Yamaha YZF-R1M

  • The 2017 Yamaha YZF-R1M is the “special edition” R1.

  • It was among the very first bikes to incorporate the 6-axis IMU and Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension.

  • It was also among the first to feature comprehensive electronic settings.

The Yamaha YZF-R1 or in this case the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R1M seems to hold a special place in the hearts of sportbike enthusiasts in Malaysia.

Many other superbikes have come along to take bites out of this models’ pie since its introduction in 2015. So, how does it hold up against the competition?

Introduction to the Yamaha YZF-R1M

This is the third generation R1 which debuted in 2015. There are two variants: The “regular” YZF-R1 and the higher spec’ed YZF-R1M in this test.

Its styling was generally well-received, but the front proved to be controversial back then. While it followed Rossi’s bike (large space for a number plate), the headlamp placing was initially panned. But it’s grown on us since then.

Looking at it now, the rest of the bike does look kind of old school. Yes, 4 years is too many in sportbike terms. While the newer bikes have more smooth panels, the R1M’s consists of many angles and pieces, making it look busy. Its silhouette is nice though: Aggressive and distinctive.

But the R1M was the first Japanese superbike to feature electronically controlled… well, everything. Engine power modes, engine back torque, traction control, suspension settings as well as the detailed controls are all accessed through the TFT screen’s menus. Sorry, I can’t find the control to make a caramel latte.

Riding the Yamaha YZF-R1M

The engine fired up with an immense roar, as if it’s got an aftermarket exhaust. The engine also emitted loud sounds, but that’s probably attributed to the thin walled engine covers.

But before moving off, it’s time to go through the settings. There were 4 power levels (1 being the lowest), 4 TC levels (1 provides the most intervention), 2 quickshifter modes, 3 engine braking levels, 4 suspension modes. Choosing a power level also changes the settings (except suspension) by default. However, you could choose the power level to your liking while customing the other parameters to your liking.

As for setting the Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension, the first, marked A-1 (automatic-1) is the stiffest with the most damping, while A-4 is the softest. I chose A-4 for road riding.

Flip another page on the menu and you’ll find the suspension’s fine tuning. The best thing about the menu system is that it shows you where your starting point (after choosing the A level). If you reduce a parameter, the menu will show -1, up to -5, and vice versa. Awesome! This way, you don’t have to guess and go all bananas.

You can choose to set up the suspension manually and independent of the automatic settings too and save the settings in M-1, M-2 and M-3. There are 32 “click” to play with for each parameter just like those manual racing suspensions, but electronically.

Exiting the menus and back out the main screen, it shows all the pertinent data you’ll ever need. The top row shows your settings and you could change them on the fly. In ROAD mode, the screen displays speed in the middle. But if you switch to RACE mode, the speed display changes to a lap timer. Cool!

That’s 20 minutes gone just to set it up. Phew!

The seat was the tallest among all sportbikes even with the rear shock’s preload wound all the way out. The clip-ons were set low but reach to them was thankfully short, so you don’t look stretched out like roti canai dough.

I took a liking to the bike immediately.

Sat in the correct position (crotch about 2.5 cm/1 inch from the tank), the steering was light and didn’t feel like it needed herculean efforts to turn it. The fuel tank’s knee cut outs were right there where my knees were instead of being higher up.

The first gear was very long so I’d usually short-shift into second. Give it a fistful of gas and the bike just took off with one of the most beautiful soundtracks. Low down, it sounded like a V-Four but once the tach swung past 8,000 RPM it produced the V-Four roar mixed with an inline-Four wail. It’s one distinctive warble that no other bike produces.

That torque was the loveliest thing on this bike. Whereas certain inline-Four superbikes took time to accelerate from down low, the YZF-R1M took off like a missile homed in on its target. And that was in the lowest power level!

But even as speeds went well into triple digits, the bike stayed straight almost without a single weave. Most sportbikes will weave slightly since they were made to be super agile but the R1M stayed the course like it was on proverbial rails.

