Biker chat lines
There’s some underseat storage too unlike later Yamaha YZF-R1s where exhausts occupy that space – although from 2002 it’s minimal.Not much has changed with the 2012 R1, but the big news is it now has a six-stage traction control system, incorporating anti-wheelie in its two most intrusive levels.It’s a riot of contradictions and it seems you either gel with it or you don’t.It doesn’t have masses of power at high rpm and its speed comes from its acceleration out of corners and the ease in which you can get on the throttle, even on full-lean.The Yamaha YZF-R1 was top dog sports bike until the GSX-R1000 appeared in 2001.Parallel imports and stiff competition from Honda and Suzuki mean prices stay sensible.It’s a bike that certainly doesn’t feel almost 20 years old.
It can hold its own at tight tracks against any of its rivals, but struggles with speed along long straights.
It’s smooth, grunty, fast, roomy and comfortable and now has the added safety of traction control, which works superbly.
It’s expensive, which is why we’ve downgraded it down from five, to four stars.
In saying that, it has a very tall first gear, so you can use the bottom gear more than you would normally.
Build quality and reliability is top notch, but R1s have particularly grabby clutches, which seems to be normal.
Comfort’s pretty good for a rider although Yamaha YZF-R1 pillions must be brave.