Yamaha unveils the R1S

Budget-edition R1 appears on Yamaha's US website

YAMAHA has just revealed this new budget-edition of the R1, called the R1S, on its US website.

Way back in April last year – long before we’d even seen Yamaha’s 2015 R1 or R1M – we revealed that the firm had also trademarked the name YZF-R1S in the US.

We wondered again what the bike might be when its siblings showed up a few months later, and it reared its head yet again recently, when emissions documents from California revealed there would be an R1S model in the 2016 range.

Well, finally it’s appeared, in the US, and it turns out to be a cheaper, lower-spec version of the R1.

What’s been cut back? Well, the S model gets steel conrods and exhaust headers instead of titanium ones, uses aluminium for the wheels, engine covers and sump instead of magnesium, and as a result weighs 4kg more than the normal R1. It also does without a quick-shifter but retains the high-spec traction control with its inertial measurement unit (IMU). You don’t even get an ‘S’ sticker to show that you’ve gone for the cheaper option.

Oh yes, cheaper. That’s the key bit here. In the US, the R1S will be $14,990, which is $2000 less than the normal R1. That’s a fair chunk for a bike that’s surely going to be 99% as good for 99% of the time.

The engine changes are said to limit the bike's revs a fraction, and although peak power isn’t supposed to be seriously altered there’s no official word on what that figure will be just yet.

Will we get the R1S in the UK? We’ll have to wait a while to find out, but surely there’s reason to be hopeful.

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