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DamienC

Yamaha R1...

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Hi all,

 

That's it ! My good s1000rr that I was using for the track is sold...I am on the market for a new track-only bike (no road riding anymore)...

 

I was seriously considering a more recent s1000rr, with the more powerful engine, better chassis, and no DDC...But a buddy of mine tried the new R1 on the track (he also has an s1000rr), and he just found it some much more agile than the s1000rr...He actually got better lap times with the R1 than with the s1000rr.

 

So anybody did a side by side comparison on the track ? It seems the s1000rr still has the better engine, but the chassis of the R1 seems to work better. Lots of people seam to report that the s1000rr is hard to steer compared to the R1 (don't shoot me ! I am just reporting !). Any tall people having used the R1 on the track (cause I am tall !). Anyway, I am just trying to get some inputs, as I am unlikely to be able to really try an R1 on the track...I don't want to be frustrated by a less explosive engine, coming from an s1000rr ! Or maybe a good engine kit would give some vitamins to the R1...or some mods of the chassis of the s1000rr would make it more agile (talked with some guys who are specialized in preping s1000rr for racing. They say getting really good suspensions and changing the swingarm pivot makes a bit difference...).

 

Thank you for your help !

 

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Which year model are you looking for - the 2013-2014?

 

I'm tall enough to make any bike look small (6'6"), but I'm doing quite fine on my 2003 model R1. I haven't tried sitting/riding the 2013/2014 model.

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I am comparing the 2015 s1000rr to the 2015-2016 R1...

 

Sorry, I made a think-o when I wrote 2013-2014. I meant the '15-16 model.

 

 

Maybe I just want to go back two years in time :huh:

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Forged wheels and some minor geometry tweaks (flipping the rear eccentric) fix the RR's turn in. Mine corners a bit too eagerly at times and makes 600cc bikes seem heavy in comparison. Many of those handling complaints really only affect the first and second generation bikes.

 

The R1 and RR are pretty well matched as are most of the other bikes in their class. The differences that you see in the tests come down to the way it's setup out of the showroom floor. BMW is conservative in their setup and it's intended to be a road going bike. Riding my completely stock RR often really makes me appreciate my track bike and it's setup.

 

The choice really comes down to your intended use and personal preference rather than one "truly" being better or worse than the other for any particular metric. All of the bikes can be tuned to the point where it's really the rider that determines the outcome of a race. Even though the R1 is "down on power" in comparison to the BMW I'm certain that I would not test my fate against a Motoamerica racer at a track day on his R1 racebike on the straight even with my very powerful BMW. :)

 

One other word of wisdom for those out there shopping for a new bike. Take what you read with a grain of salt. Bias exists everywhere. It's an unavoidable part of human nature. I'm biased towards BMW's. If I road tested an R1 vs a BMW and wrote an article the BMW would become the better choice. Many of the journalists have this same bias that comes out in their writing to whatever their natural bias is.

 

One other word of wisdom. The RR has been refreshed every two to three years since the bike existed. 2010-2011 was the first generation. 2012-2014 was the second generation. 2015-2016 is the most recent version. If BMW continues with this pattern a new one will probably hit the market in 2017 or 2018. With the increased competition in the market I have a feeling the next one will likely be ground breaking like the 2010 model was when it first hit the market. Pure speculation of course but with the recent evolution and "catch up" happening in the market the timing could not be more perfect. Even if you don't wait specifically for the BMW that timing could be interesting as well for other manufacturers that are "guessing" what BMW might do with the RR.

 

Regardless of who's logo is on the side of your tank it's an awesome time to be a buyer of modern Superbikes. We are getting some new and ground breaking technology that only previously existed in some of the more exotic forms of racing. Race grade traction control, Race grade data telemetry, Active suspension technology, Crazy power output and many many other things never seen on a consumer level bike.

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Thanks ! I was expecting some very valuable insights from you as usual !

I totally agree with your analysis and I am not even sure I fit on the R1 being 6'1...but I am considering it, also because it's fun to change. But have not made a decision because there is just something about this s1000rr engine (-; !

