2020 Yamaha R1: R U ready?

If you don’t evolve, you die… or something like that. So, to stymie the onslaught of time and to tick the Euro5 box, Yamaha’s updated its 2020 R1 and R1M.

Yep, we’re now on to the third iteration of crossplane R1s and for the second time in the model’s short history, since hitting the market in 2015, we’ve seen the Japanese superbike evolved rather than revolutionised. What’s wrong with that?

Arguably, an all-new offering is that little bit more sexy, but with the costs and risks involved of entering the market with an unproven product, Yamaha’s approach is far from crazy. But sensible or not, the only thing that matters is whether these latest crotch rockets have got the minerals to fend off the wave of new talent that’s been entering the scene from the likes of BMW, Aprilia and Ducati.


The European contingency have not wasted a moment in the pursuit of big horsepower and big tech, so how has Yamaha set about countering that? Well, if ponies are all you care about, the new R1s might prove as disappointing as a gift-wrapped orange on Christmas Day. Quite simply, the latest iteration CP4 motor makes the same output as the last one (197bhp), despite major advances to its make-up.

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