2017 Yamaha YZF-R1

2017 Yamaha YZF-R1
2017 Yamaha YZF-R1CRS

The Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike was revolutionary when Yamaha released it in 1998. The engine was built as a new version of Yamaha’s Genesis engine with a design called a “stacked gearbox” which raised the gearbox input shaft so the output shaft could be placed beneath it. This made for a much more compact engine overall, which allowed Yamaha to shorten the wheelbase dramatically, and move the engine to alter the center of gravity for better handling.

That first R1 claimed 140 horsepower at the crank and, our own Cycle World dyno, ran the quarter mile in 10.31 seconds at 139.55 mph and accelerated from 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds.

The YZF-R1 has seen a handful of updates as the superbike category has become the pinnacle of performance and competition among brands. Fuel injection was introduced in 2002, radially mounted brakes and RAM-air intake in 2004, a slipper clutch in 2006, and a new engine in 2007.

Its most recent update came for the 2015 model year, when Yamaha added an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) which measures six-axis of movement and then feeds information to the new traction control, slide control, launch control, anti-lift control, and anti-lock braking systems.

We here at Cycle World are huge fans of the latest iteration of the Yamaha YZF-R1. It's won awards in our yearly Ten Best Awards every year since its refresh and it won our Superbike Shootout in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

2017 Yamaha YZF-R1 Specs and Pricing

MSRP $16,699

Cycle World 2017 Yamaha YZF-R1 Reviews

Thoughts from the Staff

"I can't help myself though. Yamaha raised the bar when it built the latest Yamaha YZF-R1, and even this year, no literbike came close to touching it. It's a little aggressive for street riding, but everything that it loses in terms of around-town compliance, the bike more than makes up for in terms of comfort in the canyons and racetrack prowess." Bradley Adams - Associate Editor, Cycle World Magazine

"If I were to buy something for the days when my freestyle bike was parked and twisties were on the agenda, the R1 would be it." Aaron Colton - Professional Freestyle Stunt Rider / Test Rider, Cycle World Magazine

“The more time we spend on our long-term Yamaha YZF-R1, the more we realize what a fabulous all-around streetbike it is. Suspension is firm and ultra-controlled yet totally livable—compliant even. That high-level precision that makes the fastest lap of your life seem so serene and almost easy makes it one of the most buttoned-down streetbikes you can buy.” Mark Hoyer - Editor-in-Chief, Cycle World Magazine