Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ben Spies' Yamaha R1 riding impression


The talented Mr Spies, aboard his Yamaha YZF-R1...

Mark Cernicky of Cycle World had an opportunity to test ride 2009 World Superbikes champ Ben Spies’ Yamaha R1 racebike, at the Autodromo do Algarve circuit in Portimão, Portugal. Here are some excerpts from what he has to say about the championship winning bike:

Standing in Spies' pit, I couldn't take my eyes off his blue, black and white R1. The Italian-milk-backed bike is beautiful, with carbon-fiber bodywork, Brembo Monobloc brakes and Öhlins suspension among its alluring attributes.

As I chugged down pit lane, the engine sounded like it was broken, with a lot of rattling near my ankles. Turns out, it was just exhaust back pressure reverberating through the large mid-pipe routed right behind the rearsets. I changed gears and rolled open the throttle to begin my first lap around the 2.9-mile, 15-turn circuit. Escalating engine revs were accompanied by a marvellous sound from the Akrapovic muffler.

Magneti Marelli electronics, common to many front-running Superbikes, allow wide-open shift action that, in this particular case, was remarkably positive. Corner exits were never slowed by electronic interruptions that might upset the chassis. Maybe my 30-plus laps around the circuit helped me to push my limits on this bike but the edge of control was more recognizable than on, say, Ruben Xaus' factory BMW S1000RR.

From my perspective, Spies' R1 wasn't the fastest machine down Algarve's long front straightaway, but its crossplane-crankshaft engine had more torque than I ever imagined could be derived from an inline-four. Compared with the Yamaha of Noriyuki Haga that I rode last year in Portugal, Spies' R1 felt less front-end biased. With more weight focused over the rear of the bike, Spies' bike felt light and lively up front. That, combined with light steering-damper resistance, allowed the Yamaha to shake its head under hard acceleration, reminding me to keep a loose grip on the bars and plenty of weight over the front tire. Feedback while braking was amazing and I could make aggressive steering inputs with pinpoint accuracy…

For the full story and video, please visit Cycle World


In 2010, Spies will ride a YZR-M1 in MotoGP. Should be interesting...

Ben Spies on how to ride like Ben Spies...


Mat Mladin says Ben Spies is the best motorcycle racer right now. Yes, as good as Rossi...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure all of those pictures are the M1 he rode at Valencia.

Faster and Faster said...

You are right, of course. We had posted the wrong pics by mistake. The error has now been corrected.

Thank you.

-Team F&F

The Black Ninja said...

Spies may have won the championship but on the street the R1 will be blown off by BMW's new S1000RR.

Also, Spies is overrated. I believe he'll go the way of Toseland in MotoGP. Poof!

Anonymous said...

+1 for BMW s1000rr (track or street). Is Spies over rated?
Only time will tell. For now the 10 moto gp riders he smoked (old school (text book) passing) might be hopping your right. I like to think that his presents will step up the USA riders performance while showing he is the further of the sport ($), moving right past the average European midget
rider(s). , GO Spies... GO Hayden... GO Edwards!!! (lol)
happy days

Mack Preston said...

more than spies being overrated, it's the motogp guys who're playing mind games with him. with rossi, stoner and others all saying they expect great thing from Spies, they're just piling on the pressure on him and hoping that will lead to him making mistakes.

personally, i think spies may get a podium or two in motogp in 2010, but no more than that. the top three (rossi, stoner, pedrosa) really are at a whole different level right now... :-)

Gideon said...

Spies and Edwards in Yamaha Tech 3 LoL !!

i think "YAMAHA Tex 3" better... both of them from Tex-as...

John said...

MOTOGP will soon learn that Ben is a master of handling pressure. The great battles with Maladin and Haga have prepared him to deal with the likes of the other GP riders. Can't wait to see how the Tech Team competes next year. Edwards had a good year but I'd like to see the factory support boosted to compete better.

Anonymous said...

Spies is probably overrated because obviously he has shown the world what he's capable of! So I expect some really good battle! Aliens vs Predator! And Ben is the predator!

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