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2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Bike Part 2

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Bike Video: Pt. 2
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Watch Motorcycle USA takes to the track at Thunderhill Racewayin the 2010 Yamaha R1 Project Bike Part 2 Video.
In the first installment of the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Bike Review we increased the overall comfort and thrill factor of the R1 when riding it on the street. For the next phase we wanted to improve the performance of the motorcycle around the racetrack. To do this, we had RG3 Suspension modify the fork and shock, had JETT Tuning re-flash the ECU and fitted a set of Michelin Power One 2CT tires. Visually we cleaned up the back of the bike by fitting a fender eliminator kit from Graves Motorsports.

While the R1 suspension works well at a moderate street pace, when loaded with extra cargo during the course of a multi-day canyon-strafing touring adventure, or when spinning laps at an elevated pace around the racetrack, a fast rider will soon discover the limitations of the stock set-up. The biggest problem is the uneven poise of the chassis during hard acceleration and braking. To try and remedy this we enlisted the assistance of RG3 Suspension.
The Michelin Power 2CT trackday tires serve up more road handling performance on the racetrack.
Added road holding was a clear benefit of the Michelin tire and RG3 Suspension upgrades.
Added road holding grip was a clear benefit of the combination of Michelin tire and RG3 Suspension upgrades.

In the realm of dirt bikes, RG3 is a staple brand renowned for its suspension tuning expertise. Now it is applying its technical know-how to the sportbike world. They began by disassembling the fork and shock. First, heavier duty 1.0 kg/mm springs replaced the 0.92 kg/mm stockers inside the fork. (Pricing detail is provided on the sidebar - Ed.)This was designed to better balance the attitude of the bike during hard braking and corner entry. The stock valves remained but the shim configuration was altered for more progressive action. Out back the 10.0 kg/mm rear shock spring was retained but the internal valving stack was also reconfigured. Both the fork and shock were refilled with fresh Maxima suspension fluids and the nitrogen in the shock body was recharged. Turnaround time was quick with RG3 having the work completed within three business days of us delivering it to its Southern California workshop.
Upon swinging a leg over our RG3-tuned R1 it was immediately apparent how much taller the bike felt which can be attributed to the stiffer fork springs that actually raise the front end slightly. While it couldn’t have changed more than a couple of millimeters it felt like a big increase while riding. Despite the change steering effort felt similar to the stock set-up.

You could feel how much more taut both ends were after RG3 laid hands on them though. When ridden aggressively on the street the pitch of the bike remained even and the rear end wouldn’t “back in” during corner entry as regularly as it does in stock trim. Despite the improvement, damping was a bit too firm for everyday commuting-style road use so we backed off the preload on both ends which increased overall ride suppleness but it was never the same plush level as stock.
To discover how the suspension performed at the racetrack we visited Thunderhill Raceway during a Pacific Track Time trackday event. Right away we could tell that the fork didn’t have enough damping. The front end would still dive quickly and aggressively shift weight forward which in turn made the rear end of the bike unstable during corner entry. We attempted to fix the problem by adding more preload and compression damping but maxed out the adjustment range. Conversely we were pleased with the way the shock worked with it resisting the urge to squat
Deran from RG3 works on the R1s Soqi shock absorber.
Deran from RG3 works on the R1’s Soqi shock absorber. We found out getting our R1 suspension set-up just right, is no easy task.
excessively during full throttle acceleration off corners. Initially we did notice that it had a tendency to pack over bumps in certain corners but after speeding up the rebound it was far more compliant. It also delivered consistent and fade-free performance throughout 20-minute sessions on the track. 
One of the big pluses of RG3 is that if you’re not completely satisfied with the way the suspension works you can bring the bike back to them and they’ll get it right. Based on our feedback they again disassembled the fork and went with a more firm damping set-up. While it continued to work fine on the street at the racetrack it still proved to be too soft.
While initial damping force seemed to be adequate the fork would pass right through the mid-stroke when loaded heavily. We once again returned the fork back to RG3 for another update. This time it increased initial damping to such a level that it didn’t allow the fork to track over bumps when leaned over in a corner. However the pitch control during max braking seemed to be sorted. Given one more try we believe RG3 could have gotten the fork dialed in but we ran out of time and were forced to return the bike to Yamaha. We do plan on revisiting the project with the information we gained when we get an ’11 R1.
With the ever increasing noise and emission ordinances in the U.S. sportbike manufacturers are being forced to de-tune its products to meet new legal initiatives. Since sportbikes are engineered for maximum performance on the racetrack worldwide, manufacturers are choosing to use electronics rather than traditional mechanical modifications to de-tune performance. Welcome to the digital world folks. Fortunately, JETT Tuning has managed to crack some of the code inside the black box. This has allowed them to alter certain parameters of the engine for added performance.
The profile of the Michelin Power One 2CT tires made the R1 steer quicker yet didnt compromise straight-line stability.
The ECU is located beneath the left fairing and is easy to remove.
2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Bike dyno chart JETT Tuning ECU re-flash versus stock.
Check out the increased peak horsepower of our 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Bike before and after we had JETT Tuning ECU re-flash the ECU. Torque didn't change much.

