Yamaha 2018 R World

Yamaha 2018 R World Lineup – First Ride Review

Yamaha’s “R” World is determined to ride in, take names and kick some, if not all, ass.


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When you look at the Yamaha 2018 R World lineup, it becomes very clear that the manufacturer has set its sights on domination. Its offerings in each class is a testament to their efforts of satisfying the needs of every sportbike rider, ranging from entry-level to full-blown super biker.

The Yamaha R World represents a supergroup of machines that are inspired by the spirit and passion for the global community of Yamaha owners. Composed of the 2018 YZF-R3, YZF-R6, YZF-R1 and the YZF-R1M, all equipped with the new Bridgestone R11 Battlax tires, Yamaha’s R World is determined to ride in, take names and kick some, if not all, ass.

Yamaha 2018 R World Lineup – YZF-R3

Yamaha 2018 R World R3

To call the YZF-R3 an entry-level bike is a slight disservice. The engine capacity makes it more user-friendly to a new rider. The bike is loaded with features that make it a treasure for the seasoned rider in the track environment. The 321cc, inline twin-cylinder engine is home to lightweight forged pistons that do their work inside of offset cylinders that minimize friction and focus on producing more power. The lines of the 2018 model continue to be refined into a sporty aggression that takes notes from it’s older siblings, the R6 and R1. When you add in the new Yoshimura Y series slip-on muffler, it does more than add to the bike’s profile. A boost in performance and sound is always a welcomed attribute. The brake setup includes a single 298mm front disc and a 220mm disc in the rear and is available with the option of ABS.

Yamaha 2018 R World R3

The 2018 R3 performs impressively well with proper engine output and encouraging ergonomics. Being a larger guy, I was comfortable in the saddle without feeling cramped or encumbered. The R3 is quick and nimble… I mean really nimble. It is one of the easiest bikes I’ve ever ridden. Simple, clean, quick and agile, the 2018 YZF-R3 brings plenty to the table with a price tag under $5,300.

Yamaha 2018 R World Lineup – YZF-R6

Yamaha 2018 R World R6

The YZF-R6 is a proven track weapon and race winner. Since the introduction of the second generation of body style, the R6 has resembled a fighter jet and contained the muscle to back up that description. There is a thin line between quick and fast and the qualities that identify the two elements differ slightly. Quick is what something can be, Fast is what something is. The 2018 YZF-R6 is both, quick and fast.

The 2018 R6 manhandles the supersport class with a new package that is comprised of proper electronics and engine components. Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) offers smooth input translations from the most subtle twist of the throttle to full wrist breaking wide open pins. The YCC-T is controlled via the selectable drive modes: standard, A mode and B mode. Another component that offers rider precision is the 2018 R6’s advanced adjustable traction control. This allows you to maintain control of the machine when exiting corners and getting on the gas.

The 2018 model continues with that aggressive race styling that offers both curb appeal and sexiness at speed, that the R6 has become known for. Yamaha has released new accessories to further compliment the distinct styling of the R6.

The GYTR quick shift system gives you the option of performing full-throttle, clutchless upshifts so you can stay on the throttle. Sleek flush frame sliders add a level of protection to the bike’s frame in the event that there is a tip-over or slide. These sliders are low profile and blend into the frame and linework of the bike. If you didn’t know that they were there, you’d most likely overlook them.

If you are heading to a track day and need to remove the stock mirrors, Yamaha has you covered with their mirror block off kit. While you’re at, install the rear stand hook kit. Need a few more horses and a richer sound? Enhance the R6 with the new Yoshimura slip-on exhaust. It’s great to see Yamaha taking the lead in offering accessories and upgrades for their machines that are ultimately designed to enrich your riding experience.

Pardon the metaphor but when I was in high school, I dated a girl that ran track and field. Pretty, in fantastic shape and shorter than me. Curves yet still had a gymnast’s body. She was a solid package. You could appreciate her beauty and appeal just by standing near her… But when she was running, it was a whole other level of excitement. The explosive power that she produced made you just stop and say, “Damn!” This is the same sentiment that I associate with the 2018 Yamaha YZF-R6. A tight package with explosive power and a performance output that makes you just say, “Damn!”

The R6’s suspension is impressive, aiding your gel into the connection with the bike. After the first few laps, I noticed that I was sitting on top of the front bike when braking and upon corner entry. I pitted and made an adjustment to the rear KYB shock for it to give, just a little and share the work with KYB front 43mm forks, which are the same forks that are on the YZF-R1, but dialed in for the R6.

