The third member of Yamaha’s famous superbike family has been officially unveiled for the USA and Canada. The R1S features several changes specifically devised to enhance road use, while retaining the same basic dynamics, engine tech and electronic arsenal that make the R1M and R1 extremely competent sport bikes.
The existence of a third R1 model has been rumored ever since the new superbike family was first introduced in late 2014, as Yamaha had patented the YZF-R1S name in USA. It shifted towards certainty in July, when it was described in several leaked documents from the California Air Resources Board.
The YZF-R1S is meant to be the most affordable of the three superbike models and to this end, its engine has undergone several changes. The titanium connecting rods in the inline four-cylinder powerplant have been exchanged for steel ones that weigh 60 percent more, therefore requiring some work on rebalancing the crank shaft. As a result, the R1S has a lower maximum rotation level and subsequently outputs less peak horsepower. Yamaha has not yet disclosed any specific horsepower figures, although on the Canadian website the announced torque output of the R1S is precisely the same as the R1 and R1M – 83.2 ft-lbs (11.5 kg-m) at 11,500 rpm.
Yamaha sees the R1S as the weapon of choice for riders who want a sports bike primarily for canyon carving and commuting, so it has shaved off those edges that will be mostly appreciated in a race track. The titanium conrods are the prime example, followed by some magnesium parts, such as the engine side covers and the wheel rims. All these are replaced by aluminum parts. Another piece of equipment that has moved to the optional list is the quickshifter, as well as the titanium exhaust headers – although the titanium muffler remains in place. The above changes translate to an added weight of 7 lb (3 kg) over the R1.
There are no further differences to distinguish the R1S from the R1. The new variant enjoys the same "cross plane" engine design, frame, suspension, and the complete electronic package. The latter is an impressive collection of rider aids, including the advanced six-axis inertial measurement unit that orchestrates a series of systems for traction, slide, lift and launch control, plus an elaborate unified braking system with ABS.
The YZF-R1S will be available as of February 2016 in two colors, Matte Grey and the R1S-only Intensity White/Raven/Rapid Red, with both options priced at US$14,990 ($16,699 CAD in Canada).
For the time being Yamaha has made no mention regarding the availability of the YZF-R1S to other markets.