Saturday, 6 December 2014

Yamaha R1 2015!

It was a rainy night in Milan, but that in no way dampened the mood at Yamaha, which trotted out MotoGP star Valentino Rossi to ride the long-awaited 2015 YZF-R1 onto stage at the big launch party held the night before the EICMA motorcycle show opened. And what an impressive bike this new R1 appears to be, a seriously sporty new Yamaha flagship that goes on sale in February/March priced at $16,490.

This bike is a big leap forward from the older R1 and trumps the V-twin Ducati 1299 and the mad supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2.

For that sum, you’ll be getting a potent and highly capable motorcycle that can throw down some fast laps at your local track day and then be ridden home. And it’s in that role as a street-legal race bike that the new R1 will almost certainly shine, thanks to a lightweight aluminum chassis (with a magnesium subframe) and an all-new 998cc four-cylinder engine that puts out “approximately 200 horsepower” at the crankshaft. Yamaha, of note, makes it clear that the 200 mark is reached without any ram-air effect. Also, good, linear torque is reported throughout the rev band.
Neat details abound: The R1’s connecting rods are titanium, and their big ends are fracture-split, which assures a perfect circle. The cylinder head, with reshaped ports and larger valves (33mm intakes, 26.5mm exhausts), has 13.0:1 compression, and its narrower valve angle allows for a more compact pent-roof combustion chamber. And, in page borrowed from MotoGP, the crankshaft is a crossplane design with 270°/180°/90°/180° firing sequence that gives each piston and con rod its own individual and separate movement for power pulses that improve acceleration traction and offer a most excellent great exhaust growl.
2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 side view from EICMA motorcycle show
Another note about the R1’s crankshaft: Yamaha says it has 20 percent less inertial moment than the previous crank, which dramatically improves throttle response. And a lightweight primary coupling balancer has weights positioned near the outer cylinders for strong acceleration and consistently high torque.
Lightweight forged aluminum pistons are also part of the R1 recipe. Cooled by oil jets from below, these pistons are lightweight but strong, and their low-tension piston rings, together with a diamond-like carbon coating on the wristpins, helps reduce internal friction. Similarly coated is a new rocker-arm mechanism that provides a higher valve lift than the cam height to reduce load on the cam and further cut internal friction.
One of Yamaha’s main design thrusts was to increase air intake volume while reducing power losses. The airbox on the new R1 is a voluminous 10.5 liters, 23 percent larger than the previous box. Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Injection, with long and short funnels electronically activated for optimum power output and torque, remains in use, while new two-directional, 12-hole injectors spray fuel at the back of the larger intake valves.
Valentino Rossi introduces the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 at EICMAWHAT DOES THE DOCTOR SAY?
Valentino Rossi evidently played a role in the development of the new 2015 R1. He said he wanted the bike to have the agility of his M1 race machine, but, at the same, be more comfortable to ride and have a “better feel” over the front end. He also worked with the R1’s new electronics, which feature, among other things, lean-sensitive traction control, slide control, and ABS, plus various power modes, a quickshifter, wheelie control and launch control. “All of the electronics in MotoGP have improved a lot,” said Rossi, a nine-time world champion. Electronics now work in a very natural way. It’s like normal riding, but easier.”
With cast magnesium wheels, lightweight LED lights, and a titanium 4-2-1 exhaust, the new 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 tips the scales at a claimed 439 lb., in fully wet, ready to ride form. Its wheelbase is down by almost 0.4 inch, and its swingarm has been reduced in length by 0.5 inch. Rake and fork offset are unchanged, and an inverted 43mm fork is complemented by a link-type single-shock rear.
2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 rear view from EICMA motorcycle show
Also notable: The 2015 R1 is the first Yamaha supersport model with ABS and Unified Braking. With the latter, the operation of the front brake generates a corresponding brake force at the rear. And when the rider operates both the front and rear brakes, UBS controls the balance applied to each brake. The only time UBS has no control is when only the rear brake is used.
LED headlights reside in the leading edges of the side cowling, not in the center of the fairing, which gives the new 2015 R1 has a race-ready look. This is backed up with an exceptionally strong technical package should keep this Yamaha busy on weekends at racetrack and on roads around the world.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R1M at EICMA motorcycle showSPECIAL-EDITION: THE YAMAHA YZF-R1M
Near the end of the Yamaha press conference in Milan, we were in for a surprise treat: The R1M, a limited-edition R1 for riders or professional teams who plan to go racing, essentially a homologation special in the spirit of the YZF-R7 of 1999. To that end, this special R1M has Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) from Öhlins, carbon-fiber bodywork, a Communication Control Unit (a data logger) and stickier Bridgestones. Price: $21,990. Fewer than 500 will be built.

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