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Yamaha YZF-R1

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10 Reviews

Certainly no slouch, the Yamaha YZF R1 delivers smooth and assured power. Can be a little uncomfortable for passengers and impractical, so it is difficult to envisage this as an everyday bike.

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    10 Reviews
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      21.10.2012 17:00

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      Exactly what you'd expect from an R1

      I bought a 2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 early in 2010 with 7000 miles on the clock. I have since done around 4000 miles and absolutely love it. I'm 6ft 1 and find it comfortable apart from the seat could do with a little more foam for longer journeys :p Obviously it is a sports bike so you have a lot of weight on your arms if you try to ride it sat up cruising. Screen could do with being a touch higher to give some wind protection - if I shuffle my bum back and rest the chin of my helmet in the grove of my airbox cover the wind just about skims over the top third of my lid. It pulls well from around 2000rpm making it useable in all conditions but at 6000rpm upwards it goes like a rocket so best keep that part of the range for dry days :) Handling is excellent but it needs a racing style of riding. Backing off the throttle is a no-no as with any bike but the R1 really shines when you power out of the corners so concentrate on those lines and doing your part right and it will repay you. Do stupid things however, and it might just spit you off so not recommended for learners! :) The standard brakes on my 2000 R1 were brilliant but the Goodridge braided lines with everything else standard on my 2006 model are amazing. I regularly (well actually I usually) brake with two fingers and this will have the back wheel lifting if you're a little bit too vigorous stopping power from the standard pots and pads is brilliant. My 2006 model produces around 180bhp and weighs about 180kg dry. Thinner than older R1s it seems a bit more flickable into corners but this could also have something to do with the different tyres. No reliability issues with it at all in the couple of years I have had it. I'll update later if anything comes up. It is exactly what you would expect an R1 to be. Bags of power, excellent handling and sexy as hell!

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      12.01.2010 15:45

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      good bike not for the faint hearted

      yamaha yzf r1 1999 model my r1 is like a pukka track bike and im still trying 2 get my head around its proformance. its a complete rocketship ive owned a 2003 fuel injected r1 but it dident feel as fast. the power delivery was to smooth compared 2 my 1999 model what is a rocketship. ive seen 174 on the clock only on a trackday tho.the only thing that seems to let it down is the pillion comfort. my girlfriend dosent like 2 ride pillion because she says its 2 high up its like sitting on someone's shoulders but you dont buy a r1 if you want to go touring and carring passanges. in my opion its a toy for the weekends and trackdays the other thing is the exup valve has got stuck a few times and stopped working resulting in loss of power in the midrange you can tell if the power valve has stopped working if you hear a clicking noise when you turn the egnition on. i phoned a yamaha dealer up and they said dont panic and told me its a fault on the early r1's you just need to strip them down a keep them clean.

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      04.11.2009 11:43

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      Hey, I was hesitant to purchase a 1999 R1, as the reviews from the first bike screamed power over control. Coming off a blade, I thought give it a shot. In retrospect, the blade is more controlled and I have been quicker than on a blade. I have never been confronted with such awesome power and lift through the gear range. If you are not a confident rider, this is not a bike for you. The 1999 was geared down, but a change on the front sprocket will soon see your mind bending. Quick, responsive and angry are a few words to describe it. The riding position is preferable to a shorter rider, as you are more over the front wheel than a blade. Next time you see one respect the rider. It's a blast, but takes great skill.

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      05.04.2001 07:39

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      I`ve owned a 1998 model for 2 months now and this thing would pull your arms off.Big improvement over my YZF 750 but Yamaha still don`t seem to have solved their crappy cluches. My bike was one of the ones that got a factory recall for a problem with the clutch basket and had a new one fitted under warranty. If you buy a 1998 model, do check in the service book that the clutch basket was replaced under warranty as this was a world wide recall and was potentally very dangerous if the bike is subjected to many racing standing starts in which the clutch could break up and lock up the engine. Highly impressed But your wasting your time if you live in town.

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      18.02.2001 18:37

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      Fantastic, overpowered, light, flickable and typically leading edge by Yamaha, the bike is just too much for the average road. Try as I might there's nowhere I can get the motor to rev out in top - except on the autobahn - and who digs that? It's everything and more that the exup was first time round and like the exup just not enough fun on the road. Give me the fantastic R6 or R7 anyday with which you can go mad revving the things out everywhere you like - SCREEAAMINNGG round bends, and SCCREEECHIIING past slower riders on R1's! Don't think I'm dissing either the R1 or their riders I'm not - I'm just saying there's more fun to be had from the smaller capacities, and from larger twins - where the power isn't so overwhelmingly huge. The suspension also needs a bit of a sort out - soft and squishy, the long travel front suspension is horrible, and the early rear suspension units were complete pants. And despite all this, I'd sooner ride the blissful wonderful R1 than any pile of kak from the big H.

