Slippery new Yamaha R1 breaks cover

Just in time for the World Superbike championship at Laguna Seca on the weekend,  Yamaha finally revealed its updated 2020 YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M motorcycles. They’re tweaks, not big stuff: the bodywork is a little different after some time in the wind tunnel (Yamaha claims it’s 5 per cent more slippery through the wind), and the engine, airbox, suspension and software are all revised.

The engine has a new cylinder head, new fuel injectors, new finger-follower rocker arms and new camshaft profiles. The throttle is ride-by-wire, with no cables, and there’s a new engine braking system. The R1 gets new KYB front forks, while the more expensive competition-rated R1M gets Ohlins’ NPX pressurized front forks with an integrated gas cylinder; both have revised stock settings for the rear shock.

The front brakes now have new pads, and the stock tires are Bridgestone RS11. The cornering ABS software has selectable modes for either straight-line braking or braking into corners.

Aside from just staying competitive, these changes also give teams the homologation changes needed to make their own permitted tweaks. Both will come on sale in a couple of months; the R1 will list for $21,999 and the R1M for $27,999.

Here are some pretty pictures that you can click on for a closer look. The R1 is blue and the R1M is black. Tasty!

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