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2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 Touring Ride

Friday, September 4, 2009

Motorcycle-USA tests the mettle of Yamaha's all-new YZF-R1 during a 529-mile, 26 hour street mission on the way to this year's Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix MotoGP race.
A Real Sportbike for the Streets? 
With sportbikes becoming more oriented for life on the racetrack it’s becoming surprisingly difficult to find a sport motorcycle that you can live with day in and day out on the streets. After rolling over 500 miles across California enroute to this year’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, we’re starting to think the 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 sportbike might be that ideal street bike - with some simple modifications that is.
So you’re probably thinking, “What’s up with these Motorcycle USA guys?! Didn’t the R1 come in last in this year’s shootout? ” True, we did beat it up in both our street and racetrack Superbike Smackdown VI evaluations earlier this year. In fact, the R1 slotted dead last in both tests. On the street, its biggest problem was the excessive amount of heat emitted off the twin undertail mufflers which made riding borderline painful on warm days.
We addressed the exhaust heat problem by ditching the stock titanium mufflers for a pair of slip-ons from the boys at FMF. We fitted its $999 Apex pipes finished in carbon fiber with titanium end caps. The mufflers are simple to install and can be done at home with only a basic set of metric tools. (For a full in-depth review check out the FMF Apex Exhaust Review.)  And what a difference! Not only do the Apex mufflers look way better than stock, the sound that emits out of them is so awesome that just thinking about it as I type gives me goose bumps. The roar is unlike any other motorcycle I’ve heard in my lifetime, sounding like the deep snarl of a fast, high-revving V8. It’s so loud that even wearing ear plugs has little effect on the outright volume inside your helmet.

FMF’s $999 Apex mufflers are our favorite modification to the new R1. Not only do they reduce the level of exhaust heat but they make the bike sound like Rossi’s MotoGP ride!

Anyone planning on logging more than one fuel tank’s worth of time within its seat will quickly learn that the R1’s stocker is literally a sore point. Thus a swap was going to be a prerequisite for our trip. Originally we had opted for another aftermarket seat, as we weren’t that impressed with last year’s Yamaha accessory Comfort Seat. But the Tuning Fork guys assured us they had reworked it for improved performance, its price having increased $50 as well to $239.95. Visually, it looks nearly identical as the seat of old; however, internally it uses a foam core replacing to the previous gel design. Installation is as simple as loosening both bolts under the rear part of the seat and then swapping it out for the new one and reinstalling the bolts.
Lastly, one of the problems that plague almost all new sportbikes is their short windscreens that aren’t effective at diverting wind up and over the rider. So we swapped out the stock one for a Yamaha accessory Raised Bubble Style Windscreen. Like the seat installation it’s a no-brainer. Also new for this year are the accessory luggage made by AXIO. A $189.95 tank and $149.95 tail bag are both offered. Each bag is constructed from a tough plastic polycarbonate material and finished in a faux carbon fiber, which perfectly complements the Yamaha’s new look. The front bag easily attaches to the R1 with its built-in magnetic strips on either side of the bag, while the rear bag affixes to the rear seat with a strap. Now that we’re properly accessorized it was time to hit the road…

