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The Yamaha YZF-R1, or R1, is an open class sport bike, or superbike, motorcycle manufactured by Yamaha Motor Company since 1998.
Yamaha launched the YZF-R1 after redesigning the Genesis engine to create a more compact engine by raising the gearbox input shaft and allowing the gearbox output shaft to be placed beneath it. This design feature was revolutionary, called a 'stacked gearbox', it has set a precedent for other manufacturers to follow. This "compacting" of the engine made the total engine length much shorter overall, thereby, allowing the wheelbase of the motorcycle to be shortened significantly. This, in turn, allowed the frame design to place the weight of the engine in the frame to aid handling because of an optimized center of gravity. The swingarm was able to be made longer without compromising the overall wheelbase, which was a short 1385mm. Four 40mm Keihin CV carburetors fed fuel to the engine; 140 bhp was claimed by the factory. USD 41mm front forks supplied by KYB mounted 300mm semi-floating disk brakes. The instrument panel was electrical with a self diagnosis system and digital speed readout. The exhaust system utilized an EXUP valve, which controlled the exhaust gas flow to maximize engine power production at all revs. This created a high powered and high torque engine. The Yamaha YZF-R6 was introduced in 1999 as the 600 cc version of the R1 super bike.
The 1999 R1 saw only minor changes, apart from paint and graphics. More improvements were a redesigned gear change linkage and the gear change shaft length being increased. Fuel tank reserve capacity was reduced from 5.5 to 4.0 litres (1.2 to 0.9 imp gal or 1.5 to 1.1 US gal), while the total fuel tank capacity was unchanged at 18 l (4.0 imp gal; 4.8 US gal).
Motorcycle Consumer News tests of the 1998 model year YZF-R1 yielded a 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) time of 2.96 seconds and 0 to 100 mph (0 to 161 km/h) of 5.93 seconds, a ?1/4-mile (400 m) time of 10.19 seconds at 131.40 mph (211.47 km/h), and a top speed of 168 mph (270 km/h), with deceleration from 60 to 0 mph (97 to 0 km/h) of 113.9 ft (34.7 m). For the 1999 model year, Cycle World tests found a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.0 seconds, ?1/4-mile time of 10.31 seconds at 139.55 mph (224.58 km/h), and a top speed of 170 mph (270 km/h).
In 2000, Yamaha introduced a series of changes to improve the bike, and minor changes to the bodywork to allow for better long duration ride handling. Yamaha's main design goal was to sharpen the pre-existing bike and not to redesign it. The dry weight was reduced five pounds to 414 pounds (188 kg).
At 127.8 horsepower (95.3 kW) at the rear wheel, top-end output remained the same, but changes to the engine management system were intended to result in a smoother, broader distribution of power. The bodywork was still unmistakably R1, although a few changes were made resulting in a 3% reduction in the drag coefficient. The headlight housing's profile was sharpened, the side panels were made more aerodynamic and slippery, and the windscreen was reshaped for better rider protection.
The seating area was also updated. The fuel tank was reshaped, with a more relaxed rear angle and deeper leg recesses to provide for a better rider feel. The seat extended further towards the rear of the tank and the new, steeper, seating position put additional weight on the front end. All of this was aimed at improving weight bias and offering sharper cornering and more stability.
Mechanically, the carburetors were re-jetted in an effort to improve throttle response, especially in the low end, all the way up to the bike's 11,750 rpm redline. The redesigned camshafts were lightened and used internal oil ways to lubricate journals that, when combined with reduced tappet clearance, provided less friction and created less engine noise. The gearbox received a taller first gear, a hollow chrome-moly shift-shaft with an additional bearing and a completely redesigned shift linkage and foot pedal. These changes were aimed at eliminating problems with the transmission in earlier models, and to help to seamlessly transfer the bike's power to the road.
