Next year’s Yamaha R1 will be radically revised to challenge the competition from Suzuki’s class-leading GSX-R1000. It will also have to deal with new machines in the form of Honda’s 2002 FireBlade – revealed in MCN last month – and a new ZX-9R from Kawasaki.
You’ll have to wait a little longer to see pictures of the new R1 – which will be launched at the Milan show in September – but our sources close to the factory in Japan have dug up more information to keep you going until then.
The new bike will feature a totally new Deltabox 3 frame, based on lessons learned from the R7 superbike project – offering greater rigidity than the current design as well as less weight. Like the R7, the new R1’s frame is expected to get a coat of matt black paint rather than left in plain aluminium.
The chassis will hold an uprated version of the current bike’s engine, with the addition of fuel injection to help increase efficiency and reduce emissions – helping the bike come in line with 2003’s European emissions standards.
To keep up with the competition, the overall power output will have to be increased to around 160bhp at the crankshaft.
The bike’s styling is also new – but sources close to the factory claim it keeps a clear family resemblance to the current bike.
The nose is even sharper and more aerodynamic than today’s R1, while the flatter, wider fuel tank and tail unit help make the bike look even more aggressive. The rear light is expected to follow the theme set by this year’s R6, using LEDs rather than traditional bulbs – a design also picked up by Honda for the 2002 FireBlade.
One of the biggest changes to the bike’s overall look is expected to be in its paintwork. According to our sources, the bike will get a very simple colour scheme – possibly with the whole bike in a single colour rather than covered in stripes and stickers.