2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S - FIRST LOOK REVIEW

New Street version of the R1 aims at younger riders with a bit less $$.

2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S studio 3/4 view

Fans of Cycle World know that we were so impressed with the Yamaha YZF-R1 and its racier limited-edition R1M sibling that we named the latter our Best Open-Class Streetbike of 2015. Yamaha, however, has studied the 1000cc superbike market and found it to be populated by wealthy older guys who often take their R1s to trackdays. What about younger enthusiasts who aren't going to the track as much and ride primarily on the street?

Well, say hello to the new 2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S. This new Yamaha, which will be priced at $14,990 when it goes on sale in February, is aimed directly at those younger buyers. And while this new 2016 YZF-R1S isn't exactly inexpensive, it's $1500 cheaper than a base R1 (and only $400 more than the previous-generation R1).

2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S on-road action

Yamaha is quick to point out that the new R1S is not a detuned R1. But there are differences between the bikes. Most obvious visually are the five-spoke aluminum wheels that have replaced the superlight multispoke magnesium units on the standard R1. And with regard to the R1S engine, it’s the familiar 998cc inline-four with the crossplane crank, but the R1’s trick fracture-split titanium connecting rods have been replaced by conventional ones made of steel. The DOHC cylinder head is the same, but new valve springs are now used, likely related to an unspecified lower redline. What’s more, the oil pan and right-side engine cover, magnesium on the standard R1, are now aluminum, and stainless steel exhaust headers have replaced the ones made of titanium. All told, Yamaha says the new 2016 YZF-R1S weighs 448 lb. wet, which is 9 lb. more the claimed weight of the standard R1.

Most R1 hardware remains unchanged on the new R1S. This includes the chassis and suspension, as well as the titanium muffler and the trick electronics package that has a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit and offers traction control, wheelie control, launch control, and even slide control programs, plus ABS. About the only R1 electronics aid not found on the R1S is the quickshifter, but it’s available as an option. Also notable: The new R1S wears longer-wearing Bridgestone Hypersport S20s, not the stickier Battlax RS10s.

2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S static side view

Yamaha did not provide horsepower and torque figures for the new 2016 YZF-R1S, but the tuning fork company did show us a graph (without values, below) comparing the power curves of R1 versus new R1S. Up until super high rev most likely to be used on the track—the horsepower for both bikes looks almost identical. But the R1S’s peak is slightly lower, because the S engine’s greater reciprocating mass keep it from revving as highly as the standard R1. And as for the torque, the R1S’s curve looks impressive, slightly better than the R1M’s until high revs. We’ll be able to share some specifics as soon as we can get a YZF-R1S on the dyno.

2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S horsepower and torque graph

The 2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S will be available in two colors: Matte Gray and a White/Black/Red combo, both priced at $14,990. Interestingly, there’s no badging to identify this newest R1 as an S model, and we suspect Yamaha feels that the targeted younger buyers probably like it that way.

In other Yamaha supersport news, the standard YZF-R1 returns for 2016 in three different colors: Matte Gray ($16,490), Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver ($16,490), and a really trick-looking limited-edition 60th Anniversary Yellow/Black ($16,990).

As for the track-ready R1M, it returns as well for 2016, still in a Carbon Fiber/Liquid Metal paint scheme and now priced at $21,990. Look for all three of these 2016 Yamaha YZF-R1 models (R1, R1M, R1S) to be available at Yamaha dealers in February.

2016 Yamaha YZF-R1 60th Anniversary studio 3/4 view

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S (Intensity White/Raven/Rapid Red).Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S (Intensity White/Raven/Rapid Red).Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S (Intensity White/Raven/Rapid Red).Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S (Intensity White/Raven/Rapid Red).Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S (Matte Grey).Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S (Matte Grey).Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S (Matte Grey).Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S (Matte Grey).Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S static.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S static.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S details.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S details.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S action.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1 Limited Edition 60th Anniversary.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1 Limited Edition 60th Anniversary.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1 Limited Edition 60th Anniversary.Yamaha Photo

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R1 Limited Edition 60th Anniversary.Yamaha Photo

Dyno chart.

2016 Yamaha YZF-R1S horsepower and torque graph.Yamaha Chart