Introduced back in 1998, the Yamaha YZF-R1 was the bike to spark the imagination of many riders as the century drew to a close. In those days, the R1 was known as one of the highest power (140 crank HP) and fastest (0-60 in 2.9 seconds) bikes you could buy.
Coming into the 2020 model year, the R1 has had 6 generations to develop new technology and features, which come into play with things such as anti-slide, anti-wheelie, offset crossplane 4 cylinder firing inline engine (refined with input from both MotoGP riders Valnetino Rossi and Maverick Vinales), throttle-by-wire (new for 2020), and a host of other top-model systems including optional clutchless upshifts (QuickShift in Yamaha’s nomenclature). The R1 is still known as one of the highest power supersport bikes with power coming in at 198 crank HP (with optional 199 HP in track mode).
As well, for 2020, Yamaha has introduced the newest and, in our opinion, the greatest street/track variant of the R1 known as the R1M. It is differentiated from the R1 the most by having electronic semi-active Öhlins suspension on both front and rear, which makes advanced sports riding and track riding feel less like riding on the tarmac and more like the bike grew out of your hands and legs, and plugged directly into your central nervous system.
Other improvements over the stock R1 are: nearly all body panels are made out of carbon fiber, Yamaha Racing’s excellent Communication Control Unit (derived from the MotoGP YZR-M1) which allows you to view lap times, speed, shifts per lap, and more on a notebook or smartphone by tying into the Y-TRAC application, and street/track-oriented Bridgestone RS11 tires as standard, with a wider 200/55 size rear tire. Finally, the R1M has a slightly more aggressive engine map, reaching 200 crank HP and accelerating about .2 seconds on average faster than the R1 due to power and lower weight.
The R1 for the 2020 model year starts at $17,399 US/ $21,999 CA, and the R1M comes in at $26,099 US/$27.999 CA.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new Yamaha YZF-R1 in one place.
KYB® single shock, fully adjustable; 4.7-in travel
Dual 320mm hydraulic disc; Brake Control System and ABS
220mm hydraulic disc; Brake Control System and ABS
120/70 ZR 17
190/55 ZR 17
Fuel Tank Capacity
17 L (4.5 US gal.)
Blue, Tech Black
55.3 in (1397 mm)
5.1 in (129 mm)
33.7 in (855mm)
448 lbs (203 kg)
1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 Features
MotoGP®-Derived Crossplane Crankshaft Engine
The 998cc inline-four-cylinder engine features Yamaha’s exclusive crossplane crankshaft technology derived from the YZR-M1 MotoGP® machine. Every aspect of this unique engine is built to thrill, and for 2020, updates include a new cylinder head, intake system, fuel injectors, and airbox.
Digital Superbike Technology
For 2020, the R1® features a new cable-less ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T®) system that transforms the rider’s inputs into motion, with a full suite of IMU-powered electronic rider aids that bring new meaning to the term ‘rider confidence.’ New electronic features provide even greater adjustability and control, too.
Upgraded Brakes and Tires
The YZF-R1® utilizes track-focused braking hardware, featuring potent 4-piston radial-mounted front calipers, stainless steel front lines, big 320mm rotors with new high-friction pads, and an all-new compact ABS unit. New Bridgestone® RS11 tires ensure true racetrack-ready traction with balanced road feel and handling.
Sharp New Styling
The 2020 YZF-R1 features sleek new bodywork to create an even more aerodynamic profile, with an integrated and harmonious design.
Legendary R-Series Handling
Built around Yamaha’s refined Deltabox® aluminum frame technology and mounting high-spec, fully-adjustable suspension, the YZF-R1 exemplifies over 20 years of chassis technology developed on racetracks around the world.
Cutting-Edge CP4® Engine
The R1’s 998cc inline-four-cylinder engine features Yamaha’s exclusive crossplane crankshaft technology derived from the YZR-M1 MotoGP® machine. By equalizing inertial forces at the crankshaft, the CP4 motor delivers a direct feeling of linear torque, giving the rider the ultimate connection between the throttle grip and the rear wheel.
