Fast Bikes - - FEATURE -

The frame has to re­main stan­dard. No trim­ming, cut­ting, weld­ing or any­thing naughty can go on, de­spite lots of fa­mous sto­ries in pre­vi­ous years in­volv­ing cer­tain bikes. Laverty uses car­bon frame pro­tec­tors, while James El­li­son doesn’t. “The cover is glued on. I wanted to keep the rigid­ity as stan­dard in­stead of al­ter­ing it,” reck­ons Chris. The bike weighs 163kg with­out fuel. Michael has to carry quite a bit of lead bal­last at the back, hid­den in the tail unit.

“We speak di­rectly to the fac­tory Yamaha team and swap in­for­ma­tion. For in­stance, they dis­cov­ered some­thing with a link­age and we tried it at a test be­fore Cad­well, and it def­i­nitely worked and helped with tyre wear to­wards the end of the race. We email all the time, fir­ing ideas across, but ob­vi­ously the big dif­fer­ence be­tween us and them is the elec­tron­ics pack­age. Chas­sis wise, we’re very close: same forks, same shock, same swingarm.”

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