Superbikes are awesome, but their ownership generally tend to skew towards older males with enough disposable income to actually afford their understandably superbike prices. If you’ve always wanted a 1000cc beast, but have been priced out of being able to afford one, the Yamaha YZF-R1S may be your best chance at getting in on that superbike action.
The newest addition to Yamaha’s R1 superbike line, it’s the family’s entry-level edition, aimed at the more budget-conscious superbike enthusiast. Don’t worry, they didn’t make any drastic reductions on the motorcycle’s hardware, so it should still perform like a proper monster on two wheels, although they did make some adjustments to enable the price cut.
The Yamaha YZF-R1S still runs on the same 998cc inline-four powerplant, but with heavier steel connecting rods in place of the original titanium. It’s an approach that happens throughout the bike, swapping in heavier but cheaper parts in place of the lighter and more expensive ones in the other models. These include the five-spoke aluminum wheels (originally magnesium), aluminum oil pan and right-side engine cover (magnesium), and stainless steel exhaust headers (titanium). While no numbers have been given, the engine is expected to put out less horsepower in the YZF-R1S, although max torque remains the same at 83.2 foot-pounds at 11,500 rpm. Features include an advanced MotoGP-inspired electronics package, state-of-the-art digital riding control, an advanced aluminum frame that provides optimum rigidity, and a variety of digital riding aids (ABS, lift control, traction control, and more).
For the most part, though, the changes aren’t that significant, primarily shaving off some of the motorcycle’s racing edge, but leaving it perfectly fine for being an absolute badass in the open road. As such, Yamaha is aiming it squarely at “canyon carvers and commuters,” rather than those who buy a superbike for bringing to the races on track days.
Slated for availability in February, the Yamaha YZF-R1S is priced at $14,990.