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Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 OMRRA

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
MotoUSA recently entered its GSX-R1000 Yoshimura project bike in the Oregon Motorcycle Roadracing Association series to put its aftermarket upgrades to the test.
MotoUSA recently entered its GSX-R1000 Yoshimura project bike in the Oregon Motorcycle Roadracing Association series to put several of its aftermarket upgrades to the test.
When I was first approached to ride the MotorcycleUSA.com GSX-R1000 Yoshimura project bike, I think my first question was, "does it really make 185 horsepower?” The answer was "yes", so the decision was made and logistics begun. The bike is a 2009 Suzuki GSXR-1000, with Yoshimura building the engine and Ohlins delivering its high-spec suspension. The rest of the chassis has been barfed on by the best a parts catalogue can offer. (Check out more on the development of MotoUSA's SuperBike in the Modified Superbike Comparison and the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 Stage 2 and Stage 3 articles)

I was excited to ride and test this Yosh bike, because my current racebike is a lightly modified ‘09 GSX-R1000. It would be a really good comparison to ride the two bikes back to back on the same weekend. The plan was to run both bikes in the August round of the Oregon Motorcycle Roadracing Association series. I'd run my bike in the two Formula Ultra races, then flog the Yoshi in the Open SuperBike event at the end of the weekend.

Taking delivery of the bike, I thought it'd be good to check the position of the controls and some of the geometry settings against the numbers off my bike. This is where the real work began. Up until this point I assumed the bike would be set up and, hopefully, in even better condition than mine. I stood in disbelief when we measured the front a full 9mm lower than mine! But wait though, it gets better. From there I went to the back of the bike and confirmed it was riding 11mm
After taking delivery of the bike  our tester and his crew worked extensively on revising the GSX-R1000s geometry.
After taking delivery of the bike our tester and his crew worked extensively on revising the GSX-R1000's geometry.
taller at the axle than my set-up. This thing was practically doing an endo while it was standing still!

Our crew scratched their heads for a minute re-evaluating our plan to ride the bike the way it was delivered. I think the tipping point was the realization that the bike still had a stock steering damper on it. Purely out of self-preservation, we busted out the tools and began changing the geometry to match those on my bike.

We spent the day going back and forth riding both bikes at the 2Fast Trackday. My hopes were that the Yoshi bike would handle and operate flawlessly, but neither turned out to be true. The steering was heavy, but the fueling at 2% throttle during mid-corner was impossible. When you wanted to tighten the chain with just a breath of power, it would lurch forward - making it impossible to make mid-corner adjustments. The thought of opening the throttle early while exiting a turn bred fear into my soul.

Our next hurdle was lacking the cable necessary to tune the Yoshimura EM-Pro electronics package on the bike. We scrambled around in hopes of finding something. Meanwhile the bike almost launched me to the moon several times trying to ride around the problem. Luckily, my buddy Mike from Fuzimoto was around, and he had what we needed. It took several episodes of trial and error, but we were steadily making progress on the power delivery.

Without having realized it and without having ridden the bike after making a wide host of changes to it, race time was upon us. I was concerned the stock steering dampener wasn't going to cut the mustard, and we still hadn't had time to start work on the suspension settings. The gearing was tall, and I was warned it was tuned ‘stupid lean’ and to be careful not to melt it on the straightaway. How’s that for a pat on the back as you head off to pre-grid, eh? To top it off, I tried a practice launch in the hot pit as I set out on my warm-up lap and nearly stalled it, then wheelied. Sweet! Nice work Alan... just hope nobody was watching.
Initially  the bike was impossible to control during mid-corner and had unpredictable power delivery. After taking delivery of the bike  our tester and his crew worked extensively on revising the GSX-R1000s geometry. Before configuring the Yoshimura EM-Pro electronics package the GSX-R1000 had a sensitive throttle that made it difficult to corner.
Before configuring the Yoshimura EM-Pro electronics package the GSX-R1000 had a sensitive throttle that made it difficult to corner.

At the drop of the green flag I was ruthless on the clutch, and it helped. I didn't leave the line with much speed, but by the time I clicked into third gear on the run to the first turn everyone was going backwards. This thing ripped on top! I got into the first turn at a pretty good click, and held onto the lead for the first lap.

Getting used to the suspension and power delivery while my competitors were breathing down my neck was very unsettling. There was hardly any mid-range it seemed, then the power would snap on when you got to about 10,000 rpm. You'd get used to the lack of a hit when you first opened the throttle, but it'd hit halfway through your drive and force you to run wide.