Yamaha’s AXIO branded luggage options make sport-touring a definite possibility on the 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1.
Escape from L.A.
Covering 500 miles on a sportbike, in a little more than a day, isn’t for the faint of heart. Although we did a number of modifications to ease the journey, I was still skeptical of how this superbike would perform on an extended trip. From the moment I left the Motorcycle USA offices I could barely restrain my throttle hand as I motored down the road. Blame it on the FMF pipes combined with the guttural growl of the R1’s crossplane engine, but it becomes difficult not to let all 150-odd horses gallop away from every stop light.
One portion of the Laguna trek I dread is escaping from the endless urban sprawl of Southern Cal. But motoring through miles of depressingly straight pavement allows you to shift concentration to some features of the bike that you might otherwise miss. This extended period of freeway droning exposed how balanced the R1’s engine is. There’s barely a hint of vibration from the handlebar, seat or footpegs, regardless of speed. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever ridden a sportbike with an engine that runs this smooth. A byproduct of this smoothness is a clear and undistorted view from the rear view mirrors.
Also of note is how well the R1’s ergonomics fit a rider of my size. When you’re riding, it literally feels like you’re lower half is molded into the bike. Indents on either side of the fuel tank and the flat main frame spars suck your legs into the machine with your feet tucked in tightly below. It’s also neat how you can move the foot pegs around to better tailor the R1’s fit. I settled on the lowest and most forward position (15mm down and 3mm forward) which made things more comfortable for my Spider-Man legs. The Comfort Seat feels thicker and more supportive but as opposed to last year’s model it has a much firmer feel, which reduces pressure points and the need to constantly shift weight around.
I also enjoyed the more upright handlebar position, which alleviates excessive hand and wrist pressure experienced on the previous generation model. Even more noticeable was the effects of the taller windscreen which deflects air up and over your torso rather than directly towards it. You wouldn’t think an accessory that only costs $84.95 would make such a difference but it really does make the trip more pleasant when logging miles. Lastly, the tank bag managed to stay in place and an added plus was that you could lean on it and use it as an extra firm pillow while cruising in a straight line.
With the stock suspension settings and this 180-lb pilot, the R1 delivers a slightly jarring ride on California’s bumpy freeways. So in the name of outright comfort, we backed out preload from the fork and rear shock to make the bike’s suspension more forgiving in the rough stuff. The bike’s stock tool-kit has the right tools for the job, which make changes possible anywhere. 
Golden State vs. R1

Although the R1 handles the rigors of the city well, it’s at its best on a zigzagging ribbon of desolate pavement.

As we left Los Angeles behind and headed north through the Ojai Valley the air really started to heat up. Yet, I wasn’t blasted with the same excessive exhaust heat that you would have on the stock R1. While heat still radiates down onto the riders feet it’s a significant improvement over stock.
Upon hitting Wheeler Springs, we began climbing the surrounding mountains inside the Los Padres national forest. Here you’ll find miles upon miles of smooth pavement that winds up, down and around the area’s mountains. The combination of the R1’s sporty chassis and charismatic feel from its engine make ripping down the road an experience few other sportbikes can offer. And it’s not because the R1 accelerates faster or because it handles better in the corner. It is due, in part, to the machine’s unique engine configuration and the intimate connection fostered between it, the throttle and the rider’s right hand.
Peg the gas and the R1 drives forward with restrained aggression. I say restrained because its powerband is so ridiculously smooth I can’t imagine how any motorcyclist can be intimidated by the engine’s manners. Yet it does so with aggression like a pot of boiling water. Tight gear ratios and lower final drive gearing assist the engine in picking up speed fast. A few seconds of wide-open throttle induces the oversized white shift light to super nova within your peripheral vision. Kick the shift lever up and the next gear meshes perfectly and almost feels similar to that of a quickshifter-equipped gearbox, only it’s a tad slower and you’ve got to let off the gas for a split second to make the shift.
After a brief reprieve from summer’s heat we drop back into the inferno that is Taft, California. Again, the new pipes and raised windscreen really helped make this part of the trek much more bearable, even enjoyable, considering that the thermometer at our fuel stop was in the low 100s.

Fuel mileage figures on the R1 are very sensitive to speed and how hard you accelerate compared to other liter-class motorcycles we've tested.

