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.
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.
"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!"
"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."