When it comes to Yamahas R1M motorbike it’s clear to see that this is a very special ‘piece of fast’. The bodywork including the fairing, mudguard and the single seat unit are all made from carbon fibre. The tank is the most beautiful lacquered raw aluminium. The rear swingarm is polished to within an inch of its life and the bike on test has even been finished with a factory approved Akrapovic exhaust. It’s shod on Michelins new Power RS tyres. The rather excellent fast road trackday tyres which we’ve been sent to the track to test.
One of the surprising things about the ‘M’ is that it has the same motor as the standard bike. This is the second generation of the cross plane cranked engine that made its debut all the way back in 2010. It produces the same 197 bhp in a 200 kilo package that the standard bike does. As I blip the throttle while waiting for the marshal to lift the barrier and set me loose on the track I’m reminded of a big v twin, the noise from the straight four with its unique firing sequence is simply wonderful and very different to anything else in the class.
The big deal with the R1M is the very expensive and rather beautiful Ohlins suspension. That and the electronics package. This package consists of a ‘straight from Moto GP’ six axis ‘Inertial Measurement Unit’. What this does is give the rider the ability to manage the bikes traction. This allows the rider to dictate how far the machine slides, how much the front wheel lifts as well as dialing in the braking system and controlling those all-important race starts.
Meanwhile all of the data is collected via the bikes ‘Communication Control Unit’. This is a full spec data logger and since it has its own GPS it allows the team to look at lap times and other data back in the pit lane. Our days of blaming the bike on that highside would appear to be over!
Once out on track the bike shows its difference from the standard R1 as the Ohlins Electronic Racing Suspension system combined with the new Michelin Power RS tyres delivers a handling package that is quite simply second to none. Losail, being in the middle of a desert, is far too hot to ride during the day so we’ve riding after dark under the spotlights.
The track is fast and predictable with a long straight and the noise of the engine as it howls towards the red line is addictive. The braking power coming to the end of it is predictable, the suspension and tyres make following through the corners Childs play. Riding the R1M fast on a closed circuit made for a very quiet, fuss free and enjoyable experience. At the end of the first session I’ve scuffed up a set of knee sliders and have a grin stuck on my face that won’t be going away any time soon.
At a shade under €26,000 it isn’t cheap and something this good is probably going to be wasted on a public road, but I do find myself wanting one anyway…
The R1m is available via an online ordering system only. See https://r1m.yamaha-motor.eu/en-IE/registration. Michelins Power RS tyres are available from Cotter Motorcycles. They’re on 01 4603807. The great and rather unusual news is that a low mileage one has come up for sale secondhand here in Ireland. Take a look at
https://www.bikebuyersguide.ie/yamaha/Yamaha-YZF-R1M or call Robert on +353876549589…