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Yamaha R1

The first Yamaha R1 took the streets by storm in 1988, and is reputed to be the 1000 cc superbike that put the supersport back on the map. During the 1990s most Japanese motorcycle companies started building 900 cc bikes in an attempt to create the perfect balance of power and weight. At this time Yamaha decided to take a 'no holds barred' approach and created the R1 as a way to lay claim to being 'King of the superbikes'. Today a fabulous selection of Yamaha R1 motorcycles is available in South Africa at reasonable prices.

The Powerplant

As stated, the Yamaha R1 was the first of its kind. Sporting a five valve per cylinder 998 cc engine with a solid one piece crank case/cylinder arrangement, it was amongst the lightest in the superbikes class. This strong and long lasting engine helped to account for the large number of second-hand Yamaha R1 motorcycles for sale. Many of the early model second-hand Yamaha R1 bikes in South Africa have become collectors' items and command a high price.

Red, White and Blue

Over the course of years the colours have changed but intrinsically seem to be either blue and white or red and white. In fact most of the used Yamaha R1 bikes for sale in South Africa are found in these colours. However, recent years featured the traditional yellow and black colour scheme reminiscent of the 1970s racing colours. If you find a second-hand Yamaha R1 bike in custom colours, thoroughly inspect the bike for any signs of damage. Fresh paint can be a sign that the bike has been damaged in an accident.

Stock or Custom

One last thing to consider has to do with whether you should be looking at stock or customised used Yamaha R1 motorcycles. If you restrict your shopping to stock Yamaha R1 motorcycles, you reduce the risk of buying a bike that has been ridden very hard. You also reduce the risk of buying one that has been improperly modified and may not be safe to ride. However, small modifications such as a custom Yamaha R1 exhaust do not represent a risk.

These bikes are a high risk investment and not for the casual rider. Examine any bike you are considering, talk to the seller, ask questions and above all, take it to your favourite mechanic for a thorough inspection.