Bell Star Helmet Review
Here’s a quick video with my thoughts on the Bell Star Helmet after I tried it at a trackday. (it was at the track, sorry for the poor sound) Excellent helmet!
Here’s a link to more info http://www.bellsports.com/powersports/
Lee’s Cycle CBR1000 Velocity Stack Review
My ‘08 CBR1000 is all stock except for a Nojima pipe and a PC. The mid range pull is amazing, but the top end for sure falls off, even with the Ig Module timing fixed.
Having ridden a bunch of Jermey Toye’s bikes, his CBRs pull so hard and keep revving and he told me a big part of the better top end, was the stacks he makes.. well, I finally put a set on and here is a graph from my bike, Lee’s Cycle stacks vs. stock.
This is a great mod! There isn’t really another part for the $$ you can put on that makes more power, let alone right where the CBR was lacking. The price is $200 and you have to send your old stacks in, a bargin for the difference.
(After I got the bike dyno’d, I left the graph printout at the shop. Mike Canfield had to email to me, so that’s why the graphs are pretty bare. Next time I’m there, I’ll repost the graph with notes, not that it really matters.)
http://www.leescycle.com/ Phone: (858)541.2080
It has been awhile since I wrote about my R1 and how life has been with it. It now has 3750 track miles and I am still very happy with the bike. Not one mechanical issue, no burning oil, brakes never fade, even the chain hardly needs adjusting, all in all, very reliable and cheap to operate. (Though for some strange reason I seem to go through a lot of rear tires..) The only complaint I have is the passenger accommodations….really cramped and passengers seem to lose their grip on the passenger pegs easily. I’ll break down the updates in a few different categories.
Motor: The motor and power delivery of the R1 is so very different. As I have stated before, it has the personalities of a twin and an inline 4, coming off a turn really well and still revving out great on top. But of course, we all want more! Stock it dyno’d at 150hp. I removed the little restrictor in the airbox and added a cat bypass pipe and the dyno said we had 155rwhp. Looking to makes things better and since I only ride the bike at the track, I had Jett Tuning (www.jetttuning.com) reflash my stock ECU which gets rid of all the factory restrictions. The difference was amazing! Better throttle response and more power, everywhere. I dyno’d it again and the dyno spun the R1 to 160hp. My riding impressions felt like it had more than that, with much more mid range acceleration from 8k RPM up. Top end was much improved and the bike would actually pull past 13k fairly easily. Initial throttle response was also vastly improved without the big lurch the stock ECU had. The fuel curve also looked great and since it’s so close, I am not going to be doing any remapping. As much as I wanted a Kit ECU, this was so easy, worked really well and I could keep all my normal street functions. I am sold.
Brakes: I am still very happy with the brakes. The lever never fades and the brakes remain powerful. I even am still using the factory brake fluid and I guess at some point I should change it out! I am still using the same set of Galfer 1375 brake pads that I did a review on and am pleased to say, they are still working great and have lasted very well. I have put over 1000 track miles on them and they still have a ton of material left.
Suspension/Chassis: Just like the motor, the chassis on the new R1 takes some understanding. With stock components, it needs to be very stiff in the rear to keep rear from losing its geometry. If not, the bike will want to spin and quit steering. Besides making the shock quite stiff, I have also raised the rear of the bike 6mm at the shock clevis and combined with raising the front, it transforms the bike. Lifting the front about 4mm, combined with the raising the rear, has the bike steering better, holding its line better and much improved grip. With this set-up, the stock fork springs start to hold the bike back as they are too soft for my use. If I try to keep the fork from bottoming or moving too quickly through the stroke by adding additional preload or compression, it upsets the bike in too many other places. Not to say you can’t still haul ass on it! Which leads me to the next set of changes…
Racetech Rear Shock. Having used various Racetech components for some time, when Mike Canfield told me he had a new Race Tech produced shock for me to try, I couldn’t wait to try it. Riding at Thunderhill, I bolted in on the bike, checked my ride height, free sag and off I went. WOW! This shock felt great. With the stock shock, I have to run the clickers and preload very tight to get it to work how I want. With the Race Tech shock, the initial part of the stroke was softer, but yet as it moved through the rest of the stroke it remained solid, not too stiff or too soft. And, I hadn’t even touched the clickers yet. Besides this shock having better overall characteristics, it allowed much more consistent grip. The stock shock had to be so stiff to hold the bike up, when it did spin, it would be a fairly big deal with lots of bike movement, now grip is very consistent and the feedback is dramatically better. I have since ridden the shock and Buttonwillow and again at Thunderhill (with a different fork setting) and it still works great. With the stiffer forks (see below) I was able to stiffen the setting a bit and was pleased to see they the clickers respond very well and are still near the middle of the adjustment range. This is a very good shock, certainly on par with everything else out there and I will be reporting more on how it is doing and some of the changes we make with it.