Yet, it was so easy to flick the bike over onto its side and making great use of the 200-section rear tyre. I credit that to the knee cutouts in the tank which enabled me to push my outside knee into it and help turn the bike. Additionally, the tank’s edges provided support for the forearms.

But again, the bike was super stable in midcorner. Choose your line, flick it in and throttle out. Done. It wasn’t only so in those long high-speed corners, for it exhibited the same kind of tenacity in slow corners going up Genting as well. Other bikes would push the front tyre in those slow hairpins but the R1M seems resolved to track through any corner.

This superb performance is credited to the Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension. It But that’s only half of the story as the YZF-R1M was among the very first motorcycles to incorporate the 6-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) technology. Data from the IMU is fed to the suspension’s control unit which monitors many parameters every few miliseconds and determines the best damping while braking, cornering and accelerating.

Thus, besides suspension control, the IMU data also serves the bike in terms of lean angle sensitive traction control (TCS), rear wheel slide control system (SCS), front lift control system (LIF) i.e. wheelie control, and launch control (LCS).

The tops of the tank’s knee cutouts were not far from the top my things and brace against them when I braked hard. They were absolutely perfect from my 167cm height, but I imagine those with long legs might find them a bit troublesome.

Speaking of braking, those calipers gripped like mad, despite not being the fangled Brembo. They’re not even monoblocs. I thought I was going to be thrown over the windshield the first time I clamped down with two fingers.


The Yamaha YZF-R1M certainly changed the superbike game when it came out and still remains a powerhouse. 197 hp at 13,500 RPM and 112.4 Nm of torque is nothing to sneeze at!

The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M have been launched recently and we could only guess at how much better it would be!


  • The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M were launched at the American World Superbike round.

  • The new bike has plenty of updates including the bodywork.

  • The new engine is Euro5-compliant with a number of updates.

We knew the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M were bound to be introduced this year (probably at Intermot of EICMA). However, the manufacturer sprung a surprise and unveiled both at the Laguna Seca racetrack during the World Superbike round.

Its predecessor and variants were mostly-unchanged since 2015, while rival manufacturers had gone ahead and updated their existing or introduced completely new models.

Anyhow, the wait is over.

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1

The new R1 and R1M looks even more “GP-inspired” and is packed with a number of important new tech.


  • New more aerodynamic bodywork with is 5.3% more efficient in flowing air. The screen and fairing combine with the fuel tank.
  • Aluminium air duct behind the large central intake provides more rigidity to the fairing.
  • A titanium lower panel strengthens the lower fairing.
  • New LED headlights for the new fairings.
  • New Euro5-compliant engine.
  • The 998cc crossplane inline-Four engine produces 197hp.
  • Updated finger follower rocker arms and new cam lobes.
  • 43mm fully-adjustable Kayaba forks.
  • Six-axis IMU-based Cornering ABS.
  • Brake pads with new materials for higher friction.
  • Three-mode Engine Braking Management (EBM).
  • The EBM monitors gear position, engine RPM, throttle position, throttle valve position. The ECU alters throttle position, ignition timing and fuel injection.
  • Updated launch control system which activates at 9,000 RPM.

The YZF-R1M, gets more goodies since it’s Yamaha’s alpha bike. It’s made in limited numbers, by the way.


  • Lighter bike due to carbon fibre fairings, mudguard and tail section, besides magnesium wheels and subframe.
  • Öhlins electronic NPX anti-cavitator gas forks.
  • Updated Öhlins electronic rear shock.
  • YRC Settings app.
  • New Y-TRAC app accesses bike’s Communication Control Unit (CCU) to download ride data.
  • The data can be viewed in Google Maps, displaying information such as acceleration and G-forces.
  • Engraved badge with production number.

Will we ever get to see the Yamaha YZF-R1 and Yamaha YZF-R1M officially imported in Malaysia? Your guess is as good as ours.

