The Times Are Changing
Yamaha is looking towards the electrified future just like every other motorcycle manufacturer. According to Cycle World, the company recently patented some designs for an electric R1. The patents focus mostly on the placement of the charging port for various bikes. One of the bikes is undoubtedly an R1.
This isn’t really too big of a surprise. The advantages of an electric powertrain when it comes to performance are known. Pair that with the fact that Yamaha is part of a consortium with Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki for swappable battery packs and other electric technology, and it makes sense that the company would eventually transition the R1 over to electric power.
A future R1 will likely be an electric bike, but I highly doubt it will be the very next R1. There’s already been some new info about the next R1. It’s a bike with a regular internal combustion engine, and it sounds better than ever before. I would assume Yamaha will continue to sell that one for quite a while.
The R1 that comes after that next bike could definitely be an electric motorcycle. By that time, the battery technology might be at a point where it makes more sense to sell the machine. That would also give Yamaha and other manufacturers time to iron out their swappable batteries and charging port placement.