Old R1 Gets shiny new bits & pieces
Matt’s been getting busy on the internet late at night
It’s been an interesting few months with my R1. Now in my fourth year of ownership, my R1 is my toy – my one real indulgence now club racing is a thing of the past, replaced by nappies and nursery runs. Bought as a tidy bike in 2014, I’ve spent the last three years upgrading the R1, while at the same time getting the cosmetics back to standard. It’s been a pleasure – big improvements can be made with the kind of maintenance to bearings, suspension and brakes that often gets neglected.
Brembo and Bendix
The standard 298mm discs had always performed reasonably well and were in good condition, but I use my R1 for trackdays, and use my brakes hard. As 5JJ discs can warp I decided it was time to pension them off to my evergrowing cache of decent used parts – the R1’s a keeper and my stash may come in handy one day.
I plumped for Brembo Serie Oro replacements. Despite the fancysounding name, these are part of Brembo’s Oe-replacement range rather than a full-on racing kit. They’re beautifully-made and the rotors are held on with 10 bobbins rather than eight, but there is no weight penalty and with their black Cnc-machined centres they mimic OE. At £406 a pair from Bike HPS, they are more expensive than EBC alternatives, but still cheaper than OE replacements.
I combined them with Bendix MRR134 pads. These are sintered race pads, but work well from cold. I’d used Bendix pads before, really rated them and at £20 a pair from ebay they were cheaper than Brembos. The result is enough power and feel to make a mockery of the ‘radial is best’ myth.
Old-school exhaust mods
I’ve also been playing around with exhausts. I love period mods and have been looking for a retro exhaust to replace the slighty-tired road-legal Akra (the baffling creates hot-spots which have tarnished the carbon). So, when I spotted a mint titanium Promotive pipe online I had to have it. In the end, I got it for £100. It was designed for a GSX-R750K1, but a custom link pipe should sort that.
At the same time, I spotted a Leo Vinci titanium can and stainless link pipe for a 1998 R1. I got that for £70, and while it isn’t mint, it looks the part. A bracket to separate the link pipe from the different-sized bellypan of the 1998 bike had to be Dremeled off and smoothed, and some fine wet and dry cleaned up the stainless, but it fits well and sounds restrained enough not to draw too much attention.
The R1 also had one of its most enjoyable rides at Donington on a Classic Bike Trackdays event. I’d forgotten what a flexible friend the bike is, driving hard out of every corner, front wheel floating, but never out of control. It was so much fun being out with 80s and 90s superbikes. There’s another event this weekend at Cadwell (check out classicbiketrackdays.co.uk).
Want to get your old favourite on track? Visit classicbiketrackdays.co.uk YAMAHA R1 IN DETAIL Ten bobbin Brembo Serie Oro discs (right) have replaced the Yamaha’s originals
Matt huddles around the R1 for warmth
2000 YAMAHA R1 BOUGHT FOR £2700 VALUE NOW £4000 POWER 134bhp WEIGHT 198kg
WHY I LOVE IT An old R1 is the apex of the analogue sportsbike, no fuel injection, no bull!