High-Output Engine Technology
Titanium connecting rods use Yamaha’s precision fracture-split method to ensure reliability with minimal weight. Combined with titanium intake valves and forged pistons, these lightweight parts help achieve the CP4’s high redline and over-rev capability. The cylinder block is also offset from the crankshaft, reducing friction loads on the pistons and bores.
New Intake System
For 2020, a new cylinder head, intake system, fuel injectors, and airbox work together to enhance part-throttle performance. And by creating a smaller and shorter intake tract, new Bosch® injectors are able to spray fuel directly against the intake valves, for improved fuel atomization.
Refined Rocker-Arm Valvetrain
Compact rocker-arm valve actuation uses optimized geometry to allow for larger valve lift than conventional cam-driven systems while using lower cam lobes and reduced spring pressure to reduce friction losses.
Titanium Exhaust System
The R1 is equipped with a muffler and heat shields manufactured primarily from lightweight titanium. The compact midship muffler also centralizes mass low in the frame and as close to the center of the machine as possible for optimal handling.
Compact Stacked Transmission
A 6-speed transmission features close-ratio gearing to best match the high-revving engine. The transmission also “stacks” the input/output shafts to centralize mass and to keep the overall engine size shorter front-to-back, which optimizes engine placement in the frame for outstanding weight balance.
Yamaha’s assist and slipper clutch is used to give the rider more confident downshifts when entering corners aggressively, while still smoothly handling the torque of the R1’s high-output motor.
New Brake Control (BC) System with ABS
Developed on racetracks around the world, Yamaha’s new Brake Control system works with an Antilock Braking System (ABS) to minimize brake slip under aggressive braking, or on less than ideal surfaces. The adjustable BC system uses the IMU to provide progressive brake force intervention as lean angle increases, to boost rider confidence when braking mid-corner.
Upgraded Braking Components
The YZF-R1 features 4-piston radial-mounted front calipers riding on big 320mm rotors for excellent stopping power, with a new high-friction pad compound for 2020, all supported by a 220mm rear disc and compact floating caliper. A new Bosch® ABS hydraulic unit is lighter and more compact, with high-quality braided stainless steel front lines to provide firm, responsive control feel.
Fully Adjustable KYB® Fork
The R1 features an inverted KYB® front fork with 43mm inner tubes and a 4.7-inch stroke with full adjustability, for incredible front-end feel on the track. For 2020, new shim-stack damping pistons improve road feel under aggressive conditions. All adjustments are also made on the top of the fork legs, for simplified tuning.
Linkage-Type KYB® Shock
The fully adjustable KYB® shock utilizes a rear bottom link pivot position that is optimally placed to provide exceptional handling and excellent transmission of engine torque to the track surface. Internal settings are also revised to match the upgraded front fork.
New Bridgestone® RS11 Tires
For 2020, the R1 mounts the latest Bridgestone® RS11 tires. Featuring a new tread pattern and updated multi-compound carcass, the RS11 is designed to offer true racetrack-ready traction with balanced road feel and handling.
Race-Ready Magnesium Wheels
10-spoke cast magnesium wheels significantly lower rotational mass compared to conventional aluminum cast alloy rims, reducing unsprung weight for quick direction changes and responsive handling.
Compact Deltabox® Frame
The slim aluminum Deltabox® frame, magnesium subframe, and aluminum swingarm contribute to compact chassis design with outstanding track-focused handling. The motor mounts use the engine as a stressed member of the frame for optimal rigidity balance and fantastic cornering performance on the race track.
Aluminum Fuel Tank
The aluminum alloy fuel tank weighs in at a full 3.5 pounds less than a comparable steel tank, further reducing overall weight, and is sculpted to give the rider a natural lower body connection to the machine.
The 2020 YZF-R1 features updated bodywork to create an even more aerodynamic profile, with stylish lines that give a more sleek and integrated design.
