Martyn: – I picked up this R1 whilst my FZ8 was away having some work done. My front tyre was on the limit. Initial thoughts upon seeing the R1 were what a nice looking bike. It is has a low mean stance and those headlights with integrated air intakes look evil.
Sitting on the bike is a little cramped for my 6 foot 2 frame but getting onto the open road was an eye opener. Truth be told riding this thing to work was scary! I was fighting to keep the bike within the speed limit; it just wants to take off and a quick flick of the throttle would no doubt see triple digits on the digital speedo. A true licence loser if ever there was one.
My FZ8 is much more relaxed to ride it has a comfy upright riding position and enough power to keep you ahead of traffic. The R1 is on another level. In my view this is a true track day machine a little too hardcore for the road and most definitely not an everyday commuter. Sitting on Gavin’s R125 was much comfier and to my surprise didn’t feel that cramped in comparison to the R1!
Gavin: – What a machine! I am a big fan of all things Yamaha and the R1 did not disappoint. Seeing it in the car park alongside my R125 it looked awesome, from the menacing look of the headlights to the burbling of the exhausts; this bike is all you would expect from their flagship machine.
Even on the standard exhaust system the noise is impressive. The bike shouts its presence to other road users and when Martyn opened the throttle the machine gave a large ‘bark’ before propelling him to the horizon. He would then have to wait 10 minutes for me to catch up with him on my R125.
My R125 in comparison? In short, there is no comparison. It is surprising how good the R125 looks even pitted side by side the awesome R1. When we pulled over for ad-hoc photo shoot it didn’t feel as if the R125 was out of its depth in the looks department. But performance wise they could not be further apart. Although the R125 is an excellent commuter this is only up to speeds of 60mph, otherwise it just doesn’t have the puff to keep up with commuter traffic. Overtaking a car and caravan travelling at 60mph whilst I do 62mph is getting rather tiring.
Conclusion: – Both very good looking bikes, the R1 has too much power and R125 too little. May be the ideal middle ground would be a Yamaha R6? Tell us what you think in the comments below…