A new fuel injection system was introduced for the 2002 year, which worked like a carburetor by employing a CV carburetor slide controlled by vacuum created by the engine. With a similar power output to the 2000-2001 bike, the engine remained largely the same. One notable improvement was the use of new cylinder sleeves of a high silicon content alloy containing magnesium that minimized heat induced distortion, reducing oil consumption. Also in 2002, Yamaha released the newly developed Deltabox frame, which, with its hydro formed construction, reduced the total number of frame welds. These changes improved the frame's rigidity by 30%. The cooling system was redesigned for better performance and compactness. The exhaust system was changed from a 4-into-1 to a new titanium 4-into-2-into-1 design. The rear end of the motorcycle was updated and streamlined with a LED taillight. This allowed for very clean rear body lines when choosing one of several common after market modifications, such as removal of the turn signal stalks and stock license plate bracket; and replacing them with assorted available replacements that "hug" the body or frame. Also, front end lighting was improved in 2002, between the higher definition headlights and also side "parking" lights within the twin-headlight panel, giving a more angular appearance. This also gave additional after market possibilities, such as to remove the front turn signals and use these front lights as directional or hazard markers while stopped. For 2003, the only change was fitted hazard warning lights and dipped headlights, which stay on all the time the engine is running.
In 2002, Cycle World reported fuel mileage of 38 mpg-US (6.2 L/100 km; 46 mpg-imp), a 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) time of 2.9 seconds, a ?1/4-mile (400 m) time of 10.32 seconds at 137.60 mph (221.45 km/h), and a top speed of 167 mph (269 km/h).
With the competition advancing, Yamaha made some major changes to the model. This included style updates, like an under seat twin exhaust, and performance upgrades including radial brakes, and, for the first time an R1 Ram-air intake. Furthermore, the tendency for wheelies by earlier productions was reduced by changing the geometry of the frame and weight distribution. The all-new engine was no longer used as a stressed member of the chassis, and had a separate top crankcase and cylinder block.
The 2004 R1 weighs 172 kilograms (379 lb) dry. The conventional front brake calipers were replaced by radially mounted calipers, activated by a radial master cylinder. A factory-installed steering damper was also added this year. Combined with the changes to the frame, this helped to eliminate the tendency of the handlebars to shake violently during rapid acceleration or deceleration on less-than-perfect surfaces, a phenomenon known as a speed wobble or tank slapper.
Motorcycle Consumer News tests of the 2004 model year YZF-R1S yielded a 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) time of 3.04 seconds and 0 to 100 mph (0 to 161 km/h) of 5.42 seconds, a quarter-mile time of 9.90 seconds at 144.98 mph (233.32 km/h), and a top speed of 179 mph (288 km/h).
John McGuinness won the senior race at the 2005 Isle of Man TT.
For 2006, the swingarm was extended by 20 millimetres (0.79 in) to reduce acceleration instability. In this year, Yamaha also released a limited edition version in original Yamaha racing colors to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The model (LE/SP) had a Kenny Roberts front and rear custom Öhlins suspension units developed by the same team as the YZR-M1 MotoGP bike. Custom forged aluminum Marchesini wheels specifically designed for the LE shaved nearly a pound off the unsprung weight. A back torque-limiting slipper clutch, and an integrated lap timer rounded out the package, making the LE virtually a production racer. Only 500 units were made for the United States with another 500 units for Europe.
An all-new YZF-R1 for the 2007 model year was announced on 8 October 2006. It had an all-new inline four-cylinder engine, going back to a more conventional four-valves per cylinder, rather than Yamaha's trade mark five-valve Genesis layout. It also had the Yamaha Chip Control Intake (YCC-I) electronic variable-length intake funnel system, Yamaha Chip Control Throttle (YCC-T) fly-by-wire throttle system, slipper-type clutch, all-new aluminum Deltabox frame and swingarm, six-piston radial-mount front brake calipers with 310 mm discs, a wider radiator, and M1 styling on the new large ram-air ports in the front fairing. There were no major changes for 2008. Power at the rear wheel was 156.7 horsepower (116.9 kW) @ 10,160 rpm.
Motorcycle Consumer News tests of the 2007 model year YZF-R1 yielded a 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) time of 2.94 seconds and 0 to 100 mph (0 to 161 km/h) of 5.46 seconds, a ¼ mile time of 9.88 seconds at 145.50 mph (234.16 km/h).
In late 2008, Yamaha announced they would release an all new R1 for 2009. The new R1 takes engine technology from the M1 MotoGP bike with its cross plane crankshaft. Crossplane technology puts each connecting rod 90° from the next, with an uneven firing interval of 270°- 180°- 90°- 180°. The 2009 R1 was the first production sportbike to use a crossplane crankshaft and big-bang firing order. The power delivery is the same as a 90° V4 with a 180° crank, such as the Honda VFR800 and very similar to the Yamaha V-Max which has been lauded for its exhaust sound. Yamaha claims the bike would give the rider 'two engines in one', the low end torque of a twin and the pace of an inline four. As with previous incarnations of the R1, the 2009 model keeps its Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T).
