shootout  January 19, 2009 05:24 PM
Rudy - Shootout for 1000s will be early- to mid-April, as we are waiting on Suzuki's GSX-R1000 which will be a later release than the rest. Stay tuned!
Rudy -great pre review  January 19, 2009 03:11 PM
now im just waiting for the shootout. i wonder when that will be!...