Speaking of fuel, earlier in our Streetbike comparison, we achieved an average of 29 MPG aboard the R1, albeit at a pretty fast pace. On the L.A. escape leg of the journey we kept engine speeds low by short shifting and kept top speed under 90 mph, to see if we could muster better fuel economy. The result? An increase to nearly 38 MPG. Of course as soon as we got back to our typical high rpm riding escapades, fuel economy dropped off to around 30 MPG.
It wasn’t long before we were again rolling across wavy asphalt. Instead of fast sweeping mountain bends, it was much tighter first and second gear turns as we rode west toward the ocean and our evening destination of Morro Bay. Here it’s easy to notice just how little engine braking effect there is. As you prepare for the upcoming turn typically you’d expect some degree of engine braking effect, but the R1 is different. It almost feels like it freewheels, with little drag into the corner like you’d expect from a purebred race bike. Although it felt a bit unusual at first, soon you get use to it and it actually adds to the excitement of corner entry.
Despite the R1’s 476-lb fully fuel curb weight, it’s responsive in slow corners. Sure it’s not as agile as the class-leading Honda CBR1000RR, but by no means is it clumsy. An agreeable side effect of its girth is the stability it offers. When you’re aboard the machine, it feels like you’re on a solid piece of metal, similar to the feeling you’d get when riding in a high-dollar car. Better yet it retains this level of steadfastness whether you’re putting around at parking lot speeds or if you’re 160 mph top gear blasting down the highway. In fact throughout the course of the trip, we never once experienced any type of head shake or front-end instability. 
Day and Night

With daylight quickly running out, the R1’s bright twin-project head beams throw an intense spread of light even on a dark, deserted highway.

With daylight quickly running out and us nearing the Pacific coast, temperatures started dropping fast. Less than a hundred miles earlier we were baking in the sun and now as the sun crept lower in the horizon the temperature had already dropped down into the low 60s—you got to love California’s extreme climate.
When the weather gets chilly like this you’ll value the heat radiating from the engine and pipes, which have a pleasant warming on your derriere and legs. Also of note is how powerful the R1’s projector-style head beams are. With the high beam engaged, the headlights cut through desolate night air and gave a superior spread of light allowing us to confidently navigate this dark and frequently untraveled stretch of highway. Instrumentation back lighting is also pleasing without it being too bright and causing any glare of the windscreen.
After arriving at our hotel without incident, removing the luggage off the bike was as simple as pulling the front bag from the fuel tank and removing the rear seat. The tank bag measures 18 inches long and 15 inches at its widest, offering enough capacity for my notebook computer and a change of clothes with some room to spare. Although the rear bag is considerably smaller, it I could still wedge some a pair of shorts and my toiletries as well as a 16-ounce water bottle. Surprisingly, even after a full 12-hour day of riding, my body, especially my back and posterior wasn’t anywhere close as sore as I remember from last year.

Whether you’re on the road or in a parking lot the R1 never ceases to entertain its pilot.

We were back on our motorcycles early the next morning. And again, while I could feel the effects of yesterday’s endurance ride, my body wasn’t screaming in protest and I was still up for more. It was cool and overcast as we left Morro Bay and headed north-northeast through the outskirts of Paso Robles. Again, the heat kicked off the engine and exhaust made riding through the morning’s chill more comfortable.
The air quickly started to warm up as the marine layer subsided and we had reached Paso Robles wine country. After slicing our way through some of California’s most picturesque backroads we made our way past Lake Naciemento and toward Fort Hunter-Liggett military base, the gateway to one of my favorite stretches of tarmac, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. (Ed. Note: when you enter the base, make sure you have your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance or you may be denied access.)
Civilian traffic through the base is few and far between, so it wasn’t that much of a surprise that the roar expelled from the FMF pipes would draw attention. Unfortunately, the person’s attention it caught was that stereotypical heavy-set, mustache-equipped Military Policeman. As soon as he heard us he pulled up behind making sure we didn’t exceed the base’s conservative 35 mph speed limit. In fact the guy followed us the entire way through the base eventually giving up as we exited the base’s jurisdiction signaling shred time.

Dual-Sport R1?

The R1’s Drive Mode throttle control feature makes riding on limited traction surfaces much easier, safer and of course more fun.

