Yamaha’s 2009 offerings so far are strictly performance oriented, with news of an all new R1 (BTW, you can read about the new V-Max in Steve Bond’s feature story right here in CMG). Changes, say Yamaha, are in large part developed from the M1 Moto GP racing program.
An "all-new" chassis and swingarm are intended to "improve rigidity, balance, [and] traction on corner exits." Brakes are 310 mm discs mounted to new five-spoke wheels using Dunlop tires. The forks use a new damping system with one leg dealing with compression, the other with rebound, for "more consistent damping" action. Out back, a new Soqi fully-adjustable shock has an improved (easier) preload adjuster, while in between the pegs and foot controls are adjustable fore and aft as well as up and down.
The engine is "an entirely new" 998 cc unit with an even shorter stroke than the last generation’s screamer, although Yamaha claims the engine is torquier than the old one while also revving higher – good trick. Titanium intake valves are fitted, and a high 12.7:1 compression ratio is made possible by the wonders of modern electronic engine management.
Speaking of same, the engine features an uneven firing order, a so-called "big bang" design that is again said to be based on the M1 Moto GP machine. The usual range of acronyms are fitted: YCC-T (chip controlled throttle), YCC-I (chip controlled intake system), and so forth, plus a three-position mapping selector similar to that fitted to recent GSX-R Suzukis, allowing the rider to choose differing power characteristics.
A programmable shift light and gear-position indicator are also fitted, as is the current de rigeur slipper clutch.
Of course, a new bike needs new looks, and while there’s some resemblance to the old bike (notable in the cat’s eye headlight look), the ram air intakes are integrated into the headlight area and a "layered body design" concept has been used for the fairing.
No word on Canadian pricing or availability yet.