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Yamaha set to axe R1 in Europe - But not in New Zealand

Yamaha's 1000cc superbike is set to remain a part of the New Zealand lineup despite the axe about to drop on the R1 in Europe.

Despite word out of Europe that the end is nigh for Yamaha’s superbike, Yamaha Motor NZ has confirmed that the YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M will continue to be available for Kiwi road riders for the foreseeable future.

But could this still signal the end of an era for Yamaha’s groundbreaking YZF-R1 superbike?

It has been confirmed that the UK market will see the iconic Japanese superbike leave showrooms with no replacement in sight.

In a statement, Yamaha’s UK arm confirmed that there is no current plan to develop the R1 or its more track-focused R1M sibling for tighter emissions regulations which are soon to be implemented in the European market.

“Yamaha Motor Group, have taken the decision not to develop an EU5+ version of the R1 or R1M instead focussing on other mid-term business and product strategies that will provide future opportunities” the statement read.

That means from 2025, European riders won’t be able to road register a new R1 or R1M. Instead, like the R6 before it, the R1 will be offered in a track-only guise in those markets. With the homologation of the bike good for racing in the top tiers of motorcycle sport secure until 2028, Yamaha will have three years in which to develop a replacement should they wish to compete in the likes of WSBK beyond the 2028 season.

Despite the bike’s European future going to a track-only focus from 2025, Yamaha has stated that global production of the R1 will continue, as will the development program that has seen the bike secure world titles in both WorldSBK and EWC. 

With that said, it seems global trends are shifting regarding sports bikes with more manufacturers spending time developing less outright nutty options. Just take a look at Suzuki's GSX-8R, the new Triumph Daytona 660 and Yamaha's own YZF-R7 as examples of more street-focused sports bikes. With long-standing rumours of an R9 being in development at Yamaha, maybe the hard-edged R1 is better off going track only and leaving the road for bikes that can be enjoyed more in a setting that isn’t just the racetrack.

While it has been confirmed only for the European market that the R1 will go track only, the bike has been confirmed to be staying in the New Zealand range by Yamaha Motor New Zealand.


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