If you’re looking for fast, smooth, not to mention a debris free surface, than this road is not for you. However if you like riding off-road, you’ll feel surprisingly at home on this zigzagging stretch of rural mountain path. Between its tight 20 mph switchbacks some sporadically sprinkled with gravel, this is the ultimate playground for those on and off-road riding street bike enthusiasts.
Riding on a dirty road surface demands judicious use of the throttle to avoid sliding out. And it’s where we appreciated the R1’s new Drive Mode feature. By enabling B-mode via the right handlebar mounted button, the engine becomes less responsive when you yank on the throttle. This makes the bike much easier to control when applying the gas on traction-limited surfaces. Sure, we’d catch some loose gravel tire spin here and there but overall the motorcycle was much easier to control and in the end it gave us more confidence to ride aggressively.
Due to the narrow tight nature of the road you’re never using anything but first gear. Yet, you’re always on either the throttle or the brakes when you’re really going for it, putting a demand on the brake system. And while the R1’s rear brake is perfect at helping you gets the rear end of the bike sliding during corner entry its front set-up lacks that same intimate stopping sensation that you’d expect from a modern liter-class sportbike. By no means are the brakes ineffective at slowing you down but they could definitely be improved on.
As mentioned before, the R1 hides its mass well and doesn’t take much effort to get to turn from side-to-side. We also really liked the way its slipper clutch works and how it completely eliminates any rear wheel hop or instability issues during aggressive corner entry.
The Destination

After baking in 100-plus degree heat inland, we finally reach the cool breeze of the Pacific Ocean. Another 70 miles and we’d be at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The cool ocean air is a welcome relief as the road terminates and drops you onto Highway 1. Follow it north through the rugged natural beauty of Big Sur and into Monterey. From there jump onto Highway 68 east and in a few miles you run right into Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway, site of this year’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.
Twenty six hours, 17 gallons of fuel, and 529 miles later we had made it to Laguna Seca intact without incident. Despite our initial street impression earlier this year, our modified R1 performed flawlessly. It delivered us with speed, style and comfort—all fundamentals of a great touring machine. Perhaps even more impressive was just how entertaining the R1 it is to ride. Whether we were carving through the canyons, blasting down a straightaway or just cruising through traffic, Yamaha’s superbike does it all well. In fact there wasn’t a moment I was bored or wished I was riding another bike. As I previously stated in the 2009 Superbike Smackdown VI Street comparison, if my cash was on the line, of the five newest liter-class sportbikes, I’d take the Yamaha. And after spending more time with it, our tweaked machine reiterates why it’s the sportbike I choose to ride on the street.
2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 Touring Photos
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Dealer Locator
2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 Accessories
FMF Apex Mufflers: $999.00

Yamaha Comfort Seat: $239.95
Part No: 14B-F47C0-V0-00 

Yamaha Raised Bubble Windscreen: $84.95 
Part No: 14B-F83J0-V0-00
AXIO Tank Bag: $189.95
Part No: GYT-14B55-50-44

AXIO Tail Bag: $149.95
2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 Specs
The 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 looks especially handsome in its Pearl White Rapid Red colors.
Engine: 998cc Liquid-cooled Inline-Four; 16-valve
Bore and Stroke: 78 x 52.2mm
Compression Ratio: 12.7:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection with YCC-T and YCC-I
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate slipper clutch; cable actuation
Transmission: 6-speed; chain final drive
Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
Front Suspension: 43mm Soqi inverted fork; 3-way adjustable for preload, compression and rebound; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Soqi gas-charged shock; 3-way adjustable for preload, compression, rebound; 4.7 in. travel
Front Brakes: 310mm discs with radial-mount Sumitomo 6-piston calipers
Rear Brake: 220mm disc with 2-piston caliper
Tires: Dunlop Qualifier; 120/70R17, 190/55R17
Curb Weight: 476 lbs.
Wheelbase: 55.7 in.
Rake: 24 deg. Trail: 4.0 in.
Seat Height: 32.8 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons MPG: 29.61
MSRP: $12,390 - $12,490
Colors: Team Yamaha Blue/White; Cadmium Yellow; Pearl White/Rapid Red; Raven/Candy Red
Warranty: One year, unlimited mileage