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      12.12.2000 20:24
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      Having ridden my R1 now throughout the year and covered 6500 miles i cannot believe just how awesome this bike is. Ok this kind of thrill comes at a price because these things are not cheap, but is there a better way of spending a sunny weekend ? I graduated from a GSXR600 and only bought the R1 because both the VTRSP1 and new GSXR750 were not available when i had the cash to spend,my local dealer offered me a deal i simply couldnt refuse and i havent looked back since. I can understand why so many bikers have tried the R1 and traded it in for something a little more "tame", at first its sheer power is a little scary - even for someone who has ridden for many years, but the secret of the R1 is not in getting used to the power - it's all about making the bike do what you want it to do. I took my time on this bike to learn everything i needed to know before unleashing it's full potential - and now i have the confidence to ride it like Foggy!!! (well almost). As the condition of UK roads deline and the power of bikes increases its not often easy to find somewhere to give the R1 the space and time it deservers, but take it to a track-day and you'll certainly see what this machine can do. The most surprising thing about the bike is its agility, and the speed at which it can tackle even the most twisty roads.Ive also had the pleasure of riding my partners' Aprilia RSV Mille and although the italian dream machine will give the R1 a run for its money on a long sweeping ride, come to a roundabout or a sequence of hairpins and that yamaha will soon be showing the opposition its exhaust pipes. Unfortunately for some, the R1 doesnt take any prisoners and requires total 100% concentration at all times, cats eyes, small potholes, drains or any other diversion from the flat black stuff will have it's front wheel skittling off in all sorts of directions-mainly upwards. The standard Metzeler tyres are ok but a little hard so they take a little while to get up to temperature (take warning!!) so i swtched them for the Dunlop D207RR - the softest compound road tyre available, and the difference is unbelievable (although they are only lasting 2000 miles). The riding position is suited to someone smaller then myself (6ft) and for a while i found long journeys uncomfortable. The biggest pain is the position of the brake & cluth levers- my wrists take most of the burden. I was able to adjust the levers slightly but it looks like the designers had already run out of room such is the compact design of this bike, it has helped slightly but i still find myself resting each arm as and when i can during a long trip. No machanical gremlins so far, reasonable service costs - although it did require some re-carburation(this is normal on Superbikes), and simple tasks such as chain adjustment/oil checking & removing the rear wheel can be performed by anyone. The bike is a pleasure to ride, whether it's blasting up the motorway or commuting into London a couple of times a week, if you want some knee sliding wheelie popping action then this is the perfect tool ! Ive considered my new bike for 2001...i think i'll trade it in for a new R1 !!!

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      07.07.2000 20:34
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      A personal opinion based on 2,600 miles on a Y2K model R1 in 6 weeks. Bad points out of the way first then: 1. The mirrors on the previous model were useless. The mirrors on the new model are also useless. But then the only reason you need them is to keep an eye out for plod behind you 'cos nothing is gonna pass you on one of these unless you want them to ;-) 2. Tyres - the R1 eats them. 2000 miles if you are very lucky. If you're getting more than 2000 miles, get yourself something tamer. You're not using the full potential of the R1. 3. Licence - forget it! You will lose it. It's going to happen. Be prepared. 4. It's so good that everyone's going to have one soon. If exclusivity is your thing, this isn't for you. Right then, now for what's good about it: 1. Acceleration is phenomenal. Crack the throttle back to the stop and all you'll see is sky. The R1 loves to lift it's head. Take it slightly easier and keep your weight forward and you race off faster than the fastest thing you can imagine. Well, that's what it feels like. It just seems to keep pulling, faster and faster. The digital speedo gives up counting up in single miles per hour and starts jumping up in increments of ten. Not that you should be looking down at the speedo 'cos you are on top of objects in front of you very quickly. OK, so there are faster accelerating bikes around, but read on - it's the total package that puts the R1 above everything else. 2. Stopping. With this kinda performance, you need great brakes. The R1 will almost gouge a great track out of the tarmac when you pull hard on the brakes. 3. Speed. Tops out at a claimed 178 mph. I believe the claim. I haven't tested the claim (yet) but it sure feels like it's got an awful lot more to go when you're doing 160. 4. Handling is superb. The new model turns in a lot faster than the previ ous model did. Although it's not quiet as flickable as my previous bike (GSX R750), it's not that far off and it's a lot more stable at speed than the Suzook. Once you've commited to your line, the R1 just sticks to it. No worries whatsoever. It can twitch the back end a little when exiting bends, corners, roundabouts, etc. But what do you expect with all that power on the back wheel? If you don't get ham-fisted it's cool. And if you do screw it up, the R1 will change direction mid-corner without too many problems. Some of the roads up here in Scotland can be a little rough and I've had one or two shakes of the head on bumpy bends, but no real problems. Does it need a damper? Nah! 5. Looks great. You can judge that for yourself, but I think it's the dogs. And if you haven't seen one in the flesh (and why not?), check one out. It looks even better than in the pics. 6. Fuel consumption isn't really a consideration is it? If you need to know about this, get yourself a nice little deisel car instead. It's got a fuel tank, you put petrol in it and it runs out sooner than you would like. Live with it. 7. Comfort. After the GSX R750, it's great! The big, wide seat (to fit my big, wide ass) is comfortable enough. It's easy to pootle around town on and on the first day's ride I did 500 miles (to get to the oil and filter change) at running in speeds with no problems. I wouldn't like to be a pillion on one though. No grab handles, tiny seat and perched up high in the wind blast. Overall, it's a top toy. If you like riding hard on the twisties I can't think of anything better. If you want out and out top speed, get a Lardybusa. If you want to tour for thousands of miles in total comfort, get a Gold Wing. If you want an ear-to-ear grin that never fades, get yourself an R1. Oh, and I got a European import for £7,500 & it cost me £150 to UK Spec it <grin>

