With a light touch of the brake lever, the auto blipper spikes the revs while you clutch in to downshift.
Brembo braking and carbon, o’ so sweet.
Stealth LEDs adds flavor to an Ohlins shock.
Case savers and Ti-bolts are a safe bet for style.
With a light touch of the brake lever, the auto blipper spikes the revs while you clutch in to downshift.
"This doesn't look like stainless steel." Want a rotor that quickly dissipates the inferno of heat generated by big bite binders hauling a street beast down from triple digits? Look no further than the lightweight Braketech Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC) rotors. Stealth fighter tech trickled down into the creation of these babies.
A rim large enough to eat off leaves spectators wide-eyed.
A comfortable seat takes the sting off a long commute.
Clean and mean, in the sunlight the House of Kolor White Ice Pearl glimmers off the standout white paint scheme.
The tri-tip barks off the light and rattles windows at high revs.
A rim large enough to eat off leaves spectators wide-eyed. (Middle) A comfortable seat takes the sting off a long commute.
“Kris, what about when we have to make a U-turn?” “Stone, at the moment all I’m worried about is convinvcing my throttle hand not to get me in trouble.”
“Jack-shaft who? According to my calculations this won’t deliver power well.”
Race-Spec 2009 R1
Fat-Tire 2012 R1
At the core of every Uncle Sam advertisement and politician’s election speech is that all-powerful word: “freedom.” We live and ride here because of the abundance of choice and when it comes to building custom bikes, that power of choice means we can do whatever the f$%k we want. Like’em long, low and wide or do you prefer them short, trimmed and lightweight? Whether it’s chrome and flashy or carbon, titanium and race-ready, the market is diverse enough to support any vision imaginable.
Which brings us to this tale of two R1s that share little more than their bloodline and manufacturer’s badge at this point. In one corner stands a lightweight track-ready monster with function placed before form. And in the other, a wide-tire roller that’s as clean as it is eye-catching. The kicker? We had the owners of each bike swap keys for a street ride to experience the other side of the coin and report back about what they thought.
While you likely fall into one of the two categories it’s our hope that you can still appreciate both sides of the sport. So sit back, pick a favorite and enjoy a face-off between two R1s that couldn’t be more different.
Rocket Science Special
2009 R1 owner, Dr. Steve Stone, is a real deal rocket scientist. While his day job includes classified documents and cracking aerospace algorithms that’d make Rain Man sweat, he’s just like any other dedicated enthusiast when it comes to bikes. But he’s also a serious perfectionist.
“It’s natural being in my line of work that we like cutting-edge technology, especially sportbikes,” Stone said. “I used to have an old Kawasaki GPZ900 (think Tom Cruise in Top Gun) that I loved to ride when I was younger, but I eventually parked it and when I wanted to ride again I realized it had been nearly 20 years.”
It was early 2009 when Stone was again bitten by the bike bug after seeing how well the R1 was performing in superbike racing. He had no idea how far he’d take his addiction to customization when he bought a spankin’ new R1. His decision that it needed an Akro system right away was the first indication of what was to come. “I wanted to ditch the stock exhaust because it was quiet and expelled tremendous amounts of heat, it was only the beginning of a long-road to where it sits today,” Stone said.
The quirky stock fueling was Stone’s next bone to pick and a Dynojet PCV along with a custom map fixed the low-speed stumbles. Since Stone has a history of automotive road racing it was only a matter of time before the performance mods really started to roll.
“Lightweight wheels do wonders for a car on a racetrack and I thought the same principals would apply to a motorcycle, so I made the swap to the carbon wheels and it was a night and day difference. I’d say the wheels made more of a difference than any other mod.”
No cheap knock-off rollers here, just pure cheddar in the form of BST carbon fiber five spokes filled with ceramic bearings and wrapped in Michelin’s ultra lightweight Pilot Pure hides. The high-buck rollers only fed Stone’s obsession and before long a host of Brembo Nickel-Cad Superbike braking components made their way into the mix along with BrakeTech CMC rotors and Öhlins fork internals along with a matching rear shock. “The combination of the wheels, brakes and suspension made a huge difference during turn-in since it not only dropped weight, but it also made the heavy R1 handle a lot better,” Stone said.
The bike wouldn’t be complete until it weighed 400-pounds and made 175 HP at the wheel. Lofty goals but with enough cash anything is possible. “The bike started between 460-470-pounds and made high 140s at the rear wheel, but after lots of hard work it now weighs 402-pounds with a half tank of gas and makes 176 HP at the tire,” Stone added.
How did he add nearly 30 HP at the wheel? Not easily. “The guys at Cycle Mall in Tustin, CA. knew an AMA/MotoGP motor builder who worked for Honda and we sent him my motor with the intent of making a great street motor that had lots of midrange power without being too peaky,” he added.