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2000 R1 -R1 Cross Country  May 20, 2010 02:24 PM
Touring on a sport bike is underrated. Rode my 2000 R1 a little over 6000mi in 16 days last summer. It's brutal at times, but totally worth it when you get a chance to rip through the curves, or down a desolate straightaway. Came home with a sore neck and wrists, but totally worth it!
tik -r1  March 15, 2010 11:37 PM
Nah,r1 looks are cool,I like the exhaust under the seat.FMF??I wonder how it sounds like.eventhough I prefer a hayabusa.
DR14 -09 R1  December 8, 2009 11:27 AM
I just switched from an '08 RC8 to this. What an amazing bike, smoothest engine ever, lots of torque down low but builds power and spins up so quick like an inline 4, it's genius what Yamaha did here and like this article says, I would have no hesitation doing some longer trips, first day was over 200 mi and super easy and comfortable, loving my R1
Jerry -Alex  November 15, 2009 11:57 AM
Alex you sound like a kid that hasn't hit puberty yet. Are you still wanking off to motorcycle magazines dreaming one day you are competent enough to learn how to ride a tricycle?.......keep dreaming little boy
ALEX -R1  November 15, 2009 07:04 AM
R1 sucks it allways had a poor low and mid range GSXR an ZX that is what really counts. R1 is good 4 pussys and 4 douche bags LOL
romeo -Da Best  October 30, 2009 05:35 AM
Whatever the critics says Yamaha R1 dominates most of big event series. There's no question when they took 2nd in AMA , Champion in BSBK, World SuperSports, WSBK and MOTOGP. These are well known Grand prix all over the world. Let's just face it that they had their time but for YAMAHA this is testemony for being one of the best engine they ever built.
???? -??  October 18, 2009 12:32 AM

