Back to the future Yamaha...
Back to the future Yamaha YZF-R8
Checking the menu for a new big-bore sportbike? Chances are you're considering a 600cc screamer or tire-shredding 1000cc behemoth, and the choices available are many from inline fours to V-twins. But if you want a 750--the middle ground that supposedly offers the benefits of the smaller bike (flickability, lower insurance bracket, less intimidation) while giving you a generous slice of the bigger bike (increased power and torque), then there's only one serious option--the GSX-R750.
However, despite its undeniable ability, we can't help but feel that Suzuki is holding back on us. Performance has barely increased in recent updates and there's the sense that Suzuki is coasting unchallenged with little competition in this class of one. Although we love the R6 and R1, we wonder what a road-going MotoGP-sized incarnation would be like, so after a rummage around the Yamaha parts bins we came up with something to whet your appetite. Bon appetit!
With 16,000rpm to play with, variable length inlet tracts for extra midrange shunt and a true 110 hp the 2008 Yamaha R6 is a belter of a motor and a great starter dish for our R8. Bored out and long-stroked to 799cc we'd expect a healthy 150 hp at a slightly less giddy 13,500rpm at the rear wheel with a Power Commander, air filter and open pipe. Still want a liter bike? We don't.We want this GSX-R750 killer.
This is what happens when you fuse a YZF750 frame with that of an R6. Our super strong Deltabox 3 has a removable subframe and the total absence of pillion provision keeps weight down. It'll easily handle the extra power from any engine tuning. Swingarm is inspired by the Aprilia Cube, while suspension is hlins all around. Brakes are 1098-spec Brembos, as are the wheels--the rear is adapted to fit a conventional double-sided swingarm. It all adds up to a phenomenally fast road and trackday bike.
Heavily modified R6 plastics grace our bike, and why not? In keeping with the Yamaha `R' range, it keeps the family resemblance but with enough differences to give it a twist of its own. The tail unit is tidied up, the extra length bellypan stores the silencer and the top cowl is a sleeker, slicker version of the R6's, tested in our virtual fantasy wind tunnel. The fuel tank is original R1, mirrors are borrowed from a Derbi GPR50, though we were going to leave them off altogether--nothing's going to catch this bad boy!