The re-flash procedure costs $449 and is a fairly simple modification from the user stand point. It is important to note that it does void the manufacturer’s warranty. It can be removed within minutes with a basic set of tools by simply unplugging the ECU located underneath the left fairing. After shipping it off to JETT’s Camarillo, California shop it goes about the business of re-configuring the ECU. Total turnaround time from the day we shipped it to when it was returned was three business days. Installation was equally as easy and within a few minutes the bike is ready to ride. Next to race fuel, this is the simplest performance modification you can make, period.
Flip the key and the first thing you’ll notice is that the throttle drive mode now defaults to “A” mode, the most aggressive throttle setting. While some might like this setting, I prefer “B” mode regardless if I’m riding on the street or racetrack as it reduces throttle response and makes the bike easier to control when ridden aggressively. You can still switch between each of three throttle maps (A, B and Standard) with the handlebar mounted switch.
Fire up the engine and the bike idles at 1600 (+/- 1500) which is a few hundred rpm over stock. This is designed to reduce rear wheel chatter and ease the load on the slipper clutch during aggressive corner entry. It also makes the R1 sound even more bad-ass with our FMF Apex pipes.
At any rpm below 10k it feels like it runs identically as stock with no noticeable difference in power output or engine fueling. Get the motor spooling beyond that threshold and you’ll feel it pull with added urgency compared to stock. As rpm increase it continues to pump out more power enroute to its 162.04 horsepower peak (7.36 more than stock) at 12,500 revs. Power still falls off slightly as it closes in on the rev limiter 1000 rpm later but the engine is still pumping out added horses so it feels vastly improved over stock. Another feature we noticed was the reduced engine braking during deceleration which can be attributed to the fuel injectors continuing to feed the engine with a small amount of fuel during deceleration.
We replaced the OE-fitted Dunlop Qualifer D210 with a premium Michelin Pilot Power 2CT tire.
We replaced the OE-fitted Dunlop Qualifer D210 with a premium Michelin Pilot Power 2CT tire.

Next to the engine and suspension modifications we made, one of the biggest areas of improvement in terms of road performance is the fitment of more high-performance tires. While the standard Dunlop Qualifier D210s provides adequate grip on the street the tires wouldn’t be our first choice for hard core track use. Therefore we mounted up a set of Michelin Power One 2CT tires.
We chose to run the street/trackday version of the French rubber as tested in the Michelin Power One 2CT Tire Comparison Review. The tires can be differentiated from the road racing version we tested in the Michelin Power One Tire Review by looking at the tire’s sidewall and seeing a capital letter within a circle. If the circle is blank you know it’s the street tire, if there is a letter (A, B, C or V) then it is a race tire.
When the tires are fresh they serve up plenty of grip for trackday flogging. They also offer very quick heat up times and reduce the steering effort during corner entry as compared to the stock rubber without comprising straight-line stability. We did notice that the tires don’t offer a whole lot of mileage with the rear tire reaching its service limit in less than 900 miles. Granted half of the miles were accumulated during the course of multiple trackdays, yet still we expected the tires to last longer. We also noticed that the grip levels of the rear tire fell of dramatically as it reached the wear bars.

