2012 Yamaha R1
Concerning technical upgrades, the Yamaha R1 literbike has remained unchanged since the introduction of the MotoGP-derived crossplane crankshaft in 2009, a tech-savvy engine design that was developed with input from Nine-Time World Champion Valentino Rossi.
But after the hype died, Yamaha didn’t further develop the R1 for the following two years. Except for a few color choices, the 2010 and 2011 Yamaha YZF-R1 superbikes reamained stagnan.
But Yamaha wanted to change this for 2012. The new 2012 R1 will now feature a seven-level Traction Control System (TCS), which was "developed specifically so the rider doesn’t feel any unnatural or harsh intervention from the system."
Yamaha says: "Coupled with a new ECU optimized for acceleration and controllability in the mid-to-low-speed range, as well as a the proven three-level D-Mode electronic throttle response control, 2012 R1 riders will have no less than 21 different choices available to tailor to their riding preference.
"The large choice of settings enables the R1’s TCS to compensate for subtle changes in the contact patch between the tire and the riding surface. In addition, because TCS results in less wheel spin, the system can aid in reducing tire wear."
There are other upgrades, such as better foot pegs and a MotoGP-derived triple clamp, but the other thing Yamaha did is sure to widen some eyes. For 2012, yamaha will offer the bike in a limited-edition Pearl White/Rapid Red color scheme taking directly from the 50th Anniversary bikes used in 2011 MotoGP by Yamaha Factory Racing pilots Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies (shown in pic above); but limited means limited, and only 2000 will be produced in 50th Anniversary colors.
The ’12 R1 will likely bring the Yamaha name back into Liter-bike talk.
To see the 2012 Yamaha R1 in action for the first time, check out the video above.