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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

It’s hard to fault the clinical, precise and devastatingly fast Yamaha YZF-R1. Its chassis can cope with all kinds of road surfaces and demolishes tight hairpins at any track. But it does demand skill and rivals like the CBR1000RR and GSX-R1000 are simply less work. For purists the Yamaha YZF-R1 still has something unique; a superb focus on the dark art of riding extremely fast.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Yamaha YZF-R1's 20-valve four-cylinder motor makes more power than 90% of all road riders can cope with, and delivers it in one long, ever increasing howl of delight. Nifty gearbox helps the fun, plus the fuel injection is excellent, too. Yamaha YZF-R1 SP version has a slipper clutch and another 3bhp if you really, really need it – it costs £14,000 however.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The only weakness with the Yamaha YZF-R1's Deltabox chassis is that it needs a bit more effort, more precision, to get the very best from it at the track, compared to the  incredibly adroit Gixer 1000. It's as if the mass of the Yamaha YZF-R1 is carried a fraction higher than on the Suzuki.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Yamaha YZF-R1 has all the sports bits you need, plus a handy clock on the dash, high rpm warning light and a token pillion. The mirrors aren't too narrow, but the seat is higher than the CBR1000RR or GSX-R1000. The Yamaha YZF-R1's OE Dunlop tyres don't suit some riders either, but they'll be shredded after your first track day anyway.

Yamaha YZF-R1 (2004-2006)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£4,360 (2004) - £5,290 (2006)
Private used prices
£3,750 (2004) - £4,500 (2006)
  View full used price info
Engine size 998 cc
Power 165 bhp
Top speed 175 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Lush paintwork, beautiful alloy cycle parts and very well put together. Apart from the odd clutch niggle (it has a tall first gear ) the Yamaha YZF-R1 has an excellent reputation for long life and can do seriously high miles, not that many owners care to rack them up. Nick Sanders has been around the world on a Yamaha YZF-R1, dodging cattle chicanes and all sorts, so it can handle anything you throw at it.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Yamaha YZF-R1 was the UK's top seller in 2004, but in 2005 the GSX-R1000 arrived and things have been tougher for the Yamaha YZF-R1 since. Good deals can be had so shop around.  Special editions? The Kenny Roberts yellow and black painted model Yamaha YZF-R1s will possibly be collectable in the future. It's only worth considering the high spec SP model if you have the spare dosh and track time to enjoy it, as depreciation will be harsh. Find a Yamaha R1 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2005: No major changes from 2004 Yamaha YZF-R1.
2006: Yamaha YZF-R1's swingarm is 20mm longer, rear spindle 16mm further forwards, plus a little bit of tweakery to the headstock and fork yokes. 3bhp gain in stock R1 model's claimed power output.

Other Versions

Yamaha YZF-R1 SP:  A limited edition semi race spec variant, with fuel injection tweaks, special Ohlins suspension, top end work to squeeze another 3bhp from the motor and matt black paint.

Specifications

Top speed 175 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.4 secs
Max power 165 bhp
Max torque 78 ft-lb
Weight 173 kg
Seat height 835 mm
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 998 cc
Engine specification 16v transverse four, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17 in

See all Yamaha R1 motorcycles for sale

Yamaha
R1

6201 miles

£6,995

Yamaha
R1

6980 miles

£7,799

Yamaha
R1

28200 miles

£4,499

Yamaha
R1

15800 miles

£5,595

Yamaha
R1

16400 miles

£4,350

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(14 reviews)

  • Awesome bike, you won't need any more performance than this (unless you need a frontal lobothomy)

    andrewsmithr1

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This is simply the coolest bike on the planet!!Precision engineering like a swiss watch (forget your dukes etc), with gorgeous looks and sound (have you seen that ugly gixer end can ?), and with all the performance and character you will ever need (boring blades go home)- what more could you ask for ? Having previously owned R6, R1, Blade, Boxer Cup Replika etc etc this new generation R1 is the dogs. Pure music from the induction roar (first time on an R1) will keep you grinning. Gearbox is also so slick, clutchless changes smoother than with clutch. If you haven't tried one yet - you must, and you will be sold, if not then it's time to hang up the leathers and get a new pipe and slippers.  Strengths: 1/ Performance, performance, performance. 2/ Looks, looks, looks. 3/ Sound, sound, sound 4/ Cool, cool, cool.  Weaknesses: 1/ Pillion provision poor (rather tall leggy wife to accommodate occasionally). 2/ No good for touring. 3/ Flat below 4500 rpm 4/ Yamaha sports screen means more wind protection but more wrist pressure.

    10 March 2005

  • What a RIDE!!

    red devil 998s

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I sold a 2001 RI (had a 98 modle as well) for a Ducati 998s last May. I had listened to the rave reviews about Ducati and went for it. The bike looked fantastic (body off Baywatch) but; rideability and reliability (face of Crimwatch). I rode the new 2004 R1 50 yds and wondered 'what have I been doing'........ Strengths: The immense power delivery is remarkable, progressively smooth. Light to handle with possitive road connection, good brakes!! Weaknesses: Leave it somewhere dodgy and it will disapear!! and add-ons (carbon etc) difficult to get hold of.

    04 July 2004

  • A red 2004 R1, meta alarm and datatagged, otherwise standard.

    Sughrat

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Fantastic bike, I love R1s and had a 2002 model, this one is so much sharper, better looking and sounding. Beautiful. Strengths: Handling, throttle response, engine smoothness, brakes, looks and sound (again!). Weaknesses: Bars vibrate and riding position hurts my back.

    17 June 2004

  • Yamaha YZF-R1 2004 Lava red

    weatie

    Nottingham

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Purchased the bike about six weeks ago to replace my 2002 Aprilia RSVR. It has totally altered my riding style and I feel so much more confident. I was really concerned about purchasing a bike with so much power as thought it would be a handful, but this R1 is a tame beast being able to ride it hard is not a problem. I have covered 1600 miles now and enjoyed ever mile of it and cannot stop grinning from ear to ear. THIS R1 IS WHAT RIDING A MOTORBIKE IS ALL ABOUT. If you're thinking of purchasing one don't think just do it you will not be disapointed. Strengths: The shear power and grin factor with this bike, along with the excellent handling. Weaknesses: The underseat exhaust is awesome but gives an extreme amount of heat and on a hot day it becomes unbearable.

    09 June 2004

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kwackanacki

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kwackanackisays

R1

Rode the R1 and ZX10 back to back and bought the R1, it does it all unlike the track focus of the ZX10, had R1s before and this one is the best by far, it looks like art and can trundle like a moped - but also is a real evil beast if you want, the power is huge and all you can think is "warp speed Mr Sulu". Un-like the ZX10 there seems no effort in riding the bike and it just seems a refined package. I have a ZX-7 and a ZX-9 and the R1, it has the most smiles per miles you will get, love me Kwacks but this Yam is king.

08 November 2010 13:55

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