The Yamaha YZF R1 was about as close to a racer as a road-bike gets. Everything about it screamed speed. Its fairing parted air like a shark shifts water. Its tail-piece was sharp enough to shave with. In terms of its tech-spec, the R1 tasted number-crunching good! A power output of 160bhp. A dry weight of 389lb. A top speed of 170mph. Satisfying stats, to be sure!
But, the R1 was not just quick and aerodynamic – it was agile as an acrobat. Indeed, so flickable was it, that it was almost to a fault. Especially for younger riders, the R1 could made corners a bit too tempting! Short and slim, its wheelbase was minimal. All the better for flying through bends. Engine-wise, there were 5 valves per cylinder. 20 minuscule parts – doing a mechanised dance of staggering precision. Cycle parts were state of the art. Suspension and brakes were razor-responsive. In every department, the R1 excelled. As you would expect, it sold in shedloads!
The R1 is the kind of machine lives get built around. It inspires not so much dedication – as devotion. Whether at R1 owners’ rallies, track days or production racing events, the bike instils pride – and confidence – like few others. The Yamaha YZF R1 was a two-wheeled icon. And that will not be changing anytime soon!