Yamaha YZF-R1

Rising Above with the Yamaha YZF-R1
By Staff Writer

First of all, take a long look at this machine. Its beauty and styling speaks for itself. Last year, Yamaha completely reinvented the R1, making it lighter and more powerful. The 988cc short-stroke, 5-valve, in-line 4-cylinder engine gives this bike the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. If you are not a numbers person, here is the executive summary: this bike absolutely rocks, giving you razor-sharp performance and knife-edge handling through even the tightest hairpins. The culmination of a half-century of award-winning engineering is the R1—one unbelievable ride.

The short-stroke 998cc, DOHC, 20-valve, liquid-cooled, inline 4-cylinder engine now produces 180 horsepower (with Ram-Air) at an amazing 12,500 rpm. The dual-valve fuel injection system uses motor-driven secondary throttle valves and 32-bit ECU for super-responsive, instantaneous power delivery. The two-piece ergonomically designed fuel tank carries fuel in the rear section, for good centralization of mass, while the front half contains a new, Ram-Air-fed airbox for increased power. The lay-down design cylinder head– 40 degrees forward instead of 30– optimizes weight distribution, straightens intake tracts for improved cylinder filling, and allows frame to pass over instead of around the engine for great strength and a narrow chassis. The closed-deck cylinder block reduces cylinder pitch, allowing a narrow engine in spite of big, 77mm bores. The narrower-angle 5-valve combustion chambers produce a highly efficient 12.3:1 compression ratio. Plus, bigger valves and intake cams with more lift and duration flow more air. The carburized connecting rods with perfectly mated big ends produce a quick-revving engine with excellent high-rpm durability. The high silicon-content ceramic-composite cylinder sleeves ensure greater heat dissipation for consistent power delivery and reduced friction. The strong, yet lightweight clutch and close-ratio 6-speed gearbox with triangulated shaft layout increase strength, compactness and provide quicker acceleration. The titanium underseat exhaust system (except for stainless steel midpipe with catalyst) contains a new titanium EXUP valve for a broad, seamless powerband. The high-efficiency curved radiator and aluminum liquid-cooled oil cooler maintain stable operating temperature. The direct ignition coils, new dual-electrode spark plugs and high-output magneto deliver more reliable firing. The AC generator moves behind cylinder block for a narrow engine with excellent cornering clearance.

The aluminum Deltabox main frame rails pass over the engine instead of around it, resulting in an extremely strong structure that is also remarkably compact and narrow. The overall frame width is reduced from 17.8 to 15.6 inches, which produces more comfortable ergonomics as well as more efficient aerodynamic penetration. The controlled Fill die cast, truss-type swingarm is very strong and long for optimal traction and feedback. 3.8 inches of trail combines excellent maneuverability and high-speed tracking. The controlled Fill die cast, detachable aluminum subframe is light, strong and allows easy rear shock access. The dual 320mm front disc brakes, lighter/stronger, forged one-piece radial-mount calipers and Brembo radial-pump front master cylinder with adjustable lever delivers great braking controllability. The fully adjustable KYB inverted telescopic front fork with 43mm tubes provides 4.7 inches of travel. The piggyback rear shock gives 5.1″ of wheel travel, full adjustability and a lightweight, accessible aluminum preload adjustment collar. The light, 5-spoke wheels enhance acceleration, deceleration, handling and suspension action. The underseat titanium exhaust system is lightweight, reduces drag, enhances mass centralization, allows 56-degrees of cornering clearance–and adds to the R1’s predatory appearance.

Two multi-reflector and two projector “Gatling-beam” headlights provide great illumination and distinctive style. The R1 has an adjustable LCD illumination and multi-function digital gauges: adjustable shift light, odometer, dual tripmeters, water temperature, air temperature, full-time clock, lap timer and large 15,000 rpm analog tachometer. The aggressive bodywork with twin Ram-Air intakes increases engine performance. The LED taillight is light, bright and highly efficient. The Sticky 120/70-ZR17 and 190/50-ZR17 radial tires provide incredible grip and precise handling. The forged footpegs are extra durable and light. The extensive use of hollow bolts and lightweight fasteners help trim overall weight. The 8.2 AH battery is more compact and light. The R1 has a durable #530 O-ring-sealed drive chain and a standard toolkit located conveniently in the storage compartment under the passenger seat.

Renowned, revered and respected on road and racetrack, the R1 has become the blueprint by which all supersport motorcycles are judged. The 2005 model will take you places you have never been – to new sensations on the road, to new limits on the track, to new understandings of your own capabilities as a rider. Obviously, with its 998cc, 180-horsepower ram-air fuel-injected engine, the YZF-R1 is intended for riders who like their performance straight up.