2008 yamaha R1 Ride Review

Yamaha’s latest R1 features new-found midrange drive from junking Yamaha’s tried and tested five-valve per cylinder in favour of the traditional four-valve set up, but at the same time installing some of the “bad boy” engine manners the original model was famed for. The chassis also gets updated by way of new frame, swingarm and suspension to make this latest Yamaha R1 a perfect road bike tool.

The Yamaha R1 was never short of top end drive and that’s true of this latest version. What the latest Yamaha YZF1000-R1 does have though is a healthy dollop of midrange kick. Not that this will be a worry in the lower gears as the fly-by-wire system, linked to detailed ECU mapping, won’t deliver everything the rider asks for, instead giving what it thinks is best. Variable length inlet trumpets (worked by electronic motor at 10,400rpm) boosts midrange revs and props up top end poke – not just a gimmick, it actually works

With race-like suspension front and rear, the standard set-up of this latest Yamaha R1 is just about right for dealing with everyday riding on UK roads. Turn the pace up (road or track) and there’s enough adjustment to suit every situation and riding style. Typically the R1 is a front end motorcycle, meaning that every road detail is felt through the bars and it drops into a turn as quick as you like. Race track manners along with road motorcycle stability takes some beating and believing, but it does both with style.

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