2008 Yamaha R1
Yamaha releases details on the 2008 R1.
Yamaha’s YZF-R1 has earned a reputation as the best superbike on the market during the 10 years since its launch, and 2008 is shaping up to become the best ever for the flagship sports bike.
First there’s road racing success. Yamaha Racing Team has once again dominated the Australian Superbike Championship when Jamie Stauffer backed up his 2006 victory with another national title this year. And Noriyuki Haga missed out on a World Superbike title by a paltry 2 points. 2008 will witness the R1 starting as favourite both at home and abroad.
But it’s not just Yamaha who thinks the YZF-R1 is the best litre class sportsbike out there. Well respected UK sports bike magazine Performance Bikes took 1000cc motorcycles from the big four Japanese manufacturers through their paces at Germany’s legendary Nürburgring circuit. There was only one ‘Perfect sports bike’… and that was Yamaha’s R1. The Nürburgring is a perfect environment to showcase the YZF-R1 which was delveloped not only to be the fastest bike around a circuit, but also on secondary road twisties.
PB testers raved about the R1: “So light, so fast and so damn good, it has the power to keep the GSXR at bay on the straights and the brakes and Press release 2008 YZF-R1 24-10-2007 suspension to drub it through the corners. A well deserved win for the best stock 1000 Jap bike on the market right now.”
One of the reasons for this is Yamaha’s use of power control technology which results in a package that’s more civilized, controllable and useable than ever before. Chip controlled intake (YCC-I) and throttle (YCCT) both feature on the 2008 R1. YCC-I is the first electronically controlled and driven variable-intake funnel system fitted to a production motorcycle. On most motorcycles air funnel length is fixed, and set for either high rpm or low-/mid-range performance. No such compromise exists with the new R1, as its simple yet clever use of technology electronically switches funnel length between 65mm and 140mm, ensuring that the intake tracts are always ‘tuned’ to the ideal length for the prevailing rpm.
The new YCC-T electronic throttle technology, which was also used on the Valentino Rossi’s YZR-M1, senses the rider’s accelerator operation at super-high speed and the ECU unit instantly calculates the optimal throttle valve opening, operating the throttle valve to actively control intake air speed. Like the R6 unit, this control unit is capable of reading parameter changes at a rate of 1000th of a second, to provide instant response and smooth, linear power characteristics. The approach to the clipping point of the turn is critical with a big-bore Supersport, and with the R1’s new slipper clutch controlling the amount of back torque, the rider will enjoy a higher level of control and accuracy when combined with the close ratio six speed gearbox.
Accepted wisdom used to dictate that stiffness was paramount in a highperformance supersport frame. But after intensive testing, Yamaha’s engineers have proved that axiom to be only partially true. They agreed that for certain areas of the ‘Absolutely bloody awesome to ride’. Enough said frame, stiffer is better, but other sections of the frame should have flex, to provide the feedback and control that is also key to good handling.
Those areas where high stiffness is needed (e.g. head pipe, engine mounts and rear arm pivot) are made of castings; areas where more flex is required are made with slightly less wall thickness than the current R1 frame. Stiffening ribs inside the frame are used to ensure that each section of the frame has just the right amount of stiffness. By tuning flex quotients into the main frame, rear arm and fork, Yamaha created an optimal rigidity balance for the new YZF-R1. As a result, chassis response to initial steering inputs is light and responsive and the feel from the front wheel is improved. Stability in highspeed turns and overall handling qualities are simply brilliant.
The 2008 Yamaha R1 is the weapon of choice for track day heroics as well as back road blasts, as Performance Bikes has highlighted.
And for 2008 YMA has managed to offer the new model at $18,999, an RRP $400 cheaper than the 2007 model.