All New Action Packed Ugly Betty Yamaha R1 for 2007
January 1st, 2007 - In the never ending battle for top dog Superbike honors, Yamaha has introduced an all new generation and higher performing R1 model 1000cc class Superbike for 2007. On first look the immediate impression is that the bike in any of its three different color schemes is strikingly UGLY. It suffers from an overly clutterd and busy Batmobile like styling design, intensified with conflicting bolt-on components, and hideous paint schemes and color choices.

The styling is so hideous it gives you a headache just looking at it. Like the mismatched, winged and cut-out lower chin spoiler that doesn't match up to the front side panels. Or the black bolt-on rear muffler heat shields which could have been left off completely and the rear seat cowling extended back on in a smooth line for necessary heat protection. Why couldn't Yamaha just have styled the new R1 like their MotoGP race winner and ditched this Penny Arcade nightmare in the trash bin? If Ducati had the ugliest Superbike in 2003-2006 with their outgoing 999, then Yamaha has picked up that fallen crown with the new 2007 R1.

If you can get past the looks, the new R1 bristles with major changes and design innovations. Key features in
the all-new, light, powerful YZF-R1 packed with trickle-down MotoGP trickery.

Featured in the Engine Bay:
• All-new inline four-cylinder engine is the most powerful, tractable R1 power plant ever, thanks partially to the world’s first electronic variable-length intake funnel system.
• Short-stroke 998cc DOHC, 16-valve, liquid-cooled inline four- cylinder engine produces more tractable power than ever.
• Yamaha Chip Control Throttle controls a 32-bit ECU fuel injection system for super-responsive, smooth, instantaneous power delivery.
• The YZF-R1 uses the YCC-T fly-by-wire throttle system for flawless response under all conditions.
• Gone is the trademark Yamaha 5-valve head design which was first introduced 20 years ago as the ultimate performance design, replaced by a more conventional 4-valve head which fill the combustion chamber, hardly leaving room for the spark plug.

• Lay-down design cylinder head optimizes weight distribution, straightens intake tracts for improved cylinder filling, and allows frame to pass over instead of around the engine for great strength and a narrow chassis.
• Closed-deck cylinder block increases strength and allows a narrow engine in spite of big, 77mm bores.
• Narrow-angle four-valve combustion chambers produce a highly efficient 12.7:1 compression ratio; 31mm titanium intake valves and 25mm exhausts controlled by new, high-lift cams flow plenty of air.

Do we really need it? Power valves continue in the exhaust system and now, MotoGP and World Superbike technology with computer controlled variable intake tracks.

• Yamaha Chip Control Intake electronically adjusts intake funnel length between either 65 or 140mm for an amazingly broad, smooth powerband.
• Light and strong nutless connecting rods with fractured big ends produce a quick-revving engine with excellent high-rpm durability.
• High silicon-content ceramic-composite cylinder sleeves ensure great heat dissipation for consistent power delivery and reduced friction.
• Close-ratio six-speed gearbox with triangulated shaft layout for great strength, compactness, and quicker acceleration.
• Ramp-type slipper clutch makes braking from speed into tight corners while downshifting smoother and therefore faster.
• Redesigned titanium underseat exhaust system (with stainless steel midpipe and catalyst) provides excellent cornering clearance and a broad, seamless powerband.
• 13-percent greater radiator capacity and an aluminum liquid-cooled oil cooler maintain stable operating temperature.
• Direct ignition coils, dual-electrode spark plugs and high-output magneto deliver extremely accurate, reliable firing.
• AC generator behind cylinder block produces a narrow engine with excellent cornering clearance.
• Two-piece ergonomically designed fuel tank carries fuel in the rear section, for good centralization of mass, while the front half contains a Ram-Air-fed airbox for increased power.

