2000 YAMAHA YZF-R1
IT’S BEEN REALLY interesting fettling and improving my old R1 over the last three years. During that time, I’ve replaced most chassis bearings, got the suspension working as well as it can, spent time on the dyno with BSD so that the engine can work as well as is possible in stock form, and even experimented with lightweight wheels.
But the one thing that has never been as good as I’ve wanted is the brakes. To begin with they were terrible. Old pads, partially-seized calipers and old hoses stopped it working as well as it could. We fixed all that, and although the datalogging figures matched the same 70-0mph stopping distances as the latest superbikes, it lacked the feel and finesse that helps give you the confidence on track.
It was time to try to develop it further. So we took the bike, a datalogger and a pair of master cylinders to Bruntingthorpe to see what the effect would be. I chose to assess the brakes with two tests, the first being ‘crash braking’ from 70-0mph. The second was more about feel – the trail-braking entry to Bruntingthorpe’s fast chicane on a hot lap.