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Old 10-06-2015, 05:10 PM   #1
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First Look: 2016 Yamaha R1S

Yamaha has introduced the new R1S for 2016, a less-expensive alternative to the standard R1 but with the same superb electronics package and nearly the same performance.

For those of you out there who were thinking of buying an R1 but couldn't quite justify the $16,490 asking price, Yamaha has come out with the new R1S for 2016. By replacing some of the exotic metals (read: titanium and magnesium) used in the standard R1 with less-expensive aluminum and steel, Yamaha was able to come out with a bike that has all the same MotoGP-inspired electronics of the standard R1, weighs only a claimed nine pounds more than the standard R1, and has practically identical performance. And you get all this for $1500 less.

It's not as if the new R1S is completely different than the standard R1. For example, the only major changes to the engine are replacing the titanium connecting rods with steel ones (necessitating a change in the engine's maximum rpm redlline, resulting in changes to the valve spring spec and the ECU), and replacing outer parts and fasteners like the oil pan and right-side engine covers (magnesium to aluminum), engine cover bolts (aluminum to steel), wheels (magnesium to aluminum), and exhaust header piping (titanium to stainless steel, although the muffler is still titanium on the R1S). The tires are OEM-spec Bridgestone Battlax S20 sport tires instead of the R1/R1M's track-day-intentioned RS10s.

The new R1S will also be available in this matte gray paint scheme for those who shy away from the multi-color paint and graphics.

The switch to steel connecting rods from titanium in the R1S means that the maximum rpm is reduced, resulting in slightly less ultimate top-end power from the standard R1. Yamaha wasn't quoting any numbers, but from the promotional dyno charts they provided (which are devoid of any numbers), it appears that the R1S's redline is at 12,500 rpm instead of the R1's 13,500 rpm, with the power loss at the very top around 5 or so horsepower.

The electonics suite is exactly the same, meaning it has the six-axis IMU, three different power modes, adjustable traction control, slide control, launch control, and wheelie (lift) control. Only the quickshifter is not standard on the R1S, being optional for a bike that Yamaha feels will spend probably its time on the street and not the track.

The R1S is available in either a red/white/black color scheme, or a matte gray motif. MSRP is $14,990, and the bike is expected at your local Yamaha dealer in February.

Hooray! Yamaha will be bringing the 60th anniversary paint scheme for the R1 to the US. The 2016 R1 in 60th anniversary colors will run for $16,990.

Also, while we teased you with the photos of the European R1 getting the 60th anniversary yellow-black paint scheme, Yamaha will indeed be bringing that paint scheme over to the US as well. The 60th anniversary R1 will be available in December, and run for $16,990; the R6 in an identical paint scheme will be $11,490.

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