To be honest, what worries me also about the s1000rr right now is that it is clear to me that either BMW stops the whole superbike thing (which I doubt), or they will have to come up, soon enough, with something outstanding, a real new bike (the 2015-2016 was a great upgrade but not a real whole new bike)....and that would make even a 2015/2016 model much harder to resale. An upgrade does not hurt the second hand market. A really new bike does...so to some extend, it is the perfect time for an R1, as it's a brand new model so there will be upgrades of course, but nothing major for a few years...so easy to eventually sell...while an s1000rr, if BMW comes up with a real new game changer, would be much harder... These are all hard decisions ! (and in any case, I am sure that I would love both !). Maybe an R1 for 2-3 years until BMW innovates again !...

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Ride them both on the street and on the track. The one for you will become obvious quickly.

 

Don't sell short the updates in the 2015+ models. They updated the frame, geometry and DTC calibration as well as added some power. Last year at the school I took the 2015 out for a session and was really amazed at how well the bike handled and performed. I'll agree the updates were "minor" but they made a world of difference with the bike.

 

For about a day afterwards if there had been a BMW dealer nearby I would have had a new bike. Until I came to my senses a bit. I realized that while the idea of having the "latest and greatest" bike is really nice the big thing limiting my on track performance is not really the bike. A new bike can make life easier but you are still faced with the same challenges and issues that you have on the old one. I'm keeping one of my RR's mostly stock to act as a constant reminder of this.

 

I really want to ride one of the new R1's and see what it's like. Before my first BMW I owned several Yamaha's. Here's my take on the "differences" between the BMW and the R1.

 

Power - BMW is more powerful. R1 is certainly not a slouch by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Electronics - Yamaha has come out of nowhere with great electronics including yaw control. BMW's were always good but they set the benchmark as we know it. With the Yamaha you have to have the R1M to get data and even at that you are limited to a smartphone. BMW does it differently with no smartphone app but 2d software much like MotoGP and WSBK. BMW does not have "yaw control" but in actuality if you want to drift the rear tire it's just a few settings in the Race Calibration Kit. Yamaha just gave it a fancy name. I think for a lot of riders Yamaha's system is a lot more useful if you are racing however it's probably a bit limiting. There's always a give and take. Make it easier to use and you loose things in the process.

 

Handling - The Yamaha weighs less than the BMW and that's pretty telling all by itself. The articles I have read about the bike speak wonders about it's handling. This is all kind of misleading though. BMW tends to make their bikes quite street friendly. Just the heated grips and cruise control tells you that. It's really difficult to compare bikes that are configured differently. If I wanted to truly compare handling I would want two bikes with a neutral suspension person. Get both bikes setup to be their best and see where you are at. With the Yamaha's weight it's likely going to have an edge over the BMW. Probably not by much though.

 

One other thing to consider. What are the tracks like where you ride? The R1 is doing something very interesting. Their focus seems to be handling which is interesting really. On tracks where the R1 would have an edge over the BMW many 600's and 750's would be quite competitive with the R1. On even tighter tracks Hotfoot would be leaving all of the 1L monsters in her wake. Don't worry you would not be able to hear her laughter over the exhaust note of her bike. :) My point is though think about the type of tracks that you ride at. Whatever the appropriate tool is BMW or R1 know it's strengths and weaknesses and be able to minimize the weaknesses and maximize the strengths. The appropriate tool might not even be a 1L Superbike at all. :)

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That is the thing, and that's what I am going to do. I know the s1000rr, I have used the 2015 s1000rr in Sonoma with CSS...so I am trying to find a way (which should not be too difficult) to try the R1 on the track...and then, I agree...I think that the choice will become obvious. I will just have a flash for one of them.

 

Regarding the calibration kit, that's a fantastic tool from BMW. But while Yamaha offers the handeld/smartphone thing, they also offer the equivalent to the BMW Race Calibration Kit, from YEC Racing, which is the equivalent of the HP Race department at BMW.

 

Anyway...only way to go is to try and see how it feels.

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Yea the test ride is the only way to know for sure. I have a few friends with R1's and I'm sure I could wrangle a test ride if I really wanted to. Of course that would probably end up with them wanting to try my BMW so I have not asked.

