New R1 launch today!

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MCN Senior Road Tester Michael Neeves is at the launch of Yamaha’s eagerly-awaited R1 launch at the Eastern Creek circuit in Sydney, Australia today.

It’s the first new R1 for six years and will cost £14,999 when it arrives in dealers next month.

Boasting 197bhp and weighing 199kg, it’s 18bhp more powerful and 7kg less than the out-going model and retains the ’09 machine’s unique crossplane crank engine layout, first seen in Rossi’s YZR-M1 MotoGP racer.

But the shorter-stroke, high compression engine is completely new, as is the chassis, forged magnesium wheels and M1-inspired styling. Electronics are the most advanced on any current superbike and features a six axis ‘Inertial Measurement Unit’ (IMU), which gives the R1 lean-sensitive slide and traction control, ABS and linked brakes.

It also has four riding modes, anti-wheelie, a quickshifter (for up-shifts), launch control and a coloured, multi-function dash.

We’ll also be riding the special-edition R1M, which has Ohlins electronic suspension, carbon bodywork, stickier track tyres, even more electronics and a free place at a Yamaha Racing Experience event.

We’ll be riding both machines through the course of the day and you can find out our initial thoughts here later and read our in-depth test in Wednesday’s issue of MCN.