Yamaha R 1 Motorcycles ~ A Bitter Sweet Phenomenon
Everyday Monday and Thursday afternoon I lackadaisically walk to work, on the not so gorgeous outskirts of Barcelona, dreaming of the last class I have to spend with a particular bunch of ill-bred kids I teach English to, I cannot put into words how much I dread my time with these fiend-like little monsters but I shouldn’t complain, my job allows me a free-n-easy lifestyle with little complication and I know only too well how much worse it could be, so I grin and bare it, just. I’ve started playing a game in my mind as I walk through the graceless concrete streets, the aim of which is to focus entirely on what I would do if I didn’t have to go to work and had a few bob in the bank, I find it blanks out the negative feelings and puts some cunning back into my stride. Of course, it starts and finishes with only one thing, sweet-beautiful-sunshine-life-changing-motorcycle-adventures! (That’s the technical term by the way)
Honda CBR V’s Yamaha R1
Parked outside an apartment block next to the school for the last 2 years has been a pristine Honda CB 600 RR. The guy must’ve polished it twice a day and I would stop and glare at it glistening in the sun, with that so familiar smell of sun baked bike oil, trying to put off the impending class of doom. It just so happened that he would often come out, saddle up and head out at around the same time. Jealousy is not the word, I’m heading into a battle zone and he’s off out for a pleasure cruise on one of the most illustrious bikes on the planet.
Is the Yamaha R 1 the fastest bike on the planet?
This week though, as I was “playing the game”, I noticed the Honda was gone and in it’s place was a Yamaha R 1. I literally stopped in my tracks, amazed by the sheer aggression of it’s styling and a million thoughts rushed through my mind, how could I get my hands on one of these wild Yamaha R 1s? I Imagined packing a small bag, grabbing my girl and just hitting the road. I’m sure you could get to just about anywhere in Europe on one of these in a matter of minutes. “Testing on the 2010 Yamaha R 1, by Motorcyclist magazine reported a ¼ mile time of 10.02 seconds @ 144.23 mph (232.12 km/h)”. So yes, the Yamaha R 1, is bonkers fast, but it’s not all about it’s top speed. The 2009 Yamaha R 1 for example, was the first production motorcycle to ever use engine technology from the M1 MotoGP, utilizing a cross plane crankshaft.
Yamaha R 1 ~ What the Fuck is Crossplane Technology?
Crossplane technology puts each connecting rod 90° from the next, with an uneven firing interval of 270°- 180°- 90°- 180° reducing internal crankshaft torque but also providing a linear power delivery for the Yamaha R 1, basically it sounds like a big hold choppy Harley, but goes like stink. Yamaha said it’s like having ‘two engines in one’, the low end grunty torque of a V-twin but the pace of an inline four. Normally, I’m not so moved by such technological features, I’m more of an “analog” lover, but there’s something about the over development of the Yamaha R 1 which causes something strange to happen in my mind, I think it’s plain old simple curiosity. The Yamaha R 1 is after all, the bike Valentino Rossi used to take over the world.
I guess the only real problem with the Yamaha R 1, is that once you own something so well designed, how can you top it? What bike do you buy next? Although, the more I think about it, I’m starting to realize that there doesn’t always have to be a “next”. If you have the bike of your dreams, if you ride it well and treat it good, and it looks after you in return, takes you where you want to go, stops when you want it to and doesn’t throw you off the side of a cliff, why would you give it up? I guess it’s good to know you don’t have to.
So next time you see a Yamaha R 1 tearing down the French roads, with a girl on the back and a tent strapped to the tank, think of me and give us a wave….IF of course you can keep up! I’ll be the smug guy, living the dream, taking it all in….happy as Larry.