The 2008 Yamaha YZF-R1 Fly-by-Wire Bike


Yamaha has made some significant changes for their now fifth generation Yamaha YZF-R1. The fly-by-wire throttle, variable length intake funnels, four-valve heads, six-pot brakes and the new slipper clutch being the most prominent.

So, the question on my ever skeptical mind has been, have these gizmo's and updates made the Yamaha YZF-R1 a more powerful bike that is easier to ride fast? The very simple, and happy, answer is: Yes.

The latest 2008 Yamaha R1 is clearly improved over the previous models. It got more power everywhere, including more mid-range punch, culminating in 159.3 rear wheel horsepower that gives a proper kick as you get the engine spinning higher in the rev range. The chassis mods have also quickened turn-in, possibly aided by the more front-end biased riding position, and the reduced mass of the thinner front discs.Happy days. We had a brief ride on the 2008 Yamaha YZF-R1 and since we've ridden the previous two incarnations of the Yamaha R1, we somewhat of experts. Anyway, we where happy to notice that the adrenalin-fed ramblings. The 2008 Yamaha YZF-R1 has improved on all fronts.

The steady trickle of parts for my lovely new Yamaha R has started flowing. I've already got a set of ridiculously light carbon Fren Tubo carbon hoses to fit, and there's a Skidmarx double bubble screen winging on its way to me as we speak for a bit of extra wind protection and aerodynamics. I'll be on the phone again this month trying to get hold of an exhaust and of course, a Power Commander or something similar to hopefully sort the slightly flatter part of the torque curve.

Who knows, maybe I'll even be able to find a quick-shifter. I'll be pulling my finger out regarding the exhaust before the raining season starts big time. Catalytic converters are a good idea, but somewhat selfishly I can see myself being more concerned with my ass roasting due to the heat build-up that's inevitable with the Yamaha R1's underseat exhaust system.
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