Front Forks: To take advantage of the cool Race Tech Shock I have been using, the stock forks needed to be stiffer. Without going out and spending a fortune, or re-inventing the wheel, I dropped in a stiffer set of Race Tech forks springs into the stock forks. I chose a set of straight rate 1.0kg springs as a starting point and Race Tech makes it super easy as these just swap out directly for the stockers. No spacer cutting or anything, just simply swap them out. I set free sag and away I went, again another huge improvement! These spring work in a much more linear fashion than the stock springs and I can run a softer initial preload while still not bottoming out. I did have to add a bunch of rebound to compensate for the stiffer spring, but so far I am not quite at the end of the adjustment range. The weather wasn’t the greatest for this test and I’ll be riding it again very soon, but so far this has been another great change. I may experiment with even a stiffer set of springs coming up shortly. These forks along with the new shock have transformed an already fun bike, into a bike that is way more planted, easier and waaay more fun to ride.
Coming soon: R1 Stock shock upgrades and an R6 Review!
Galfer 1375 Brake Pads
One of the aspects of the 2009 Yamaha R1 I really like is the front brake. The lever always stays firm and I can count on it, lap after lap. In 3000 track miles, I have yet to have needed to bleed the brakes and the stock pads lasted forever…OK, really it was 2000 track miles before I had to replace them. Having said that, what I was looking for was a brake pad that was overall a bit more aggressive, especially with initial bite. The initial bite of the stock pad is pretty soft and the pad doesn’t really ramp up the friction as you build pressure. I had tried some of the Galfer 1003 pads last year and really liked them. The only issue was they wore really quickly, only lasting 3-4 days. I called Galfer to see what other pads they recommended and they said I should try the 1375 compound. The 1375s have a different material and compound than the 1003s that I liked so much, but I was told they still had a great initial bite and braking performance.
I installed the pads (remember to service your brake calipers when you change pads!) and bed in was very easy, as I did not need to bead blast my rotors. Some easy stops, progressing to a few harder stops and I could feel the pads bedding in nicely. I rode the bike at Infineon Raceway, which is a very hard track on brakes, having 5 hard braking zones per lap. My initial thought was the pads had about the same initial bite as the 1003 compound and much more bite than the stock pads, but nothing like the Vesrah SRJLs. Building brake pressure in one of the many hard stopping zones saw a great balance of lever pressure versus brake force. Give the brake lever 40% pressure and get rewarded with 40% more braking force. After riding the bike all day with the Galfer pads, I still saw zero brake fade and the lever still stayed the same all day. If anything, it got a bit firmer. The one place where the 1003 pads have it better than the 1375s is the hotter the 1003 pads get, the better they work, especially at the end of a heavy brake zone. The 1375s certainly worked well and I felt I had more confidence to brake later than with the stock pads, but the 1003s have it better for all out brake performance at the expense of much reduced brake pad life. After a whole day of riding, the 1375s still looked new and it will be interesting to see how long they last compared to the stock pads.
Overall, I was very happy with the Galfer 1375 pads and I can see why they are so popular. They give very linear and consistent braking, which builds great confidence. Both the stock pads and Galfer pads are priced around $120 for both calipers and I purchased mine at Mach 1 Motorsports. www.MACH1MOTORSPORTS.com
My 2009 Yamaha R1
Ahhh, the new R1…having been involved with a magazine test and riding one at the MMP Yamaha Champions riding school, I bit the bullet and bought one for myself. And, to be honest, I wasn’t very excited about getting one. It placed last in the RRW test, and at the school, has been a bit of a pain to set-up. Oh, for sure they look and sound cool, but do they perform? Well, I rode mine for the first time at Thunderhill and I am VERY HAPPY! I worked with a student all day and at the end of the day (after “breaking it in”) I was able to run just a few solo laps and was able to get into the low 55’s..with the only changes being set-up and sticky Pirelli tires.
Some quick impressions:
The motor has two totally different personalities, a V-Twin style low end and a super quick revving top end. Compared to my ’08 CBR, I found myself a gear taller with this bike, everywhere. Taking advantage of the cross-plane crank drive, allowed me to really get on the gas sooner and sooner, very cool! It for sure lacks the top end punch of some bikes but if you short shift say 1,000rpm’s below redline, it gets with the program. Oh, the sound!!!! Almost worth buying because of it, I love it.
Solid, stable with lots of confidence.. A bit heavy feeling, but once on its side, it tracks great and went where I wanted it to. Funny thing, the heavy feeling actually feels like a benefit as it stays exactly where you want and little or nothing upsets it, but still can change lines if need be. Also, I could not get the bike to wheelie. (Ok yeah I could if I really wanted to) Going over 9, it was pinned with no hint of the front end coming up so you had to roll out of it.
Overall very powerful and solid. I don’t think the pads have very much initial bite, but they do seem to be lasting a long time.
I could write about this for days and what I went through to get where I am now….In a nut shell, stiff stiff stiff, is what the bike likes. The rear on my bike is a brick. The front is also pretty stout, but together the bike is very balanced and I am very pleased. There are also a few other things I found out about working with the bike suspension wise, but I’ll keep those a secret…for awhile….
Overall, I love the bike. My worries are gone and I can’t wait to go ride it again. I plan to leave it stock…well kinda, for a while and add bits and pieces here and there. Big thanks to Jeff Leggitt and MACH 1 Motorsports for giving me the deal of the century, he is a class act and really cares about our sport. If you see me at the track, come by and check my R1 out!
Dyno results/ECU Upgrade
Brake Pad Review