Another advancement included on the 2009 model was D-Mode Throttle Control Valve Mapping, which allows a rider to choose between three distinct maps depending on the rider’s environment. Each mode of operation controls YCC-T characteristics, changing how the R1 reacts to rider input. The first mode is Standard Mode, which delivers performance for a wide variety of driving conditions. The second mode is "A" mode which will give a rider more available power in the lower to mid RPM range. The third mode is "B" mode, which is a dial back of the previous mode, designed to soften throttle response in inclement weather and heavy traffic. D-Mode throttle control is controlled by the rider through a forward mode button near the throttle. The instrument panel is more comprehensive than previous models, and the 2009/2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 model had a gear indicator as standard.
Overall handling of the R1 was improved through changes to frame and suspension. A new sub frame was designed for the 2009 R1, cast from magnesium giving lower weight aiding mass centralisation. The rear shock absorber on the 2009 offers variable speed damping, as well as an easy to tweak pre-load via a screw adjustment. The rear shock now connects underneath the swing arm through a different linkage; a change from previous years' models. To improve overall handling and safety, Yamaha included an electronic steering damper.
The front has the same classic R1 shape, though the air intake location and headlamp design have been revamped on the 2009 model; using only projector lamps, and using the new-found design space within the nose cone to reroute ram air tubes next to the lights.
Testing the 2010 model year in the confines of a tri-oval racetrack, Motorcyclist magazine reported a ?1/4-mile (400 m) time of 10.02 seconds @ 144.23 mph (232.12 km/h), and fuel consumption of 25 miles per US gallon (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg-imp). Motorcycle Consumer News reported a tested top speed of 176.7 mph (284.4 km/h).
In 2012 the Yamaha YZF-R1 received traction control, redesigned upper cowl (nose of bike), and a special edition 50th Anniversary R1 was released. The special edition color is inspired from Assen TT-winning MotoGP bike. The special edition commemorates the participation of Yamaha in MotoGP. Only 2000 units of this edition were made.
At the centennial EICMA motorcycle show, Yamaha officially unveiled a new generation of R1. It is similar to MotoGP's 2005–Present YZR M1. Yamaha claims a wet weight of 199 kg (439 lb) The new bike has an electronics package that includes a sophisticated Traction Control (TCS) and Slide Control System (SCS), antiwheelie Lift Control System (LIF), linked antilock brakes, Launch Control System (LCS), Quick Shift System (QSS), and selectable power modes. The Slide Control System on the Yamaha YZF-R1 is the first on a production motorcycle. Information is fed to the bike through a six-axis gyro (Inertial measurement unit) and other sensors over 100 times a second. Power delivery is tapered through manipulation of the throttle butterfly and ignition and fuel cuts. Engine changes include shortened bore-to-stroke ratio, larger airbox, a finger-follower valve system, and fracture split titanium conrods. It comes standard with magnesium wheels. Information is presented to the rider through a user-customizable thin-film display.
A second higher-spec, limited production model is also produced called the R1M, and is differentiated from the standard model by having more expensive components such as electronic semi-active Öhlins suspension, carbon fiber bodywork, Yamaha’s Communication Control Unit (CCU), Y-TRAC data logging system, and stickier Bridgestone tires with larger rear 200/55-size. A third model starting in 2016 is also offered a lower-spec R1S.
The bike had 5 wins in the Macau Grand Prix between 1999 and 2013. Lorenzo Alfonsi won the 2004 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, followed by Didier Van Keymeulen in 2005. Yamaha World Superbike riders Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 2008 Superbike World Championship season. Yamaha World Superbike rider Ben Spies won the 2009 Superbike World Championship season title recording 14 wins and 11 poles in his one season in WSBK. The Yamaha Factory Racing Team with riders N. Nakasuga, P. Espargaro, and B. Smith won the 2015 Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes, Pol Espargaro won the 2016 Suzuka 8 Hours endurance Race. Tommy Hill won the British Superbike title in 2011 on board a YZF-R1. Yamaha rider Josh Brookes won the 2015 British Superbike series title.
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