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Endurance test final balance of the Yamaha YZF-R1

Endurance final test R1

"All-round" ?? what does that actually mean? In the 50,000-kilometer marathon, the supersport icon Yamaha YZF-R1 was faced with all kinds of tasks. Since everything went smoothly anyway, the results after 50,000 kilometers are very positive.

Sometimes the world can be very unfair. Even at MOTORRAD. For example, if you like a super athlete with the unconditional will to win Yamaha YZF-R1 has to explain that she only finished seventh. And that, although it got through in a jiffy and without mishaps and even with the appraisal after 50,000 kilometers made no mistakes. Is it enough to make it clear that everyone in front of you actually plays in a different league? That their parts and components are neither trimmed for maximum performance nor for unconditional weight optimization and that their designers therefore did not have to balance so razor-sharp at the load limit? Will it comfort the R1 that the tires of the others are not designed for maximum grip and thus inevitably last longer and come cheaper? Does she accept that neither cruisers nor all-rounders were driven on material-killing racetracks and never romped about in those speed regions that can make motorcycle life a torture?

Probably not. A real athlete like the R1 always wants to win. Nevertheless, she will be a little forgiving when she hears that all the drivers ?? regardless of whether you are a proven sports freak or a self-confessed touring driver? liked to travel with her. That there were no fundamental complaints except for the built-in seat heating through the underseat exhaust system, which unfortunately cannot be switched off even in midsummer and fires the very best with relentless heat. Not even about the seating position, which is often criticized on sports motorcycles, or the poor visibility in the rear-view mirrors.

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Endurance test final balance of the Yamaha YZF-R1
Endurance final test R1

The motor

R1-Express: The Yamaha was often used for short, crisp long-distance trips and did a good job.

In any case, as far as the engine and especially its respiratory organs are concerned, whereby of course the electrical control and facial expressions of the variable intake funnel as well as the throttle valves (ride-by-wire), which are also controlled by a servomotor, were in focus. However, both gave no cause for complaint, but actually performed their service inconspicuously ?? and most importantly, unnoticed. This did not apply to the clutch and transmission. The former was too stiff, especially for delicate female hands, with increasing service life (which may have been due to the aging of the clutch cable, because the clutch discs and cage were in good condition even after 50,000 kilometers), while the gearbox itself was practically not necessarily from the first kilometer attracted attention through discretion. At least not when it came to first gear. As an excuse it should be mentioned that the R1 shares this ailment, which seemed to have been overcome for a long time, with many current motorcycles.

This sometimes rustic process obviously had no damaging influence on the condition of the gear wheels. The only abnormalities when dismantling the gearbox were heavy wear marks on two gearshift forks, which have to be replaced and whose wear Yamaha attributes to the frequent abandonment of the clutch, as is common on the racetrack (see statement). In view of the switching habits of some editorial members, this cannot be contradicted.

But the assessment with which the Yamaha technicians respond to the worn camshafts. "Reinstall", it says from the German headquarters in Neuss, although individual cams are up to 0.043 millimeters beyond the wear limit. MOTORRAD would replace the camshafts despite the impeccable running pattern now that the engine is already dismantled. It must also remain unclear how this strange phenomenon came about, which incidentally had already occurred during the first endurance test of the R1 (MOTORRAD 17/1999) and could not be explained at the time either.

Regardless of this, the performance of the engine was only affected peripherally, if at all. The compression diagram confirms that the four-valve engine still has a lot of pressure at mileage 50112 and only a noteworthy pressure loss of 22 percent on the first cylinder, the performance diagram shows a manageable 1.8 hp less, and the performance is only a few tenths above that of the input measurement.

The exterior and conclusion

Super sports tourer: It was a pleasure to ride the R1.

This decent impression continues when it comes to the engine peripherals. The R1 largely meets the high expectations that have been placed on it due to the clean and dignified workmanship and appearance. The paint quality leaves nothing to be desired even after 50,000 kilometers, the fork and shock absorber no go along feel brand new, but they also don’t feel overly used. Only the brake discs paid tribute to the high mileage and the by no means gentle handling.

