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Is A New Yamaha R1 Coming for 2023?

New 2023 Yamah R1

A recently updated list of FIM-approved competition vehicles indicates that a new track-only Yamaha YZF-R1 is on the way for the 2023 model year. And if this is true, then we may also expect a significantly updated street legal 2023 R1 too.

The International Motorcycling Federation maintains a spreadsheet titled “FIM Recognized Competition Vehicles” that includes approved racing-only models. The list is mostly comprised of motocross, enduro, trial, and cross country racing motorcycles as well as ATVs and side-by-sides. The document does include a few track-only sportbikes, such as the Honda NSF100 and NSF250R, and a non-homologated Yamaha R6 Race that continues to be offered after the street-legal model was discontinued.

The latest version of the FIM spreadsheet added one more model that caught our attention: a new-for-2023 Yamaha YZF1000W. For those who may not be familiar, the YZF1000 is Yamaha’s internal name for the YZF-R1, while the up-spec YZF-R1M is known as the YZF1000D. The spreadsheet was updated on June 15, and it notes Yamaha submitted its 2023 registration on June 9.

Most of Yamaha’s competition models are dirt bikes, ATVs and side-by-sides, but two road racing models at the top caught our eye, including the new YZF1000W.

Notice in the excerpt above that the YZF1000W follows the YZF600W; that model code refers to the YZF-R6 Race. The street-legal R6 went by the code YZF600, which would suggest the “W” stands for a track-only variant. Therefore, we can assume the YZF1000W is a racing only R1.

More information about the YZF1000W is included in the same spreadsheet. According to the section highlighted below, the YZF1000W is a road racing motorcycle powered by a four cylinder four-stroke engine displacing 998cc, which also describes the street-legal R1’s engine.

The frame marking code provides further detail. According to the spreadsheet, the YZF1000W has a frame marking (essentially, the vehicle identification number, or VIN) code of “JYACN07C”. Applying Yamaha’s typical VIN decoding pattern, we can make some deductions.

The first three VIN characters, “JYA,” are pretty straight-forward; it’s the standardized World Manufacturer Identifier for Yamaha vehicles produced in Japan. Every Yamaha motorcycle coming out of a factory in Japan has a VIN starting with “JYA.” The fourth VIN position is defined by Table 1 on the right. The street legal R1, as well as other non-V-Twin Yamaha bikes, has an “R” in this spot.

“C” is not defined in the VIN decoder, but all of the motorcycles on the FIM spreadsheet, including the YZF1000W, YZF600W and all of the dirt bikes, have a “C” in this spot. This would suggest that a “C” in the fourth position of a Yamaha VIN indicates a competition-only model.

The “N” in “JYACN07C” lines up with VIN decoder defining a 998cc engine. The sixth and seventh characters are used to represent the model ID. The YZF1000W is model “07”, but as the VIN decoder above explains, the street-legal 2021 YZF-R1 has the model ID  “66”. The final character, “C” is in the position used to indicate the destination market. The VIN decoder only covers North American models, so we don’t know what “C” means, except that it’s outside this continent.

Put together, the evidence suggests that a track-only Yamaha R1 is on the way for 2023. But what of a street legal model? The FIM’s spreadsheet only includes track-only models, but not street homologated models, so from the document alone, it’s inconclusive.

That being said, the R1 is due for a update. The current-generation R1 was introduced for the 2015 model year, with a refresh in 2020 to help it meet Euro 5 standards. In 2023, the existing R1 would be eight years old. It makes sense that a new track-only R1 would be accompanied by a full production street-legal model. And if there is a new 2023 YZF-R1, there’s a good chance there will also be a new 2023 YZF-R1M as well.

If Yamaha does come out with a new R1, we don’t expect it will be announced until the fall at either Intermot or EICMA.

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