First look: Yamaha YZF-R1S


A whittled down YZF-R1 for the price-conscious motorcyclist

Earlier this year, Yamaha blitzed the motorcycling world with the YZF-R1 and the limited edition YZF-R1M. The lessons learnt on the race track have trickled down to the production lines – if not completely – more so than ever before. And the company clearly stated that the R1 twins are purpose-built track-tools more than anything else. The M more than its road-going sibling.

In a perfect world, enthusiasts would have the time, inclination, energy, skill and most importantly, the means to ride on the track at every given opportunity. However this is far from true and a toned-down R1 would be perfect and that is exactly what the top guns at Yamaha thought.

Enter the YZF-R1S: the YZF-R1 to address the real world needs. Priced at $14,990 (Rs 9.75 lakh approximately) in the USA, the YZF-R1S is $1500 (Rs 97,500 approximately) less than the YZF-R1 priced at $16,490 (Rs 10.72 lakh approximately).

In line with the cost cutting agenda, the S version gets steel replacement for the exotic titanium bits like the fracture-split connecting rods and exhaust header. Aluminium parts will be used in place of the magnesium bits like the oil pan, engine cover and the wheels. This means the S gains nearly 4 kg translates to a drop in power and torque figures, but Yamaha have been tight-lipped about these. The race-spec Bridgestone Battlax RS10 tyres will be replaced with Bridgestone Hypersports S20. The S will also lose the quick-shifter but will be available as an optional.

On the brighter side, the electronics package remains the same and that means the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) will be retained. The manually-adjustable KYB suspension also find their way on the YZF-R1S which make it a compelling buy.

The YZF-R1S will be available in the US in February next year. Whether Yamaha plans to get it to Indian shores, remains a question to be answered.

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