At around 33,000 kilometers, the first entries about scratching brakes can be found in the logbook, which become more and more common as the journey progress. At 40,200 kilometers, the discs are replaced as part of the major warranty inspection, 10,000 kilometers later, the rear brake disc is due. Obviously, the MOTORRAD endurance test machine is not the only one where this problem occurs (see statement and reader experiences). Yamaha promises to be like the MOTORRAD R1 ?? Here, however, the damage was in the warranty period, which should not be the case for many readers ?? To be fair, while clearly classifying the worn rear brake disc under wear.

In other ways, the R1 demonstrated astonishing steadfastness. It took a good 35,000 kilometers to finish the first set of chains, which speaks for the good quality of the original equipment. The workshop swapped the swing arm protection with the chain in order to protect the noble piece with its lower beams from irreparable damage.

But that was also what had to be done out of sequence in terms of repairs. The rest ?? 15 liters of oil, three oil filters, one air filter, two sets of brake pads at the front and rear, eight sets of tires (tire recommendation in the interim balance in issue 12/2008) ?? is routine and not unusual for a super athlete. Neither does the average fuel consumption of 6.8 liters or the depreciation of 6,097 euros (43.6 percent), which leads to an estimated retailer sales price of 7,900 euros. When assembled, of course? and after swapping a few parts it is ready for the next 50,000 kilometers.

Balance after 50,000 kilometers – condition

Wondrous material loss: some cams are beyond the wear limit, the running pattern is flawless.

Cylinder head:
The outlet valve guides are flared and the valve stem clearance is partially above the wear limit. The cam heights of both camshafts are partly below the wear limit, but the running pattern is okay. Valves and seats are in good condition.

Cylinder / piston:
Except for a few scoring, the cylinders show hardly any wear, the pistons have a decent running pattern and only a few deposits, and the piston rings are hardly worn.

Crank drive:
Some conrod bearing shells have an uneven movement pattern with a roughened surface, but the bearing play is okay. The crankshaft main bearings are also dimensionally accurate, but here too, stronger signs of wear are partially visible, mainly on the lower bearing shells.

Power transmission:
The clutch and gearbox are in good condition, only two shift forks show heavy wear marks.

Frame / chassis:
There are only minor signs of wear on the frame, paintwork and attachments. The ignition lock is stiff, the rear brake disc is worn out.

Costs and maintenance

Operating costs over 50,000 kilometers
15 liters of oil at 13.08 euros each 196.20 euros
3 oil filters at 9.72 euros, 29.16 euros
1 air filter at 27.9 euros 27.90 euros
8 spark plugs at 11.74 euros, 93.92 euros
2 sets of front brake pads at 55.79 euros each, 111.58 euros
2 sets of rear brake pads at 40.71 euros each 81.42 euros
1 chain set with swing arm protection 246.19 euros
Coolant 19.44 euros
Small parts, lubricants 31.35 euros
Seals 25.45 euros
Inspections and repairs 1297.18 euros
Tires (including assembly, balancing and disposal) 3156.00 euros
Fuel 4822.89 euros

Total costs 10,138.68 euros
Acquisition cost 13,997.00 euros
Loss of value 6097.00 euros
Estimate (dealer sales price) 7900.00 euros

Costs per kilometer (without depreciation) 20.3 cents
Costs per kilometer (with depreciation) 32.5 cents

Yamaha takes a stand …

Yamaha customer service manager Jörg Hoppmann (right) and press spokesman Karlheinz Vetter inspect the R1 interior together with MOTORRAD test manager Gert Thöle (with camshaft).

… to the camshafts, where some cams are beyond the wear limit. Based on the measured values, the cams actually show wear. This is astonishing, as the visual appearance is flawless and this wear and tear cannot therefore be easily explained. In our opinion and recommendation, the waves could therefore be reinstalled without hesitation due to the running pattern.

… to the conically widened valve guides of the exhaust valves. The guides are partially rubbed conically. Since the engine is dismantled anyway, we would now swap the guides.

… to pistons and cylinders. In view of the flawless condition of the pistons and cylinders without any noteworthy traces of wear or discoloration, the parts can still be used without hesitation.

… for rubbing the brakes through worn front brake discs. This problem comes up every now and then. The rubbing is caused by a difference in thickness, since the brake discs naturally wear out. This wear and tear is particularly severe when used on the racetrack. Nevertheless, we try to resolve such problems within the first two years, even if the brake discs are of course wearing parts.

