First off, forgive us if this review sounds more like fan boy gushing over a bike than anything else. The R1 is a bike that above other things is a thoroughbred racer. It has been dominating Moto GP races for over a decade now and is screw to bolt one of the best motorbikes ever made. It stands on haloed ground and is something that every motorbike maker covets. Let us set all that aside and take a closer look into what makes this bike special, we will also attempt to explain and understand whether or not all the hype is worth it.
As it stands, the R1, at least the more recent ones, are actually smaller, lighter, and more agile than the previous models. Right away, you will notice how this bike is made to feel at home on the tracks. It is a super-bike that needs to be ridden hard and you need to have a certain amount of skill to pull it off. There are a number of rider aids and other electronics that will help you, but, you are better off putting in a lot of practice before pushing the limits on this one.
Riding comfort and brakes
The shocks, rear and front are pretty much fully adjustable, making it possible to fine tune to your needs. The seating and stance have been worked over through the years and the most recent ones are only slightly bigger than the R6. In fact, swooping in and through corners, it feels not so different from the R6, albeit with a much larger engine and power on tap. The riding position is similar to the Moto GP style and if you are comfortable with that position, you know you can have some serious fun with this machine. The screen is made large enough for you get under and let the air flow over you, once you get used to it, it can be a real joy.
Engine and drive-train
The engine is a short stroke, high compression 998cc or one litre, 4 cylinder engine that is mean and powerful. There is more than enough power on tap right away. It can put out 197bhp, enough to restart a whale’s heart. There are a number of rider aids that come standard with this bike including traction control, slide control, lift control, launch control. Safety features include ABS and bank sensitive controls. The bike is made of magnesium and aluminum, keeping the kerb weight low and giving the machine rigidity in the corners. Riding assist also has a number of presets and riding modes.
So should you buy the R1?
At around 15,000 quid, it is not exactly cheap. It is also not practical for everyday use, you cannot go to the market with this bike. Also, it is just not built for long rides, with no storage, you wouldn’t want to go on long rides with the R1. As a track riding rubber burner though, there are not too many vehicles that can hold a candle to this bike. It is almost too good to be true, which is also its biggest flaw!