When the R1 was first launched it became an instant icon. A tri-axis engine with a GP style chassis was cutting edge technology back in 1998.
The bike has evolved through the years with fuel injection, a crossplane crank, and electronic systems amongst the hundreds of development upgrades.
The original R1 design focus was primarily for the street, however that has all changed for 2015, with Yamaha’s Engineer’s instructed to design a bike mainly for the track.
A team of 50 design engineers worked closely with Yamaha’s MotoGP team and test riders from divisions in Japan, Europe, and the US, including Valentino Rossi and US rider Josh Hayes, to come up with perhaps the most technologically advanced electronics package on a motorcycle ever made available to the riding public.
Many of the senior engineers were in attendance at Sydney Motorsport Park – Eastern Creek in Australia for the R1 world launch, providing excellent technical support for the test riders and a unique insight into the challenges they each faced creating the new R1.
The 4.5km Brabham circuit provided a world-class test track for the 100 journos who descended from all over the globe to experience the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M for the first time.
The diverse range of 18 corners, including one of the fastest turns in Australia, approached at nearly 300kmh, was perfect to test all the attributes of a new motorcycle.
Our test group had some quick guys including Josh Brookes, Steve Martin, and Cam Donald, so there was no hanging about.