Right At Home
In order to get an idea for the project bike's potential on the track, SR headed out to the 2010 TurkeyDaz event (TurkeyDaz is an annual event hosted by TrackDaz) held at the famed 2.5-mile road course of Willow Springs. The event was the perfect opportunity to burn off the extra 10 pounds tacked on during holiday feasting and an even better chance to stretch the legs of the brute Yamaha R1.
Once out of the pits, the most noticeable detail on the project R1 is its smooth power delivery. Although the Yamaha is particularly docile at higher RPM, it is noticeably strong off the corners. This distinct characteristic is a direct result of the bike's crossplane-crank engine that provides great amounts of V-twin-like torque, but less horsepower up top. While in a racing atmosphere this may seem like a disadvantage, this feature actually makes the bike quite pleasant in the track-day atmosphere. The 1000cc machine becomes noticeably easier to ride and allows you to squirt by riders on the exit of corners with relative ease.
Getting out of the corners with the TrackDaz project bike is made even easier by the set of Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC2 tires mounted by Chris Maguire at CT Racing. The Pirelli tires have a stiffer carcass than expected and provide ample amounts of grip without any of the corner-entry flex that we have noticed with Pirelli tires in the past. This allows the R1 to get on the gas early and drive through the middle of the corner without a loss in traction. Even after hammering on the tires for numerous sessions, there was little tear from the rear and the R1 was able to drive out of corners with very few "exciting moments." In the front, the Diablo Supercorsa SC2 provided generous amounts of grip and allowed us to drive the R1 into the corners hard on the brakes and enter at a higher speed.
The ergonomics of the R1 are...
The ergonomics of the R1 are unbelievably comfortable. The GPR stabilizer seen here is easily adjustable, takes away instability and is one of the many components available directly through Yamaha's accessory catalog.
Another reason for the smooth power delivery of the R1 is - assuredly - the Dynojet Power Commander V and Quick Shifter (DQS) setup. The Dynojet components seem to work in harmony and allow for a smooth transition from off throttle to on, and seamless shifting through the gearbox. Then there's the Leo Vince full exhaust system which adds a slight bit of steam to the somewhat tame literbike, and is most notable for the one-off exhaust tone it gives off.
Getting the R1 slowed down is made simple thanks to the Brembo RCS master cylinder, Goodridge brake lines and Braketech Axis stainless steel rotors. When entering the corner, the brakes have a great initial bite that only continues to get stronger; this allows you to scrub speed at a significant rate. The brakes instill great confidence when overtaking slower traffic and never allowed the R1 to get out of shape during corner entry.
While there is great pleasure in hopping on a bike that has been outfitted with multiple high-performance race-ready components, there are select disadvantages. Although the R1 exceeds expectations coming off the corner, we quickly noticed a severe hesitation when entering a turn. Because the front fork cartridges and rear shock were installed with mere baseline settings, the bike lacked balance between the front and rear through the middle of the corner and upon corner entry. The first session was marred by the bike's unwillingness to turn into the corner and tendency to chase the front through the middle of Willow Springs' fast turn two. Thankfully, TrackDaz events are a regular stop for Tige Dane of Catalyst Suspension.