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Yamaha R1 Sports Motorbike Review

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Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

The third and final great sports bike of the nineties. The FireBlade set the agenda, the 916 added finesse and the Yamaha YZF-R1 topped them off with extra power and madness. Even today the original Yamaha YZF-R1 is a sports tool to be reckoned with and updated Yamaha YZF-R1s are even more potent and easier to use too.

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Evoultion at it’s finest – the technology’s not hugely changed since the FZR1000 of 1989 but the Yamaha YZF-R1 has always delivered a minimum of 150bhp (130 at the wheel). Torque is never in short supply and the bike’s light weight makes the most of both. The Yamaha YZF-R1's gearbox can be a little reluctant.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Yamaha YZF-R1 is a track bike to demolish rivals and wring the rider’s adrenal glands dry. The original 98-99 model was the liveliest and hardest to tame. Later Yamaha YZF-R1s were easier to pilot but don’t think that means they’re soft in any way. The original Yamaha YZF-R1 was slightly hard to turn into corners and could run wide. Later versions were improved with a stiffer headstock and firmer forks. Ace brakes.

 

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Extra equipment on a race rep just ads weight so the Yamaha YZF-R1’s pretty minimal. Comfort’s pretty good for a rider although Yamaha YZF-R1 pillions must be brave. Headlights are effective even if the mirrors aren’t brilliant. There’s some underseat storage too unlike later Yamaha YZF-R1s where exhausts occupy that space – although from 2002 it’s minimal.

Yamaha YZF-R1 (1998-2003)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£2,840 (1999) - £3,760 (2003)
Private used prices
£2,530 (1999) - £3,430 (2003)
  View full used price info
Engine size 998 cc
Power 150 bhp
Top speed 175 mph
Insurance group 16 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

No major problems and finish is much better than early/mid 90s Yamahas. Beware race/track Yamaha YZF-R1s which have been thrashed. Problems with the gearbox are very rare despite internet rumours suggesting otherwise. The black finish on the frame and swingarm of 2003/03 Yamaha YZF-R1s rubs off easily.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Yamaha YZF-R1 was top dog sports bike until the GSX-R1000 appeared in 2001. Parallel imports and stiff competition from Honda and Suzuki mean prices stay sensible. But equally there’s no such thing as a good, clean, cheap Yamaha YZF-R1 – they’re a desirable bike and good ones always sell. Honda’s FireBlade from 2002 onwards is a comparable machine and the GSX-R arguably better.

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Insurance

Insurance group: 16 of 17

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Model History

1998: Original Yamaha YZF-R1 launched.
2000: Revised Yamaha YZF-R1 has 150 changes – most noticeable sleeker tail unit and titanium exhaust.
2002: More changes to Yamaha YZF-R1 for less weight, more power, fuel injection  and more environmentally friendly. Black frame and swing arm, letterbox tail light.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 175 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.8 secs
Max power 150 bhp
Max torque 80 ft-lb
Weight 175 kg
Seat height 815 mm
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 16 of 17
Engine size 998 cc
Engine specification 20v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 298mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

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Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(14 reviews)

  • 1998 R1 4XV

    samsex

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have had my white/red 98 R1 for over 5 yrs. I set the bike up as per a Performance Bike magazine recommendation and boy what a superb machine. I have a 15/46 sprocket combo, which put the speedo out, so I fitted a speedo healer unit to correct the readout. The bike is mint and always draws admiring comments. It is extremely quick, very light on the front under hard acceleration and shakes it head (which i like!) Knee downs are a doddle, although if the tyre pressures drift off a bit, it does affect the handling quite a lot, so you need to keep checking it. The early bikes are getting more sought after, and only a few weeks ago I was offered a 'Name Your Price' to sell it, which I declined. I have owned many bikes, including a Honda SP1, the R1 wipes the floor with it in my opinion. Get one while you can!

