Big bang theory, in the new YamahaR1..

The 2009 YamahaR1 has been officially unveiled by Yamaha, and as we predicted, it has a Yamaha M1-like big bang firing order. The first time a big bang engine has been used on a production bike, YamahaR1 is considered to be called, "Cross-plane Technology" and puts each connecting rod 90º from the next, meaning the cylinders fire at 270°- 180°- 90°- 180°. This spreads out the power pulses to the rear tire, allowing it to regain traction in between each pulse. The result is more usable traction under large throttle openings, meaning riders will be able to accelerate out of corner earlier and harder. While the rest of the R1 motorcycle appears fairly conventional, that couldn't be farther from the truth.

Yamaha R1 picture of the pistons,Big bang.

The first thing you'll notice about the new R1 will be the round projector beam headlamps set into openings that mimic the traditional R1 shape. This is more than just styling however, the headlight opening incorporate the forced air intakes. The designers also included retractable eyelids to differentiate between dip and full beam. Basically, a plastic cover conceals part of the beam when dipped, and retracts to fully reveal when the high beam is needed. Despite the huge, ugly underseat exhausts --necessitated by draconian emissions and sound regulations in Europe -- Yamaha claims better mass centralization, largely made possible by the sexy magnesium rear subframe.

The aluminum Delta-box frame is also all new, using a combination of gravity cast, die cast and stamped components for the lightest possible weight. YamahaR1 engine is also a stressed member. YamahaR1 claims and ideal mix of rigidity, flex and low weight. A Honda-like electronic steering damper, that varies the degree of damping depending on speed, serves to keep the whole thing pointed forward, as with the previous YamahaR1..

YamahaR1 and the 2008 YamahaR6, ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Control Throttle and Chip Control Intake are also present, smoothing out your inputs and optimizing power and torque for YamahaR1. There's also Suzuki-like variable engine mapping, which allows you to switch through three different ranges of power delivery and throttle sensitivity settings.

In the super-sport liter class, there's always lots of talk about power. You expect that. What you wouldn't have expected - until now - is a radically superior way to deliver that power. Introducing the 2009 YZF-R1, the first ever production motorcycle with a cross-plane crankshaft. Cross-plane technology, first pioneered in MotoGP racing with the M1, puts each connecting rod 90° from the next, with an uneven firing interval of 270°- 180°- 90°- 180°. This all but eliminates undesirable inertial crankshaft torque, which allows the engine's compression torque to build smoothly and provide a very linear power delivery out of the corners. It's a feeling that's simply unmatched on all YamahaR1, like having two engines in one! YamahaR1 low-rpm torquey feel of a twin with the raw, high-rpm power of an in-line 4. In fact, the new YZF-R1 is not a continuation of existing super-sport development; it is breakthrough technology that represents a paradigm shift in both technology and performance. This next-generation R1 keeps all the technological superiority's developed for its predecessor: YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) is MotoGP inspired fly-by-wire technology used to deliver instant throttle response. YCC-I is Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake which is a variable intake system that broadens the spread of power. The fuel injection system provides optimum air/fuel mixtures for maximum power and smooth throttle response. The R1 features Yamaha D-MODE (or drive mode) with rider-selectable throttle control maps to program YCC-T performance characteristics for riding conditions. The standard map is designed for optimum overall performance. The "A" mode lets the rider enjoy sportier engine response in the low- to mid-speed range, and the "B" mode offers response that is somewhat less sharp response for riding situations that require especially sensitive throttle operation. Switching maps is as easy as pushing a button on the handlebar switch. In keeping with this machine's exceptional cornering ability and crisp handling, the all new aluminum frame has been designed to offer exceptional rigidity balance. The rear frame is now lightweight CF die-cast magnesium, contributing the optimum mass centralization. Suspension includes new SOQI front forks which use one of the tricks developed for our winning MotoGP bikes: independent damping. The left fork handles compression damping and the right side handles the rebound damping. And the rear shock adopts new bottom linkage for optimum suspension characteristics. Want even more? For the first time, R1 comes standard with an electronic steering damper. All new bodywork does more than add break-away-from-the- crowd styling. Completely new, the new model has a more serious, less busy look. The side fairing is smoother for a sleeker appearance. And, instead of the usual four bulb headlight design, the '09 model now has only two projector-type bulbs mounted closer to the nose of the bike. This positions ram air ducts closer in for a more compact, smooth look. In addition, the rounded lenses are new and unique to the super-sport industry.

Engine spec's..

Picture of Yamaha's 2009 R1 motor..

