[UPDATE, February 23, 2024: Yamaha Racing issued an official statement to calm the fears that the R1 and R1M would be completely discontinued due to tightening emissions standards. That is not the case. Beginning in 2025, in Europe, the R1 will exclusively be made available for track use, just like the previous change with the R6. 

The official statement reads:

"Global production of the R1 will continue in the future, as will the development program that has seen the bike secure world titles in both WorldSBK and EWC. While the requirements of Yamaha’s customers have evolved in recent years, the R1 remains a popular choice for teams looking to secure a competitive and cost-effective race package and for individuals focused on enhancing their track experience. This is why from 2025, considering the challenge of meeting the Euro5+ homologation requirements, in Europe the R1 will be made available with specifications aimed exclusively at track use, as was done previously with the R6."

It goes on to speak about all the development time and investment that Yamaha has put into developing its GYTR range of parts for these bikes, and how that will continue into the future. It also further stresses Yamaha's commitment to ensuring that it remains a race-winning package. You can read the full statement at the link in our Sources if you're interested.

This was one potential future outcome that we envisioned when the initial news broke about the R1's street discontinuation broke. Of all possible outcomes, it's likely the best news for R1 enthusiasts around the globe.]

Original piece follows.

If you're a fan of certain blue supersport machines, then you might want to mark February 21, 2024 on your calendar. Why? Because it's a day that may well live in infamy for Yamaha R1 and R1M fans. 

There's no easy way to say this, but multiple reports out of the UK quote an official Yamaha UK spokesperson as uttering the following dreaded words:

"Yamaha Motor Group have taken the decision not to develop an EU5+ version of the R1 or R1M instead focusing on other mid-term business and product strategies that will provide future opportunities."

Sad News, But Not Entirely Unexpected

Top 5 Street-Legal Race Bikes - Yamaha R1M

We'll miss you, Yamaha R1M. And you too, Yamaha R1.

Rumors have been flying around the moto-Internet for months regarding this very possibility. Granted, moto-rumors are approximately a dime a dozen, and while some of them do come true, others don't. Obviously, fans of the R1 and R1M were fervently hoping that the latter situation was the case.

Will this make room for yet another long-rumored (and desired) bike in the Yamaha stable, the YZF-R9? The name has been trademarked by Yamaha for several years now, with no public-facing announcements yet having been made at the time of writing. As we've pointed out several times in the past, though, just because an OEM trademarks something doesn't mean they'll ever use it.

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What Does This Mean For The US?

That's a good question, and it's one that we've asked Yamaha US to answer. Emissions regulations vary from country to country, after all. Even if emissions weren't involved, OEMs make decisions regularly on which models are doing well in what geographic region, and shift focus (and sales units) accordingly. 

A Yamaha Motor US representative told us that they cannot comment on future products or direction for the firm's US lineup. Furthermore, they added that since Yamaha Motor Europe is a separate market, they do have variations to both their model lineup and their emissions standards to consider. However, they cannot comment on either YME developments, nor how it might affect the global market more broadly.

What Does This Mean For Racing Series That Heavily Feature The R1?

Yamaha R6 Race - Screenshot Captured February 21, 2024

Yamaha R6 Race. Screenshot captured on the Yamaha UK website on February 21, 2024.

Following on from the above, as just one example, the R6 was discontinued a few years ago as a roadgoing bike. However, it still remains available for purchase as a track-only bike in the UK, purely because there is very much still a market for it among racing and track day enthusiasts.

Could that also be the future of the R1 and R1M? They're awfully popular in multiple racing series, such as WSBK, BSB, and MotoAmerica. While racing series will only account for a certain number of bikes over the course of a given year, it's difficult to think that they'll go away altogether.

At the same time, some of those racing series also have homologation requirements that the bikes competing must meet in order to line up on the starting grid. If the R1 no longer meets those standards, certain changes might have to be made.

It's a sticky situation any way you cut it, as well as a developing story. As always, RideApart will be sure to keep you up to date with any and all information as it arises. Stay tuned.

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