your ma -gear  October 11, 2009 06:35 PM
what jacket is that??
Evandro Luiz Folador, Brasil -YZF-R1  October 6, 2009 08:05 PM
hello, I live in Brazil, in Curitiba and want to import a 2010 model R1, I wonder if the United States of America the dealers are already selling and is ready to hand over the motorcycle?
name of one dealer with this model ready to purchase?
James BALL -Feeling  October 4, 2009 02:14 AM
Out of control for R1 2009.
High feeling. Great sport bike.
AceJase -Subjectivity makes for irrational arguments  September 20, 2009 06:18 PM
Righto children, let's grow up a little shall we. Simply put, human beings are all different. We have individual preferences when it comes to power delivery, handling and aesthetics. Therefore it is impossible to determine whether or not any modern motorcycle is actually better than another. The fact is, they are ALL good and in the right hands when all contributing factors are set up right, namely; tyres, engine, chassis and talent, you are going to experience success. If you enjoy riding an R1 and it does everything you want it to do better than anything else...then it is the best bike FOR YOU! The only way to tell though, is to actually live with it. This review in my opinion is sensational. I own and ride my R1 every day. Regardless of Yamaha's intention to supposedly create a "race replica" this is not what my bike is... my '09 R1 is a "commuter and weekend scratcher" because that is how I ride it. Any advice I can receive which might help me to make a subjective decision about how I might make my experience better is valued and appreciated. Rant over!
Jerry -R1racer  September 18, 2009 05:55 PM
R1racer, the only thing you race is your little virago 250, put you on an R1 and you would be pissing yourself i know it for sure and lou you need to brush up on your grammar before you can learn to ride a tricycle.
R1 racer -lou & jerry are mental retards  September 18, 2009 11:08 AM
I love it when people make fools of themselves in public. Priceless!
Jerry -Leo you fool you are clueless about bikes you're making yourself look dumb  September 15, 2009 04:47 PM
At the end of the day, does anyone care how many bike brands are on the grid you idiot? At the end of the day that doesn't count as a championship does it you moron? You think WSB, BSB, MOTOGP etc, care how many bike brands of different types are on the grid? Do you win championships by having 100 r1's, gixxer 1k's etc on the grid? No you fool, at the end of the day it comes down to one rider on one motorcycle that's what counts u moron and last i checked two yamaha r1's are LEADING in points in the British superbike championships you moron, go do some research, the R1 is going to Win World superbike and British Superbike not to mention Lemans, R1 captured numerous AMA SUPERSTOCK titles in 04 and 06 you moron so i have no idea what you are talking about. stop talking outta your arse and accept that the R1 is the bike to beat this year
lou -r1  September 14, 2009 07:40 PM
guys jerry is on yam payrole. Hes payed to talk about how good the r1 is but its really not that good its junk yam sucks so the jerry. all he does is read about bike doesnt ride. may be he does if you think that old bike his full of rust is a bike
Leo -Hard data SacaryJerry  September 11, 2009 12:51 PM
As I was talking about R1 not yet totaly developed race qualityes, not its undoubtable street qualyties, here are some hard data to you Jarry. FIM WSBK, 2nd best yamaha R1, Tom Sykes, 8th place with 165 points, 199 points behind Spies pure talent. No other 2009 R1 on the grid. FIM Super Stock, closest thing to a streetbike, best R1, Sylvain Barrier, 5th place, 88 points less than first place, behind all other japaneese brands and Ducati. Mann TT 2009, CBR top 5 bikes, R1 7th behind suzuki rider.Canadian SBK, best R1, 4th place, 141 points behind gixxers and kawis. AMA SBK, just two R1s in top ten. BSB, best priveteer R1,8th place behin kawazakis, suzukis, hondas and factory backed Airwaves Yamaha. I could go on and on. So if R1 is so great racing tool, why it is dominating and flooding grids all over the world, besides when it is factory backed or by pure rider talet? Maybe/probably next years will be different and we will see all blue grids over the world. Don't think other japanese brands will sit and wait for that. In racing, if you are not factory backed you want the best for less and R1 isn't there yet. That doesn't diminish it or its racing potential, or ever its street potential. It is just fact backed by numbers. On contrary, as I firstly atated, latest models by honda and ducaty dominated tracks at their world release. Please, is it capable to anyone contradict all this with respect and good manners as it doesn't mean to desrespect anyone or brand.
