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2012 YZF-R1 puts the action in traction


For the 2012 season Yamaha is introducing an uprated YZF-R1 featuring a range of important MotoGP inspired engine and chassis changes that are designed to elevate the performance and enjoyment of this unique raceproven motorcycle to another level.

Immediately following the R1’s domination of the FX Superbike series thanks to Yamaha Racing Team’s veteran ace Kevin Curtain, YMA is displaying the new model at Phillip Island’s Moto GP Expo tomorrow (14 October 2011). Curtain’s championship winning machine will also be on display.

On the road or track the R1 rewards the rider like no other largecapacity supersport machine, and for even more highly purified excitement the 2012 R1 is equipped with an advanced Traction Control System (TCS) for wider ranging controllability in a variety of conditions.

The feeling of total confidence in your machine’s abilities is one of the most important qualities that any bike can offer, and the new TCS inspires a high level of trust in the new R1’s roadholding performance. By monitoring and controlling rear wheel spin, the new TCS creates a special bond between the rider and machine, enabling the owner to exploit the enormous potential of this outstanding motorcycle.

Faster on the track, safer on the street

The advanced new seven-mode TCS (Traction Control System) has been developed using feedback gained from the winning Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP racer.

The system constantly monitors sensors in the front and rear wheels, and when any rear wheel spinning is detected the system alerts the ECU which instantaneously adjusts the degree of throttle opening, fuel injection volume and ignition timing.

With six settings plus an ‘off’ mode, the R1’s new TCS can be adjusted to suit differing rider requirements, as well as a wide range of surface and weather conditions - and when used in association with the existing three-mode Variable Map Function, the 2012 R1 offers a total of twenty-one engine set-up options.

The R1’s crossplane crankshaft engine has already established an enviable reputation for its high levels of linear torque output, and the addition of the new MotoGPdeveloped TCS allows the rider to exploit the bike’s already high levels of traction to an even greater degree. The benefits of the new TCS are particularly evident on winding roads, where the new system enables and encourages performance-minded riders to bring out the full performance of this remarkable motorcycle.

On the racetrack the TCS gives a real quantifiable advantage. By fine-tuning the system to suit the prevailing conditions, R1 riders can optimise the bike’s linear torque characteristics and are able to push harder on the circuit for improved lap times.

In order to achieve a new level of driveability, the 2012 R1 also benefits from the fitment of a new re-mapped ECU. The revised mapping covers the degree of throttle opening for the YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle), as well as the fuel injection volume and changes to the ECU improve low to mid-range controllability and out-of-the-hole performance – which, in the real world, equates to stronger acceleration when powering out of slow corners, and better roll-on acceleration when overtaking.

Another YZR-M1 inspired feature on the 2012 R1 is its new handlebar crown, which is based on the design New dash features TCS warning light. A new ECU is fitted to give stronger acceleration Neat touches: New hexagonal silencer end caps and footpegs combine with a sleek aerodynamic front fairing for a slick new look featured on the Yamaha MotoGP factory race bike. Manufactured from gravity-cast aluminium, this high-specification component underlines the machine’s quality feel and appearance.

Also new is the special relief pattern cast into the handlebar crown’s back face, which helps deliver an outstanding balance of rigidity to complement the handling characteristics of the compact shortwheelbase chassis.

For 2012 the footrests have been redesigned, and they now feature a modified tread pattern of cast aluminium protrusions which deliver improved feel and fit. This revised design enables the rider to shift their feet easily and quickly for more efficient body weight transfer when cornering.

A new-look front fairing is introduced for 2012, and as well as giving the R1 a more menacing look, the latest lowfrontal- area design offers improved aerodynamics. Compared to the existing model, the section beneath the two ‘eyes’ of the headlights has been opened, and a sharper line is created above the ‘eyes’.

The central nose portion of the cowl sits higher than the existing model, and the surfaces either side of the nose portion have been reshaped. Although relatively subtle, the combined effect of these changes is to refresh the face of the 2012 R1, while at the same time reducing drag.

The new cowl is equipped with LED position lamps, and a new reflective finish is incorporated in the lower edge of the twin headlight assemblies to give an ‘eye line’ illumination effect when the position lamps are on. Together with the newly designed cowl, this linear illumination makes for a dramatic look, especially during night time riding.

The latest also R1 benefits from new hexagonal silencer tail caps for an even sharper and lightweight look, while new protectors fit tightly around the silencers to give a more compact looking tail.

The crossplane advantage

Powered by a 998cc in-line 4- cylinder engine equipped with an innovative crossplane crankshaft, the latest-generation R1 delivers a truly special blend of linear power combined with superior traction and outstanding cornering performance.

Unlike conventional 180º - 180º - 180º - 180º crankshaft designs – which feature con rods and pistons moving up and down in pairs – the R1’s crossplane crankshaft features an uneven 270° - 180° - 90° - 180° firing interval which gives each piston and con rod its own individual and separate movement.

The combination of an asymmetric firing sequence with the staggered con rod layout makes for a stronger low to mid-range pulse, as well as a more linear torque output for higher traction – and as a bonus the rider can enjoy a truly unique exhaust note.

2012 YZF-R1 Technical Highlights

  • MotoGP-developed 998cc liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder 4-valve DOHC
  • Crossplane crankshaft with uneven 270º-180º-90º-180º firing interval
  • Linear torque output for high levels of traction
  • New 6-mode MotoGP-developed Traction Control System (TCS)
  • New ECU with revised mapping
  • YCC-I (Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake)
  • YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle)
  • 3-position D-mode power maps
  • Short-wheelbase aluminium Deltabox frame
  • Idealised balance of rigidity
  • Restyled low-drag front cowl
  • LED position lamps with linear illumination
  • New M1-style handlebar crown
  • Redesigned footrests
  • Hexagonal silencer tail caps


October 20, 2011 | Posted in: Bikes, Yamaha

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