 

I think N2 has a partnership with Yamaha and occasionally gets demo bikes for people to try at their track days. You may want to consider getting in contact with them and seeing if you can get some extended time with one. BMW has partnered a few times with the school to use their fleet bikes and have a few customer demo bikes floating around that have been used to give demo's at the track for several dealer events. As the industry evolves I have a feeling that in a few years test rides at the track may become more of a common thing. It's a great way to demonstrate the performance features of a motorcycle.

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I'm now in a similar situation. Considering unloading my 1199S in favor of either a 2016 S1000RR, Yammy R1M or RSV4 RF. I've done quite a few days with CSS and love the latest iteration of the S1000RR. In comparing my 1199 to the S1000RR, I will say that even after 2 days of Code RACE, I am only half as fatigued as one track day on my 1199. The S1000RR is no doubt less demanding and more comfortable as a whole. I would love to have the opportunity to run the 2 bikes on the same track to see if I am faster on the S1000RR, it certainly feels that way. The other two are in the running because they also seem to rank very high amongst the reviewers... that and I love Italian bikes!

 

rchase, I am curious as to all the mods you have done to your Bimmer to help rectify the reported "slower" turn in, difficulty holding a tighter line (comparatively speaking) and "numbness". Do you utilize the Dynamic Damping?

 

DamienC, have you made any headway on your decision? I am curious to hear what you have experienced.

 

My local dealer happens to have an R1 as well as an RSV4 so I plan to go sit on both and take out for a brief ride. Problem is, there is no way I can get either of them on a track for a true test. BTW: Whatever I buy, it will be a track only machine so street comfort is pointless.

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Im 5 foot 7 and the 2013 R1 gives me pain EVERYWHERE when i try to saddle it .

the ZX10R on the other hand i could sleep in it...

You gotta try the bikes yourself man...


One man's mean might be another's poison.


PS. the 2014 S1000RR is somewhere in btw.

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Hi Ducatmh,

 

Sorry for the late reply...was away from the forum for a while.

 

So yes, I went with a new R1...It was a very difficult decision...and I am just soooo happy with the bike. Since I have also ridden again a 2016 track-only s1000rr from a friend...on the same day with my R1, same track...and I have to say that my R1 is just in an league on its own compared to the BMW (to me, we all have different styles, levels, expectations, tastes, favorite tracks...so this is only my personal opinion and by no mean statement about which bike is best...the R1 is best...for me).

 

Hard to say where to start. First, yes, the 2016 s1000rr is much easier to take around than the older versions...but man, the R1? I can ride twice as long, faster and be less tired than even on the new s1000rr (and the one I used is really well prepared for the track). It's light, turns like a charm, the chassis is just unbelivable. Just for an example: I got the R1, did the "brake-in" of 1000 km on the road (a very painful bike for the road !), switched to a Spark decat exhaust...and that's it...no further mods than a set of race fairing...nothing. Went to my favorite track (the one I go to all the time so I know it by heart). First few laps to get used to the bike...second session of the morning...I was 5 s faster per lap than on my track-ready HP4 (with the full titanium exhaust, HP Power Race ECU etc...etc...). The bike, except for the exhaust, was basically stock ! And since, my lap times are going down down down. Sure with the 2016 s1000rr, I am faster than with my HP4 too...but nowhere near as fast as with the R1 (except on the straight line where it's hard to beat the BMW...but good lap times are made in the corners !)

 

So pros and cons... To me, honestly, it depends how much you want to modify the bike. Yes, the BMW has a stronger engine. More hp, high in the rpm, it's definitively more powerful than the R1...true...compared to the stock R1. I switched my entire harness on the R1 for a YEC harness with YEC ECU, a proper mapping from a race team...and the R1 engine become brutal (in fact, I don't use the most aggressive power delivery anymore...it's too much...that's a tip that a race team gave me here. Once full YEC, the power 1 is brutal and the power is not transmitted to the track well enough...it's not in fact as efficient). Even in the power 2 mode, at 250 km/h in 5th gear, if I go WOT, the front wheel goes up. It's just incredible. Basically, the absolute power on paper may remain a little lower than with the BMW (or on dyno), but the power is better transmitted to the track...so you actually do accelerate faster. My top speed on the straight of my favorite track with my R1 is actually higher than what I reached with my friend's 2016 s1000rr (which is very well setup, with RCK3, mapping etc...). So if you are ready to go YEC, then the R1 engine is an absolute blast. The noise is way more exciting, the power actually is incredible, the torque is way higher...it's amazing.