adam-motousa -sportbike design  September 11, 2009 10:46 AM
i aqree with 5000% idaho r1-- r1 looks awesome--- best looking sportbike made today next to the rc8 ktm
Idaho -R1  September 11, 2009 10:36 AM
I don't agree that only the Italians have a flair for bike design, at all. The R1 is a beautiful bike in person, every bit as sexy as a 1098. Watch Twist the Throttle on Direct TV about the japanese kanji design philosophy. They get sportbikes...believe me the japanese get sportbikes.
Eric -09 R1  September 10, 2009 11:19 PM
i have the 09 R1 and the 09 ZX10. if i had to choose one bike it would be a very hard choice but i would have to choose the R1 over the ZX10. the zx10 does feel a little faster at high speed hard acceleration (it actually feels like it wants to pull you off the bike even at over 140mph accelerating!). the R1 feels more torquey and accelerates very hard as well like a freight train but without having the feel of it trying to tear you off the bike (i have actually reached 180mph on it running from the . . .) . the great thing about the R1 is that it is so smooth and so stable. i had the front end come up while doing 150mph+ mid corner and lived to tell about it! thank you yamaha for the electronic steering stabilizer! the underseat heat issue is resolved easily by getting rid of the cat with a leo vince Y-pipe. the cat is extremely heavy! it must weigh about 16lbs. ! i kept the stock exhaust as i dont like it too loud but i did get rid of the muffler heat shields as it makes the rear look a lot slimmer. i dremeled the brackets off of the mufflers. for long rides the comfort seat is a must. i used to have 2000 R1 which was so sweet but this new 09 R1 is too amazing.
2009akraR1 -Awesome Bike  September 9, 2009 02:11 PM
First off, I love how all these people rag on the R1 and they havent even seen one in person yet. They see the stupid a** reviews and look at the specs on the bikes and make judgements. First off, the very first review of the bike that i saw before i bought mine was a track test with all of the 2009 liter bikes. It was based strictly on the best lap time and guess what. . . the R1 beat the next closest bike by a full second. I work for a dealer that sells Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. I get to get the zx10, the cbr1000, the gsxr1000, and the r1 whenever i want. and guess what, i could have bought any of the 4 as well and i chose to go with the r1. it was hands down the best and most streetable bike i have rode. I will admit, the stock exhaust sucks, and thats why i have the akra full race exhaust, the stock dunlops suck, and thats why i put michelin power ones on. This is the easiest bike to come out of the whole with. I havent found a bike with similar mods that can pull me out of the whole and it handles awesome. My point, dont be decieved by all the bull sh** reviews. And dont talk sh** until you ride it.
Leo -R1 no king of racing  September 9, 2009 01:12 PM
Ben Spies is kickin a... at WSB,and so is Cruchlow not R1 or R6. Look at the field. Where are others R1s? Take a look at the priveteers who need the best for less so you'll see Ducati and Honda dominate. R1 still need much more development for world racing level, while CBR hit the ground running.
Jerry -The R1 is the new king of racing  September 8, 2009 05:47 PM
Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki better come up with a liter bike that can keep up with the R1, the R1 is the bike to beat this year, want proof? just ask every true racer, its bike of the year, won many awards and shootouts, but most important at the highest level of racing World superbike champion to be the R1, suzuki, honda and kawasaki are getting their azzes kicked all over the world by yamaha , not only the r1 but the R6 as well. and motogp champion, and josh hayes recent success in AMA superbike.

