The shape of the R1 to come

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YOU’LL have to wait the best part of a year before this will be in our showrooms, but if the ultimate in sports performance is what you’re after, you might find it’s worth the wait.

The current R1 is a stunning machine, providing one of the most exciting experiences you’ll find anywhere on the planet.

But the new version, due to go on show in September and on sale early in 2002, will take all that and add a few crucial percent more.

While the styling shares many similarities with the current bike, that’s no bad thing as the R1 is widely regarded as one of the best-looking bikes ever to come out of Japan. But it’s the modifications under the skin that will make the difference.

Fuel injection is certain to be added. Ever since its launch, the R1 motor has been suitable for injection, and even before it appeared rumours were rife that Yamaha had injected versions on test. Now, ever-tightening emissions laws and the need to squeeze every last drop of horsepower out of the bike have finally prompted the firm to fit the system to the production version.

One Yamaha insider said: ” During tests, it has been found you can get significantly more power from the R1 engine, while there have been problems trying to increase the GSX-R1000’s output. There is plenty of life left in the R1 motor. ”

Racers who consistently boost mildly tuned R1s to 175bhp or more back up this theory.

As reported before in MCN, there is also convincing evidence to suggest Yamaha is experimenting with a semi-automatic gearbox, which could debut on the next generation R1.

To complement the more powerful motor, Yamaha is expected to make some serious changes to the chassis.

You can also expect to see a redesigned Fazer 600, taking cues from the R1-engined Fazer 1000.

And the long-ignored TDM850 could be in for a revamp. It could be given a new 900cc engine while retaining the current parallel twin layout. Our drawing shows how such a bike could look.

Yamaha is refusing to make any official comment on the new bikes.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff