Yamaha are having a spectacular year in racing. Rossi is winning MotoGP again while Ben Spies has been setting lap records all season and just took the Championship lead in SBK. It's no wonder they've decided to capitalize on the moment by offering the 2010 Yamaha R1 LE in a limited edition with racing livery. The 2010 R1 is virtually unchanged from the 2009 model with the exception of the Limited Edition getting the racing graphics, SOQI forks and rear shock. We have to admit, while the new suspension is nice, we're oddly disappointed the bike will come in Rossi colors.
Sure, Rossi's a living legend, best racer ever, costs a fortune, etc., but that's par for the course, right? Spies, on the other hand, is leading the SBK Rider's Championship on the new cross-plane crankshaft R1. If he wins, and it's likely he will, that's not only a first for Yamaha but a huge marketing opportunity. Did we mention Spies' livery looks cooler on the R1 as well?
Regardless, Yamaha has other problems. Coming in at $14,500, the Rossi R1 isn't just on the edge of luxury territory, it's also a mere $50 less than a BMW S1000RR in "good looking."
MSRP* $14,500 (Fiat Yamaha Team Graphics) Available from January 2010
Type 998cc, liquid-cooled 4-cylinder DOHC 16 valves (titanium intake valves)
Bore x Stroke 78.0mm X 52.2mm
Compression Ratio 12.7:1
Fuel Delivery Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I Ignition TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission 6-speed w/multiplate slipper clutch Final Drive #530 O-ring chain
Suspension/Front 43mm inverted fork; fully adjustable, 4.7-in travel Suspension/Rear Single shock w/piggyback reservoir; 4-way adjustable, 4.7-in travel
Brakes/Front Dual 310mm disc; radial-mount forged 6-piston calipers
Brakes/Rear 220mm disc; single-piston caliper
Length 81.5 in Width 28.1 in
Height 44.5 in Seat Height 32.8 in
Wheelbase 55.7 in
Rake (Caster Angle) 24.0°
Trail 4.0 in
Fuel Capacity 4.8 gal
Dry Weight 454 lb
Warranty 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)