The cross-plane crank motor was torn down and balanced and blueprinted along with receiving extensive port work on the cylinder head and some racer treatment on the transmission. Other ancillary goodies include Graves ported throttle bodies, a Bazzaz traction control unit and an ECU Unleashed re-mapped computer–the result was another 30 HP with a pancake-flat torque curve.
No stone was left unturned, as he finally decided the form had to match the function and ditched the plastic for full carbon fiber bodywork blanketed in Kameleon paint. Just before going to press Stone added another round of go-fast mods to truly make it a completely custom streetbike. Takai high output coils and a Techtronics auto blipper for the ultimate race-ready downshifts were added. Finally, the Spiegler Superbike tubular handlebar setup for a more user-friendly seating position bolted into place.
After many hours under the watchful eye of a rocket scientist we’d say he’s crafted one of the most killer street-going replica racers on the market.
Rider Impression: Kris Cottrell
The word “trailer” doesn’t exist in Cottrell’s vocab. He rolls around on a 360 tire wherever he rides and even took a fat-tire R1 for a solo road trip from LA to Florida and back. His bike may look show but the odometer says otherwise.
Why Fat-Tire: “I just like the ride of the 360 better. I’m a maniac on a motorcycle and every time I ride a stock bike I want to go fast and you know I’m just not into that anymore. I just want to cruise and chill; it’s like you’re riding a chopper. People ask how fast I’ve gone on it and it’s funny ‘cause I say 60-70 and they laugh. But I can take it to the canyons and freak people out twisting through the corners with a big 360 tire.”
First Impression of Stone’s R1: “Looking at the other bike, I think it’s pretty cool because it’s a Yamaha. Love the parts on it but in my case with a big tire I have no use for those kinds of parts and they’d pretty much be a waste. It’s a whole different style of riding and the handlebars are a lot different but he’s an older gentleman so I guess it’s more comfortable for his riding position.”
Post Ride Impression: “It’s a lot different. It actually turns—well my bike turns, but his turns a lot easier than mine. It’s a lot of fun. I like the handlebars, it’s like riding a toy bike and the brakes are awesome. The throttle response is very nice too. It’s a little different from my taste but you know. When you ride a bike that has all of the bells and whistles you can get in a lot of trouble. I like cruisin’ around, it keeps me safe and keeps both wheels on the ground instead of always wanting to put one up. I know my limits and when I ride a bike like that I want to go fast. I want to make it to old age so I don’t see myself ever building a bike like this.”
2009 Yamaha R1
Front end: BST wheel with ceramic bearings, Brembo calipers and RCS19 master cylinder, Braketech CMC rotors, stainless steel brake lines, Öhlins fork inserts, Michelin Pilot Pure tire
Rear end: BST wheel with ceramic bearings, Brembo Superbike caliper, Braketech cast iron floating rotor, stainless steel brake line, Öhlins TTX shock, Michelin Pilot Pure tire, 520 conversion with Drive (1/+2) sprockets, D.I.D ERV3 chain
Motor: Balanced and blueprinted motor with ported/polished head and undercut/shot-peened transmission, Graves full system and ported throttle bodies, BSB Racing radiator, Techtronics throttle downshift blipper, Bazzaz Zi-Fi, QS and TC, Performance/Perfection airbox, Takai coils
Paint/Bodywork: CrownMotoUSA carbon fiber bodywork, Kameleon paint by David Tovar at SBKpaint.com
Accessories: Graves rearsets, Zero Gravity Corsa screen, Rick Mayer seat, OPP Racing Ti-bolt kit, Spiegler Superbike Handlebar kit, ASV clutch lever, Yamaha/OCC crash providers, GB Racing case savers, Driven grips, Ducati LED mirrors, HID headlights, LED X-Treme taillights, LED flashing highlights, Cyclone Motion alarm, Rizoma bar ends
Owner: Steve Stone
Builder: Cycle Mall
So Fresh and So Clean
The wide-tire world has seen its fair share of fads from all chrome to all black, from in your face to understated or themed. So when Kris Cottrell of VIP Alliance approached Buddha Concepts Designs with a new idea born on the cash-rich boulevards of Hollywood and Beverley Hills, it didn’t take long for the two companies to put their creative geniuses together to form one sick fat-tire 2012 R1. “We didn’t want it to be stickered up and flashy, it had to be clean, smooth and simple: the bodylines and sophistication had to be what hooked you, not crazy paint and tribal,” Cottrell said.
For those who’ve never cruised Sunset and experienced the Hollywood nightlife, this bike is the perfect two-wheeled rendition. It’s loud, exotic and meant to be stared at. Haters can’t help but look. “I wanted this R1 to reflect that boutique style you get in the SoCal high-end automotive culture,” Cottrell said.
