Check out the Yamaha R1DT dirt track racer!

The Yamaha R1DT dirt track racer is a dirt track drifter powered by the 998cc inline-four engine taken from the Yamaha YZF-R1S.

The dirt-track racer concept was built using tube-frame technology to promote a robust and fun dirt track racer at a relatively low budget.

Design by Yamaha Motor USA, eight Yamaha R1DT race cars thundered around the Perris Auto Speedway with eight racing champions from different race disciplines.


What happens when you take the powerful Yamaha YZF-R1 998cc inline-four engine with its iconic crossplane crankshaft technology and stuff it into a dirt track racing car? You’ll get the Yamaha R1DT dirt track car and just yesterday, Yamaha build eight of these bad boys and organised an exhibition race at the 2017 Budweiser Nationals sprint-car race.

The engine which is able to produce a whopping 200hp at a screaming 13,500rpm and over 112Nm of maximum torque was fitted into a tube-framed single-seater machine provided by Yamaha themselves to eight different racers from a variety of race division. Yamaha invited all these racers to show how capable the R1DT really is when it comes to racing an incredible machine with lots of fun at a relatively low budget.

According to Yamaha’s R1DT project manager, Dave Park, “The Yamaha R1DT concept car is an exciting new concept that has the potential to introduce dirt-track enthusiasts to Yamaha quality and performance while simultaneously attracting more motorsports enthusiasts and racers to the exciting world of dirt-track racing.”

With the help of Jeff Palhegyi, the mastermind behind almost every custom bike showcased by Yamaha Motor Corp, USA, the R1DT became his latest accomplishment. The goal of this latest version of the R1DT fitted with the engine taken from a Yamaha YZF-R1S is said to be robust around the dirt track as well as being fun and a reliable race car for beginners to sharpen their skills.

Yesterday’s race at the Perris Auto Speedway saw some high-profile racers from a variety of disciplines such as AMA Superbike champion Josh Hayes, AMA Flat Track Grand National champ “Slammin’” Sammy Halbert, AMA Four-Stroke National Motocross champion Dustin Nelson, Formula DRIFT and D1 veteran Ken Gushi, sprint car and Midget racing legend Cory Kruseman, Late Model stock-car racing vet Donnie Moran, ARCA Super Stock class champion Natalie Decker, and Pro 4 champion CJ Greaves.

Seeing all these R1-powered dirt track racers drifting was quite a sight to behold and we’re pretty sure it’s a whole lot of fun if given to anyone and everyone. However, the future of the Yamaha R1DT is still uncertain considering that it is still a concept machine.

A single R1DT is said to cost around $25,000 (around RM102,050 after direct conversion) and if demands and interests are seeing a steady growth plus positive feedbacks, Yamaha USA will probably decide to get some into production. If only Malaysia had the same love for dirt track racing…