The Michelin Power One 2CT Tires are available from Motorcycle-Superstore.

The easy to install  59.99 Graves Motorsports R1 Fender Eliminator kit cleans up the rear end of the bike and makes it appear racier.
The easy to install $59.99 Graves Motorsports R1 Fender Eliminator kit cleans up the rear end of the bike and makes it appear racier.

In my eyes the R1 is one of the best looking production sportbikes on the market today. Ditch the OE pipes for a set of   FMF Apex carbon fiber slip-on pipes and it looks even better. Still the absurdly large rear fender detracts from what could be an even better looking machine. Rather than haphazardly hack off the fender we purchased a proper fender eliminator kit from Graves Motorsports. The $59.99 kit consists of a new bracket that relocates the turn signals and license plate closer to the tail section. Installation is straightforward and can be accomplished in a few minutes by removing the stock set-up and attaching the turn signals and plate to the new bracket.

The FMF Apex slip-on pipes are available at Motorcycle-Superstore.
B mode continues to be our preferred drive mode on the R1 as it reduces how jerky the throttle feels when twisted.
“B” mode continues to be our preferred drive mode on the R1 as it reduces the jerky throttle feel when twisted.

With some simple and affordable modifications the R1 proved to be a versatile sportbike both on the street and racetrack. With the addition of some GYTR accessories and luggage it became a much more comfortable street and touring ride during our road trip to the Laguna Seca MotoGP race. On the other end of the spectrum, by reworking the suspension components and fitting more sport-oriented Michelin tires it served up a higher level of performance during cornering on street and track. Sure, we never completely got the front end of the bike to work the way we wanted but we’re optimistic that we could get it set-up with more time. Perhaps our favorite mod in terms of performance however was the boost in engine performance courtesy of the JETT Tuning ECU re-flash. It increased drivability on the street and track not to mention the respectable boost it gave the engine at high rpm for those looking to get some more top end speed out of their R1.
2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Street Gallery
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2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Photos
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Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Parts - Street
Loaded with gear on the way to Laguna Seca for the MotoGP race aboard the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1.
Yamaha GYTR Accessories 
Raised Bubble Windscreen: $84.95
Comfort Seat: $239.95
Axio Tank Bag: $189.95
Cortech Sport Saddlebags: $125.99
Apex Slip-on Exhaust: $899.99
Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Parts - Racetrack
RG3 Suspension
Fork Revalve and Service: $224.95
Shock Revalve and Service: $224.95
Maxima Fork Oil 5WT: $17.50
Maxima Light Shock Fluid 3WT: $12.00 
1.0 KG/MM Fork Springs: $110.00 
JETT Tuning
ECU Unleashed: $449.00
Power One 2CT Front Tire: $156.99
Power One 2CT Rear Tire: $231.99
Graves Motorsports
Yamaha R1 Fender Eliminator Kit: $59.99
2010 Yamaha R1 Project Bike Part I
The FMF Apex slip-on mufflers added five peak horsepower.
With the price of a brand-new street bike creeping higher every year, many folks don’t have the luxury of owning multiple motorcycles. So, for those who ride sportbikes, quite often you’re going to have to rack up considerable “touring” mileage getting to coveted stretches of twisty pavement. To ease the pain we fitted some accessories on our 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 that made it more comfortable and fun to ride on the street. To see how the modifications performed we made the pilgrimage to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the 2010 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix...

