Motorcycles

Yamaha's 50th Anniversary R1 gets traction control

Yamaha's 50th Anniversary R1 g...
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in 50th anniversary colors
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in 50th anniversary colors
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in 50th anniversary colors
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in 50th anniversary colors
The crossplane crank has been retained
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The crossplane crank has been retained
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in "Raven" black
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in "Raven" black
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in 50th anniversary colors
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in 50th anniversary colors
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 with the new Moto-GP inspired top triple clamp
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 with the new Moto-GP inspired top triple clamp
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
Ben Spies on the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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Ben Spies on the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
Ben Spies on the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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Ben Spies on the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
Ben Spies on the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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Ben Spies on the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
Ben Spies on the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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Ben Spies on the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1
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View gallery - 16 images

Yamaha's R1 will gain a six-mode MotoGP-developed Traction Control System (TCS) for the 2012 model year, along with a new ECU (Engine Control Unit) with new mapping. It's the only real change to the R1 for next year though, and Yamaha's premier sports bike will again be the heaviest of the liter bikes.

Other changes to the uprated YZF-R1 amount to cosmetic changes, (including the option of a 50th anniversary paint job), a slightly reshaped front cowl, a new YZR-M1 style handlebar crown, and reshaped footpegs.

The Traction Control System has been developed "using feedback gained from the winning Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP racer" according to the press statement.

When the TCS sensors detect wheelspin, the ECU adjusts the degree of throttle opening, fuel injection volume and ignition timing to reduce power to the rear wheel. There are six levels of traction control plus it can be switched off completely.

The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in "Raven" black
The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 in "Raven" black

As the engine also has three mapping settings available to the rider via the Variable Map Function, the 2012 YZF-R1 effectively has twenty-one set-up options, but that may not be enough to persuade buyers to part with their cash given the many options available in the marketplace these days.

BMW's S1000RR has all that adjustability and more, and in stock form will blow the R1 away in a straight line, and Yamaha's addition of traction control is playing catch-up to most of its competitors - quite disappointing in a year in which it is celebrating celebrating 50 years of racing.

View gallery - 16 images
1 comment
solutions4circuits
It\'s sad that the R1 got fat by taking on all that unnecessarily-sweet candy. Mine\'s 375lb dry and was the lightest in its year. Being beaten by a Beemer in a drag race is nothing but embarrassing. The marketers at Yamaha are probably the same out of touch idiots that GM fired.