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Review: 2009 R1 vs 2009 CBR1000RR

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by myoda, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. I've been in the market for a new bike, an upgrade from my 2004 CBR600RR. After riding the current R6 and CBR600RR bikes I pretty much ruled them out as too much like my old bike (04 600RR). So I was down to the Honda and Yamaha 1000cc offerings.

    At the moment the 2009 stock is being run out at very affordable prices, so for me it makes sense to buy new.

    2009 Yamaha R1 - $17,990 Ride Away - All colour available.
    2009 CBR 1000RR - $17,690 Ride Away (Black and Red), $500 more for white, and about 1.5k more for Repsol.

    First 1000 i rode was the R1, this put a massive grin on my face. If this thing had rockets, then I'm sure it has enough technology to orbit the earth. Fly by wire throttle, selectable engine maps, cross plane crank shaft, ycct.. the list goes on.


    The good: Looks, it looks like a big bike and has a huge presence. There is one Black with gold rims bike left for sale, and everyone really liked the R1 in that colour (even my dad!). The engine sounds is truly awesome, however I'm sure I'd need ear plugs for the longer journeys as the sound resonates through your helmet. F Every time you rode passed someone, you wanted to give them a blip of the throttle just to see them look at you. From what I could tell the engine had a lot of torque. Cruising along at below 50, cracking the throttle open in each gear, I found it to have the faster pick up of the two bikes. The dash is also the better of the two with heaps of information once you figure out where everything is. There is also a selectable engine mapping. It starts in STD (Standard mode), the least powerful of them all. 'B' gives a slightly more aggressive map. And 'A' is if you want to wet yourself. I gave 'A' mode a shot on the freeway, it brings the real raw R1 to the surface. These options are great if you change between city riding and the spirited weekends in the hills. In fact 'A' mode would be dangerous around town.

    The bad: As I said before, it's a big bike, and heavy. Moving it around the footpath required a considerable effort. Why? It's ~16.7kg heavier than the CBR! The engine also produces a vibration like a V-twin. Some might like this, but for me it didn't feel right. Another thing to consider is servicing. With all the technology it would no doubt have to go to a Yamaha shop rather than my normal mechanic, and it drinks the most petrol of all the 1000s. On the road I also found it a little harder to put into corners. I'm sure if I learnt how to ride it I would have less issues, but for the 40 minutes I spent on the bike, it tired me out more than the Honda. I also found the suspension to be very stiff on the slow speed bumps, but this is probably just settings.

    Now to the Honda. I had the chance to ride both a yellow 08 and an 09. The 08 didn't feel quiet right as it had been sitting around for a long time. But the 09 was factory standard and was new. I rode the ABS model. I'm sure the ABS works fine, but for 1k extra... maybe not (No I didn't test the ABS).


    The Good: The Honda is a small bike, it's smaller and lighter than my 2004 600RR which is really amazing. This makes it very very light on the road, very easy to move around. Seating position was a little more comfortable than the Yamaha, and I found that I could get both feet almost flat on the ground (I can only get one foot flat on the ground on the 600s, I'm 172cm tall). The brakes on the Honda are excellent, noticeably much better than the R1. Engine was very tractable and had an awesome midrange. Even though the Honda doesn't have selectable mapping, it doesn't need it. I found it easy putting around town without getting into trouble. When you want to get going in a real hurry, ensure you are above 5-6000RPM and it will take off like a rocket. Putting it into corner, the bike drops in and holds the lines easily. None of the two bikes are ideal tourers, but the Honda was a little more comfortable. The pegs didn't feel as cramped, but the position is still sporty for someone my height. Having the under body (not undertail) exhaust means the rear is free to tie on bags, and exhaust heat is kept completely away from the rider (though it doesn't save u from radiator heat). Being a 'simple' bike, I'd say servicing can be done by my normal mechanic who I trust, and I'm sure costs are much lower. Petrol consuption is also lower.

    The Bad: Not much bling factor. You want people to notice your pride and joy. Unless you are in the midrange, the engine sounds very very tame. On the R1, people hear you coming, drives stop and look and admire the engine noise, with the Honda there is nothing. I think I'll need a new slip on exhaust to help liven things up, something very very loud! The Honda also doesn't feel like a 1000 until you let it loose, this maybe a personal choice or an issue for those of us who feel 'size challenged' in any way. The dash is also a little lacking. The gear change light is tiny, whereas on the R1 it's very large and clearly visible. And the Honda does not have a gear indicator, which isn't a huge problem for me since my 600RR didn't have one either and I'm used to
    counting gears.

    General comments on Both: None of the bikes came with a fuel guage, only a fuel light. Being 1000cc bikes they do generate a lot of heat. On the 30degree day that I rode both, I was dripping sweat after a while in the sun. A few reviews mentioned that the heat coming off the underseat exhaust on the R1 was a real issue, however I found the heat coming off the honda's radiator fans to be just a uncomfortable. It seems Honda do away with the exhaust heat, but hit you with the radiator heat.

