This exclusive drawing is the most accurate impression yet of how the new Yamaha R1 will look for 2002. It’s based on detailed information from the factory. Only the colour-scheme is likely to change.
It has a new frame design, the Deltabox III. The set-up is similar to the R7’s, which retained the Deltabox II name even though its chassis was closer to that of the YZR500 GP bike. It features a far simpler external appearance than the current R1’s sculpted chassis, with a pair of hefty aluminium spars connecting the headstock to the swingarm pivot. However, the key to the frame’s low weight and extreme rigidity is in its internal structure.
The engine will be based on the current R1’s, though it will be revised. The motor will get fuel injection to help it meet forthcoming European emissions rules.
The new Yamaha Wave-Runner jet ski uses the same 1000cc motor as the current R1, but with injection. With 140bhp on tap, it makes less than the current R1’s 150bhp, but it has been de-tuned for more mid-range.
The bike could easily make 160bhp or more. But Yamaha may choose to tune the engine for more torque and rideability instead – sticking close to the current 150bhp.
There will also be more internal modifications to the engine, but little information is available about them. The capacity is likely to remain unchanged at 998cc – only eight per cent of riders who replied to Yamaha’s survey asked for more than 1000cc.
Regardless of the output, Yamaha will reduce its weight. The new chassis should make it even lighter and sharper. Some changes to the fairing – which has sections removed behind the air outlets – aim to both reduce weight and give the bike a lighter look.
Overall, the design keeps a clear link with the current bike, though the nose is longer on the 2002 version, with a sharper front emphasised by a re-shaped screen that dives farther down between the fox-eye lights. The side-on profile is also lower, with a flatter tank and seat.
Expect it to go on sale in early 2002 for around £8900.