• Sep 8, 2008
Click above for more shots of the 2009 Yamaha R1

As is often the case when one of the big four Japanese bike manufacturers introduce a new literbike, there's way too many new features and detail improvements for us to include in a write-up. For the '09 Yamaha R1, though, there are some huge differences which are sure to become major talking points over the next few months. For starters, Yamaha is now the first manufacturer to move its modified firing order technology from the Moto GP tracks to your driveway. Featuring a staggered crossplane crankshaft that locates each connecting rod 90° from the one before it. According to Yamaha, this arrangement allows for the high RPM power of an inline-four with the steady powerband of a twin-cylinder bike. We look forward to finding out for ourselves how effective this is. Other useful technology is the adjustable power button which changes the engine map between three different settings.

Also new is a magnesium subframe, new projector headlamps with integrated ram air ducts and a stubby new rear tail section. Some of the styling changes will take a bit of getting used to, but we are pretty pleased that Yamaha has seen fit to offer a paint scheme from each of its past major color motifs: Yellow and black, red and white and the current blue, plus one thoroughly stealthy version in black and red. Check past the break for more, along with commentary from Yamaha racers including Valentino Rossi.


[Source: Yamaha]

PRESS RELEASE

2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 Features Uneven Firing Order For Improved Power Delivery

Cypress, Calif. – Forget everything you ever knew about the supersport liter class. Because once you hear the growl of the all-new 2009 YZF-R1, it will become clear that this bike is unlike anything before.

It's all about power – delivery of power, to be exact. That's because the all-new R1 is the world's first production motorcycle with a crossplane crankshaft. Originally pioneered in MotoGP racing with the M1, crossplane technology puts each crank pin 90 degrees from the next, with an uneven firing interval of 270-180-90-180 degrees. The result is incredibly smooth, roll-on power delivery with outrageous amounts of torque for a rush like you've never experienced before.

The unique shape of the crossplane crank smoothes out fluctuations in inertial crankshaft torque to provide very linear power delivery as the engine's combustion torque builds, giving the rider more linear throttle response with awesome power and traction exiting corners. Not just new, the R1's new crossplane crank engine represents a complete paradigm shift.

To make the crossplane crank viable an advanced ECU individually maps each cylinder's ignition and fuel injection timing. This powerful electronics package also controls Yamaha Chip Control Intake and Chip Control Throttle (YCC-I, YCC-T).

Also new for 2009 is the inclusion of D-MODE variable throttle control function that enables the rider to adjust performance characteristics to match a variety of riding conditions. In addition to standard mode mapped for optimum performance, the rider can select from A mode for sportier response in low to mid-speed range, and B mode for somewhat less sharp response for riding situations that require especially sensitive throttle operation. These 3 different maps at the push of a button allow the rider to choose the optimum power character for their riding situation.

This revolutionary new engine is housed in an equally advanced chassis. Control filled die-cast frame rails balance high vertical rigidity with relatively low lateral rigidity for increased high speed stability while improving handling, especially while leaned over during corner exit. A control filled die-cast magnesium sub frame cuts weight far from the center of balance and contributes to concentration of mass.

Visually the new R1 breaks new ground leading with twin projector beam headlights concentrated near newly placed forced air intake ducts. The sculpted body work features inner and outer shells controlling airflow around the bike at high speeds and forcing more cool air to the radiator and engine bay while eliminating the need for hot-air vents usually located at the sides of the radiator.

More than the just the next-generation of supersport; the 2009 YZF-R1 represents a major breakthrough in supersport technology and performance.

The new R1 will be available in dealerships nationwide beginning in January 2009 with a starting MSRP of $12,390. The 2009 R1 will be available in Raven/Candy Red, Pearl White/Rapid Red, Cadmium Yellow/Raven and Team Yamaha Blue/White.

Full information on all Yamaha models can be found at http://www.yamaha-motor.com.


YAMAHA RIDERS UNVEIL NEW R1 IN LAS VEGAS

All four Yamaha MotoGP riders took part in the global unveiling of the all-new Yamaha R1 today in a suitably glittering show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fiat Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, plus Tech 3 Yamaha team-mates Colin Edwards and James Toseland were surprise guests at the unveiling, which took place in front of 3000 Yamaha US dealers at the famous Mirage Hotel.

The all-new version of the R1, Yamaha's premium performance road bike, is more closely linked than ever to the YZR-M1 on which the four riders contest the MotoGP championship. The riders each came on stage aboard a different colour version of the machine, before being interviewed about it's qualities in relation to their own MotoGP bikes.

