2009 Yamaha YZF Review


Yamaha went back to the drawing board for its 2009 YZF model line, introducing an all-new look and one of the most impressive engines available in a street-ready sport bike. The R1 features many attributes previously exclusive to the MotoGP racetrack, providing consumers with the closest MotoGP experience they can get with a production bike.

The star behind the 2009 Yamaha YZF is its innovative uneven firing interval cross plane crankshaft engine, the first of its kind on a production bike. It’s capable of pumping out 179.5 horsepower at 12,500 rpm and 85 lb-ft of torque at 10,000 rpm. The crank journals have been appropriately enlarged to 36mm to sufficiently handle the torque produced by the 998cc engine, and a counter-balancer has been put into play to help control the new, uneven firing order for a velvety-smooth running engine.

The 2009 Yamaha YZF features the Japanese company's trademark YCC-T throttle system, which expertly controls its updated YCC-I variable intake system for a much smoother throttle control. For the 2009 lineup, the bike's 32-bit fuel injection system is aided by secondary 12-hole Mikuni injectors for improved atomization, another first for a production bike.

The bike's exhaust system has been overhauled in order to comply with EPA noise and emission standards, and the resulting system features over-large mufflers that sit directly under the seat. Unfortunately, the exhaust changes on U.S. models do cause the bike to suffer a loss of about six peak horsepower, as compared to European models.

The redesign of the 2009 Yamaha YZF is largely due to the new engine, which required a new chassis to be built around it. Since the engine has an angle that is nine-degrees steeper than its predecessors, engineers were able to move the engine slightly forward, giving the bike more upfront weight, a lower center of gravity, and a shorter wheelbase. The clip-on handlebars are now 10mm closer to the rider, affording the rider the ability to enjoy a more compact riding position.

The new instrument panel is rich with bells and whistles, including a gear position readout, an accelerator opening angle indicator, an engine mode indicator, as well as the more common displays. There's also a Yamaha-exclusive D-Mode throttle control selector that allows the rider to switch the engine mapping mode based on his needs at the time. For instance, selecting B-Mode helps reduce rear tire sliding, while A-Mode helps the bike handle those racetrack corner-exits like a dream, with sportier low- to mid-range engine performance.

New For 2009

  • New sleek and sharp body style, with smooth side fairing and repositioned ram air ducts that greatly improve air flow
  • Uneven firing interval cross plane crankshaft engine design virtually eliminates inertial torque for the purest throttle-to-wheel power available
  • Color options include Raven/Candy Red, Cadmium Yellow, Team Yamaha Blue/White, and Pearl White/Rapid Red (throwback colors to the original R1)

2009 Yamaha YZF Specs

  • Model: R1, R6S, R6
  • Engine Type: Four-stroke horizontal in-line
  • Bore and Stroke: 78mm x 52.2mm; 65mm x 44.5mm; 67mm x 42.5mm
  • Compression ratio: 12.7:1; 12.41:1; 13.11:1
  • Valve Train: DOHC
  • Induction: Fuel injected
  • Ignition: Digital electric
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons; 4.5 gallons; 4.6 gallons
  • Estimated Fuel Economy: N/A; 42 mpg; 40 mpg
  • Brakes (Front): Dual hydraulic disc
  • Brakes (Rear): Hydraulic disc
  • Suspension (Front): Inverted fork; Telescopic fork; Inverted fork
  • Suspension (Rear): Twin-sided swing arm
  • Wheelbase: 55.7 inches; 54.3 inches; 54.3 inches
  • Seat Height: 32.8 inches; 32.3 inches; 33.5 inches
  • Curb Weight: 454 pounds; 410 pounds; 414 pounds
  • Tires (Front): 120/70 ZR17; 120/60 ZR17
  • Tires (Rear): 190/55 ZR17; 180/55 ZR17


  • Adjustable rear seats
  • Carbon fiber heat shield
  • Frame slider protectors
  • Raised bubble windshield
  • Tank pads
  • Seat cowl
  • Carbon fiber air box cover
  • Carbon fiber chain guard
  • Carbon fiber lower tank trim
  • Carbon fiber rear fender

Key Competitors For The 2009 Yamaha YZF

  • Honda CBR 1000RR
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000
  • Kawasaki ZX-10R