A standard R1 just wasn't enough

Published: 28 January 2001

MODIFIED R1s can be found at every pub meet in the country, but few are as desirable as QB Carbon's Yamaha.

More than £12,000 has been lavished on the bike to turn it into the ultimate R1 - and it's an everyday source of pleasure for its owner.

It was shipped to the UK by an American rider, who asked QB for a bike with awesome looks and performance to match. And no expense has been spared in the quest to make that happen.

The first thing QB boss John Merill did was strip it down to its component parts. The customer wanted the bike to produce more than 150bhp at the back wheel - so the engine was first in the queue for attention.

The standard airbox went straight in the bin, replaced by a large-capacity version to drag in the high volume of oxygen a modified motor would demand. The larger airbox meant the frame had to be altered to create room. The alloy cross-spar between the main side beams has been moved to make way for a huge carbon scoop. The entrance to the box has been doubled. A similar system is used on the R7.

After modification, the frame was welded back together and powder-coated dark grey - again in a similar style to the R7.

V&M Racing helped set the carbs up to work in harmony with the new airbox. Add on an Akrapovic titanium race exhaust system, the changes should take the bike above the 150bhp target. That's about 15bhp more than the standard R1 - and without making the engine any peakier than stock.

But the owner isn't taking any chances. Before the bike is returned to the States, it will be sent to tuner and MCN technical expert Ray Stringer for a dyno run. If it doesn't exceed 150bhp at the back tyre Stringer will start work on the engine internals to reach the target.

Whatever the dyno says, the bike is sure to provide plenty of speed. The airbox set-up is identical to that used on the V&M R1 ridden to success at the TT and the North-West 200.

Like the V&M bikes, the swingarm on the road version has been lengthened by 12mm and braced for extra stability under hard acceleration - even though it will slow the steering slightly.

A quick-release system on the rear wheel, identical to the one used at the Isle of Man, has also been added.

The bodywork is made entirely from carbon-fibre, helping reduce overall weight by 6kg (13lb) from the stock figure. The new bike is just 169kg (372lb).

The seat unit is made of carbon and has a flush-fitting undertray as well as restyled twin rear lights.

Carbon is also used for the fuel tank. It holds three litres more than the standard 18 and features two endurance-style fillers and a tank-breather modelled on the R7.

The bike has lightweight Marvic wheels and race-spec Ohlins upside-down front forks with a titanium-nitride coating to ensure a smooth movement. The forks are held in place with milled billet alloy yokes, which allow the steering geometry to be adjusted.

An Ohlins rear shock features a piggyback oil reservoir and is adjustable for compression, rebound and pre-load, while an Ohlins steering damper keeps things under control at the front.

A set of Pro-Mach rear-sets, adjustable to suit most riding styles, help give a racier riding position and increase ground-clearance. A quick-shifter has also been fitted so the rider doesn't have to close the throttle to change up. Nudge the gear change and the shifter automatically cuts the ignition for a split second - dropping the revs and allowing the gear to engage.

Paintwork is styled on the WSB R7, but with the red changed to yellow.

Once the bike has been displayed at the Ally Pally Show, it's set to be shipped to its owner in Florida.

But if you fancy something similar - and you can afford the work and a donor bike - QB Carbon can be contacted on: 0115 989 4468.