Read the full review in the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Bike Review
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Yamaha R1 Long Term Maintenance Cost
2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 changes: Bold New Graphics.
Months in Service / Total Mileage: 8 / 3799
MSRP: $13,290
Aftermarket Accessories Cost: $2639.22
Maintenance Costs with Tires: $453.30
Maintenance Breakdown:

(2) Oil Filter: $24.40
(8) Yamalube 10W-40 (Quart): $39.92
(1) Michelin Power One 2CT Front Tire: $156.99
(1) Michelin Power One 2CT Rear Tire: $231.99
Yamaha Sportbike Dealer Locator
Waheed's Yamaha R1 Track Riding Gear
Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Bike.
  • AGV GP-Tech Multi Helmet
  • Dainese Laguna Seca One Piece Suit
  • Dainese Full Metal Racer Leather Glove
  • Dainese Torque Race Out Boot

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slowgeek   April 20, 2011 06:54 PM
Adam: just got my reflashed ECU. While the bike starts in 'A' mode it is in no way aggressive like it was when switching the stock bike to 'A' mode. I suspect they chose 'A' mode for the main mode in the reflash as it is linear all the way through the throttle's range. To me the throttle response now seems mellow enough, it is just PERFECTLY smooth with no on/off throttle abruptness anywhere. It also revs 500 rpm higher. It is a treat to ride. I recommend anyone taking their R1 to the track to get the reflash done. Sorry for the grammar errors in my previous comment...thanks!
Piseth -Motorcycle  January 31, 2011 03:44 AM
Could someone tell me how to buy these Motorcycle on this website?
Istvan Jambor -President  January 21, 2011 07:36 PM
I have taken this exact model of super-bike design and modified it by giving the rider a 3 point suspension system. The result: - 700-900 percent increase in range with zero physical punishment or fatigue - Dramatically increased control due to better use of arms and better weight distribution - Radically increased comfort due to even suspension of upper body and full protection from cold weather (strong wind tunnel effect) Istvan Jambor President Race Headrest Systems, Inc. www.raceheadrest.com Tel. 17575757522 Email. steven@raceheadrest.com Virginia Beach, Virginia United States of America
new 09 R1 -09 R1 Upgrades  January 17, 2011 01:37 PM
I can't wait to put my trc yoshimura dual slip ons on my bike on the cold snowy time in IL. i already put my flush mount led front turn signal, fender eliminator with led turn signal lights, graves frame sliders and gas tank guardian angel protection. I am saving money to buy after market race replica fairings for my 09 R1. Not sure what to get though, any suggestions?
new owner 09 r1 -modified test!!!!  January 17, 2011 01:26 PM
I hope theres a shoot out between all the liter bikes modified. I would like to find out what my 09 R1 's potential in performance in power compare to the other japanese bikes.
Prashant -Issue raised by BIKE UK  January 3, 2011 09:12 PM
Hey Adam, I remember when I read the literbike shootout of BikeUK. The one of testers said that R1's the rear grip immediately loses the grip when you touch the rear brakes and it has the worst bike on road. Have you face any of such issue on the stock R1?
Big Ron -Re: Adam  December 14, 2010 09:01 AM
Thanks, I have an 05 ZX-10 that I am wanting to lower the pegs and put some risers on so I was just looking for some feedback. Merry Christmas.
adam - motousa -big ron - street mods  December 13, 2010 11:05 PM
hey whats up big ron, no more mods are planned for this bike as we've already returned it. honestly, i don't really believe in aftermarket rearsets anymore as the stock ones work fine and not that they are adjustable oem style there is no real need for aftermarket ones. i prefer placing the foot controls in the lowest setting for the street.
vince -hello fellow R1 owners  December 13, 2010 10:56 PM
Big Ron: I did a lot of research. Vortex makes the only rearsets that can be adjusted to lower than stock. On their lowest setting they are around 0.5 inch lower than stock: a noticeable difference, I also have 34 inch inseams. I highly recommend them. They are very strong and nice to look at. Be careful if you do a track day! I was leaned way over and the rearset touched and a I lost the rear. I didn't expect that. If you get the Vortex for your 2009+ R1, raise them if you go to the track.

