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Yamaha's 50th Anniversary R1 gets traction control

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September 15, 2011

The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1

The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1

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Yamaha's R1 will gain a six-mode MotoGP-developed Traction Control System (TCS) for the 2012 model year, along with a new ECU (Engine Control Unit) with new mapping. It's the only real change to the R1 for next year though, and Yamaha's premier sports bike will again be the heaviest of the liter bikes.

Other changes to the uprated YZF-R1 amount to cosmetic changes, (including the option of a 50th anniversary paint job), a slightly reshaped front cowl, a new YZR-M1 style handlebar crown, and reshaped footpegs.

The Traction Control System has been developed "using feedback gained from the winning Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP racer" according to the press statement.

When the TCS sensors detect wheelspin, the ECU adjusts the degree of throttle opening, fuel injection volume and ignition timing to reduce power to the rear wheel. There are six levels of traction control plus it can be switched off completely.

As the engine also has three mapping settings available to the rider via the Variable Map Function, the 2012 YZF-R1 effectively has twenty-one set-up options, but that may not be enough to persuade buyers to part with their cash given the many options available in the marketplace these days.

BMW's S1000RR has all that adjustability and more, and in stock form will blow the R1 away in a straight line, and Yamaha's addition of traction control is playing catch-up to most of its competitors - quite disappointing in a year in which it is celebrating celebrating 50 years of racing.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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1 Comment

It\'s sad that the R1 got fat by taking on all that unnecessarily-sweet candy. Mine\'s 375lb dry and was the lightest in its year. Being beaten by a Beemer in a drag race is nothing but embarrassing. The marketers at Yamaha are probably the same out of touch idiots that GM fired.

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