… for significant material removal on some connecting rod bearing shells. Since the radial play of the connecting rod bearings is even within the installation tolerance, there is no need to replace it.

… for wear on the crankshaft main bearings. The same applies here as for the connecting rod bearings. The wear is within the installation tolerance, they can be used further without hesitation.

… to the strong inroads on two shift forks. We only know these inrun tracks from motorcycles that are often driven without using the clutch, as is often the case on racetracks. The function was not affected. Since the gearbox is now disassembled anyway, we would exchange the two forks.

… to the rear brake disc that was worn out at the end of the endurance test. In principle, the same applies here as above. After 50,000 kilometers we are talking about normal wear and tear.

… to the hooked ignition lock. If you hit the upper metal cover of the mechanism too hard with the key, it will bend and no longer properly shield the inside of the lock. The lock then gets dirty and can only be operated with clumsily.

Reader experiences

Marcel Flören likes the precise and easy handling of the Yamaha YZF-R1.

I had only good experiences with the R1 over 17,000 kilometers. The result: The next R1 is coming in 2009.
Dj grom

My R1, first registered in April 2007, now has 38,000 kilometers on the clock. The Kat came out immediately (six horsepower increase), a Scottoiler on it. At first I had a problem because the R1 suddenly went out in city traffic or at traffic lights. My dealer quickly fixed that. The brakes are great, the fuel consumption is between seven and ten liters, depending on the driving style. Lately the clutch has sounded like a dry clutch on a Ducati when the engine is cold, but the 40,000 service is sure to fix that. Conclusion: Regardless of whether it’s city traffic or the Alps, the R1 is just great. I’m already looking forward to the next R1 and the 23rd season with Yamaha.
Frank Delaporte

In May 2008 I bought a new R1 (RN 19) in blue with gold-colored rims. By the end of October, I covered 8,200 kilometers with it. During the first 1000 kilometers, my motorcycle would occasionally go out. For example, you drove at 50 km / h in second gear, wanted to use third gear, then it died when you pulled the clutch. She did it a few times while standing still. You are standing at the traffic lights, want to put in first gear, pulling the clutch ?? out. The problem was eliminated by readjusting the throttle valves. Right from the start I was enthusiastic about the look and sound of the exhaust system. No other thousand sounded better than the R1 in my opinion in the 2008 model year. Critics always told me that the Fireblade had the better engine. I can not confirm that. Compared to the Honda, it has a little less bang around the bottom, but it burns off a veritable fireworks display beyond 8000 rpm, which has always conjured a smile on my face, at least since my gear reduction (front 15 instead of 16 teeth ). Only the rough throttle response and consumption of up to eleven liters spoil the picture. The seating position is sporty, but not as extreme as on the Fireblade, on which my wrists and knees ached at 1.86 meters and 100 kilograms. Chassis and brakes are absolutely great, only when braking from a low speed have I noticed a slight tendency to scratch. I also find it annoying that on an otherwise good motorcycle a plastic part in the side paneling repeatedly comes off when driving fast, the gearbox can unfortunately only be shifted vigorously and you can’t see anything on the highway because of the vibrations in the rearview mirrors. Christian tiller

After several test rides with other motorcycles, the last thing I did was a Yamaha R1 and I also decided to do it because my girlfriend got the driver’s license myself and I could choose what I liked on my own. Above all, I liked the precise and easy handling. Even if the engine is said to be weak, I like it that way. In addition, the sound in the standard trim makes up for a lot, including the look, which for me has been the most beautiful since the R1 was released in 1998. During the whole time (22,000 kilometers) there were no problems with the moped , apart from the connection between the fairing and the ram air duct, which is pushed out on the right side at higher speeds. Neither the Yamaha workshops in Bergisch Gladbach and Hackenhausen nor the headquarters in Neuss could provide a remedy here. Otherwise the R1 is a wonderful motorcycle.
Marcel Flören

After a few years with naked bikes I just wanted to try something new and despite some doubts I bought the R1 in March 2007. The result: pure joy and enthusiasm to this day. In addition to the flawless workmanship and the great seating position, the great engine with sound and power is particularly impressive. The fuel consumption is between 5.5 and ten liters. I have driven 14,000 kilometers so far, in both summer and winter ??, and I have never regretted the change.
Helmut Gossler

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