In August, we found reference to a bike called the Yamaha R1S in Yamaha’s CARB filings for 2016. We wondered whether it was a new bike or just a different naming structure. Well, the Yamaha R1S was announced today, and we think it’s the liter bike you should buy.
The Yamaha YZF-R1S comes as Yamaha’s base model in their super sport offerings. The way they put it, the regular R1 skews slightly for older riders who do a little more track riding - which leaves room for a bike a little more appropriate for younger, more street oriented riders.
Now, I agree with them - but I would just call that bike the Yamaha R6. Fortunately for Yamaha, most riders don’t agree with me about not needing anything bigger than a 600, so the R1S actually does make sense.
The differences between the R1 and R1S are pretty much only in the materials used and the weight difference they create. The R1 gets titanium connecting rods while the R1S get steel. The R1’s magnesium oil pan and engine covers get swapped for aluminum and its aluminum engine cover bolts and titanium exhaust headers get swapped for steel and stainless steel respectively.
The valve springs have also been revised for the R1S, as has the ECU. Weight comes in at 448 pounds compared to the R1’s 439, thanks in part to aluminum wheels it gets instead of the R1’s magnesium.
Yamaha claim that power is nearly identical, though the R1 and R1M do rev slightly higher. They wouldn’t release Yamaha official dyno numbers, but they did show us a graph with two lines layed over the top of each other, with one color slightly longer.
The big news is that the R1S, when it goes on sale in February of next year, will retail for $14,990 (the regular R1 is $16,490).
At the risk of having people whine at me about being too nice to motorcycles and too much of a pussy to say bad things about them - the R1 is an incredible motorcycle. Seriously. It’s amazing.
The thing about it being such an amazing bike, is that it’s so far past most people’s abilities. So, let me sum it up for you real easy: If you’re good enough to feel/use the benefits of the R1 over the R1S, you should be on the R1M anyways and you should probably be racing MotoAmerica. It includes all of the fancy electronics of the R1, minus the quickshifter which is now an option instead of standard.
This isn’t a knock on the regular R1 or its worth—it’s actually in praise of it. The R1S will be plenty for almost everyone shopping for a liter bike and, at $15k, this is one hell of a liter bike.
Oh, also, we asked if we would see new colors this year. This isn’t a surprise, but I’m glad Yamaha did the right thing and will be bringing us 60th Anniversary liveries. This is the only acceptable reason to buy a Yamaha YZF-R1 next year.