Yamaha has unveiled its 2012 YZF-R1 that is equipped with a new traction control system claimed to be derived from the YZR-M1 MotoGP machine that uses complex mathematic computations to enable it to do away with the need for lean angle sensors. Although there are numerous other detail changes to the new R1, the traction control system is obviously the most important addition to Yamaha’s flagship literbike.
Yamaha will be producing a 50th Anniversary Limited Edition (only 2000 worldwide) with the same paint scheme used by the Yamaha Factory MotoGP duo of Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo.
The new R1's traction control...
The new R1's traction control system display is visible in the top portion of the LCD panel.
There were precious little details on the makeup of the R1’s TCS (Traction Control System) from Yamaha, but Sport Rider
was able to dig up some information that reveals how the six-position-adjustable (plus off) system works. A series of patents filed by Yamaha detail a traction control system that mathematically “filters” the slip signal from the wheel speed sensors that allow it to correct for changing tire circumferences—thus eliminating the need for lean angle sensors, not only reducing cost and complexity, but also removing a possible error component. The reason is that lean angle sensors only measure angles in relation to a gyroscopic horizon; negative pavement camber (where the crown of the road is sloping away from the turn) can change the “actual lean angle” drastically.
The new R1's TCS can be changed...
The new R1's TCS can be changed via the toggle switch on the left handlebar.
Other patents detail how various sensor data can be manipulated to further improve the system’s accuracy. This includes the possibility that the R1 traction control system—like the Kawasaki ZX-10R’s S-KTRC—can actually be capable of “predicting” traction loss, and take preemptive action accordingly (For full details, be sure to check out our story in the October issue due to hit newsstands in the next few days). The Yamaha TCS settings can be changed via a toggle switch on the left handlebar.
A more aggressive front fairing...
A more aggressive front fairing features LED accent lighting around the headlights for a unique profile at night.
Detail changes include new ECU settings for throttle position, fuel, and ignition for improved low-end and midrange performance, a new top triple clamp that replicates the YZR-M1 machine’s unit, slightly restyled mufflers, and a revised front fairing with a more aggressive look that utilizes the now-popular LED accent lighting around the headlights to give a unique profile at night.
A nighttime shot of the LED...
A nighttime shot of the LED accent lighting on the new R1.
The 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 will be available in a limited production 50th Anniversary edition (only 2000 will be produced worldwide) using the red/black/white paint scheme found on the M1 piloted by Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies at select MotoGP events. The 50th Anniversary edition will have a numbered plate and official emblem on the fuel tank, gold “tuning fork” Yamaha logo emblems, along with an accessory sticker kit that replicates the ones found on the factory Yamaha MotoGP machines.
The R1 will come in the “Team Yamaha” blue/white and black “Raven” paint schemes for $13,790, plus a “Pearl White/Candy Red” motif for $13,990. The 50th Anniversary edition will retail for $14,290.