Cross-plane crankshaft technology proven in victory after victory on MotoGP motorcycle provides a high-tech uneven firing interval. Unlike typical in-line-four engine design, where the two outer and two inner pistons move together in pairs with 180°intervals, the cross-plane crankshaft has each connecting rod 90° from the next with a unique firing order of 270° -180° - 90° - 180°. This overcomes the inherent fluctuations in inertial torque during each engine revolution, and the accompanying peaky torque characteristics. Instead, compression torque continues to build, giving the rider more linear throttle response with awesome power and traction out of the corners. To maximize rider comfort as well as power output, this newly designed engine adopts a coupling-type balancer that rotates in the opposite direction as the crankshaft. This engine features new forged aluminum pistons to take maximum advantage of the power characteristics. As proven on previous models, titanium intake valves are lightweight titanium. A forced-air intake system is adopted to increase intake efficiency by using the natural airflow during riding to pressurize the air in the air cleaner box. This contributes to outstanding power delivery characteristics in the high-speed range, while the design also helps to minimize intake noise. Slipper-type back torque-limiting clutch greatly facilitates braking/downshifting from high speed. YamahaR1 exhaust system is completely new. It's meticulously designed to enhance engine output while, thanks to its three-way catalyst technology, also reducing exhaust emissions. The silencer is a single expansion type, and, the sound coming through from the unique cross-plane-crankshaft-equipped engine is unlike any other in-line four cylinder production super-sport. This fuel-injected engine takes full advantage of YCC-T (YamahaR1 Chip Controlled Throttle), the MotoGP-inspired fly-by-wire technology used to deliver instant throttle response. There's also YCC-I, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake, the variable intake system that broadens the spread of power. Fuel injectors have 12 holes for precise fuel delivery that translates to the most power from every fuel charge. Have it your way, thanks to Yamaha D-MODE variable throttle control. There are three modes that control how YCC-T responds to throttle input from the rider. The selectable "A" mode puts more emphasis on acceleration in low to mid-range rpm. "B" mode, on the other hand, provides less sharp response to input for riding situations that require especially sensitive throttle operation. Selecting the map you want is as easy as pressing button on the handlebars. The frame is completely revamped, with a combination of uncompromising rigidity where needed along with carefully achieved flex for the precise rigidity balance this bike needs to give the rider the full benefit of its handling and engine characteristics. No one-technique-fits-all-needs design, it is a sophisticated combination of CF die-cast, stamping, and gravity casting... the exact technology needed for each portion of this advanced frame. New SOQI front forks take a page from the championship-winning design of our MotoGP weapon, the M1. Since both forks always move together, compression damping duties can be confined to the left fork, while rebound damping is precisely handled by the right fork. The new SOQI rear shock both high and low speed compression damping plus an easy-to-use screw adjustment for preload. This unit also adopts a pillow-ball-type joint for exceptional shock absorption, road hold feeling, and damper response. To achieve maximum performance, a new bottom linkage is used to work with the rest of the chassis refinements for brilliant, crisp handling characteristics. Factory racers get machines tailored to their preferences. Welcome to the club. R1 has adjustable footrests, with a 15mm height and 3mm front-to-rear adjustment. Long valued equipment on the track, an electronically actuated steering damper is standard equipment on the new R1. The press-formed fuel tank has a shape developed using 3-D simulation analysis technology. The elongated shape of the tank allows it to fit neatly within the frame in a way that promotes concentration of mass.

2009 YamahaR1 doing a wheelie.. Picture of 2009 YamahaR1..

I think most people instinctively know when something looks good, with the odd exception of the minority (and that can be attributed to bad eyesight, up-bringing, mental illness etc etc) I guess you can call it taste. Or in this case, great taste. Officially, there is no real debate to be made, Motorcycle creators have squandered a perfect opportunity to produce, at the very least, a half decent looking bike but instead have almost deliberately gone out of their way to create this monstrosity that is the 09 YamahaR1. Now it’s not like the YamahaR1 makers haven’t got a clue, the R6 is a perfect example/ exercise of balance, style and performance, so we know motorcycle engineers can do it! We know there will be ever increasing obstacles and challenges manufacturers have to overcome like issues of ever increasing emission laws and the resulting increase in exhaust size, configuration and catalytic converter placement etc, but if they applied as much ingenuity to their exhaust design as they do to their engines, I’m sure motorcycle engineer's could come up with something that doesn’t mimic touring panniers or propane gas cylinders subtly positioned either side of the swing arm or under the seat in this case. Over all, us at would have to say the YamahaR1, is pretty rockin!