I did a PC-V first, before I heard about Jett. I just added the ECU reflash from Jett. It gives way more power than just the PC-V. If you have both, that is the way to go.

I have a 2009 with 20,000 mi. cheers!
Big Ron -Street Mods  December 13, 2010 04:29 PM
Adam, Are you planning on installing some rear sets and clip ons to lower your feet and raise your bars; I know lowering the feet may not be ideal for the track but it would help for those of us with 34"+ inseams?
Adam -what matters  December 11, 2010 05:26 AM
What matters to me is the ergonomics. I ride to work and I do ride a lot on weekends as well so for me it is the ergonomics which plays the most important role. Hope that all the manufacturers will put ABS and Traction control on their bikes to make it a bit safer when some Idiot pulls in front of me out of nowhere. Definitely R1 has a lot of a character and that's something that the rest of the Japanese bikes are missing so well done Yamaha.
adam - motousa -r1 build quality  December 10, 2010 04:02 PM
good question: the build quality of ALL japanese built yamaha and star motorcycle cruiers is at a very high level and comparable to honda's japanese built powersports equipment. all off the parts from the engine to chassis appear to be of very high quality. kawasaki machinery is also starting to reach yamaha/honda levels as well. suzuki still lags behind all three but hopefully that will start to impvove in the near future.
Greg -Adam  December 10, 2010 03:50 PM
I wanna ask, what does motorcycleusa test riders think about build quality and overall construction of the r1
thesoapster -out of the box vs mods  December 9, 2010 06:29 PM
I have an 09 R1, and definitely it is a bike with a lot of hidden potential. The only power mods done are 3/4 Akrapovic system, air filter, PCV with dynotune. Best mods I did were rearsets, suspension change (Ohlins cartridge kit in front plus heavier springs, TTX in rear), and Michelin Power Pures. It's so much easier to go fast on.
Mike -R1  December 8, 2010 08:08 PM
Pimp bike! I really think this bike is well rounded. People talk how bad this bike is.. But all in all do you think yamaha would have went the wrong way ? No way! I think this bike is sexy and has a mean grunt to it. All the new bikes are nice but after riding this one.. I love it! Braaap!
adam - motousa -CHARACTER - agreed  December 8, 2010 04:31 PM
hey what up mdp, i agree with you and thats why i like the r1 so much it isn't as fast as the other 1000s and doesn't handle quite as well either but it sounds awesome and to me it is different and thats what i like about it.
MDP -Still the only Inline 4 with character  December 8, 2010 03:34 PM
The S1000rr and new ZX-10 might be the HP kings but, the 09+ R1 has the most character of them all. Especially with a set of aftermarket pipes. Unless, Honda puts a V4 in the next CBR 1000RR the 09+ R1 might be my next bike.
Greg -another crush  December 8, 2010 03:22 PM
Ive been waiting for this article I got the same bike same mods and I feel like I'm the only person thats not getting good results. I think either my slip ons are garbage or, something else is keeping my numbers down,
xplaner -worthy of the mods  December 8, 2010 01:40 PM
I bought a 2009 R1 sitting unloved on the dealer's floor during the recession winter of 2009/2010. I had a few extra dollars sitting around so I went all superbike on the thing with gold Marchesinis, an Ak full system, Dynojet w/auto tune module, GYTR air filter, Ohlins R&T forks and TTX shock. I never rode the thing stock but she's a treat now and is about 12lbs lighter than stock. A very fast bike with great handling and brakes and a delicious sound that is arguably even better than a big Duc. I love this bike and it did great this fall when I ran around Barber on it.
Brian -Thanks  December 8, 2010 01:37 PM
Thanks guys for doing this story. Many folks talk about the restrictions on the 2009 + Yamaha but this is the first back-to-back comparison I have seen after the modification to the ecu was made that shows the significant difference between the bike from the showroom to the track where that top end on the oem (un-modified) ecu is kinda lame. Thanks again!