The 2015 Yamaha R1 and R1M motorcycles were announced at the end of last year. They looked pretty but as always it was difficult to know what they offered without a ride. This has been put right and last weekend motorcycle journalists from around the world assembled at the Eastern Creek race circuit near Sydney, Australia to sample the new Yamaha.
Amid the expected increase in horsepower and the addition of electronically adjustable suspension, Yamaha have added something special to the R1 and R1M, Slide Control System (SCS). Allegedly the same as that used by Rossi and Lorenzo’s MotoGP bike in 2012 the SCS is integrated with Yamaha Ride Control, which uses the Yamaha Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). “The IMU uses a gyro sensor, GPS unit and a G-sensor, and measures attitude, lean angle, acceleration and brake pressure across six axis,” say Yamaha.
From Motorcyclenews.com, “It’s so effective you can actually hold a rear wheel drift to the point it will snap back into line when you shut off and brake for the next bend.”
Since the fall in sportsbike sales of 2008/9, it’s good to see renewed interest in the category from Japanese manufacturers. The new R1 would appear to place Yamaha back on top form alongside, or even ahead of, the leading European marques such as Aprilia, Ducati, and MV Agusta.