I bumbled around for about three laps trying to figure stuff out before taking a look back. I saw what I expected to see when I turned around: a faceshield full of someone's number plate. Thankfully, the one thing on the bike I knew well and knew I could count on were the Pirelli Superbike slicks.

Despite lacking the time to properly dial in MotoUSAs GSX-R1000  our tester dominated the OMRA race.
Despite lacking the time to properly dial in MotoUSA's GSX-R1000, our tester dominated the OMRA race.
I've been a Pirelli rider for the last 13 years of my racing career, and knew that after four laps I can lean on these tires with confidence. I started putting some muscle into my riding, and the bike responded. At first it liked it, but as I poured it on more and more it started fighting back. The stock steering dampener clearly wasn't up to the task and I had to wrestle the entire chassis while leaving almost every corner. Also, we couldn't run a quickshifter, because the previous set-up was for a reverse shift pattern. As a result every time I shifted on the back straight (which wasn’t so straight) the chassis would unload, then load up again, causing the whole bike to torque up. At 3/4 lean, full acceleration, in fifth gear, going a buck-thirty with the rear wheel spinning… this gets your attention.

By Lap 10 my arms felt like they were going to fall off. I took a look back and thankfully my efforts had paid off; I had ditched 'em. I spent the last two laps cruising and took the win with room to spare.

At the end of it all I almost didn’t believe we won the race. Up until that time I’d been so focused on developing or adapting to the bike every moment I was on it. I was almost numb to the race experience.

Although excited I’d taken first-place, I felt as though I didn’t give the bike a fair shake down. I hadn’t changed a single clicker on the suspension, the fuel mapping was still miles off and the bike was still shaking violently coming off the turns. I promptly called up MotorcycleUSA.com and suggested/asked/begged to ride the bike again the following month to really put it through its paces. They agreed.
Suzuki GSX-R1000 Aftermarket Parts
Yoshimura did an amazing job getting the motorcycle ready in time for the event and the MC Pro Design paintjob came out top notch.
Yoshimura Superbike-spec powerplant
Yoshimura EM-Pro ECU
Motion Pro Throttle Assembly
Yoshimura R-77 Exhaust
BMC Airfilter
RK Chain
Renthal Sprockets
QuickShifter
Adjustable Reverse-shift-pattern Rearsets
Renthal clip-on Handlebars
Kevlar-laced Soft Grips
F.Fabbri Windscreen
Yoshimura Case Guards
Ohlins TTX rear shock
30mm Ohlins Fork Cartridge Kit
Yoshimura linkage
Showa fork and fork-extender caps
Stock Rotors with Vesrah Pads
Catalyst bodywork
Yoshimura-designed paint scheme
Brembo Radial Front Master Cylinder
Pirelli Superbike Slicks
Yoshimura SuperBike Photo Gallery
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View Slideshow
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Comments
wc524   January 27, 2012 11:58 AM
"I hadn’t changed a single clicker on the suspension, the fuel mapping was still miles off and the bike was still shaking violently coming off the turns"

But yet you took it out on track for a shakedown and still didn't mess with the Ohlins? Doesn't make sense. Hopefully you'll have some time to get it straightened out with the suspension and also work with the fuel map to get a more linear power curve.


Carbon   January 27, 2012 08:00 AM
For those that don't know, Alan Schmidt absolutely shreds at the track. Their is a reason the number 1 is planted on the front of that monster GSXR he's riding. Jumping into OMRRA Expert Formula Ultra races (among others) is no joke. He grabs the lead and then just checks out to the checkered flag. It may sound like he is whining about how the bike needs this and that for a proper set-up, but only because he knows his stuff. Did you run the Yoshimura "rental" race motor, described in Stage 1, for this race?
hipi5   January 26, 2012 10:31 AM
nice gixxer
MCUSA Bart   January 26, 2012 08:18 AM
Carbon, you are right. It's a 2009 Suzuki, edits made.
Carbon   January 25, 2012 08:49 PM
How is this a 2010 GSXR? Suzuki did not bring any '10 GSXR's into the states (all displacements).
spokes   January 25, 2012 11:54 AM
Well Mr. Schmidt it appears you and Mr. Atlas like a different setup on your bikes, not surprizing considering no two riders like the same exact setup and the previous articles on this bike were when it was raced at Laguna Seca by Mr. Atlas. As Mr. Know It All (Rondo Talbot) used to say, "you should have known"
NYCRider   January 25, 2012 07:20 AM
Alan, you talk about the stock steering dampner not cutting it, can you elaborate on what those short-comings were and how it affected your race? I'm a long time street rider who has only recently started riding at the track.