This year marks 20 years of the Yamaha R1, the model that set the sportbike world on fire with its sharp handling, light weight, and 150 horsepower. It smoked the Honda Fireblade, which was then the king of the mountain, and set a new standard for modern sportbike design. Yamaha already started celebrating this anniversary by winning its fourth consecutive Suzuka 8 Hour race and has now put the icing on the cake with a special 20th-anniversary edition of the bike, the YZF-R1 GYTR.
The most noticeable aspect of this special R1 is its red and white color scheme rather than Yamaha's traditional blue, a throwback to the original 1998 R1. Its beauty is far more than skin deep, however. Each of these limited edition bikes is assembled by Yamaha's racing team crew, not the regular production line. They also receive a full dyno run-in as well as their first oil change. Each new owner will be invited to attend the Yamaha Racing Experience next year and have their R1 GYTR specifically fine-tuned just for them. Each bike will also have an individual number plaque on the top yoke.
The R1 GYTR also gets a slew of performance parts. The bike is wrapped in carbon fiber bodywork from head to toe. It has an Akrapovic exhaust, Brembo brakes, Öhlins suspension, and Bridgestone racing slicks. This is a dedicated track beast. Yamaha even warns that it can not be registered for street use.
This very special Yamaha could have been yours for the price of $44,900, but if you haven't placed your reservation, it's already too late. The R1 GYTR is limited to a mere 20 units for the 20th anniversary, not to mention that it is only available in Europe. It's almost a shame to see such a track worthy bike limited to such low numbers. That kind of rarity means that these bikes will likely never even see a track. But to pay homage to the R1's heritage by pulling out all the stops on this one, it's a worthy celebration.