What are the key differences between the Yamaha R1 and M1?

Tuesday, 6 June 2017 15:06 GMT

Alex Lowes talks us through the main technical variations of the Yamaha machines

Not many riders have ridden both a MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship machine and a MotoGP™ beast, especially in such a short space of time, but Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) is one of the few riders on the current grid who can compare the two. Competing in two MotoGP™ races last season, the British rider analyses the main differences between the YZF-R1 and YZF-M1 bikes, but they aren’t as big as you might think.

With many key aspects of the bike noted by Lowes, he begins: “For me the biggest difference between the R1 and M1 is the way you ride the bike. The carbon brakes they use on a GP bike react a bit differently so the braking style is quite different, but in terms of the bike it’s unbelievable how close the R1 is to the M1. One of the reasons I really like riding the R1 as I know how close it is to riding the M1.”

With the high spec electronics used in MotoGP, fans may think this would be an important way to differentiate between the bikes, but the British rider continues: “The electronics in MotoGP are nearly identical to the R1 – if you look at the way the wheelie control works on a GP bike. When you leave pit lane and try and to pull a wheelie, the way the bike puts the power on is honestly nearly identical to the M1.”

Explaining the importance of the World Superbike project working alongside the GP team, Lowes, who secured a podium finish last time out at his home round of Donington Park adds: “The SBK and MotoGP teams are working closely together to develop the whole project, so with the goalposts always being moved forward in racing, you can see the World Superbike project has really taken steps forward from this.”

Keep up with Lowes’ progress in Round Seven of the World Superbike Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, as the first session gets underway at 09:45LT and Lowes will be battling to take his second podium finish of 2017.