Like a good political scandal, the fight for literbike supremacy never ages. One might argue that Brough started it with the 1924 Superior SS 100, or that Vincent did with the 1948 Black Shadow. Regardless, today’s superbike wars are light-years more potent. Yamaha’s entry is the YZF-R1, and there are three flavors from which to choose this year. First is the standard-issue R1, which packs a crossplane-crankshaft 998cc DOHC inline-four engine with titanium con-rods, magnesium outer covers and wheels, and a mean arsenal of electronics, including a six-axis inertial measurement unit that processes boatloads of gyro and accelerometer data, which an ECU then utilizes to help the rider manage power and braking forces.