The Yamaha R1M is the closest thing to an M1 legal street

Yamaha is known around the world for making high performance sport bikes for the track and the street. These days, it’s common for superbikes to have an accommodating racing bike variant that suits the track and goes beyond the limits of street bikes. Yamaha, on the other hand, is known for making road-approved bikes that blur the lines between inaccessible racing bikes and road-friendly superbikes. That’s exactly what the 2021 R1M does with its full carbon fiber bodywork and Öhlins semi-active suspension that sets the superbike apart from the already shiny R1.


The R1M was first released in 2015 and took the world by storm as an easy and fun-to-ride liter bike that delivers the same fun on the track and on the road. Due to the uniqueness of its engine and the availability of upgrades, the R1M has now become a favorite among sports bike enthusiasts. The new R1M is a refined version of the previous model but quite improved.

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A powerful motor with smooth power delivery


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Engine upgrades in the new R1M kept the bike up to date with regulations while maintaining its maximum output of 197 horsepower while increasing torque slightly. The improvements on the exterior seem tiny compared to the modifications to its engine. The 998cc inline four-cylinder cross-plane engine receives a new cylinder head that reduces intake volume by 12%, a new fuel injection system and four catalysts in the exhaust chamber in addition to a silencer quieter and a new oil system that reduces BHP loss by 5%.


The 270 ° – 180 ° – 90 ° – 180 ° cross crank shot delivers smooth power and a unique, deep howl. However, the whole setup seems to complement each other and offers a direct throttle response that can be felt in tight corners. The bike maintains its application of power smoothly through long turns, allowing the rider to focus on the track with ease.

Better suspension allows more control


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The main difference between the R1 and the R1M is the new NPhlins NPX pressurized chamber fork and the Electronic Racing Optimized Shock Absorber (ERS), which is also the very first gas-powered semi-active fork in a production motorcycle. Yamaha also incorporated nitrogen charged damping, which subsequently improves the consistency of damping characteristics and creates a better frontal feel compared to the base model. The ERS and Ӧhlins NPX pressure chambers are fully adjustable via the interface on the instrument panel.


Like the R1, the R1M also experienced a reduction in spring stiffness, although it was still heavier than the standard R1. This semi-active system works using feedback received from various ECU components such as brake pressure, throttle position, six-axis inertial measurement unit, power modes, traction and wheel control to make real-time adjustments in the suspension. The brakes also undergo a few changes like a smaller ABS pump, new pads and the removal of the linked brake system whereby the rear brakes do not engage when using the front brakes.

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New electronics with smartphone access


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Since 2006 Yamaha bikes have used their chip controlled throttle, but there has always been a cable to the throttle body. Yamaha uses a magnetic pickup that sends the signal to a throttle motor, eliminating the use of cables between you and the throttle body. According to Yamaha, this will make the operation smoother and lighter, ultimately reducing rider fatigue.

Due to European regulations that require to have an ABS braking system that users cannot deactivate, Yamaha has introduced its brake control system with two modes BC1 and BC2 respectively. The latter’s ABS interventions are faster than those of the more track-oriented BC1, although all this is controlled by the IMU which determines the level of intervention.


The R1M also has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, which allows the rider to tune everything through the Yamaha Y-Trac communication unit. The Y-Trac communication unit records data from IMU, ECU and GPS sensors to provide an accurate reading of what you are doing with the bike or how fast you are going. It even allows you to check the throttle position, bank angle, RPM, traction control and slip control for a given section of the track so you can have an accurate summary of your performance. on the track.

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A bike specially designed to get closer to a racing bike


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The 2020 R1M looks more like a racing bike than the R1Ms of the past due to changes to its semi-active system which seemed inconsistent to most users. Most riders also felt a more powerful feel on the brakes compared to the R1 and gave a sense of confidence in controlling it. Although there are some drawbacks to the bike, as it is still a physically demanding motorcycle to ride and the dashboard just doesn’t measure up to rivals like Ducati and BMW. To put it in layman’s terms, the Yamaha R1M is a bike designed for the track as well as for normal roads, but its pure performance and Yamaha craftsmanship means that it blurs the lines between out-of-the-box superbikes. and the unobtainable prototype racing bikes.



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