At the Laguna Seca round of the FIM World Superbike Championships last weekend, two major manufacturers launched new motorcycles. Ducati unveiled the Panigale V4 25°Anniversario 916 and Yamaha took the covers off the new Yamaha R1 and R1M.
The 2020 Yamaha R1 and R1M are an evolution of the existing model and feature the most significant updates since the current generation of the R1 was launched in 2015. The changes are minor tweaks to the engine and aesthetics, and updates to the already extensive electronics package. For 2020, the R1 gets a taller central cowl and a minor tweak in the side fairing that now matches the rest of the body, instead of the black panels on the 2019 bike. Yamaha claims the changes have resulted in a 5 percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency.
The YZF-R1 continues to be powered by the 998cc, four-cylinder engine but has tweaked it with finger-follower rocker arms, new camshaft profiles, new fuel injectors, and a new cylinder head. Yamaha has said the modifications allow the R1 to deliver maximum power (200hp) at 13,500rpm but still meet EU5 emissions regulations. Also new is the use of a ride-by-wire throttle with APSG (Accelerator Position Sensor Grip) – a system that increases throttle feel. There's a new Brake Control system that will allow riders to select one of two ABS modes – BC1 and BC2 – the former improves upright, straight line braking, while the latter delays ABS intervention depending on lean angle.
Both the YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M feature new suspension components as well. The R1 continues to use a KYB USD but with revised internals. Meanwhile, the R1M gets a new Öhlins ERS front fork. Both bikes have also received changes to the internals of the rear monoshock.
The R1 and R1M have been priced at $17,399 (Rs 11.92 lakh) and $26,099 (Rs 17.88 lakh) in the USA, respectively, with deliveries set to start after September in international markets. In India, the current variant of the Yamaha R1 retails at Rs 20.39 lakh and the updated bike, when launched, will cost a bit more.