First Ride: 2002 Yamaha YZF-R1 - Motorcycle.com
Spain, 26 February, 2002 -- Sorry for the delay, loyal MO reader; we would've had news of the launch of the new R1 posted from Barcelona yesterday, but were--how you say--Royally Screwed, by an ex-European Correspondent. It happened like this: Minime was all set to attend the launch, when a Legal Emergency required his presence in Los Angeles. To cover, our (disloyal) English subject was therefore called in as a replacement, but somehow managed to file his (less than stellar) report with another (less than stellar) web site! Shock, horror! What an idiot!
We at MO, luckily, like to believe everything happens for a reason. Okay, well, most things. It so ha
A quick confab with Oliver after the first track session had me releasing one line of spring preload from the new fork in an effort to get the bike to turn a bit sharper, and it's revealing to, ah, reveal that doing so resulted in a feelable difference in session two. Allowing the R1's front end to settle that much more into its front travel resulted in a bike more willing to dive in on the brakes and one less willing to understeer at the exits -- as well as one less light-feeling in front down the front straight; truly, this bike attacks that straight with airplane-taking-off velocity. Springs are considerably stiffer at either end of this year's R1, no doubt in order to deal with the greater fore/aft pitching forces produced by raising the engine fully 20mm in the new, 30-percent stiffer frame.