Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Bike Preview
Monday, August 16, 2010
Yesterday we spent the day with Pacific Track Time
spinning laps at the spectacular Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California aboard our 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 project bike.
One of the things I love about Pacific Track Day is how well organized they are with each of three timed riding sessions (novice, intermediate, and expert) going off like clockwork. Sure there were some wrecks and the associated clean-ups, but for some reason it never seems to disrupt the schedule too much.
Amenities wise, PTT has the services of suspension and chassis tuner ace, Dave Moss and his company Catalyst Reaction Suspension Tuning
to help you get your bike’s set-up optimized (big thanks Dave!). And if the rider needs some physical TLC, Hands on Track massage therapists are ready to work on your body.
Conditions on track couldn’t have been better with temperatures hovering in the mid-90s, which is almost ideal for optimum tire grip and life, due to the surface of the pavement. There was also a gentle breeze to keep you cool in between motos.
Having not ridden a sportbike on track in almost two months I forgot how much fun they are to rip around the racetrack. As opposed to riding on the street you don’t have to worry about cars smashing into you plus you can go as banzai as your brain desires. There are no cops to harass, no speed signs to obey, and the only true velocity limiter is your skill followed by the performance capabilities of your steed.
As you may have read in our 2010 Superbike Smackdown VII Track
Comparison, the current generation R1 is held back at the track due in part to its chassis and suspension set-up. Hoping to resolve this issue we enlisted the help of RG3 Suspension.
If you’re an off-road rider, you might be familiar with their name and expertise in the motocross world. We used their modified suspension in our Kawasaki KX450F Mammoth MX Race Project
feature with pleasing results plus their supported rider, Ryan Dungey is currently leading the AMA Motocross Championship.
Now they are expanding into the street bike world so we’re giving their stuff a try. To make sure we had the proper grip to test the suspension we fitted a set of Michelin’s Power Pilot street/track day tire. We also had the ECU recalibrated by Jett Tuning for enhanced top-end engine performance. Lastly, we fitted a pair of FMF’s Apex slip-on’s for that MotoGP M1-like sound.
After a full-day of riding the modifications helped in some areas and hurt in others. We’re going to play around with the suspension some more and log a bunch of street miles in order to further evaluate these upgrades. Look for the report later on this month.
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