The Yamaha YZF-R1 is still considered, despite its nearly 23-year-old history, as one of the greatest Japanese supersports to ever hit the market. Continuing on from the 2020 model, the 2021 R1 has only had a few minor changes, keeping it 99% the same bike as the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1.
The biggest change between the years is that the 998cc inline-four, which still throws out 198 HP and 83 lb-ft of torque, has been updated to comply with Euro5 emissions specifications. This means a slightly reshaped intake and a slightly less muffled exhaust are the major differences.
The other biggest change is a remapping and reworking of the rider safety systems, with the benefit of a year’s worth of data. The anti-skid, anti-wheelie, and stability control systems all have the new maps applied, and 2020 models can get the new maps during a service.
For the really enthusiastic rider, the YZF-R1M makes a return as the track-oriented superbike in Yamaha’s 2021 lineup. Almost all the fairings are carbon fiber or composite, the vaunted GPS tracking Yamaha Communications Control Unit returns so you can log all your track data. New for 2021 is the ability to have it communicate with Yamaha’s Ride Control smartphone app directly, instead of going only through Y-TRAC software.
Returning as well on the 2021 YZF-R1M is the superb Öhlins dynamic suspension system, with an updated processing unit that can adapt the NPX gas-charge rate for the front fork and suspension balance for the rear shock nearly 1000 times a second.
Lastly, both motorcycles have a newly updated Yamaha Launch Control System. Utilizing the engine control unit, traction control, and lift control system systems combined, it allows for lightning fast starts from the line. With the R1M, sub 2.5 seconds 0-60 times are attainable with the launch control system.
The 2021 Yamaha YZF-R1 starts at $17,399 US/$21,999 CA, and the R1M comes in at $26,099 USD / $28,599 CAD.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new 2021 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M 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
Fuel Tank Capacity
Ceramic Ice, Intensity White, Matte Black
1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
2021 Yamaha YZF-R1 & R1M Features
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 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.
High-Performance Intake System
The 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 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.
Brake Control (BC) System with ABS
Developed on racetracks around the world, Yamaha’s 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 which boosts rider confidence when braking mid-corner.
Supersport Braking Components
The YZF-R1 features 4-piston radial-mounted front calipers riding on big 320mm rotors for excellent stopping power, with a high-friction pad compound, all supported by a 220mm rear disc and compact floating caliper. The ABS hydraulic unit is light and compact, and the high-quality braided stainless steel front lines provide firm yet 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. The 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.
Bridgestone® RS11 Tires
The R1 mounts the latest Bridgestone® RS11 tires which are 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 a 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 YZF-R1 features bodywork to create an aerodynamic profile, with stylish lines that give a sleek and integrated design.
LED headlights are both lightweight and compact, allowing for a more streamlined design of the front cowling with excellent visibility. The lights deliver a broad spread of illumination. LED front turn signals are integrated into the mirrors for improved aerodynamics while the LED tail light is stylish and highly visible.
The R1 features a brilliant full-color, thin-film transistor (TFT) meter, with front brake pressure and fore/aft G-force readouts which give the rider 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.
Ride-by-Wire Throttle System
The R1 features a ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T®) system built around the 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 but 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 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).
Engine Brake Management (EBM)
The YZF-R1 features the 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 four 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.
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.
Digital Superbike Technology
The R1® features a 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.”
Superbike 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 high-friction pads and a compact ABS unit. The Bridgestone® RS11 tires ensure true racetrack-ready traction with balanced road feel and handling.
Sharp, Sleek Styling
The 2021 YZF-R1 features sleek bodywork to create an 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.
Next Level R-Series Evolution
Yamaha engineers combined feedback from tracks around the world to set the bar even higher. The electronic systems boost rider confidence and control while the engine, suspension, brakes and aerodynamics complete the package.