Doin’ Time

H-D Road­ster gets a café treat­ment, R3 tip-over proof­ing, and new street sneak­ers for the Rninet Scram­bler.

Motorcyclist - - Contents - —Ju­lia Lapalme

since my last track­day-turned-race­week­end, the R3 has played the part of both track­bike and com­muter bike. From play­ing test­bike at our com­pany’s Hack Day Track Day, where it was a fa­vorite among begin­ner and ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers alike, to do­ing the daily grind to and from the of­fice, the R3 has proven to be a ver­sa­tile lit­tle mo­tor­cy­cle. I’ve yet to take it on any long-dis­tance rides, but it’s a happy lit­tle in-town and week­end twisties war­rior.

Re­cently, T-rex Rac­ing sent a crash­pro­tec­tion set for the baby Yamaha, in­clud­ing en­gine-case cov­ers, frame slid­ers, ex­haust slider, front and rear axle slid­ers, and a set of rear­stand spools (t-rex-rac­ing.com; $351). In­stal­la­tion was rel­a­tively sim­ple, ex­cept for the te­dious task of pulling body pan­els off to in­stall the frame slid­ers. My one com­plaint comes from the oddly shaped frame slid­ers, which have a rounded point that I’ve jabbed my shins into a few times. In leathers, the knee pucks hit the slid­ers, but in jeans I’ve earned a cou­ple bruises thanks to th­ese pro­trud­ing hunks of plas­tic. All in the name of sav­ing the bike, right?

Af­ter in­stalling the kit, I laid the bike down on its side to see how well the ex­haust slider would pro­tect the can. Thank­fully I had some­one to help lift the bike up, as it be­came clear that the ex­haust slider didn’t pre­vent the ex­haust from touch­ing the ground. What does that mean in a crash? The ex­haust might be us­able, but it’ll still get dam­aged.

In ad­di­tion to the bike pro­tec­tion, I got a set of ar­tic­u­lat­ing levers from Nor­ton Fab Mo­tor­sports (yama­har3rac­ing.com; $120). Jesse Nor­ton, the com­pany’s owner, is an R3 racer and a ma­chin­ist, and he’s com­bined his two in­ter­ests to cre­ate a range of parts for the lit­tle Yamaha. Th­ese three-quar­ter­length levers, in an­odized black with blue lever-ad­juster dial, have a tighter feel to them than the OE levers. That is to say, they’re ma­chined more pre­cisely, elim­i­nat­ing play where there shouldn’t be any. With the levers’ folding action and shorter length to ac­com­mo­date lever guards, th­ese pup­pies will be less prone to break­ing in a crash or tip-over (knock on wood). I hope not to test that any­time soon.

wrist Ju­lia Lapalme

(2017) $4,999

miles 1,573

mpg 53

mods Ad­justable folding levers, crash pro­tec­tion

3 msrp up­date

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