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Best Of The Best 2006: Anniversary Gift

Barry Winfield

The R1 was considered a highly innovative bike when Yamaha introduced it in 2004. An exhaust backpressure valve, a titanium exhaust system, and ram-air front intakes were among the features that made this machine unique. Now for its 50th anniversary, the company has introduced the Yamaha R1 LE ($18,000), which will have a production run of only 500. The R1 LE has Marchesini forged-aluminum wheels, a stiffened frame, and Öhlins suspension components. The fork and rear shock are adjustable for low- and high-speed damping, and the shock offers hydraulic preload adjustment. These additions have prompted several motorcycle writers to proclaim the R1 LE the best Japanese sportbike ever.


Photo by Darin Schnabel
Copyright 2013 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
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Copyright 2014 Infiniti
Photo by Pietro Carrieri
Photo by Pawel Litwinski