Race-only R1 revealed

Don’t try saying that if you’re Jonathan Ross

YAMAHA is about to make a serious effort to get back to the front in WSBK and the firm has just unveiled an off-the-shelf version of its 2016 R1 that’s built purely for race teams.

Basically a lower-priced version of the base R1 - there’s no point using the R1M since Yamaha expects buyers to instantly swap the suspension for higher-spec race parts – it comes with most of the road-orientated parts already removed to cut down on costs. So there’s no plate hanger, pillion seat, mirrors or graphics, just an all-black, part-stripped machine ready to be torn apart and turned into an out-and-out racer.

Only on sale through selected race bike dealers in Japan, the bike is based on the European-spec R1 – the most powerful and tuneable version, it seems – and will only be offered in very limited numbers to bona fide race teams, with the order books closing in just three weeks’ time on December 21. In Japan, the bike’s price is 1,944,000 yen, or around £10,500.

The firm will also be offering a similarly stripped version of the R6 for the same purpose, again with a limited ordering period ending on December 21 and much of its road-going kit removed (although it inexplicably retains its mirrors). In Japan, that bike is just 918,000 yen, which is about £5000. Like the R1, it’s based on the European model despite only being on sale in Japan.

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