I thought this thing looked familiar. Yours truly rode this very Yoshimura Hayabusa X1-R for a Motorcyclist magazine story around Willow Springs back before the turn of the century. Yoshimura gathered up a bunch of parts from its Suzuka 8-Hour effort to build a slightly milder bike for street use, but it still made 182 horses and 108 foot-pounds of torque. It’s packed with billet cams, 12.5:1 forged pistons, Carrillo 4340 rods, and makes peak torque at just 7500 rpm, which means it went around Willow – a really fast track – like some sort of NASA experimental craft. The Öhlins superbike-spec fork and shock were maybe not quite ready for the Busa’s heft, though, and I remember it being an eye-opening ride.
It also had an eye-opening parts manifest, about $50K worth of components by the time it was done, including a magnesium top triple clamp, Marchesini wheels, quick-change rear brake, etc. – and the Yosh people must’ve decided it just wasn’t going to be financially feasible, even at a time when we were all power-crazed roadrace maniacs. Where did it all go wrong? Redpath rescued the bike from the scrap heap, bless his heart. It lives in the front of the shop, next to a Mat Mladin GSX-R Superbike.