The Yamaha R1 LE was Yamaha’s celebration of its 50th anniversary. Taking their incredibly popular 1000cc sportbike as a platform, Yamaha produced a very limited run of only 500 bikes that were full of incredible extras and turning them into near-production racers.
Specific changes made for the Yamaha R1 LE include an homage to Kenny Roberts and the original Yamaha racing colors with the lovely yellow/black/white paint, custom front and rear Ohlins suspensions – developed by the same team that took care of the Yamaha MotoGP bike of the time, Marchesini aluminum wheels designed specifically for this bike, a slipper clutch, and an integrated lap timer.
These two Yamaha R1 LEs represent the middle and the top of the spectrum. One is ridden somewhat regularly and comes with an incredible amount of extras, like CRG levers, LSL sliders, a Termignoni titanium exhaust and carbon pieces all over the place. The other bike is the definition of a garage queen. Just one mile, and it’s never been ridden. Kind of a shame, as it doesn’t make much sense to ride it anymore. Keep your eyes out for #380 out of 500 – it’s probably destined for a life in collections or museums.
Find these Yamaha R1 LEs for sale on eBay. The new example is available here for $17,500 in Laguna Niguel, California. The not-new example is available here with bidding at $10,000 and a $12,500 Buy-It-Now price in Wilmington, Ohio.