One of the most highly anticipated unveilings of the year has proven worth the wait. And, as usual, there's a mild bit of disappointment.
So why not give the bad news first before we get to the good stuff? OK...the new R1 is ugly. There, we said it. Not CBR1000RR or ZX-10R ugly, but then not too far behind either.
On the positive and, well, groundbreaking side, the new R1 features a "big bang" style engine. We've been instructed to not refer to it as such, so we won't, but it sort of is.
Does that make sense?
Briefly, a traditional inline four cylinder motor's firing order offers one bang per 180° turn of the crank, but the new Yamaha motor fires in a different order. It's staggered in a 270°-180°-90°-180° order. This was experimented with a few years back in BSB and is also direct trickle down from the M1 MotoGP bike, which is where the term big bang came from. But we're not supposed to connect the two.
It should sound significantly different than a traditional inline four and also have better low-end grunt.
That's the major news on the new R1.
Look for a first ride soon in SSB!