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Yamaha YZF-R1 Launch at Killarney Raceway

Killarney Raceway,Cape Town – Well she's finally here…well almost anyway.The Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1-M launch at Killarney International Raceway took place over two days with only press and dealers invited although the more avid social network follower could spot the event and mingle freely with the new superbikes if they chose to mosey on down to the track.

Two R1's and the R1-M were on display and in riding rotation as well as Yamaha's latest line-up including the MT-07,MT-09 Tracer,Super Tenere' and a rare piece of R1 history that would appeal to proponents of the marque (join our Facebook page for more on this).David Mcfadden was holding court,leading the VIP's around the track for a few laps (to get their bearings) on the predeccesor Big Bang and swopping to the new bike at the end of every session to 'ride it like he stole it'.. as the saying goes.

I can report that the new R1 has a very refined Big Bang sound coming from it's muffler and watching Dave slither the bike around the corners you could just see the electronics at work…..especially when the front lifted about 8 inches off the ground….everytime it lifted,wherever it lifted.Naturally everyone wants to know what Dave's lap times are but he's playing 'em close to his chest,although i did hear a little bird call out 1:16s on the standard R1.Admittidly Dave's probably not gonna go to race pace at the launch of a R260 000 motorcycle (R340K for R1-M).

Here's an anorak-y quote from my social page from about a month ago –

'R1 has gyroscope,six-axis sensors for pitch,roll and the biggie..yaw.Then it has 3 accelerometers,2 that measure accel- & deceleration and 1 for lateral & vertical movement.This things gonna be a scalpel'

….ooh…'scalpel'…gee Djed,how'd you come up with that one.But it's true enough and the R1's meaningful look,speaks volumes about it's intent.Let's face it…when you first saw it you weren't thinking 'wow,that'll be comfy on the way to the Buff'.It looks like a 600 and it's narrow,much like Ducati.Indeed the Anassis Racing team's already opted for R1 in the S.A. national superbike championship and Sheridan Morais is currently testing on the bike for the 24 hour at Le Mans,so for proof of the R1 pudding,it's wait and see….and I for one,am on the edge of my seat.




Engine Type
998cc, liquid-cooled inline 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valves
147.1 kW (200hp) @ 13,500 rpm
112.4 Nm@ 11,500 rpm

Bore x Stroke
79.00 x 50.9mm

Compression Ratio

Fuel Delivery
Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I
TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition


6-speed w/multiplate slipper clutch

Final Drive
O-ring chain

Suspension / Front
R1  – 43mm KYB® inverted fork; fully adjustable; 4.7-in travel
R1M – 43 mm Öhlins electronic suspension w/ inverted fork; fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travel

Suspension / Rear
R1  – KYB® Single shock w/piggyback reservoir, 4-way adjustable; 4.7- in travel
R1M – Öhlins electronic suspension w/single shock w/piggyback reservoir, 4-way adjust.

Brakes / Front
Dual 320mm hydraulic disc; 4-piston caliper, UBS ABS

Brakes / Rear
220mm disc; UBS ABS

Tires / Front

Tires / Rear
R1  – 190/55ZR17M/C
R1M – 200/55ZR17M/C

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