Yamaha YZF-R1 (2004 - 2005) review

User friendly meets original raging bull in one super-smart package, the newest R1 is also the mostest R1

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Thu, 1 Jan 2004 - 12:01

Details
Manufacturer:
Yamaha
Category:
Sportsbikes
Price:
£ 9399
Overall
4
Astonishingly fast, and will flatter everybody making steadier riders faster, and turning the fast into legends
Underseat pipe boils your spuds on most journeys, lower pegs cause ground clearance grief on track

It’s 2004 and for the latest in the R1 family that gave the all-conquering FireBlade a bloody nose, pointy looks have gone swoopy in places. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s gone soft. The bodywork panels are shrinking as fast as Jordan’s bikinis and the R1 has come over all trendy with underseat pipes, radial brakes and one of the sweetest production swingarms ever seen. It’s also got an industrial shitload of power.

A thorough thrashing at the Cartegena circuit shows that the new bike may be harsh and ungainly at slow speeds, but give it space to tug at the leash and the ’04 R1 is a peach that will flatter any rider at any track. Although it feels milder and less inspiring low down than perhaps any previous R1, the performance figures speak volumes and prove this is the most R1 we’ve ever been treated to; 10bhp more than the ’02 bike, a faster standing quarter and another seven mph top speed.

This all meant that, as I lurched my way around the circuit in those early laps, I could leave it in third everywhere and concentrate on finding my way round. As the track came together, so did the bike, which raised both good and bad points.

First the bad: the back brake is dead sensitive, so a touch too much can see the rear wheel heading sideways before you can say ‘embarrassing highside’. Looks great, but for those of us not used to backing bikes into anything more taxing than our garages, it can also be unnerving.
Then there’s the lack of ground clearance. Not an issue on the road, it fast becomes one at the track. Rearsets, or Yamaha’s own riser kit, are the answer for track addicts.

So what of the good? Well, there’s the awesome howl – how this got past EU noise regs I do not know. We checked and double-checked the cans to make sure that full fat ones hadn’t been slipped on. They hadn’t.

Most importantly though, this bike makes you ride fast. Very fast. There is no doubt you will lap faster on this than on any other R1 (and just about any other bike for that matter). This new model regains some of the bite that made the R1 family such modern classics.

It’s 2004 and for the latest in the R1 family that gave the all-conquering FireBlade a bloody nose, pointy looks have gone swoopy in places. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s gone soft. The bodywork panels are shrinking as fast as Jordan’s bikinis and the R1 has come over all trendy with underseat pipes, radial brakes and one of the sweetest production swingarms ever seen. It’s also got an industrial shitload of power.

A thorough thrashing at the Cartegena circuit shows that the new bike may be harsh and ungainly at slow speeds, but give it space to tug at the leash and the ’04 R1 is a peach that will flatter any rider at any track. Although it feels milder and less inspiring low down than perhaps any previous R1, the performance figures speak volumes and prove this is the most R1 we’ve ever been treated to; 10bhp more than the ’02 bike, a faster standing quarter and another seven mph top speed.

This all meant that, as I lurched my way around the circuit in those early laps, I could leave it in third everywhere and concentrate on finding my way round. As the track came together, so did the bike, which raised both good and bad points.

First the bad: the back brake is dead sensitive, so a touch too much can see the rear wheel heading sideways before you can say ‘embarrassing highside’. Looks great, but for those of us not used to backing bikes into anything more taxing than our garages, it can also be unnerving.
Then there’s the lack of ground clearance. Not an issue on the road, it fast becomes one at the track. Rearsets, or Yamaha’s own riser kit, are the answer for track addicts.

So what of the good? Well, there’s the awesome howl – how this got past EU noise regs I do not know. We checked and double-checked the cans to make sure that full fat ones hadn’t been slipped on. They hadn’t.

Most importantly though, this bike makes you ride fast. Very fast. There is no doubt you will lap faster on this than on any other R1 (and just about any other bike for that matter). This new model regains some of the bite that made the R1 family such modern classics.

Length (mm) 2065
Width (mm) 720
Height (mm) 1105
Dryweight (kg) 172
Seats 0
Seat Height (mm) 835
Suspension Front Telescopic fork
Suspension Rear Swingarm (Link suspension)
Tyres Front 120/70 ZR17 M/C
Tyres Rear 190/50 ZR17 M/C
Brakes Front Dual 320mm floating discs
Brakes Rear Single 220mm disc
Wheelbase (mm) 1395
Ground Clearance (mm) 135
Cubic Capacity (cc) 998
Valves 20
Max Power (bhp) 172
Max Power Peak (rpm) 12500
Torque (ft/lb) 81
Torque Peak (rpm) 10500
Bore (mm) 77
Stroke (mm) 53.6
Valve Gear DOHC
Compression Ratio 12.3
Ignition CDI
Valves Per Cylinder 5
Cooling Liquid cooled
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Chain
Max Power Revs 11800
Max Torque Revs 9800
Top Speed 177.5
Max Power 150.8
Max Torque 74.5
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH 139.85
Standing Quarter Mile - Time 11.14
Score Breakdown
Overall
4

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