This Week’s Yamaha YZF-R1 Rumor, Bride of Chuckie

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The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 has been the subject of much rumor lately, as it appears the Japanese brand is getting ready to bring a new version for the next model year. What the bike will entail though is subject to some debate, however.

Over in Europe, there has been no shortage of speculation about the new superbike, fueled by patent applications from Yamaha over the past few years.

Reading those rumors now, our own Bothan spies from within the Iwata factory’s ranks have reached out to us, in an effort to set the record straight. The news is a mixture of good and bad.

The previous rumors have the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 with a new four-cylinder engine, a seamless gearbox, variable valve timing (VVT), and updated electronics, and just recently it was said that we should expect an anti-wheelie braking feature that works via the rear brake.

Our source pegs the update for next year as a bit more mild, and primarily focused around the Euro5 emissions standard. As such, the bike is said to feature redesigned fairings, some changes to the engine (presumably variable valves), and most notably a different airbox.

This should make the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 more of an evolution, rather than revolution, on the current R1 design. Presumably, Yamaha feels that the current R1 still stands tall against the rest of the superbike lineup, and a radically new machine isn’t needed to further sales

There is some need however to update the liter bike for the Euro5 regulations, which take affect in 2020 for new models and 2021 for existing ones.

With Yamaha keen to bring a new bike for next year, we can count on it having to bend to Europe’s will on tailpipe emissions. For many other brands, this has meant the use of VVT, like we recently saw with the new BMW S1000RR.

It would make sense for Yamaha to follow suit, but we will have to wait a bit longer to find out all the tricks that the brand has up its sleeve. Until then…

Source: Bothan Spies

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.