  • Penunggang bagi pasukan Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Valentino Rossi telah melakukan empat pusingan kelmarin di Misano di atas jentera Yamaha YZF-R1M yang juga merupakan sebahagian daripada ujian kecergasannya.
  • Juara Dunia sembilan kali itu tidak sabar untuk meneruskan cabaran kejohanan 2017-nya setelah terpaksa berehat pada pusingan MotGP yang lalu oleh kerana kecederaan yang mengakibatkan keretakan berganda pada kaki kanannya.
  • Rossi telah menyasarkan untuk kembali berlumba di atas jentera Yamaha M1 kesayangannya itu di Aragon pada hujung minggu ini walaupun pasukannya telah mengumumkan bahawa penunggang pasukan pengilang WorldSBK, Michael van der Mark akan menggantikan tempatnya pada pusingan berkenaan.


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi clocked in four laps yesterday in Misano on board the Yamaha YZF-R1M as part of his fitness test.

The nine-time World Champion has been eager to get back in the 2017 title chase after having missed the past MotoGP round due to double fracture injury to his right leg.

Rossi has set his sights on racing his beloved Yamaha M1 in Aragon this weekend although his team has announced that WorldSBK Yamaha factory rider Michael van der Mark will be his replacement.

Image source: MCN

After just 18 days since the unfortunate event that fell upon the MotoGP nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, the Doctor is back again for some two-wheel action. As part of his recuperating schedule which his actually extraordinarily ahead of time, Rossi clocked in four laps in San Marino at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on board of a Yamaha YZF-R1M used by the VR46 Academy. (more…)

2017 Yamaha models updated with a variety of new colour schemes.


Valentino Rossi meets the Yamaha Motobot for the first time ahead of planned duel.


Ducati XDiavel and Yamaha YZF-R1 named as winners in annual Red Dot Award.


Always wanted to own your favourite superbike but can’t seem to spare the cash and space at home for one? Then the downloadable Yamaha YZF-R1M origami paper craft will surely bring out the hobbyist in you.


For the uninitiated, Yamaha has made some of its rear world creations available as home-buildable paper craft models for quite some time now, and the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1M superbike is the latest addition to that. The best part about this is the fact that you can download the model’s build scheme for free online this dedicated microsite.


The built-up model featured in the images is a 1:5 scale replica of the acclaimed superbike, measuring 41cm end to end. This being part of Yamaha’s ‘Ultra Realistic’ range of models, you’re going to need a few things starting with a good quality colour printer, followed by a copious amount of A4-sized paper, as well as a basic set of home stationeries (glue, scissors, ruler, etc.)


Since it’s the holidays, this could perhaps be the perfect gift that you can build for your budding riding buddies or relatives. What better way to celebrate one’s passion for two-wheels by fuelling said passion further, albeit in a smaller yet more interactive way indeed.


You can visit the microsite to download the full schematics for the Yamaha YZF-R1M paper craft, as well as its construction manual.

Source: Yamaha via Visordown

Though it may be somewhat of a new bike, even the manic 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M superbikes will need to undergo a recall at some point. In this recent case, Yamaha has issued a recall for both its new flagship superbike models to fix a small yet potentially dangerous issue.


According to trusted sources, Yamaha’s recall for both the new R1 and R1M sees it addressing a potentially faulty oil delivery pipe O-ring. Additionally, Yamaha had this to say on its official website:

‘It is possible for an oil leak to occur, from the O-Ring on the Oil Delivery Pipe where it enters the engine case, because of improper assembly of the components. If a leak occurs, oil could leak onto the exhaust and in extreme circumstances the oil could catch fire.’


Though the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M aren’t offered here in Malaysia officially, we at are aware of its presence via grey importers. Should you own one, we highly recommend you to have this issue looked at by a specialist garage as soon as possible.

Also worth noting here is that this is not the 2015 YZF-R1 model’s first recall. This new potential fire hazard comes after a recent recall for the R1’s faulty transmission components. The latter problem had forced the Japanese bike maker to issue a ‘stop sale’ order to its American dealers pending the fault’s rectification.

Sources: Visordown and Asphaltandrubber ( Link 1 / Link 2 )


Yamaha making WSBK comeback in 2016 with riders Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes.



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