Yamaha 2018 R World R6

The changes were felt immediately and the rest of my laps on the R6 were bliss. The KYB shock features a piggyback shock design with a four-way preload and damping adjustability. With my size and stature, the adjustments made the difference and allowed me to gel with the bike and appreciate the bike’s feedback. It put me in a better position to listen to her, so to speak.

The engine setup on the 2018 YZF-R6 is far from average. Titanium valves! Sixteen titanium valves, to be exact and lightweight forged pistons produce an impressive 13.1:1 compression ratio inside of a 599cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine. The result is smooth, effortless delivery of power, even at higher revs. Not to overlook the output at the low and midrange of the powerband.

Consistent delivery of power is courtesy of the YCC-i or Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Intake that offers the engine the benefit of both short and tall intake stacks. Add in the twin overhead shower injectors for proper fuel use and you have a recipe for reliable and dependable power, all for $12,199.

The 2018 Yamaha YZF-R1 VS the YZF-R1M

Yamaha 2018 R World R1

Coffee drinkers have two moods: before the first cup and after the first cup. Before the first cup of Joe, one might be a little rough around the edges… fully functional but you don’t want to be on their bad side. But then after the caffeine hits their bloodstream, you find them more refined. In fact, their functionality, ability, and capability exceed the top of the charts. I’ll say it another way. If you thought that the R1 was as good as it gets, think again.

The 2018 YZF-R1 is a beast. Full of power and excitement, barely contained in a 998cc, 16 valve, inline 4 cylinder, cross-plane crankshaft engine housed in an aluminum Deltabox chassis. It is every bit a superbike. The electronics package that it offers provides comprehensive customization and extensive feedback. It is highlighted by its Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The IMU considers and measures pitch, roll, yaw as well as acceleration thanks to a gyro sensor and an accelerometer. The IMU then transfers that data to the ECU.

Yamaha 2018 R World R1

Not be overshadowed by the IMU is the wheelie control feature that Yamaha refers to as the Wheel Lift Control system. This system operates similarly to launch control and allows for power to be applied in demanding drives without the front wheel leaving the earth. These two major features work in harmony with a host of other items that include traction control, unified ABS and slide control and launch control. For 2018, Yamaha upgraded their Quick Shift system to include both seamless up and downshifting. The updated system matches engine speed on the way down and offers clutchless shifts, both ways.

The 2018 YZF-R1 is packed with power and you feel it. At speed, the machine does it’s best to let you know what the deal is. And that it is capable of delivering more. It wants to show off. The power is felt throughout the band. This is expected and the quick shift system’s performance is smooth as butter. On the gas, you hold on because it is a rocket and it knows it. I thought to myself, what an incredible example of engineering achievement. The 2018 YZF-R1, priced at $16,699 is just that and then some.

Yamaha 2018 R World R1M

I thought to myself that the YZF-R1M would perhaps only offer a slight upgrade in the experience with its electronic and performance package. And then I rode it. My mind was blown… The R1M is an R1, but it’s not. The difference is that drastic, hence the before coffee and after coffee reference. The R1M takes all of that power and performance, enhances it and then refines it in a package that quite simply, is beautiful. The 2018 R1M is the embodiment of smooth domination. The power is there. The performance is there. The bike knows it and unlike the YZF-R1, it doesn’t need to show off. Its presence is a present.

Like the 2018 YZF-R1, the 2018 YZF-R1M contains a selection of the same features, such as the Inertial Measurement Unit, ABS, traction control, an updated quick shift system, wheel lift control, Deltabox chassis, etc… But the R1M is set apart from its sibling thanks to key elements such as its Ohlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS), WiFi and GPS enhanced Communication Control Unit (CCU), Power Delivery Mode (PDM), Slide Control System (SCS), Chip Controlled Throttle (CCT), and Launch Control System (LCS).

You control all adjustments and customizations via the R1M’s full-color dashboard data center. This cluster tells you all that you need to know and then some… It gives G-Force data!

The 2018 YZF R1M is best described as a properly executed, well-defined instrument of speed, refined. The descriptive “exciting” doesn’t do this motorcycle justice. The only issue that I had with this bike was that I had to return the keys at the end of the day. For the price of $22,999, I wouldn’t have to.

Yamaha 2018 R World R1M

The Yamaha 2018 R World model lineup includes a bike for every stage of rider. Each model contains specific components that not only enhance the individual riding experience but also assist the rider in becoming better, if not faster. Yamaha’s R World is a unifying collection of motorcycles that celebrate and are celebrated by Yamaha owners and enthusiasts. The Yamaha 2018 R World line up sets the stage for domination in both the sportbike and superbike class. Pound for pound and bike for bike, they are on track to accomplish their main point.

Yamaha 2018 R World R3
Images: Brian J. Nelson

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