And in the Rolling Chassis:
• An all-new Deltabox frame tuned for optimal flex carries the lay-down four-cylinder stressed-member style, for great handling and efficient aerodynamic penetration.
• A new truss-type swingarm is extremely strong and tuned for optimal traction and feedback.
* New dual 310mm front disc brakes with new 6-piston radial-mount calipers and Brembo radial-pump front master cylinder with adjustable lever deliver amazing braking power and feel.
• Fully adjustable KYB inverted telescopic front fork with 43mm tubes has been revalved to complement other chassis changes.
• Piggyback rear shock now offers both high- and low-speed compression adjustability, rebound damping and a new, twist-style spring preload adjuster.
• Light, five-spoke wheels enhance acceleration, deceleration, handling and suspension action.

We will have to wait and see how the new ugly duckling R1 stands up this season in the sales department against reigning AMA Superbike Champion Suzuki's new GSXR1000R and reigning SBK World Superbike Champion Ducati's exciting new 1098 Superbike. The fact that Yamaha USA is now back in AMA Superbike racing should help with marketing, plus Troy Corser's move to Yamaha in World Superbike, and of course there's favorite Valentino Rossi in MotoGP. But the talent competition will be fierce going in, and Yamaha has already conceded the swimsuit competition. More R1 details in News Bikes

Return to New Bike IndexPit Lane News Performance Parts


Track Ride Continued...
It’s not just a fast engine that makes this a fast bike. The revised chassis uses a longer swinging arm with a whole new suspension linkage set-up and a 3mm higher pivot point that helps the bike to find more rear end grip under load. The standard suspension is a vast improvement too. A stiffer rear spring has found its way onto a rear shock that now features high-speed compression damping. The net result is a better-supported rear end that has less of a tendency to squat on the throttle and force the bike to run wide.

With the stock tires and suspension settings the bike works surprisingly well. Feedback is good, though understandably pressing on a bit isn’t too confidence inspiring as the bike pitches on the awesome six-pot brakes and struggles through fast direction changes. Bearing in mind that these are the out-of-the-box road settings, the overall handling isn’t too bad but it could be better for the track. This is quickly remedied by Yamaha’s decision to dial in test rider, Jeffrey De Vries’ track settings for the afternoon sessions and send us out on the awesome Pirelli Supercorsa Pro race tyres. Happy days!

The new R1is pretty much transformed with a far more direct feel from the front end, something that is absolutely vital for a fast lap round this front-heavy circuit. The bike does feel as though it’s pitched far more on its nose than the old bike and as you’d expect, steers quicker too.

There’s no lack of stability though, and the non-adjustable stock steering damper is set way softer than you’d expect making it less obtrusive at low speeds and underlines the fact that Yamaha have managed to combine sharp steering with stability – full credit to the chassis designers.

Grip from the tyres combined with the grippy Losail surface inspires the confidence to push harder and harder with every lap. Try as I might I’m unable to provoke a slide from the rear end of the bike to the point where I give up as the forces being exerted build to a point where a slide would soon turn into a highside of epic proportions. Racers might want to dial in more ride height to gain more feel from the rear but if like me you prefer to steer from the front then it’s perhaps best left alone!

No doubtthe improvements Yamaha have made to the R1 have make for a superb road bike that won’t take much to transform into a hugely capable Superstock machine with the potential to be a great Superbike. It really does seem to be the complete package that Yamaha need to progress in 2007.

2007 Yamaha R1 Specifications

MSRP Pricing & Colors
$11,599 (Team Yamaha Blue)
$11,699 (Charcoal Silver)
$11,699 (Candy Red)

Type 998cc, liquid-cooled, 16-valve, DOHC, inline four-cylinder
Bore x Stroke 77 x 53.6mm
Compression Ratio 12.7:1
Carburetion Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I
Ignition Digital TCI
Transmission 6-speed w/multi-plate slipper clutch
Final Drive #530 O-ring chain

Suspension/Front 43mm inverted telescopic fork w/adjustable preload, compression damping, rebound damping; 4.7" travel
Suspension/Rear Single shock w/piggyback reservoir; adjustable for hi-/lo-speed compression damping, rebound damping, spring preload; 5.1" travel
Brakes/Front Dual 310mm discs; radial-mount forged 6-piston calipers
Brakes/Rear 220mm disc w/single-piston caliper
Tires/Front 120/70-ZR17
Tires/Rear 190/50-ZR17


Length 81.1"
Width 28.3"
Height 43.7"
Seat Height 32.9”
Wheelbase 55.7”
Rake (Caster Angle) 24.0°
Trail 4.0”
Fuel Capacity 4.75 gal.
Dry Weight 390 lbs.




