10 Things We Love About The Yamaha R1M
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10 Things We Love About The Yamaha R1M

Sep 10, 2023

We discuss ten of the most appealing features found on this apex predator from Japan

When the Yamaha R1 was launched, it instantly made a name for itself by being one of the most powerful and one of the lightest in its class. The twin-headlamp design was popularized and brought a new design element to sport bikes all over the world. We may be as bold to say that the R1 was the world's first significant fully-faired superbike that set the benchmark for this class of machine in design and performance.

The R1M, launched in 2015 in addition to the standard R1, adds a higher degree of track focused intent which makes it an entirely different beast. Since then the model has remained largely unchanged, except with tweaks to the fairing for better aero, a new ride-by-wire throttle, electric steering damper and more. We discuss these in detail below.

Related: 2022 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M: Performance, Price, and Photos

The standard R1 offers the smooth and adjustable KYB set that Yamaha riders have come to know and love through the years. However, the R1M comes with Öhlin's top-of-the-line electronic suspension that is paired with Yamaha's Suspension Control Unit and Rider Control Units that allow for three preset adjustments or manual settings, if so required. In addition to this, real time measurements of the bike's movements are taken into consideration by the six-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that makes incremental changes to optimize the response and control while riding the bike hard, especially on track.

The composite bodywork of the R1M has been beautifully designed and sculpted, with a more aggressively M1 styled and tweaked fairing revised for the 2020 model onwards. Made mostly of carbon fiber, it offers a high level of durability, exotic appeal and adds a feeling of higher quality due to being a superior material in general. The aerodynamic performance, already at a high level since 2015, has gone up 5% with the most recent update.

The Yamaha CCM (Communications Control Module) offers riders a way to measure and track their performance, giving a true race feeling to shave off additional split seconds and insights into their own riding styles in precise detail. This data logging feature is the result of their extensive racing development and comes as a welcome feature for intermediate to professional riders looking for an extra edge over the competition, by honing the bike and their riding to bring out the best numbers on track. The CCM also enables riders to wirelessly tune and tweak some of the engine settings - delivering greater flexibility and customizability in terms of power delivery.

Related: 5 Reasons Why We Love The Yamaha R7 (And 5 Why The Old R6 Is Better)

Yamaha's design needs no mention, but we thought of doing that anyway. Sharp, aggressive and continuously flowing lines create a harmonized visual symphony that helps convey Yamaha's interpretation of distilled speed and control. The R1M is no doubt one of the world's best looking superbikes, going head-to-head with its competition and being truly distinct and recognizable even today. An engraved production number along with carbon fiber bits, adds a layer of exclusivity and limited availability to this gorgeous machine, all while being fully functional as well.

Competition-beating racing experience through the years and rider inputs (professional and amateur) throughout the years, have helped Yamaha further refine the R1M to a track masterpiece. In addition to this, electronic systems help riders exercise better control and gain assistance with human errors while riding, making the bike all the more forgiving and easier to gain mastery over. A compact chassis design with exceptional track-focused handling is made possible by the magnesium subframe, polished aluminum swingarm, and an aluminum Deltabox frame.

Yamaha's Brake Control (BC) System, which was developed on racetracks across the world, works with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) to reduce brake slip while braking aggressively on unfavorable surfaces. In order to promote rider confidence when stopping mid-corner, the customizable BC System employs the IMU to deliver progressive brake force intervention as lean angle increases.

The IMU measures various factors such as lean angle, speed, acceleration and brake inputs to name a few, and sends this to the BC and SCU (Suspension Control Unit) to deliver fine changes in the bike's feel and response. The Brake Control unit was further enhanced since 2020, and is paired with front 4-piston radial-mounted calipers, which are mounted on large 320mm rotors and have high-friction pad compounds. The rear 220mm disc is supported by a small floating caliper.

The R1M engine has a crossplane crankshaft, meaning that the inner 2 pistons align at a plane that is in the form of a cross to the outer 2 pistons. It fires 1, 3, 2, 4, with irregular firing intervals of 270, 180, 90, and 180 degrees. The rider will experience the most linear torque and incredible throttle control as a result of all this.

A completely new degree of rider/machine communication and a distinctive, V4-like soundtrack is made possible by this engine concept. The exceptional cornering performance that greater engine and throttle control enables is perhaps one of the most significant advantages. Significant horsepower with good controllability, which makes the bike easier to ride and more fun, was reportedly the main engineering goal for the R1 series.

Related: A Look Back At The Original Yamaha YZF-R1

In addition to the carbon fiber used on the fairing, aluminum, titanium and magnesium are used throughout the bike to guarantee superior performance, handling and low inertial masses. For example, the engine uses connecting rods made of titanium that are 60% lighter than traditional steel, resulting in lower horsepower losses and a quicker throttle response. Magnesium is used for the R1M's wheels, oil pan, cylinder head cover, and crankcase covers. For 2022, the tank has been upgraded to aluminum as well.

Other noteworthy electronic wizardry on the YZF-R1M are the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) system that works in sync with the Accelerator Position Sensor with Grip (APSG), Engine Brake Management (EBM) system, Power Delivery Mode (PWR), Traction Control System (TCS), Yamaha's Slide Control System (SCS), Launch Control System (LCS) and the Up & Down Quick Shift System (QSS). These race-derived features are key in the R1M's appeal in acting as a virtual race engineer and coach for riders, allowing for more safety and predictability and thereby resulting in more valuable track time sessions.

Handling performance is greatly improved by reducing unsprung weight and lightening rotational masses wherever possible. For this reason, the R1M comes with 10-spoke magnesium wheels front and rear. This feature is reminiscent to Marchesini forged magnesium wheels that are available as an accessory to some Ducati's. The front rim is MT3.50 x 17 and the rear, MT6.00 x 17. Bridgestone Battlax RS11 tires help complete the package, which are renowned for their consistent and high performance both on the road and track.

Shravan's obsession with two wheels began in 2007, when he rode his dad's geared, two-stroke Bajaj Chethak scooter for the first time, and couldn't put down the engagement of a motorcycle riding experience since that day.Since then, he has been an avid rider, with sport touring and naked motorcycles being his preferred choices.