While Kawasaki has been making headlines with the H2 and the H2R, Yamaha has refreshed its popular YZF-R1 for 2015, and has added another model to the YZF-R lineup called the YZF-R1M, hot on the heels of its rival in the green cloak.
The R1 uses a newly designed 998cc in-line four-cylinder, four-valve liquid cooled engine with a crossplane crankshaft. The engine has been designed to be lighter and slimmer than the one on the outgoing models, and the design focuses on increased air intake volumes and reduced horsepower loss – this engine mills out a healthy 197.27bhp of power. This is an increase of approximately 17.75bhp over the outgoing model, says Yamaha. The internal mechanical parts have been made lighter to achieve this decrease in weight and loss of less horsepower.For example, the connecting rods have been lightened by making them out of titanium alloys, “which strikes a good balance between weight, strength, and processability”.
These new Yamahas come with electronics galore. Optional on the YZF-R1, and standard on the R1M is a Communication Control Unit, which is used to “heighten the rider-machine interface through simplifying the settings and checking the vehicle information”. It records all riding information while working in tandem with the onboard GPS unit, and even records information such as lap timing. Movement on the six-axis is measured by an Inertial Measurement Unit and the G-Sensor, and they feed information to the ECU, which calculates the optimum settings for the engine. This ECU is programmed with the following five types of control systems – a new TCS that also conveys bank angle information (traction control), an SCS that reflects sideways slide of the rear tire (slide control), an LIF that deters loss through wheelies (lift control), an LCS that supports the quick takeoff required in racing (launch control), and a QSS that supports fast gear shift (quick shift).
With so much technology making its way to these production motorcycles, they closely resemble their MotoGP sister, the YZR-M1, in terms of the level of equipment. This is not surprising as many manufacturers eventually bring a lot of their researched technologies to their production lineup. This is evident with the design of the two new Yamahas as well. They are both based on the “Speed Racer” concept, and they have a light, slim, and compact look.The new fairing shape features the cross-layered wing – an aerodynamic characteristic which allows airflow to cross between the inside and outside of the fairing. The front face bears a strong resemblance to the YZR-M1, thanks to the design that obscures the presence of the headlights, and the allocation of a center duct. In addition, fairings and screens with a raised center combine with the wide seat to create an entirely new R-DNA, which incorporates the essence of the YZR-M1. The wheels have been forged from magnesium, while the fuel tank is redesigned and made from aluminum to aid weight reduction, and make the riding position flexible.
What sets the R1M apart from the R1 is the track-focused ÖHLINS electronically-controlled suspension. The electronic racing suspension can be controlled by the SCU (suspension control unit) which supports integrated control of the front and rear suspension extension, and compression damping force based on information from the IMU and sensors. In addition, this model employs features such as lightweight highly-textured carbon fairing, data logging functionality that records riding conditions, and 200mm wide rear semi-high grip tires.
Yamaha says that the motorcycles will reach European shores in early March 2015, and then North America, and presumably the global markets. While Yamaha has not revealed the prices, they are expected to announce them by the end of this year.
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