 

- Electronics on the R1 is superior for sure. I like riding without too much assistance. But there electronics are incredible, and their tuning so much easier than on the BMW.

- Comfort on the BMW is superior.

- Technical support (at least here) for a track bike is better at Yamaha. Example: with BMW, when I put an HP Race ECU (although it IS a BMW product), my warranty was voided. Right away. At Yamaha, I asked...I can mod the bike, change exhaust, electronics, the harness, the ECU...as long as I don't open the engine, my warranty is still valid. And even if I open the engine to modify it, as long as it is performed by Yamaha people, then it's all good...that's a bit of a better support for a track bike !!!

- The R1 is obviously designed for the track to start with. Simple example: all the screws for the fairings are already quick dzus. So no need to put adapters etc...for your race fairings. If you buy a good brand, it adapts right away on the bike, with dzus screws. I got my fairings, and they were on the bike in about 10 minutes.

- With the s1000rr, you can switch off the Race ABS. With the R1, you cannot. But on the other hand, it does not matter to me, as once you put on the YEC system, the ABS is gone anyway. And I personally still have to activate the the ABS on the track. I do think I brake fairly strong...never activated the ABS, neither on the BMW nor on the R1.

- If you work on the R1 yourself, everything is easier. It is clearly built to be modified.

- For the R1...everything is cheaper. From the race parts, to the servicing etc...

 

Anyway, I can go on and on, and if you have more specific questions, don't hesitate. I am not here to say the 2016 s1000rr is a crappy bike. It IS an awesome bike. But for a track-only bike, after having just left everybody behind for a few years, BMW has been beaten by Yamaha, according to me. The R1 is just a better track bike (again, for me !). Horrible on the road, but amazing on the track. And the most common thing you can read is that the s1000rr has a better, more powerful engine...yes...true...stock...but do a simple mod for the R1 engine, and it actually beats the s1000rr engine even similarly modified (again, I am comparing my R1 with the YEC ECU with a 2016 s1000rr with the RCK3, both bikes with proper mapping)... maybe not on the dyno, but on the track, when it's about transmitting that power to the asphalt, the R1 ends up being actualy more powerful, and you can feel it. My R1 is scary sometimes !

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And regarding fitting...I am 6'1...And it works well. Size was an issue for me that made me question the choice of the R1 initially. But in fact, you have plenty, even for me. But yes, if you are tall, you will want to put and adapt after market rearsets...

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And last: my bike is the standard R1. So no electronic suspensions. And my friend's s1000rr is also with normal suspensions. The front fork of the R1, stock, is great. The rearshock could be better. A good Ohlins rearshock is my next mod (when I get some cash !!! Lots of race parts from my old HP4 still to sell !)

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Great to hear that you're so happy with the new R1, Damien. Congrats, and I'm a bit more than just a little envious of you.

You wrote 5sec faster than before - did I get that right or did you mean half a second (0.5sec)? 5sec is m i n d b l o w i n g!

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Believe it or not, I am talking about 5 full seconds ! I just could not believe it myself. And I am not finished preparing the bike, optimising it for my size (still playing around with the position of the rearset...the bike has to get a custom map, which I did not have time to go for...right now I got a very good map from a race team, but each bike is different...a lot of useless parts still to be removed to make it lighter.). But that's the thing. more than 10 corners, 0.5 s per corner. I hit my apex way better, I get on the throttle way earlier. The lap goes down pretty fast...and I am using the very same GPS lap timer as before, so no issue there. I was actually very surprised how much faster I was. And I got lots of pictures...and watching the pictures, well, it's obvious. As I am much more accurate with my apex, I now have my entire body over the curbs every single time (it was more variable with my HP4 and my friend's s1000rr), my lean angle is much higher. Just unbelievable. And when I will have put a better rear shock, and springs that are more adapted to my weight (right now, they are all OEM), I think there will be no comparison possible. Also the steering damper, actually, could be upgraded. I find the front fork to be very good (at least at my level ! More expert riders may think otherwise).

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