Monday, September 8, 2008

Yamaha introduces 2009 R1 with crossplane firing order

Click above for more shots of the 2009 Yamaha R1

As is often the case when one of the big four Japanese bike manufacturers introduce a new literbike, there's way too many new features and detail improvements for us to include in a write-up. For the '09 Yamaha R1, though, there are some huge differences which are sure to become major talking points over the next few months. For starters, Yamaha is now the first manufacturer to move its modified firing order technology from the Moto GP tracks to your driveway. Featuring a staggered crossplane crankshaft that locates each connecting rod 90° from the one before it. According to Yamaha, this arrangement allows for the high RPM power of an inline-four with the steady powerband of a twin-cylinder bike. We look forward to finding out for ourselves how effective this is. Other useful technology is the adjustable power button which changes the engine map between three different settings.

Also new is a magnesium subframe, new projector headlamps with integrated ram air ducts and a stubby new rear tail section. Some of the styling changes will take a bit of getting used to, but we are pretty pleased that Yamaha has seen fit to offer a paint scheme from each of its past major color motifs: Yellow and black, red and white and the current blue, plus one thoroughly stealthy version in black and red. Check past the break for more, along with commentary from Yamaha racers including Valentino Rossi.

[Source: Yamaha]