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Set to go on sale next year are the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and Yamaha YZF-R1M superbikes, the latest iteration of Yamaha’s flagship motorcycle since the introduction of the original YZF-R1 back in 1998. Across, broadly, three generations of the YZF-R1, which saw the superbike go from the 150 hp and 20-valve inline-four of the first generation to the 16 titanium valves and 200 hp of the current model, the YZF-R1 has built a loyal following in Malaysia.

For the current model, introduced in 2015, the YZF-R1 came with a suite of riding aids and electronics, something we put to good use during our review of the Yamaha YZF-R1M. For 2020, the YZF-R1 comes with the 998 cc Crossplane 4 engine with its staggered 270-180-90-180 firing sequence and puts out 200 PS at 13,000 rpm with a claimed linear torque curve.

The cylinder head and intake layout has been redesigned with the throttle bodies moved closer to the combustion chambers. The new 10-hole Bosch injectors are now positioned above the 45 mm throttle bodies for a direct path to the chambers and a wider fuel spray angle of 21.5-degrees improves combustion efficiency.

Other improvements include changes to the rocker arms and cam profile and the 2020 YZF-R1 is said to be 5% more aerodynamic with bodywork inspired by the YZR-M1 MotoGP race bike. Suspension has been similarly updated with the 43 mm diameter Kayaba forks on the YZF-R1 modified to give improved rider feedback.

Braking control on the YZF-R1 now allows riders to select one of two levels with BC1 giving a fixed ABS response while BC2 varies ABS sensitivity depending on lean angle. BC2 increases sensitivity and intervention as speed and lean angle increase for more cornering control.

This is combined with three levels of engine braking, launch control, new APSG ride-by-wire throttle and revised steering damper settings. There are six power modes, traction and slide control and quickshifter, all accessible the TFT-LCD instrument panel and the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 will be available from September 2019 though there is no word if it will be officially imported into Malaysia by distributors Hong Leong Yamaha Motor.

For the YZF-R1M, its electronic suspension, by Ohlins, is upgraded with Ohlin ERS NPX upside forks while the rear monoshock comes with a modified preload setting. Carbon-fibre is used to for the YZF-R1M’s bodywork, from the fairing, fender to the lightweight tail piece along with a magnesium rear sub-frame.

Purchase of the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M is by online reservation and applications will be taken from July 25, 2019. Purchasers of the 2020 YZF-R1M will also be offered technical support and advice and the chance to attend the Yamaha Racing Experience in Europe.

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