YAMAHA R1 (2015-on) Review

Published: 04 March 2015

Smaller, lighter, nimbler and more powerful than ever

YAMAHA R1  (2015-on)

Smaller, lighter, nimbler and more powerful than ever

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

Inspired by Yamaha’s 2011 YZR-M1, the 2015 R1 is smaller, lighter, nimbler and more powerful than ever and boasts a host of electronic riding aids, including a MotoGP-inspired slide control system.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

New fully-adjustable KYB rear shock and 43mm upside forks have been developed for the new R1, the front wheel spindle is 3mm bigger for extra rigidity and for the first time the Yamaha has cast magnesium wheels.

The machine is smaller, more compact and feels more like an R6 flicking in and out of the corners. Electronically-assisted linked brakes (and ABS) provide superb stopping power and for the first time the R1 has steel braided lines, but it doesn’t have the initial bite of a good Brembo set-up. 

The riding position mirrors the M1 MotoGP bike’s. The seat is flatter, roomier and the fuel tank narrower, with cut-outs for your knees to help you get locked-in. 

There’s still a decent amount of legroom for taller riders, but the peg position has been raised and moved back slightly for a more aggressive riding position. Clip-ons are still low and pulled-in Jarno Saarinen-style. Thankfully the fashion for tiny low screens is a thing of the past and the new R1 has a decent bubble to tuck under, just like a proper race bike.

Engine 5 out of 5

The new shorter-stroke, higher compression crossplane crank motor is smaller, has lighter internals and makes 197bhp – up 18bhp, with slightly less (2ftlb) of torque. It has a new cylinder head with reshaped intake ports, titanium conrods and exhaust, lightweight forged ali pistons with diamond-like carbon (DLC) gudgeon pins, bigger valves with a DLC rocker arm valve train, a 24% larger airbox and new lightweight assist-slipper clutch. 
It’s an aggressive engine and peakier than before. It’s lost some of the creamy, flat power that made the R1 so easy to ride and accelerate so cleanly from apex to exit. Much of its bottom end grunt has gone and it’s been replaced with an explosive top end punch. 

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

As you’d expect from Yamaha built quality is excellent, the paintwork lush and deep. The mechanical and electronics all work with a satisfying precision. 

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

It may not be the bargain superbike it once was and it’s more expensive than its Japanese rivals, but it’s cheaper than the best of the big-hitters from Europe: the Aprilia, BMW and Ducati. 

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Although it doesn’t have Brembos or Ohlins, the R1 comes with all the 2015 must-have bells, whistles and electronic rider aids. There’s anti-wheelie, a quickshifter (but no auto-blipper, like the 2015 BMW S1000RR and Ducati 1299 Panigale), variable riding modes, anti-wheelie and traction control and slide control. 
Using its six-way Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) internal gyro, the Yamaha not only detects the difference in front and rear wheel speeds, it can sense how the bike is leaning, pitching and accelerating, too. So it’ll catch a slide at full lean, or let you drift the rear out of corners.
As well as looking after traction control and anti-slide, the IMU also controls the linked braking system, ABS and the the semi-active electronic Ohlins suspension on the M version.

Owners' Reviews

5 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA R1 (2015-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA R1 (2015-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

06 July 2016 by Harald Karlsson

Very good performance. Nice styling. Low weight. All required electronics. Not comfortable for long distances. Luggage not possible. A perfect sports bike that I can recommend. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

06 February 2016 by Sean

GREAT BIKE ESPECIALLY ON THE TRACK Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

the best one

27 January 2016 by Ruben

It's the best bike I ride in my life. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

08 July 2015 by Pedro

I'm a freaking Rossi when I'm on this machine, I can almost do no wrong. Awesome Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
It is so tune able! Fits me perfectly.
Engine
5 out of 5
Powerhouse and smooth at the same time.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Perfection
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
Motor, design, chassis, electronics...
4 out of 5

R1 -2015

09 June 2015 by r1man

Brilliant handling. Good brakes(do not expect top quality Brembo like feel) I find the seating comfortable 5 7 here. MPG is quite poor. Only 1000miles on the clock might improve slightly. Mirrors are already lose,wobbling al over the place. I will... Read more check with the dealer, was reading some owners got them replaced under warranty. Slightly on/off throttle response below 4k (either mode) also lack of grunt at lower revs 3-7k. Very predictable power delivery from 7-12k. All together I would say does not worth the monies over the previous model or an older 14 plate gixxer with some added electronics still a lot cheaper.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Only 1000 miles done.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Read all 5 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2015
Year discontinued -
New price £14,999
Used price £9,800 to £17,000
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 197 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Top speed 186 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 998cc
Engine type 16v, inline four
Frame type Twin spar aluminium
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 855mm
Bike weight 199kg
Front suspension 43mm KYB forks with adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension Single KYB rear shock with adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston calipers.
Rear brake 220mm single disc with twin-piston caliper.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1998 –R1 launched
2000 – Detail changes: shaper styling, 2kg weight reduction.
2002 – New model: fuel injection, angular styling, new chassis.
2004 – New model: underseat pipes, new chassis, braced swingarm, more power.
2006 – Detail changes including longer wheelbase. Limited edition SP version available with Ohlins suspension, Marchesini wheels and slipper clutch.
2007 – New model: four-valve head, more power, ride-by-wire, electronically-controlled inlet trumpets, new chassis and styling.
2009 – New model: crossplane crank engine, new chassis and styling.
2012 – Detail changes including six-stage traction control.
2015 – New model: new engine, chassis and the most advanced electronics package ever seen on the R1 

Other versions

R1M – Special edition version with Ohlins semi-active electronic suspension, carbon bodywork, trackday tyres, lacquered ali tank, polished swingarm, datalogger and a place on a Yamaha riding school.

Photo Gallery

  • YAMAHA R1  (2015-on)
  • YAMAHA R1  (2015-on)
  • YAMAHA R1  (2015-on)
  • YAMAHA R1  (2015-on)
  • YAMAHA R1  (2015-on)
  • YAMAHA R1  (2015-on)
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