dude -yamaha  September 8, 2009 02:58 AM
This is Yamaha R1, not Yamaha YZF R1.
hh -R1 touring  September 6, 2009 10:37 PM
What bike to ride where and how? I sure Ben Spies will want to know the results of the latest comparison. I have been from Vancouver to Miller in Utah and back on my R1. Been to the prairies and back on same. Been all over the place. The R1 is not a perfect ride and I am not a perfect rider. What bike could attain perfection if it does not exist in you. Be one with the bike works fine, but the bike is never one with you, unless yours goes to the beer store for you, mine doesn't. Hey its a motorcycle, ride it and if it feels right, enjoy it. The rest is just blah blah blah
RPG76 -????????????  September 6, 2009 11:17 AM
So it lost on the street and the track. But if you throw a bunch of money at it it kinda makes a sort of ok sport tourer???? They need to give this bike it's balls back.
Vince -Re:Murph - Sport Bikes for Sport Touring  September 6, 2009 11:02 AM
With all due respect Murph, I agree that you can cover more miles on a "traditional" sports tourer than a race replica. However, for some people a traditional sports tourer just isn't sporty enough. I've tried them all. I prefer a real race replica. They shred corner better. So for me therefore the article was NOT a joke and I found it useful. I will try that hard bag in the article next year when I ride my R1 back to the MotoGP race in a Laguna Seca,the 1200 plus miles from Vancouver, BC, Canada....thank you.
Omar -Kawasaki 650r 2009  September 6, 2009 02:00 AM
Touring Ride is it the word for the kawasaki 650r ??? i love your subjects but i do love if you can bring the answer to Thanks lot :)
wayne rhodes -2009 R1  September 5, 2009 10:45 PM
the 600cc class dominates the field in sales 5 to 1 and they wont to sell the liter bikes to the public.Most are street bound anyway. the ego's are better than before for the R1 still not as good of ergonomics as the cbr rr
Murph -Sport Bikes for Sport Touring  September 5, 2009 01:53 PM
If you want to sport tour and do it right, you don't buy an R1. Traditional sport tourers own this area for comfort, handling, suspension and luggage capacity. I find this article some what of a joke.
x2468 -GEAR  September 4, 2009 10:33 PM
also, what kind of gear were you wearing? and how did you like it in during this hot long distance ride?
x2468 -LA?  September 4, 2009 10:24 PM
MCUSA head quarters is in LA? I thought it was in Medford Oregon?? Thanks for doing a more real world test. You should do these more often.
wan from malaysia -r1 review  September 4, 2009 09:30 PM
yamaha r1 is the best
Bikerrandy -R1 Review  September 4, 2009 08:57 PM
Why no reference to the chain lube requirements on your short "touring" ride ?
Vince -R1 Review  September 4, 2009 03:51 PM
I also rode to Laguna Seca on my 2009 R1, from Vancouver BC. My longest day was 1200 km (roughly 700 mi). The greatest thing about this bike is the engine: smooth and sublime; feels sooo go revving it out. I could listen to it all day. It has Akro slip ons. I've been riding 29 years and have owned most types and brands. The crossplane engined R1 is the funnest bike I've owned. It looks awesome in person. Photos don't do it justice. It doesn't matter to me that it came last in a stock - bike shoot out. It goes to show how good the bikes are nowdays. Thanks M-C USA for the great site...
thesoapster -On the R1  September 4, 2009 12:09 PM
I just recently passed 5600 on my 09's clock. Mine is running the Akra slip ons w/ Y-pipe (DB eaters out). If you stand behind it it definitely makes some noise. On the bike, it really doesn't bother me much at all (in fact I quite enjoy it hehe). Definitely not as bad as when I had a GSX-R750 with Arrow Euro Cup Replica...then again the exhaust was a good bit closer to me. The undertail systems put the noise more behind the rider. If the FMF come with DB eaters you could always leave those in; when mine were in my pipes were barely any louder than stock (just tone difference). The best way to get rid of the heat is to get a Y-pipe to get rid of the cat. right behind your right leg! As for vibrations, my bike definitely has them, but my mirrors are pretty clear when at speed. Past I4's I've had would still have blur/vibration at that point. Final point is I tried out the GYTR "aero" screen and it was trash. It may work well, but in terms of fit and finish, it had significant fitting gaps between my upper cowl and the screen. I swapped it out for a Zero Gravity Double Bubble. Much better build to it, and of course that design channels air much better than the stock screen. Good write up, and it shows that with the differences between the bikes everyone is going to have their preference. I'm still loving mine.
MotoUSA Adam -R-ONE-ski  September 4, 2009 11:28 AM
You fit the FMF pipes number one because they look awesome. Number 2 because they sound so rad that even dudes driving Ferrari F430's break their necks when they hear you coming. Number 3 because they reduce the amount of exhaust heat that's kicked up on the riders butt and legs.
TheBeemer™ -Typo  September 4, 2009 10:34 AM
Its Morro Bay.
Desmolicious -Not a good selling point...  September 4, 2009 10:08 AM
" It’s so loud that even wearing ear plugs has little effect on the outright volume inside your helmet."

Ya really should have taken all four bikes on this trip to see if the R1 really is any good as a street bike. In isolation all bikes seem great. Riding the backroads w/ luggage on them, for all we know the R1 would have placed last again...
Tim B -Nice Bike  September 4, 2009 08:53 AM
I love the R1. I'm not a big Yami fan, I haven't had a chance to ride one and I don't think they're the best looking bike, but they are different which is awesome. It's about time one of the Japanese brands broke away from the boring mold that was created decades ago!

But if "it’s so loud that even wearing ear plugs has little effect on the outright volume inside your helmet" why would you put those pipes on a street bike you intend to put lots of mileage on?! That makes no sense.

Superlight -R1 Review  September 4, 2009 06:14 AM
Well, if a superbike doesn't have quite the performance/handing of its peers it gets relegated to touring duty. Not such a bad thing, as it seems every company wants to sell you a repli-racer instead. For me, I just can't get past the appearance of this machine. Why does every Japanese sportbike have to look like a committee designed it? Why does it seem that only the Italians have a flair for motorcycle design?