Next stop for the foursome will be the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the inaugural MotoGP race at the famous venue, which takes place this Sunday.


Valentino Rossi

"This is a great bike, it's very like my M1 and it's exciting to see so many MotoGP qualities now appearing on a bike for the road. I think everyone who loves the R1 and Yamaha will be very excited about this new version, it's fantastic!"


Jorge Lorenzo

"I think this bike will be very popular. Yamaha have worked very hard to try to make it as like our M1 as possible and it seems they have done a fantastic job. The cornering and agility especially is great, which is of course one of the best qualities of the M1."


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  • 29 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      bugeyes!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Another thumbs up from me for the motorcycle articles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      While not as revolutionary as the cross-plane crank, the forks are pretty interesting as well. One is responsible for compression and the other for rebound. Very cool.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here's a question that's related, but unrelated at the same time.

      Any way to see Autoblog without all this new bike content that's recently invaded it? I'm not enjoying my visits as much as I used to.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You enjoy reading all the tantalizing information regarding Saabs, NASCAR Truck series and where Toyota is going to build it's next batteries more then the information about high powered, fast, and nimble vehicles... really?

        • 6 Years Ago
        yeah, theres a way out... If you dont like it how about not just waste your time commenting on it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Relax, enjoy, and maybe discover something about another way to enjoy the roads you drive on. At the very least you might learn something about some of the vehicles you share the road with (and, energy prices being what they are, are likely to see even more of).
        Or you could just not click on the story...
        • 6 Years Ago
        USCGTO, MikeofLA, SpaceWeasel, apparently, I am not alone. I know this is an extreme analogy, but you don't post cell phone information in a car forum and ask readers to ignore those posts. It just doesn't fit, just like bikes don't fit in autoblog, at least the autoblog we all know and have chosen to keep reading because of the type of content it has always had. There are bike blogs out there.

        Thank you, Kumail891.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey autoblog!

      Keep posting these motorcycle articles and news. Don't listen to cagers!

      • 6 Years Ago
      Great, make it sound like a VFR800.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would like to see a review of this bike sometime soon, I have been riding Kawi's and Hondas, currently having a hard time finding a replacement for my quite modified Honda RC51.... never really been a Yamaha fan. Current R1 has been a dog, even with the 08 ECM changes. I hate the ZX10 styling also, but its a killer machine. Honda where is my new RC51 ????
      • 6 Years Ago
      It isn't a "big bang" engine, as no two cylinders ignite at the same time. A better description would be "long bang". There is a great animation at the Yamaha R1 microsite: http://www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/msite/micro_v1.aspx

      I am personally extremely excited about this bike. Some have said Yamaha has been too conservative with they aesthetic makeover. But the R1 has been the best looking Japanese supersport bike for so many years- I am glad they didn't screw it up! (Read: 08 Kawi ZX10)

      I think the bike looks great (OK, the exhaust cans are begging to be swapped out for some more slender, aggressive sounding aftermarket bits) but the big news here is the engine as well as the completely revised chassis.

      I think this will be the new open class sportbike king in 09!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm glad that Yamaha didn't mess up the styling. I look forward to riding one next year. It will be interesting to see if it has fixed the midrange torque issue (or lack thereof) that the R1 has. Needless to say, having ridden both the 07 and 08 CBR and the 08 R1, these improvements better make quite a difference if they want to catch up to Honda.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not as dramatic I would like, but at least it isn't ugly as the ZX-10R/CBR1000.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorry to be slightly off-topic, but could someone please direct me to a link with more information on cross-plane and flat-plane V-engines? (no wikipedia, please) I read about them some years ago, and I think I remember reading about one more type of design for V-engines. Is my recollection poor, or is there a third type of design for V-engines? Thanks
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like the bike posts, but also think they could almost merit a second Autoblog spinoff (joining ABG).

      I love this time of year, seeing all the new and updated bikes. The new FZ6R is interesting. It'll be interesting to see how the R1 stacks up in track tests and road tests. Maybe the 2011 R1 will get electronic suspension (they ran electronic suspension on the R1-based raced bikes at this past weekend's World Superbike race).
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's up with all the hate for a couple motorcycle posts?

      With the popularity they've gained in the last couple years I'd say it's merited.

      I'd personally like to see more of them, rather than unlimited amounts of Prius coverage and every variation of the Mustang. Actually I don't mind seeing what they come up with on the Mustang. :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm with you.

        Some people have nothing better to do expect complain about everything. When they die they are going to tell God He's running heaven wrong.
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