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        07.07.2000 17:44

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        I currently ride a zx6r (see review), but have have been fortunate enough to ride this R1 beast on several occasions. It is difficult to translate into words (even by a hardened biker), the experience you get riding it. After riding for several years and riding my zx6, blades and a TL1000, I thought how can the R1 be hailed as the ultimate bike, so I rode one. The weather conditions were excellent, sunny but not boiling hot with a slight breeze and very dry. I just jumped off my zx6 and sprinted to the R1. Familiarising myself with the controls (throttle mainly), good clear instrumentation from the digital screen and I was off. The handling was phenomenal, compared to the blade and even my zx6, the R1 was nimble at all speeds. Very quick and responsive at high speeds without being cumbersome at lower (normal) speeds. Speed, well, if you imagine being strapped to an exocet missle and launched, this is close to the raw grunt of acceleration this bike has. By the time I reached fourth gear the front wheel was starting to lower to the ground. (brown leathers syndrome). When you see the colourful power and torque charts for the R1 in all the mags, it is normally a few BHP above the rest, boy does that translate to a vast difference on the road. The R1 is slandered as 'not a comfortable bike', at 5'11 it was made for me (and I told my fiance that), I found it comfortable through traffic, no more wrist ache than normal from my zx6. Admittedly I may think different if I had to do 1000 miles non-stop within the speed limit. The bike was designed with nutters in mind who will take the bike to the limits at high speeds, this is where the riding postion is excellent. Some might say I am in awe of this bike and this review may be biased, they are probably right. Just show me a real SPORTS biker who doesn't get off the R1, who struggles to their helmet off from the grin. Don't sit here reading this go and get on one!

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        05.07.2000 18:44
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        Hi I ride a 99 Fireblade with full micron system and dyno jet kit. But have been meaning to have a go on a R! for a while. My nice Motorcycle Dealers G W’s obliged me in May. Well how does a Y2K R1 Stack up. Bakes. The R1 were no were good as mine. The lever came straight back to the bars when used hard. This I also found to be the case on all the R1’s in the show room. Mine on the other hand (braided Hoses) are the business. With excellent early bite and feed back. Suspension. Well mines hard as nails for use under hard ridding, but if I soften it up my bike wallows mid corner. The R1 on the other hand had a much softer set up and it worked. Not diving to much under braking and offering a good ride on the bumpy stuff . Engine. Another surprise here with the mildly tuned blade engine feeling just as strong as the R1’s except at 120+. Comfort. Who buys a bike like this for comfort! But both were good with the wide tank on the blade giving a lot of grip.

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        30.06.2000 03:42
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        The R1 is the most exciting bike i've ever riden. Acceleration, power and handling are superb!!! although the seat is quite low, the riding position is uncomfortable and angled down over long journeys. This bike is not really passenger friendly, and eats up the rear tyres in approximately 2000 miles... if you're lucky.The new R1 has a new designed wind-shield which protects you a lot better than the earlier one, allowing you to be more comfortable at a 180mph+.

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