Saturday, October 8


Can it really be 13 years since Yamaha launched its game-changing YZF-R1?

It certainly is and to celebrate, the tuning fork brand has just announced details of what in effect is its eighth-generation model.

While it retains the distinctive sharp nose/high muffler look of the first 2009 ‘crossplane crankshaft’ model the new '12 joins Ducati and Kawasaki's current offerings in coming complete with a (in this case 6-mode) Traction Control System (TCS).

The new system constantly monitors sensors in each wheel and when either is spinning the system alerts the ECU to adjust throttle opening, fuel-injection volume and ignition timing.

With six settings plus an ‘off’ mode, as well as the existing three-mode Variable Map Function the 2012 R1 has 21 possible engine set-up options.

Other changes for the 2012 model year include revisionis to the ECU to improve low to mid-range controllability, the use of a new gravity-cast triple crown top for increased rigidity, and a new-look nose cone for improved aerodynamic efficiency.

The ’12 model will be available in several different colourways including the (pictured) new Anniversary White and a stealth-look Matt Grey.

Like the new WR450F the new R1 is set to surface here early in the New Year. Closer to that time we’ll have indicative pricing.