The Yamaha R1 was never short of top end drive and that’s true of this latest version. What the latest Yamaha YZF1000-R1 does have though is a healthy dollop of midrange kick. Not that this will be a worry in the lower gears as the fly-by-wire system, linked to detailed ECU mapping, won’t deliver everything the rider asks for, instead giving what it thinks is best. Variable length inlet trumpets (worked by electronic motor at 10,400rpm) boosts midrange revs and props up top end poke – not just a gimmick, it actually works.
Ride and HandlingMCN rating
With race-like suspension front and rear, the standard set-up of this latest Yamaha R1 is just about right for dealing with everyday riding on UK roads. Turn the pace up (road or track) and there’s enough adjustment to suit every situation and riding style. Typically the R1 is a front end motorcycle, meaning that every road detail is felt through the bars and it drops into a turn as quick as you like. Race track manners along with road motorcycle stability takes some beating and believing, but it does both with style.
As a leading sports bike/race replica, niceties of heated grips and shaver points simply don’t exist. The Yamaha R1's dash layout is spartan but effective; big tachometer face, gear shift light and LCD speedo are all you’ll really need. Yamaha has brought back six-piston brake calipers to fly in the face of four-pot fashion, but they work very, very effectively on the smaller-sized discs of the latest R1. The rear shock features high/low compression damping, which is good, as is the roomy seating position. Six-feet plus? Not a problem.
Quality and ReliabilityMCN rating
As there are only three major motorcycle fastener suppliers in Japan –used by all the Japanese manufacturers – the old belief that Yamaha’s finish is inferior is complete rubbish nowadays. What is questionable is the bitty way certain panels of this latest Yamaha R1 are tacked on or used to cover areas eg the flimsy placcy bit covering the down pipes. Reliability shouldn’t be a problem as the Yamaha R1 hasn’t got a reputation for being a lemon.
Yamaha’s pricing has always been strange: in 2005 the R1’s list price was £9k-plus, but then dropped to just over £8k in 2006. For 2007 the R1’s projected price will be around £8999, which (typically) is around £200 more than the competition. Value for money? Yamaha think so, as do previous Yamaha R1 customers. Find a Yamaha R1 for sale
Insurance group: 17
Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now
1998: The very first YZF1000 R1.
2000: New titanium silencer, revised gearbox, modified carb, magnesium engine case covers, new bodywork and fuel tank, lighter chassis components, new suspension settings.
2002: Fuel injection now fitted along with catalytic converter and uprated ECU for more power. Revised frame and suspension and cosmetics.
2004: Full make-over for the Yamaha R1; new engine internals, underseat exhaust, sharper styled bodywork, more power, frame and suspension mods (longer swingarm in 2006).
2007: Launch of all-new Yamaha R1.
Yamaha R1-SP: 2006 limited edition with Ohlins suspension, Marachesini light weight wheels, and slipper-type clutch
Centenary: limited edition all-yellow model in 2005/2006.