“Yamaha’s 2018 R1M has the most advanced electronic ‘brain’ fitted on any production motorcycle. The same technology, Ohlins say, as you’ll find on Rossi’s MotoGP bike and better than that found on Josh Brookes’ British Superbike Championship R1.

‘MotoGP-inspired’

These are big claims and ones we’ve heard all-to often before – ‘MotoGP-inspired’ is a well-worn manufacturer marketing path to tempt sportsbike buyers into thinking their bike is a race-developed thoroughbred. Too often it’s either a false promise or at least such a water-down version you can’t feel the link.

Apart from a slightly different colour lower fairing, changes to the 2018 Yamaha R1M aren’t immediately clear and you’d be excused for thinking this was another bike bluffing the truth. But under that fairing lies the key to perhaps the biggest step forward in motorcycle technology in decades.

Working Closely With Yamaha

Ohlins have worked closely with Yamaha on R1M’s the inertial measurement unit (IMU) to make a big step forward for the 2018 model in adapting the “next generation smart control unit” – the Ohlins Smart EC 2 ERS – from MotoGP bikes straight across to the R1M.

What’s the big technological change all about? Basically how much information is gathered and adjusted while you ride. Taking data from the R1M’s 12 sensors around the bike (was nine on the previous model) the IMU is taking readings and analysing 100 times every second. This isn’t ‘MotoGP-inspired’, more MotoGP-adapted.”

For the full story on this track test, please click here.