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The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M have made their debut. The two variants of the superbike were revealed at the Laguna Seca raceway over the World Superbike Championship weekend.
The 2020 variants of the flagship motorcycles feature top-shelf cycle parts and a long list of new features. The R1M is based on the R1 but is a more hardcore track-oriented version of the motorcycle.
The Yamaha R1 was first introduced way back in 1998 and it soon became the enthusiasts' favourite. It is a haloed product from Yamaha Motorcycles and is much-loved. Yamaha has now come up with the 2020 model to keep the product's evolution going. The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M come with a host of changes and this includes the design as well.
Yamaha claims the new motorcycles have seen a 5.3 percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency thanks to the redesigned bodywork. This also goes to show that all the changes made to the 2020 models are more functional in nature. The 2020 models see a sharper drop in the cowling up front.
There is also a channel for air flow at high speeds right above the headlamps. It is very evident that design inspiration has been drawn from the Yamaha M1 MotoGP motorcycle. The side fairing is cleaner and smoother allowing for a more integrated look. The rear end of the YZF-R1M features new carbon fibre cowling to match the front fairings and fenders. The changes in design are subtle and it takes an eye for detail to notice them.
However, there are several changes under the skin. The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M are powered by the same 998cc, inline-four-cylinder engine. Power output figures have not been revealed and neither is it confirmed if the output will remain the same.
The current model produces a maximum power output of 197.2bhp at 13,500rpm and a peak torque output of 112.4Nm at 11,500rpm. The company however has announced the several changes that have been made to the engine itself. It still is the same crossplane crankshaft engine, but features a new cylinder head with redesigned finger-follower and rocker-arm valve actuation.
It also features lower profile camshaft lobes and lighter valve springs. Just like the current model, the higher-spec YZF-R1M uses the same engine but is equipped with lightweight titanium engine internals, magnesium engine covers, and aluminium fasteners. Titanium connecting rods are retained on both models.
Yamaha has also redesigned the intake system by moving the throttle valves closer to the combustion chamber in order to increase efficiency. It comes with new Bosch fuel-injectors that spray directly onto the intake valve to improve throttle response. Yamaha got rid of the throttle cables on the new models and has replaced it with its ride-by-wire system.
The company claims the new models have better lubrication despite using a smaller oil pump. The company has added two more catalysers to the exhaust system, two at the front of the exhaust chamber and two at the back.
This is to reduce emissions and make the motorcycle quieter in order to get EURO-V compliance. Hence, we cannot get to hear that raw crossplane crankshaft sound, at least not until an aftermarket exhaust system is slapped onto the motorcycle.
The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M come with lean-sensitive traction control, ABS, wheelie control, launch control, etc. The advanced six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) is the foundation for all the advanced electronics on the 2020 models.
It senses lean angles, acceleration, braking, etc., and feeds them to the software that controls these features. The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M also feature a Brake Control System with two braking intervention modes - BC1 and BC2.
BC1 is more suitable for straight-line braking with fixed levels of ABS sensitivity while BC2 is more suitable for corners and the system increases or decreases ABS sensitivity and intervention depending on the lean angle.
Yamaha has also equipped the new models with an engine braking management system that allows for three levels of engine braking - high, medium and low. The system considers the gear position, engine speed, throttle position and throttle valve position to provide the required amount of engine braking.
The launch control system has been updated and the motorcycle now launches at 9,000RPM. One of the biggest changes comes in terms of suspension and this is also where the biggest difference between the YZF-R1 and the YZF-R1M lies. The YZF-R1 rides on Kayaba suspension with 43mm forks up front and an adjustable monoshock at the rear.
It comes with new damping valves and reduced fork spring rate. Yamaha also claims to have modified the rear shock settings and steering damper. The YZF R1M on the other hand features the latest Ohlins Electronic Racing Suspension.
It rides on an NPX pressurised fork up front and an electronically-adjustable suspension at the rear as well. The suspension can be adjusted using a smartphone paired to the motorcycle's LCD display. Yamaha announced that the new YZF-R 1 would arrive at American dealerships in September 2019 at a price of $17,300 (Rs 11.85 lakh).
The YZF-R1M on the other hand will be available only through online bookings at a price of $26,099 (Rs 17.88 lakh). Prices in the Indian market though would be higher. It is unclear at the moment as to when the Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M would be launched in the Indian market.
Thoughts On 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 & YZF-R1M Debuts With Top-Notch Electronics & Revised Engine
The Yamaha YZF-R1 is nothing less than a legend in the motorcycling world. It has gained lots of respect in the 20+ years of its existence and comes with the best features thanks to Yamaha's learnings from its MotoGP team.
The company has regularly updated its flagship superbike with the latest technology developed using its experience in motorsport. All the new tech in the 2020 model too have come as a result of this experience.