Skip to content

Yamaha R1 Sports Motorbike Review

Find By Make/Model

1 of 9
Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle review - Riding
Click to enlarge
Previous image Next image
 

Yamaha YZF-R1 (1998-2003)



Detail Value
Used price range View Yamaha R1 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
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

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.

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.

Find a Yamaha R1 for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 16 of 17

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now

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

See all Yamaha R1 motorcycles for sale

Yamaha
R1

15650 miles

£8,799

Yamaha
R1

11964 miles

£5,199

Yamaha
R1

25000 miles

£2,000

Yamaha
R1

1870 miles

£10,695

Yamaha
R1

13067 miles

£4,300

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(14 reviews)

  • Red n white evil beastie

    hagasan2002

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Hi guys I have a dilemma I [ like a knobber] have just got rid of my 99 r1 for a 996, I've had it for 4 months and I hate it its uncomfortable, fueling low down is utter shite, its costing me shedloads already and now I just dont wanna ride it [does any1 want a 996]. Strengths: Power, fueling, looks, handling, ease of use, brakes. Weaknesses: Slightly intimidating if inexperienced and I dont know Japanese for FUCK SLOW DOWN.

    27 May 2006

  • 2000 R1 with 2002-03 back end, Blue, LEDs, Micron...the dogs hanging down things.

    kwack636

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Passed test 10 months ago, 1st bike a 2004 ZX636r, loved its handling...not enough power. 2nd bike a 2003 Suzuki Hayabusa, loved its power but not its handling, 3rd bike 2000 ZX12r, did not like it at all. BIKE NOW....R1 and this thing is all the best bits of previous bikes IN ONE. Love it to bits, get a twitch on every time I go out on it. Power delivery is blistering and brakes stop on a dime. Needs steering damper to control front end and previous owners choice of tyres not very good "avons". But other than that, the best bike I have ever had the pleasure of blasting on. R1 is the bike for me amd if I ever change it will be for an other one. Strengths: Power,lifts front wheel in 1st 4 gears,handling now I set it up,brakes and most of all THE LOOKS!!!! Weaknesses: After ZX12 and Hayabusa, 170mph top end does not feel that fast. Gets loads of stone chips round bottom of fairing at front.

    12 August 2005

  • If you want perfection, look elsewhere, if you want to be challenged, go ahead.....

    jota980

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    After 24 years and 30 bikes ( including jota's and 200 bhp gsx-r turbo's ) the R1 has made its mark in my biking C.V. A powerplant that delivers 100%- 24/7, the chassis will develop you as a rider, it's not perfect, which is my view is, er, perfect. Ridden hard it's a mobile gym but with only 2 mirrors, if you're on the ball you'll usually find poseurs in them, but not without a sweat. The soft ? standard suspension provides ample feedback providing your rear end is capable of deciphering the information it receives, same goes for the front, awesome in the wet, plenty of sideways and even wet wheelies, or both. Some fine adjustments will help it to turn in, alternatively, try using your feet on the pegs, gas it early whilst exiting and take the weight off as the power comes in, here's a tip - when the rev counter is vertical, the bike should be also. Newcomers, the inexperienced and the lazy should go for the 'alternatives'. YZF-R1 - all you'll do here is learn! Strengths: Power delivery, wet weather tool, hooligan element, evil looks, reliablity. Weaknesses: 20,000 miles from new - starter button, fiddly oil filter change.

    16 August 2004

  • My Review

    neojesus

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Amazing bike, the best I have ever owned. Go get one! Awesome performance, handling and out of this world acceleration, what more do you need??

    09 July 2002

Page

Discuss this

Add your comment
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

Most popular

Rate my bike

Related News