Welcome to the new Yamaha YZF-R1S, the third member to join the Japanese brand’s flagship sportbike range after the R1 and highly-coveted R1M. Essentially, the new model is a cheaper but equally fun variant aimed to entice younger enthusiasts.
In the US, the R1S will be priced at $14,990 when it goes on sale in February next year – that’s about $1,500 cheaper than the regular R1. Of course, the price reduction comes with lesser equipment. For instance, the R1’s magnesium multispoke wheels have been replaced with five-spoke aluminium wheels while the magnesium oil pan and right-hand side engine cover have been taken out in favour of aluminium ones on the R1S.
Yamaha claims that the 998 cc inline-four crossplane engine hasn’t been detuned but it is instead equipped with more conventional internals. The DOHC cylinder head is retained but the R1’s titanium connecting rod have been deleted and replaced with heavier steel kind, while the valve springs are new. Also notable is the new stainless steel exhaust headers. As a result, the R1S measures in 4 kg heavier than the bike it’s based on.
Elsewhere, buyers will be glad to know that most of the hardware including its chassis and suspension are retained on the R1S. Although quickshifter is now offered as an option, the bike is still a capable track weapon thanks to its six-axis Inertia Measurement Unit (IMU) that coordinates its traction, wheelie, launch and slide controls.