The project R1's Concept 5...
The project R1's Concept 5 paint job is eye catching whether the bike is on the track, or on display at a dealer event.
When a project bike begins to take shape, there is usually a reason - or at best - some type of blueprint and motive for its conception. If you are the guys at TrackDaz however, your project bike is built out of spontaneity and in the mindset that, well, "I guess we will see what happens next." Trackdaz co-owner Dustin Coyner has always had this type of attitude however, and that being the case, the TrackDaz Yamaha R1 project bike is not really far from his repertoire. Coyner's entry into the motorcycle industry was driven solely by his enthusiasm for motorcycles and the motorcycle community. It is his passion and spur-of-the-moment attitude that led to the creation of TrackDaz, and now to the creation of the TrackDaz project bike.
In 2000, TrackDaz was nothing more than a business plan written on the reverse side of a napkin. But with a true passion for the sport - something some large companies lack - Coyner, co-owner Rudy Cortez and friends were able to grow TrackDaz into one of Southern California's premier track-day providers. The organization provides riders with an opportunity to hone their skills in a safe and controlled environment for significantly less money than it takes to go racing.
Although the crossplane-crank...
Although the crossplane-crank engine lacks top-end horsepower, it has a tremendous amount of torque that carries the R1 through the middle and exit of corners.
In order to carry on the company's early success, Coyner and Cortez continually look for avenues that will expand the company and benefit the racing community. The chance to do just this came in 2006, when Yamaha Motor Corp. USA came on board as the official sponsor for TrackDaz. The sponsorship has been an ideal one for TrackDaz and it has greatly benefited its program. TrackDaz events are now littered with Yamaha R1s and R6s for instructors to safely coach students on the track, and at each event the Yamaha banner is flown with pride.
A Match Made In Heaven
When you partner two companies with an equal amount of passion for motorcycles (Yamaha and TrackDaz), you are sure to get an exciting result. Enter the '10 TrackDaz Yamaha R1 project bike. The bike, which was built for a number of reasons independent from the simple pleasure of building a noteworthy project bike, has gradually taken on a number of roles for TrackDaz. The R1 - brought to life at Attack Performance in Huntington Beach, CA - harnesses a number of high-performance parts from Yamaha's accessory catalog and features top-of-the-line parts from companies like Attack Performance, Driven Racing and Dynojet, giving it great potential on the track and great marketing value at local events.
Some of the more race-oriented...
Some of the more race-oriented components of the R1 include the Attack Performance offset triple clamps seen here. The triple clamps and the Öhlins 25mm cartridge kit in the front fork provide excellent front end feel.
The Öhlins TTX rear shock...
The Öhlins TTX rear shock was easily adjusted to accommodate for the slight pumping felt through the exit of the corner.
The EK racing chain, Driven...
The EK racing chain, Driven Racing sprocket, carbon fiber chain guard and anodized axle block seen here are just a few of the smaller parts strewn throughout the R1 that add both to the performance and looks of the project bike.
The entire project can really be blamed on Yamaha's engorged accessory catalog though. After browsing through it, Coyner knew exactly what the )(then stock) TrackDaz R1 needed. And because few people are willing or able to empty their wallets on the awesome parts found in the catalog, we rarely see a Yamaha dressed front to back with the goodies. Thanks to the TrackDaz Yamaha R1, we can no longer say that. Directly from Yamaha's accessory catalog come Marchesini T-spoke wheels, Goodridge brake lines, a Brembo RCS master cylinder and lever matched with a Brembo clutch lever and numerous carbon fiber masterpieces. These bits, available to anyone with access to the Yamaha accessory catalog, give the TrackDaz R1 a one-off look and some serious potential on the track.
The Leo Vince full system...
The Leo Vince full system exhaust is laser etched with a "TrackDaz 10th Anniversary" logo. The crossplane-crank engine and Leo Vince exhaust combine to provide an unbelievable tone that you would never think to be from an inline four.
The R1 project bike is also fitted with various Attack Performance parts such as adjustable-offset triple clamps, clip-ons and adjustable rearsets. In addition, the R1 features a Leo Vince full exhaust system and various Dynojet components such as a Power Commander V, Quick Shifter and Secondary Fuel Module. In regards to the suspension, an Öhlins TTX rear shock took over the stock unit and Öhlins 25mm fork cartridges were installed in the front.
The TrackDaz Yamaha R1 doesn't lose any marks in the looks category either. The Attack Race Bodies bodywork is finished off with graphics from Drippen Wet, a custom paint job from Concept 5 and replica R1 graphics from SR Sign Designs for an unmistakable look that really belongs on a show bike.
Combine the great looks with the performance pieces from Yamaha, Attack Performance and Dynojet and you get a project bike that puts its money where its mouth is.
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.
Throughout the day, Dane raised the front of the bike 5mm, gave the bike more rear ride height and adjusted the compression, rebound and preload in both the rear shock and front fork. Over the course of a few sessions, the R1's suspension package began to improve. The initial feel that the bike was riding high in the front was removed, turn-in improved and the rear shock no longer pumped - as it had in the morning. By the end of the day, the R1 was better able to hold its line through the middle of the corner and the bike was extremely comfortable to ride.
The R1 was originally very...
The R1 was originally very hard to steer into the corners since the shock and fork were only tuned with baseline settings. Finding a balance between the front and rear suspension allowed for better handling on corner entry and through the middle of the corner.
The Dynojet Quick Shifter...
The Dynojet Quick Shifter seen here provided seamless shifts on the track.
The Marchesini T-spoke wheels,...
The Marchesini T-spoke wheels, which are also available through Yamaha's accessory catalog, save the R1 some weight and give it a race-oriented look. Be wary of the price tag associated with them though.
Possibly the coolest pieces on the TrackDaz Yamaha R1 are the offset triple clamps by Attack Performance. The clamps give the rider the opportunity to completely adjust trail and - in turn - steering and handling capabilities. However, because the bike was fitted with these clamps at the same time as the Öhlins TTX rear shock and 25mm front fork cartridges, there is little hope at distinguishing their absolute effect on the steering and handling in comparision to the effect of the shock and cartridge kit. Had the bike been fitted with one component, ridden, and then fitted with the next, there would be a better chance at understanding what parts make the most difference on the track. What we do know however, is that when all the components are there and the suspension is dialed in, there is a serious amount of potential.
All it takes is one day at the track to see that, although the TrackDaz Yamaha R1 was built more for having fun, it truly is a race-ready machine.
Mixing Business With Pleasure
Off the track, the project R1 is a great promotional tool for TrackDaz and Yamaha. Its amazing looks make it a main attraction at various dealer events, bike nights and motorcycle shows and Coyner even states that "the biggest advantage of the bike is the customer recognition associated with it." In addition, the project R1 is a perfect way to display the distinguished partnership between TrackDaz and Yamaha and an even better way to celebrate TrackDaz's 10 years of providing riders with a safe place to hone their skills. But, the bike is more than just a display piece. Get it on the track, and the Yamaha R1 is full of potential. Mix this track performance with extreme marketing potential and you have a truly unique package perfect for a company looking to reach out to motorcycle enthusiasts.