Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Tamiya Yamaha YZF-R1M

Tamiya No. 14133;
Front Fork Set No. 12684
Molded Colors: White, black, gray, and clear
Scale: 1/12
Kit MSRP: $53
Front Fork Set MSRP: $30
Pros: Good parts fit; no flash; great decals
Cons: None
The 2018 Yamaha YZF-R1M has set new standards for the large-displacement sport bike segment of the motorcycle market and is generating quite a huge following around the world.

Tamiya’s 1/12 scale model of this iconic two-wheeler is one of the nicest builds I have encountered from any manufacturer in respect to fit, finish, and lack of flash on the parts. A front fork detail set was included with the sample kit I received. The level of realism on these aluminum and photo-etched metal parts is incredible.

Opening the box, you’re immediately intimidated by all the parts, but soon realize that they are all clearly marked and called out in the beautifully illustrated, well-organized instructions.

Tamiya has designed this Yamaha to be built in subassemblies — just the way I enjoy building. The engine is the first to be assembled and the fit of the parts is second to none. All paint colors are called out clearly and most of the engine’s colors range through various hues of black with a spattering of silver and chrome added with a chrome pen. The hoses are included in the kit and must be cut to length according to the instructions; they fit onto the attachment points with no difficulty.

The frame is the next subassembly. The rear shock assembly uses a yellow spring from the detail kit for added realism. The assembled engine is then fitted into the chassis and adds support to increase the model’s overall strength.

The rear suspension and wheel come next. The wheel attaches to the rear swingarm using a provided screw as an axle. All the brake and drive chain details were painted various Tamiya colors, each spelled out in the instruction sheet. I put a touch of gold on the chain to give it an anodized look. Then I attached the rear suspension to the frame using the screws provided. Various detail parts including brake lines finish off this part of the bike.

I finished the exhaust with various metallizer paints and blued the pipes with Alclad II candy electric blue (No. ALC709), candy red (No. ALC702), and candy golden yellow (No. ALC706). After the paint dried, I attached the exhaust to the engine and frame, and glued on the finished radiator and fuel tank too.

The machined front forks and photo-etched parts from the detail set add so much to the R1M’s appearance.  The front wheel gets twin rotors and brake cylinders and the whole is attached to the forks with a screw that also serves as an axle.

The front fender snapped into place,  requiring almost no glue to stay put. The forks slid into the neck on the frame and came together with the seven-piece handlebar assembly once again via a screw.

The last parts to finish off this incredible build were its distinctive tins. I covered the front and side fairings, fuel tank, and rear body panels with the precut masks included in the kit and sprayed on the appropriate gloss aluminum and black. I applied the crisp decals before a coat of two-part automotive clear urethane.

Screws hold the body panels securely to the chassis, and the front fairing and headlight assemblies fit into grooves and recesses that require little adhesive. Small parts, such as the speedometer, foot pegs, and taillight round out this incredible build.

Of note, the bike can be displayed on its working kickstand or on the provided hub stand.


Read and share your comments on this article

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


A beginner's guide to plastic model cars.
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our privacy policy