Cheaper, quicker and more refined than the sought-after original
Time to buy a 2000-2001 Yamaha R1
The venerable YZF-R1 turned 20 years old this year, but rather than get dewy-eyed over the original, 1998 incarnation of Yamaha’s superbike, you’d be well advised to lower the rose-tinted spectacles, and fastforward a few years in search of more affordable thrills.
The 2000-2001 5JJ model is a better bike on every level. Reject the ’98 bike and you’ll not only save yourself the hefty ‘originality premium’ but also gain a bike that’s altogether more polished, and ready for action on UK roads and trackday fast groups.
Find a stock example and you’re on to a winner (and if you’re swapping the exhaust, squirrel the original one away for re-sale time – they’re hugely cherished items). The performance can be instantly improved by raising the needles to eradicate lean running in the midrange, and by taking a closer look at the suspension. At 18 years old, standard forks will be due a re-valve, and the worn rear shock could bear replacement. The beauty being that, with the money you’ve saved over a 1998 model, this kind of work – from the likes of K-Tech – could net you a sweet-handling litre bike for the same price as a showroom-condition 20-year-old, which you’d find the limits of much sooner. Braided hoses will return a little more power and feel from your brakes. In our experience, fiddling with alternative master cylinders doesn’t garner enough of an improvement to warrant the investment.
Want to make your 5JJ really shine? Washed-up ex-PB editor Matt ( never heard of him – CN) fitted forged alloy Dymag wheels to his, which transformed it into the king of Cadwell (in his mind, at least).
5JJs can respond better to a slip-on to a full system. And sometimes even better with the stock can... Suspension is the first place to start with the mods