    R1 is like an exotic beast, whereas the Honda seems much more civilised. In the right hands both bikes are absolute weapons, however I think as a rider who wants to do general fun weekend riding, a bit of commuting, hoepfully a bit of touring, and learn how to go around the track fast, the Honda will allow me to grow and learn much quicker. The Yamaha seems to be the exotic choice, one that I would get to impress other people due to it's size and noise and looks. But thinking of it from a riders perspective maybe the Honda will help me grow and learn more, and be a little lighter on the pocket in the long run.

    Some reviews:



  2. Thanks for the write-up. Difficult choice, eh?
    For basically the same money, I would be tempted to go with the Yamaha - innovative technology (cross plane engine), fly by wire throttle, etc. Then again, everyone seems to be raving about the size and handling of the Honda. How much more for ABS on the Blade? I have heard it is exceptionally good.
  3. When did you take the R1 for a test ride... friday?

    The stock tyres on the R1 are what makes it harder to tip in, put a set of power one's or pilot power 2ct's on it and it's a completely different ride.
  4. Yea it's a difficult choice. I might go bargain with the Yamaha people to see if I can get it for the same price as the Honda. That might be the deal maker/breaker.

    Lane splitting is also much easier on the Honda, it's such a small bike and fits into most gaps... maybe compare it to a 675 or a ducati. The R1 is really wide.

    Took both for a ride on Saturday, and the week before too. Looking at the pics I'm so tempted to take the R1 just for the looks, sound, bling and technology factory.

    I wonder if the tyres do make such a big difference.... The weight is the only thing holding me back at the moment.... If there was a way to bring it within 5-8kg of the Honda without spending 2k+ then it would also be a winner....

    Will decide tomorrow when I go bargain for one or the other....
  5. you'll be pushing it, to get Yamaha to match the Honda, its Yamaha Australia that have offered the discount price you see at present, not the dealer. But I spose it wont hurt to try :)

    New akro pipes will cut the weight down a bit too.
    good luck with such a hard choice.
  6. They definately do, I've had a couple of R1's and the 09 had the worst tyres from the start.
    The D210's would be the worst tyres I've ever ridden on, first trip up the spurs I found them very slippery, tip in wasn't bad, but they were just a little loose. I replaced them with Michies after 400km and it was a HUGE difference.

    I now use the Dunlop GPR a11 and they're even better, well for me anyway as the profile suits my riding style. I just feel more confident with them.

    So the first thing you do is swap out the D210's for ANYTHING!

    Riding a CP crank engine is quite a bit different too, will take you a little getting used to but once you do you'll love it.
  7. Why no ZX-10 or GSXR-1000 in the comparo?, if you were looking for a 1000cc weapon I would have thought they would be been on the list
  8. Interesting...Ive found my R1 is easier to split than the VTR 250 cos the mirrors are lower
  9. hey there myoda.... well i was in the same position as you a few months ago... loved reading about the new R1 that was out... some reviews were positive while others always ranked it bottom of the list.... the other bike i was looking at was the Honda... i'm a honda man through and through... we have 4 honda cars in the family and just love the brand and its reliability and well made cars and bikes. The fact that the blade also has won bike of the year 2 yrs in a row also says something!!

    So when the time came to buy... i sat on the R1 and was just disspointed with the cheaper feel to it to the honda... the Honda felt much better put together and the fact its alot lighter makes it easier to ride!... The dash on the R1 looks great but the honda's is also very functionable and easy to read..... So in the end i went the honda and couldn't be more happier!.... I picked up a the Repsol version (they are all sold now btw! Only 270 were released) and the amount of looks you get is crazy.. i cant park this thing anywhere without a people coming over and checking it out.... i guess the bright orange screams "look at me"!. I would think the black or red or white models wouldn't get as much attention but they still look great!....

    i went from a hyosung 250 straight to the fireblade and felt very comfortable!.... im still learing the bike and i've just clocked around 2500 ks.... above 4000 revs the thing just takes off... far too much power for the street.. but i guess any 600/1000 is hehe!!

    Honda's exhaust is abit quiet down low till the 2nd butterfly valve opens up and it lets out a bit of a growl but i wanted more so i just put on a Yoshi slip on and OH MY GOD... the sound it now makes is CRAZY!!!!!!!!!! makes u wanna blip the throttle all the time!!...

    Anyways all the best in searching and just go with your heart... you really cant go wrong, they are both nice rides i just felt the honda to be that little bit better! If your in Melb.. see ya around for a cruise sometime!! :)

    Heres a pic of mine!

    Attached Files:

  10. Nice Repsol. I've found 4 repsol editions still for sale at the dealers. Yes it looks nice, but I think I'll go with black, then polish the rims or get them painted gold. Then a few additional gold and red bits....