    10 August 2011

  • YamahaR1 5pw 2003 review

    steven jackson

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    excellent all round bike, mines a 2003 fuel injected model. Fitted a power commander to smooth the power out, fuel silencer and KN aitfilter, goes like the wind and still looks the part. only one negative, its a bit thirsty on the petrol but the smile factor overcomes this. next mod is to put a racefit silencer on it and get it remapped and dyno'd.

    11 August 2010

  • brilliant bike

    leeyamr1

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    Had my 02 R1 for 2 years and its the carb model not the fuel injected model and its a brill bike will be keeping this one for a long long time thank god for plenty of storage under rear seat for all my onboard camera gear again a great bike

    09 January 2010

  • brilliant bike

    leeyamr1

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    Had my 02 R1 for 2 years and its the carb model not the fuel injected model and its a brill bike will be keeping this one for a long long time thank god for plenty of storage under rear seat for all my onboard camera gear again a great bike

    09 January 2010

  • r1 99

    nordkey

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    hi ive ridden my r1 now for the last 5yrs its a v reg 99 and is the best handleing bike ive ridden fast is jus silly and exceloation is amazin id only get rid of it 4 a 2001 model

    04 October 2009

  • Great bike

    lorano

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Got my 2000 R1 last weekend after owning an RRW fireblade.To say the R1 is fast is an understatement!!Its silly fast,really torquey pulls like a train even in top gear!Looks fantastic,looks how many modern sports bikes do now.Impressed so far so heres hoping it can only get better!!

    08 August 2009

  • brilliant

    voser

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
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    Engine

    I sold my 07 R6 2 months ago and was very upset. I had a Ducati Monster 900 as a stop gap which didn't improve my mood. This month I got hold of a 2000 Model R1 and I am overjoyed. Accelleration, feedback, smooth pick-up, and looks! My favourite bike to date.

    03 June 2009

  • Still scarey

    all624

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
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    Value
    Engine

    Had my 99 from new, still with minimal miles. The power delivery and engine is awesome in a good but scarey way. Build quality superb and looks that have not really aged that much.

    01 February 2009

  • R1 2002, 5 Years from New

    JesteR6

    DUNSTABLE

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    I loved it. Was getting a bit long in the tooth, so had to let her go. The injection R1 was tamer than the original that's why I held off getting it. Test rode both but found the 2002 model to be a lot more user friendly. The handling was superb and the engine was powerful and reliable. Loved the angular design although its not to everyone's taste. Fitting aftermarket parts does make a difference ie exhaust and power commander, but it's down to individuality what your after. I would highly recommend you get one if you fancy an R1 but can't afford a newer version.

    18 September 2008

  • 2002 fuel injected model

    steve burrows

    Wymondham , UK

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought a 2002 black framed R1 after owning CBR6's for 15 odd years. Power and handling is amazing, to be honest there is to much power for the bumpy B roads i ride. Full throttle results with massive tank slappers, so you have to short shift through the gears. I find a 600 suits me better, i am able to thrash a 600 on these sort of roads, whereas the R1 is to much. I know a steering damper would cover this up, but i still think think i would be quicker along the same piece of road on a 600. Running costs are amazingly cheap, it returns about 45mpg, a set of sticky Pirelli Corsa's lasts me 3500 miles, i am hoping the new Michelin Pilot Power will last about 5000 miles. Insurance is dead cheap, it costs me £128 fire & theft for the year. The only modification i have done is an Akropovic titanium end can, and I have had it Dyno'd at 142bhp (I dont know what it made with the standard can). Everything seems well made, seems as good as my Honda. I have seen stone chips on mudguard of other blue models, but new they only cost £75. ( i replaced mine after disc lock accident). Lovely handling, loads of low down grunt, easliy read dash, reasonably comfy, even through town. Good value for what you get, and in my opinion the best looking 1000cc bike of that vintage (the fireblades look bland, with crap colour schemes)

    24 March 2007

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morseoneuk

morseoneuksays

5PW 2003 R1

Now into my fifth year riding this machine....   love it ! without reservation.

have riden the newer models, nice bikes but not particularly impressed, will be holding on to this one for a while yet...

15 April 2010 13:29

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