Tales of the Yamaha YZF-R1S have been swirling ever since Yamaha filed patents for the name alongside the names YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in April of 2014. The R1 and R1M were released later in the year, but the R1S has curiously been missing. New California Air Resources Board documents show that the R1S is slated for release for the 2016 model year, though we aren’t completely certain it isn’t shown in the picture above.
A Little Context
In the spring of 2014, we saw Yamaha trademark the names R1, R1S, and R1M. Then, in the fall, Yamaha announced the R1 and R1M (review coming soon!), much to the dismay of Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki (because it’s fucking awesome).
We all went on our merry way, forgetting about the R1S amidst our lust for the R1 and R1M until this week, when Motorcycle.com found these CARB documents that denote different model names for a R1, R1M, and R1S for bikes to be released in 2016.
Yamaha Naming Structure
Yamaha uses a gibberish-looking, though not-all-that-confusing method to name their models in documents like these. Yamaha supersports come with the YZF-R tag, with the following number representing the engine size. “G” represents the 2016 model year and, from what I gather, the other letters represent different colors.
This means that, if we’re reading this correctly, we should be seeing another color of the R1, as well as the R1S in two colors for 2016. Also, note that the last two add the word “basic” into the model description.
Could this be the Yamaha YZF-R1S?
So How Could The R1S Be In The Top Shot?
The easiest way to interpret the information is to take it at face value and believe that we’re going to get a base model R1 in 2016, which will likely just have cheaper suspension and lose all or some of the electronic aides. Motorcycle.com is confident this is the case, and I can’t say that I think they’re wrong.
The all-new motor and chassis in the R1 is phenomenal (did I mention we have a review coming soon?!), and a stripped version could be popular with track day riders who will likely want to add their own suspension and ride without many of the electronics.
Asphalt & Rubber made an interesting point that shouldn’t be discounted - unless you like getting your hopes up and then having them crushed by the motorcycle gods.
Hard to think of something coming in above this in the range.
They point out that the R1 is already billed as the “base” model, and it actually doesn’t make much sense for Yamaha to try and undercut it. There is also the option that the R1S is an even higher-spec model, but that sort of hangs the R1M out to dry. Also, having only one color scheme for the R1M, but two for the R1S, would indicate that the R1M will remain as Yamaha’s top model.
The last option, as A&R points out, is that the R1S is really just the R1. Yamaha have, at times, used the R1S to refer to the R1 model we get here in the states, which means that we might have had it here all along. Yamaha has yet to trademark the R1S name for markets outside of the United States, which means that if a new model is coming, we may be the only ones getting it.
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Are we going to see new R1’s? New colors? Or nothing new at all?
If I’m being completely honest, none of the options make complete sense to me though I think a barebones model is possibly the most likely. The good news is that new bike season is almost upon us, so we won’t have to wait too long to see just what Yamaha has up its sleeve.
Also, in case I forgot to mention it, we’ll have our review of the Yamaha YZF-R1 up soon!
Photos by: Sean MacDonald, Fabian Lagunas, and Yamaha Motor Corp