The 187kg (dry weight) OW01’s high-revving, liquid-cooled, 750cc, 20-valve, four-cylinder, carbureted engine made 120 horsepower at the crank – impressive stuff in those days. The bike was fitted with Yamaha’s stiff, lightweight ‘Deltabox’ chassis (made of aluminium), fully adjustable Ohlins rear shock, 43mm front fork, six-speed close-ratio gearbox, 17-inch wheels, and various titanium and magnesium bits to keep the weight down.
Despite all of this, the OW01 wasn’t really as successful as, say, the Honda VFR750R RC30 or the Ducati 851, in World Superbike racing. And for the street, for most people, the Yamaha FZR1000 offered more usable performance at a significantly lower price. Sure, the FZR1000 never handled as well as the race-bred OW01, but on the street, where few dared to push to ten-tenths, that did not matter.
Heavier, less powerful, slower and not as good looking as the OW01, the YZF750 wasn't really a very good follow up to the mighty FZR750RR
Now that almost 20 years have passed since the OW01 was launched, it’s interesting to compare that bike with Yamaha’s 2008 R1, pics of which were unveiled only yesterday. With 20 years of advances in motorcycle engineering, electronics and technology, it isn’t surprising to see that the R1 offers far more performance at a much lower cost.
The 2008 R1 offers huge performance gains over the old FZR, at a much lower cost. Such is sportsbike progress...
With equally capable riders on each bike, we don’t think even the exotic old OW01 would be able to keep up with an R1 today!