Track Riding the new R1
Launch Report- Losail GP circuit, Qatar, November 8, 2006 -
The new R1 has to deliver. After the domination of Suzuki, Ducati and and Honda at World and national Superbike level, it simply has to be the best 1000cc machine for 2007, a bike capable of winning championships at every level, from Superstock to Superbike. Not only that, it has to be the best 1000cc road bike too - anything less than the complete package just won’t do.

Yamaha had chosen Qatar as the launch venue for the all new 2007 R1 Superbike. The Losail circuit has seen some fantastic race action over the last two seasons and famed for its hard-to-master, complex nature it’s a circuit that demands precision from both bike and rider – it would seem that Yamaha have plenty of confidence in their half of that equation – I just had to keep my half of the bargain.

We head off out of a scorching pit lane and onto the kilometre long Losail straight. Mindful of the unscrubbed Pirelli Diablo Corsas, ease the bike into the first right-handerand follow Yamaha test rider, Jeffrey De Vries, studying his lines as he leads us out on the sighting lap, dictating the pace to the pursuant pack of journalists, all keen to let rip and find out just what Yamaha have done to their new sports bike.

Unleashed and free to explore the bikes limits, it soon becomes apparent that many of the bike’s weaknesses have been addressed. The midrange power that by the standards set by Suzuki’s awesome GSX-R have been lacking appears to have been fixed for 2007 with far more shove from around 5,000rpm upwards. The motor feels far more flexible than before – a handy trait on a circuit as complex and technical as Losail. This is undoubtedly thanks to a revision of the cylinder head and a return to the use of four-valves-per-cylinder opposed to the trademark Yamaha 5-valve design.

Yamaha's new Computer Controlled Intake (YCC-I) plays an important part too as the intake funnels alter in length to suit the engine RPM. There’s no feeling of it ‘cutting in’ as such, but there’s a tangible feeling of change in engine character as the inlet tracts shorten as the revs increase past 10,400rpm from 140mm to 65mm giving a boost to top end power.

However, the most innovative piece of technology with the new Yamaha has to be the Computer Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) as first seen last year on the R6. And on the R1 it works a treat.

The system makes a lot more sense on a bigger bike as it dampens down the delivery to the rear tyre. Initially the bike feels a little flat in the first third of the rev range, almost to the point of being gutless by comparison to the fierce delivery of the ZX-10R and the GSX-R. The communication between brain and right hand after years of winding on 1000cc throttles takes a while to adjust to the simple fact that the R1’s throttle can be wound on harder and earlier.

The power is simply far more accessible thanks to the YCC-T. It’s almost as if the bike mimics a seven-fifty mid corner. Getting back on the gas from a trailing throttle mid-turn as you drag it back to the apex is far smoother than on the previous bike too making overall throttle control at full tilt a far less nervous affair. Some riders might see it as a rider aid that takes away the buzz of riding an angry animal of a bike, though these riders are unlikely to have ever suffered a bone-crunching highside – my opinion is that anything that affords a rider more traction and the confidence to open the throttle wide and leave it there without sacrificing any exit speed through either wheelspin or a lack of confidence has to be a good thing.

Midrange isn’t the only area in which the Yamaha has improved. While it’s hard to say whether or not the top end power has been increased without a visit to the dyno, the way the power hangs on for longer all the way to the limiter is plainly apparent. Where the old bike would tail off just shy of the limiter, the new bike just keeps on pulling, emitting that trademark R1 howl from the twin titanium end cans. To any doubters out there who dismiss Yamaha’s trickery as gimmickry think again – the systems in place aren’t there to dumb down the thrill of riding a 180bhp motorcycle – they’re there to make it easier to go fast… very fast.

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