STG 2013 Project Bike R1 – Riders Recap

So, it all starts with this picture.  I see it posted on the STG Project Bike R1 Winner, James’ Facebook page last weekend.  Finally!  We finally get to hear his thoughts and feedback from riding the 2012 Yamaha R1 and I was excited equally excited to get his follow up phone call.
He had quite a bit to say, but I think I’ll let you read his thoughts.  He was gracious enough to send a full write up over to me and the following are his words, unedited…. 
First off, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to the STG Team! You guys are awesome!
The short version: It’s as amazing as you think it is, and then some.
My first time out on the bike was a blast. The first few laps I was just getting everything warmed up and spotting the track but the it felt light and was quick to respond. It really gave you the feeling that it wanted to go faster. The Graves throttle was quick and the first part of the turn seems a little brutal when your not used to it… something I loved later in the day. The ride was a little harsh (Harris is quite bumpy in spots) but controlled thanks to the Öhlins suspension and the balance was spot on. With the solid lock in that you can get with the rearsets and Stomp Grip this really isn’t too much of an issue. The biggest thing I noticed while I was out on the first ride was that I could focus on knocking the winter rust off my riding skills and the bike just did what it was supposed to. I wasn’t having to ride around a small power band or be kicking myself for being in the wrong gear. There was no chatter or head shake from the front and however much power you wanted, you got.
My second session out in the afternoon, after my brother rode it for the first time, was a little more rowdy. I had been going over the track in my head so I would be ready to run a bit faster. Sadly the batteries in my cameras died before I went out so I don’t have any video of this session. The highlight of the day was getting to play with some club racers and their 600s which really showed off how light the bike is and how well it turns. It kept right with them on entry and direction changes but after the apex it felt like a bully with the power difference. Made for a ton of fun going back and forth… I was on cloud 9 with a huge grin that still hasn’t come off. WHAT A RIDE!
I let my brother ride the rest of the day and while he was upping his pace he lost the front end going into the downhill entry of the hairpin causing a left hand lowside. Two more guys crashed in the same spot within about 20 minutes so I don’t think it had anything to do with the bike. More like the fact that Brian never crashed it so I think it had just been building up lol. We are getting the bike fixed back up and it be back out on the track in no time.

Parts run down and opinions:


Armour Bodies Bodywork: The fitment is excellent and they look great. The bike was getting a lot of attention while everyone was setting up. The combo of the body work and the paint job made it the best looking bike there.

Öhlins suspension: Handling was quick and accurate. You can place the bike where ever you wanted to and it’s easy to pick your line though any corner. Always felt controlled and inspired confidence. This is easily the biggest “experience enhancement” tool, it just makes everything better. Thanks again Joe!

Graves titanium exhaust: This one does it all. Lowers the weight, increases the power and puts people on the pit wall talking about awesome it sounds. Love it.

Bazzaz Unit with the works: The power, oh the power! For me this was less about maximum power output and more about how smooth and consistent it was. The bike has awesome mid range with a smooth increase in power all the way to redline. Made managing the rear end traction easy no matter where you were in the rev range. The extra power made passing easy and let me be a little more friendly to people by passing on the straight rather than edge by them mid corner. The quick shifter works very well, clean and crisp.

Ballistic 8 cell battery: More weight savings. I’ve had no issues with this, even after the winter break the 8 cell works just fine. I’m blaming the light weight battery for all the power wheelies in my 2nd session 🙂

Woodcraft Rear Sets: Great feel on the pegs with a solid lock in and lots of traction. They put your feet and legs right where they need to be. They crash well too, all I need is a left peg from the low side, everything else is still perfect … these are awesome.

Woodcraft Engine Covers: They look trick and actually work quite well. I was impressed with how well it held up. Probably good for another 2-3 low sides like this one, not that I want to find out.

Woodcraft Lever Guards: I know the value of these from my dirt track days, just gives the the added confidence if you get close to someone. Also, these saved both levers in the crash.

Woodcraft Clip-ons: Great position, great feel and great design. Easy to get on and off if needed, easy to adjust and easy to replace after a crash. These have been and will continue to be my personal favorite.

Spiegler Rennsport Brake Lines with Quick Disconnect: You always want confidence with your brakes and these just make it happen. No change in the feel all day for my brother or me, awesome product. Might have something to do with the fact that I had both the lines hooked up, thanks for the tip Brian.

Öhlins steering damper: I have not tried adjusting this yet because I never felt the need to. Initial input on the bars is fairly low but the stability is very good even over bumps that want to throw you out of the seat at almost full lean and setting down power wheelies when you didn’t have the bars straight (oops!). I found myself saying “Glad the damper is on there.” more than once.

Graves progressive throttle tube: This took a little getting used to but I love it now. The power comes on very quick but then becomes easier to manage right where you need it to.

Driven fuel cap: Trick part, I love the look of the cap and how quick it is to use which is important given how thirsty this beast is!

We were all sad to see the R1 leave when James and his brother Tom came to pick it up.  I have to say, it was hard to hear that it had been crashed, but it couldn’t have gone to a better person.  Many of us from the shop had a great time hanging out with both of them and we’ve all gained a couple friends from the experience.  
I am glad that we were able to help them out with some new riding gear while they were here, Tom got a chance to test it out last weekend…



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