2015 R1 vs 1199- Twinsies? Nope.

Let’s just settle this now- the new 2015 Yamaha R1 and the Ducati 1199 Panigale do not look the same. Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Yamaha 2015 launch in Hollywood. We got a briefing on the new FJ-09, the R1, and the R1M. I took a deluge of photographs for Asphalt and Rubber, which you can view here.

But when I posted photos to instagram and facebook yesterday, everyone decided that the R1 was a rip-off the 1199 Panigale. Since I’ve had some time looking at them both, I figured I could make a little graphic for you to look at. But first, take a peek at some of the R1 shots I got yesterday.

R1 full frontal-


1199 full frontal-


I took the liberty of highlighting the edges of the lights and bodywork for you so you can see just how different they are.

Basic CMYK

The R1M side view-


1199 Panigale side view-


Now I’ll admit at a glance they have some similar shapes, especially from the side. However if you look at the evolution of vehicles and motorcycles through history, there’s an ebb and a flow to the changes in design over time. Each decade has distinct appearances- like the boxyness of rides in the 80s (and some of the 90s). So it’s no surprise that motorcycles are are becoming slightly homogenous in appearance- that doesn’t mean that Yamaha copied their designs. Vehicles (especially motorcycles) are slimming down, and in a lot of cases, improving their overall appearance. They have better angles because components can be designed under the shape, versus back in the day the shape was designed around bulky components.

Not to mention the fact that these motorcycles have a totally different ride. Sure, they’re both fast and sporty. But that isn’t all. Picking a sportbike isn’t just up to looks, it’s based on visceral experience.

Okay, end rant.

Yamaha photographs by Alicia Mariah Elfving, copyright themotolady.com 2014.

related: more sportbikes | more events

Posted on November 4, 2014 in Motorcycles, News & Features by

3 Comments for “2015 R1 vs 1199- Twinsies? Nope.”

  1. Marc says:

    The front, methinks, is irrelevant. That is just a matter of what’s possible from a technical and legal point of view. Back in the day, you had to have big reflectors. Nowaday you can get away with razor thin DRL’s and some lenses for the real light. So that’s what manufacturers do. Considering they don’t want to make their sports bikes cute and cuddly, it’ll always look somewhat menacing.

    The side view is a totally different thing, though. You can see that the mechanics are completely different – the crank case, the gear box, the exhaust routing. The basic layout is so very different, one being a v twin and the other one an inline four, and that’s visible in the design.

    Plus, one is red. Red is the fastest colour anyway 🙂

  2. Ed Gray says:

    Personally I would say that the tail sections are very similar. This is a bad thing. One of the design elements that I like the most about the (GP)M1 is the more substantial rear. I think it is too bad that Yamaha has decided to jump on the tiny tail band wagon. I guess I like big butts.

  3. Greek7 says:

    I just have to say the R1 looks great! More sporty then the duck. I do like them both but for the price R1 all the way. At least you get a Aluminum gas tank and not a plastic tank that you will have to change if you don’t want it to look out of shape. then again you can spend around $800.00 and up for a Aluminum one for the duck. At that price on the duck just put on a Aluminum one! they know we have Ethanol in are gas that does not like plastic. But hay that’s how they make there money. Not from me. But i do like both bikes, but R1 all the way sorry. ride safe guys and ladies.