Updated All-LED Lighting
LED headlights are both lightweight and compact, allowing for a more streamlined design of the front cowling with excellent visibility. For 2020, the lights are more compact and deliver a broader spread of illumination, too. LED front turn signals are integrated into the mirrors for improved aerodynamics, while the LED tail light is stylish and highly visible.
Full Color Instruments
The R1 features a brilliant full-color, thin-film transistor (TFT) meter, with front brake pressure and fore/aft G-force readouts, giving the rider even more feedback from the machine. It features both street mode and a track mode that focuses on performance information, such as YRC settings (including EBM and BC systems), a zoomed-in view of the tachometer in the upper rpm range, a lap timer, gear position indicator, and speed.
New Ride-by-Wire Throttle System
For 2020, the R1 features a ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T®) system built around the new Accelerator Position Sensor with Grip (APSG), which eliminates the throttle cables. As before, YCC-T precisely senses throttle input by the rider and actuates the throttle valves to actively control intake volume, allowing for cutting-edge computerized engine management—now in a lighter package.
Variable Intake System
The YZF-R1 features Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I®), a variable intake system that broadens the spread of power in across the entire rpm range. By actively adjusting the length of the intact system based on engine speed, the CP4 engine is able to provide a broad spread of power across the rpm range.
Yamaha’s Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) combines a gyro sensor and G-sensor accelerometer that measures all six axes of movement in 3-D space at a rate of 125 calculations per second. This information is fed into the Engine Control Unit (ECU) to create a detailed picture of the motorcycle’s position, which then powers the R1’s rider-assisting technology package, Yamaha Ride Control (YRC).
New Engine Brake Management (EBM)
For 2020, the YZF-R1 features an all-new EBM system that allows the rider to adjust engine braking to suit personal preferences and track conditions. The EBM system offers three levels of engine brake force to allow smoother corner entry.
Power Delivery Mode (PWR)
PWR mode lets the rider adjust engine response to best match their preferences and riding conditions, adjusting throttle feel, responsiveness, and overall power. The PWR system offers four settings of progressive power delivery.
Lean Angle-Sensitive Traction Control System (TCS)
The R1’s TCS calculates the differences in front and rear wheel speeds to monitor and reduce unwanted wheel spin during hard acceleration. Unlike many simplified TC systems, the R1 also uses the IMU to calculate lean angle, then adjusts the amount of TCS intervention to best suit the rider’s demands. The TCS offers ten separate settings enabling the rider to dial in the exact level of control needed.
MotoGP®-Developed Slide Control System (SCS)
Yamaha’s SCS comes directly from the YZR-M1 MotoGP® bike. By using the IMU to detect lateral slides under hard cornering acceleration, the ECU intervenes to regulate power delivery and seamlessly control the motorcycle’s cornering attitude. The SCS features four settings to suit rider preferences and track conditions.
Lift Control System (LIF)
The Lift Control System utilizes the IMU to detect when the motorcycle’s nose pitches upwards higher or faster than desired, then progressively regulates engine power to maintain chassis attitude with minimal loss of forward drive. LIF offers five settings of adjustment for fine-tuning
Launch Control System (LCS)
Built to deliver an optimum racetrack start every time, the R1’s LCS limits maximum engine rpm and throttle plate opening with input from the TCS and LIF systems to maximize acceleration from a standing start. The LCS offers three setting levels to adjust engine control and output.
Up and Down Quick Shift System (QSS)
The QSS uses a sensor on the shift linkage to modulate power during shifting, allowing for split-second clutchless shifts up and down through the gearbox. Full-throttle upshifts maximize forward drive under power, while the ECU precisely matches engine speed while downshifting for nearly instantaneous gear changes with minimal chassis disruption. The QSS can be adjusted between three settings with independent downshift function control.
NEW FOR 2020
Next Level R-Series Evolution
For 2020, Yamaha engineers combined feedback from tracks around the world to set the bar even higher. New electronic systems boost rider confidence and control, while the revised engine, updated suspension and brakes, and improved aerodynamics complete the package.