    Going to go bargain for the blade, lets see how much free stuff I can get.
  11. yeah black would look nice too!!!... well if you need a contact where i got my bike at PS in Melb let me know...

    are u in Melb?
  12. Also curious as to why you aren't considering the zx-10 / gsxr1000 (unless you ruled them out and these are the two finalists?)

    Interesting to hear your thoughts nonetheless as I am looking at the moment as well :) Best of luck with the haggling when you make a decision!
  13. Bike has been purchased.

    CBR1000RR - Black - Absolute Killer price!
  14. I bargained with Shaun... lets just say the price was $17,690... and we took off pretty much all of the last three digits....

    I have a question, where did you get your frame sliders and your fender eliminator from?? I've found both online but the sliders don't show you installed pics and only found one fender eliminator that would be half legal....

    Also ebay still the best place for exhausts (ebay.com not ebay.com.au)?
  15. i got the fender eliminator through Peter Stevens with the LED indicators and a capicitor to regulate the flashing!...

    exhaust i got through biohazard motorcycles in the US, found them on ebay but then dealt with them through their website... (they save on ebay fees) http://www.biohazardcycles.com/servlet/StoreFront
    i was lucky cause i a mate brought it back with him.. but you need to add bout $100 more for shipping but still hell of alot cheaper than buying here.... go the yoshi slip on R-77... u wont be dissapointed.

    The fame sliders i also got off ebay (front and back sliders) was about $180 all up then i got PS to fit them... taking the fairings off is a pain in the ass... so left it to them...

    btw nice price and Congrats!!... when u wanna go for a ride? :)
  16. thanks for the review.. here's my thoughts on the r1 vs cbr-1000

    i sold my 2002 yamaha R6 about 2 months ago and have been hanging to buy a litre class bike since then. A friend of mine has a 2005 R1 which i had to ride home for him one night and i thought it was a much better ride than my r6 so was thinking about either an r1 or cbr.

    so i went and test rode a cbr-1000 about 6 weeks ago and found it an awesome machine. the ride on it was very comfortable, light and with oodles of boot. the brakes on the cbr-1000 have to be seen to be believed. but i still wanted to try the r1.

    i then organised a test ride on an 07 R1 and found it disapointing compared (although tbh if i hadn't have riden the cbr i would have only been able to compare it to my R6). the ride was much bumpier and i found that even at a reasonable speed (80km/h or so) on a mildly bump section of road my head would shake so much i'd lose my vision. there was alot of heat off the engine too when cruising around town. I also found disconcerting the way the steering felt. leaning it into a turn the steering wanted to pull more into the turn. initially i put this down to tyre wear on the 05 r1, but then the 07 r1 did the same thing so i guess it was something common to those two models. also, the brakes on the R1 felt tiny... you pull hard on the lever on the r1, but it just doesnt have the stopping power of the cbr. you hear alot of brake grind and squeal but not much else. lastly, the gearing on the r1 was quite tall and you could probably do all your riding around town in 1st and not feel like you're overrevving the engine. not a biggy that last one, since you can do a sprocket change (you lose some top speed however). the 07 looked and sounded fantastic however.

    i still wanted to try a brand new r1 so i could be 100% sure. and lucky i did because the 09 r1 is so much improved over the 07. it still didnt stop anywhere near the cbr but is definately better than the 07 r1. other things compared to the 07 - there's not as much heat from the engine, the ride is much less jolty and the suspension feels 10x better. the noise from it is just amazing.. it sounds just short of a v8. the dash is well laid out with the shift light clearly visible. the only things i didnt like about it was the shape of the exhaust (common complaint i hear), the tall gearing and the price.

    anyways, i still wanted to compare the r1 to the cbr one more time, so i went for a second ride on a cbr. definately the cbr is as good as i remembered. much lighter, cooler and with brakes that can stop on a dime. to me, the 09 r1 and the cbr were quite close overall, just better at different things.

    The deciding factor for me was the price. the guy @ the yamaha dealership said the R1 was closer to 20kfor a brand new one, whereas i managed to get a demo cbr-1000 with 500kms on the clock for $16200. well worth it. add to that a taylormade fender eliminator and you have a schmick looking bike :)
  17. That'd be a hard choice.

    But damn, that black R1 looks awesome.
  18. So what was wrong with the gixxer and kwaka? (3rd time now asked i think by other people, but really interested!)
  19. Theres a REPSOL with the full REPSOL kit on it in a show room for $17000 that i'm looking at now
  20. Ha, Both probably have too much power for this comparison group!

    Just to add, I test rode the CBR which is a brilliant piece of machinery, but doesnt have that "fuk check that out" allure to them.. the repsol scheme is nice, but abit too Im a wannabee racer styling.

    To me, the Gixxer had it all... Comfort, Torque, Speed, Great Styling and all the little thing's done right!!
    The ZX-10 I was close to getting, except for that bloody digital Tach put me off!!

    The R1... ?? maybe one day! But not if I can muster a 1098...