Keeping it fresh had the team decide on only one color, white. “All white with undertones of black is just clean, but the color also had to be accentuated by the perfect stance as well,” Cottrell said.
The stance was achieved with a 12-over single-sided 360 swingarm from C&S Customs. This one-sided wide arm is a rarity in the sport, especially on an R1 known for tearing up the track.
After the ultra-lux arm landed on the bike the crew decided it was time to tear down the R1 and send the frame off for white powder coat. “The white powder coated frame and black accent parts help make it pop, but when the Buddhas hit the bodywork with the custom white paint with White Ice Pearl that was it,” Cottrell said.
It may just look white, but in the sun you’ll see deep layers of White Ice Pearl that add the kind of depth only found on supercars. Of course VIP Alliance added its own 360 Sega rear wheel with a matching 18” roller up front. “The bike was coming together but I still hadn’t decided on an exhaust system, then one day I saw a Lexus LFA and it’s unique exhaust–I knew that’s what the R1 had to have,”said Cottrell.
For anyone not familiar with the Lexus LFA supercar, it’s a work of art and is a Japanese-born Ferrari killer. It’s most distinguishing feature is its center-mounted triangular exhaust. “The Buddhas took one look at the stock R1 taillight and realized they could fabricate an LFA-style exhaust in the same spot, but since it carries so many electrical parts in the subframe, all of the wires had to be cut and extended and all of the stock electrical components on the subframe had to be relocated to other areas of the bike,” Cottrell said.
The long and drawn-out process of modding the subframe didn’t stop there either, after all of the cutting and welding followed by the chopping, splicing and relocating the Buddhas then fabricated the piping. While many think the system is a simple straight-piped variant, think again, the crew even fabricated two custom mufflers to keep the dBs in check but still let the cross-plane beast roar.
Finishing touches included a Zero Gravity screen and seat, Vortex clip-ons and rearsets along with a Drastik Plastix LED kit. Cottrell admits he’s happy with the finished product, but also let it slip that Brembo Superbike brakes and full Öhlins suspension are in store shortly. “It’s a gross testament to excess and with a bike like this sporting everything it already has and Brembo and Öhlins, I mean come on, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
In the end neither rider would choose to build a bike any different than what is already sitting in the garage but each gained a new respect for what the other chose to ride out on. It’s all about preference and adding that customized style. It turned out in this case that the “show” bike was actually ridden harder than the “race” bike-go figure. Both riders though respect the game of modifying sportbikes for the street and that was enough to get along.
Rider Impression: Steve Stone
With stacks of cash invested in a completely race custom R1, Stone’s bike stays off the track. He enjoys pushing the limits of technology and customization even if that means he’ll never fully utilize it’s potential—he’s in it for the build process. His bike is fast but he prefers to stay tame on the throttle in order to protect what is one bad around-town showpiece.
Why Racebike Replica: “I was following AMA and World Superbike racing and saw that the redesigned R1 was doing well, I liked the cross-plane crank technology and decided it was the bike to buy and build into what it is.”
First Impression of Cottrell’s R1: “I couldn’t even tell this was an R1 when I saw it. It’s so much different than what I’ve seen but the more I looked at it, I realized what it was. Then I saw that rear tire on the back and thought, ‘Wow this is a show bike, I don’t know how anyone could ride this on the street.’ It’s got a lot of hot rodded features. I’ve never been on anything with a tire this large. I think it’ll be easy to ride in a straight line but not sure what’s going to happen when I try to turn it.”
Post Ride Impression: “It sounded awesome when you screamed away but I was scared when I first got going because it rode so much different than mine. It took a lot more effort to turn while rolling slow but as I picked up speed it got much more responsive. The more I rode it, the more it felt like a solid streetbike, which surprised me. It’s actually comfortable and easy to ride when cruising and it’s low so it gave me a more solid feeling. It was uncomfortable making U-turns. I’m used to a rear brake and it didn’t have one. I don’t see myself ever building a bike like this.”
2012 Yamaha R1
Front end: 18” VIP Alliance Sega wheel, Vortex clip-ons, powder coated forks
Rear end: C&S; single-sided 12-over stock 360 swingarm, 360 VIP Alliance Sega wheel
Motor: Custom Buddha Concept Designs exhaust, Dynojet PCV
Paint/Bodywork: Powder coated frame and accessories, Buddha Concept Designs paint and custom subframe
Accessories: Drastik plastix LED kit, Vortex rearsets, Driven D3 grips, Zero Gravity windscreen and seat, Buddha Concept Designs custom LED taillight
Owner: Kris Cottrell, VIP Alliance
Builder: Buddha Concept Designs