The R1 is up for the challenge

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Y AMAHA has raced past the magical 1bhp per kilogram milestone with its all-new 180bhp, 172kg R1 superbike.

Those slanting foxeye lights may give it a passing family resemblance to past R-series machines, but the bike behind the face shares little with anything that we’ve seen or ridden before from Yamaha.

The specification reads more like a GP bike. Highlights include:

An all-new engine making a claimed 172bhp, but boosted to 180bhp when its ram-air system – the first to appear on an R1 – comes into play at higher speeds

A power-to-weight ratio of 1bhp per kilo – the highest ever seen on a production bike

A chassis and engine layout derived directly from the firm’s M1 GP bike

A frame that is twice as stiff as the current model – and 7cm narrower

320mm radially-mounted brakes

These are the most extreme specifications ever seen on a road-going superbike. In fact, the new R1 looks like it could have performance that would have challenged a World Superbike race bike only a few years ago.

Yamaha hasn’t released any performance statistics, but the sheer power means it would certainly be able to come within spitting distance of 200mph, if it weren’t for the Japanese manufacturers’ current gentlemen’s agreement to limit top speeds to 186mph.

But the huge power output combined with the bike’s low weight ensure acceleration that is leagues ahead of the current bike.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff