Tuesday, September 09, 2008

2009 Yamaha YZF-R1: Pics, details, video…


With its MotoGP-inspired engine internals, this 2009 Yamaha R1 should kick ass...

Yamaha have unveiled the 2009 R1… and the underseat exhaust pipes are still there! Well, the world was expecting a radically redesigned R1, with the underseat exhaust system making way for an all-new MotoGP-style single-side exhaust, and that hasn’t happened. Sob! Still, there might be plenty on the new R1 about which you could get excited…

To start with, Yamaha claim the 2009 R1 is the world's first production motorcycle with a crossplane crankshaft. According to a Yamaha press release, ‘Pioneered in MotoGP racing with the Yamaha 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. Not just new, the R1's new crossplane crank engine represents a complete paradigm shift.’ Hmm.....

Styling-wise, it isn't the radical redesign we were hoping for...
With our limited understanding of engine internals, we won’t try too hard to understand Yamaha’s new crossplane crank engine, we’ll just hope it goes like blazes. With 182bhp at 12,500rpm and 115Nm of torque at 10,000rpm, how hard can it be? And then, there are all those electronics – Yamaha Chip Control Intake (YCC-I) and Yamaha Chip Control Throttle (YCC-T) – which are still there, while D-Mode has now been added to the 2009 R1.

Yamaha’s D-Mode variable throttle control function enables the rider to adjust performance characteristics to match various riding conditions. There’s a standard mode mapped for optimum performance, ‘A’ mode for sportier response in low- to mid-speed range, and ‘B’ mode for when it’s raining/snowing or when you’re riding on greasy, slippery roads. Of course, with that 998cc Yamaha inline-four making more than 180 horsepower, you can’t ever afford to get careless with it, regardless of the D-Mode setting. And unlike the 2009 Fireblade, there's no ABS here either, so there.

The ZX-10R, Fireblade and GSX-R1000 brigade should probably be a bit worried...
Yamaha say the new R1’s chassis has also been extensively revamped, and now offers even better high speed stability and handling. At the bike’s recent unveiling at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas, Valentino Rossi said, ‘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!’

The 2009 R1 will be available in dealerships from January 2009, with prices starting from US$12,390. More details on the Yamaha website here

The first promo video of the 2009 Yamaha R1...

...and another video, explaining the new R1's MotoGP-derived technologies

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