The Yamaha YZF-R1 or simply R1 is classified as an open class sport bike or superbike motorcycle that is built by Yamaha Motor Company. Production of this vehicle started in 1998 and it was initially launched after the Genesis engine was redesigned to offset the crankshaft, output shafts, and gearbox input. The overall size of the engine was decreased and the length of the engine became much shorter as a result. Doing this allowed designers to shorten the wheelbase and increase handling with an optimized center of gravity. This bike has a compression ratio of 11:8:1 and uses a 6-speed transmission and multi-plate clutch.
The Yamaha YZF-R6 was initially introduced in 1999 as the super sport version of the R1 super bike. There were some early models of this bike which were recalled because of a clutch problem. The 1999 version of the R1 received only a few minor changes, other than the paint and graphics. Some of the more noteworthy improvements to this bike include a redesigned gear change linkage as well as an increase of the gear change shaft length. The fuel tank reserve capacity was reduced from 5.5 to 4.0 liters, though the overall fuel tank capacity remained the same at 18 liters.
Yamaha introduced a whole new series of changed to the R1 in 2000 which vastly improved various aspects of the bike. There were some minor changes to the bodywork of the bike so as to allow for better long duration rid handling. The main design goal with this model R1 was to sharpen up the design but not to change it altogether. Although there were over 150 different changes made to this bike, it kept the same basic configuration and design. A new air induction system was added to the 2000 model R1, weighing around four pounds, though the overall weight of the bike was reduced by five pounds to 414 lbs.
Top end output for the 2000 R1 remained the same, though there were some changes made to the engine management system for a smoother overall ride as well as broader distribution of power. This bike’s bodywork largely remained unchanged, retaining its unique and recognizable exterior characteristics. Some small changes were made to this bike, however, which resulted in a 3 percent reduction with the drag coefficient. There was some sharpening of the headlight housing as well as the side panels which were made to be more aerodynamic.
Years later, Yamaha announced that an all new R1 would be released in 2009. This new bike borrows its engine technology from the M1 MotoGP bike with its cross plane crankshaft. The crossplane technology that this bike makes it the first of its kind to use a crossplane crankshaft as well as big-bang firing order. The overall power output of this R1 is the same as the 90 degrees V4 with a 180 degree crank, similar to the Honda VFR800.
The overall handling for the 2009 R1 was improved dramatically with changes that were made to its frame and suspension. There was also a new sub frame designed for this model R1, cast from magnesium in order to reduce the overall weight of the bike and centralize its mass. The rear shock absorber on this bike offers variable speed damping and a pre-load that can be easily tweaked with the help of a screwdriver. The rear shock on the 2009 R1 connects underneath the swing arm through a different linkage, which is a significant departure from previous models. This latest R1 is definitely an impressive achievement for Honda and the 2015 model is slated for a November 3rd, 2014 launch.