Italian Stallion: Yamaha YZF1000R
THE ULTIMATE ROAD WARRIOR
Motorcycle Online brings you the latest from those crazy guys at our Italian borough. In their never-ending quest for speed comes a high-tech urban assault weapon. A Yamaha YZF750 with an FZR1000 engine. Here’s how it came to be.
THE DRAWING BOARD
“I have owned one of each of the Yamaha FZR1000’s, starting with the 1989 model,” says the owner of this hybrid bike, Lanfranco Penna. “But in 1993 I decided to buy a YZF750. I was attracted by its new chassis, although I was hesitant to step down to a 750 motor. The YZF has a really solid chassis, a great suspension, and an intuitive riding position, but once you’ve gotten used to the power of a 1000cc motor, you can’t live without it. So I decided to combine the best of both bikes.”
A used motor was found at a local parts house, and received a thorough “going over.” The motor proved to be in great shape, and the only internal change was a mild porting job to the head. Everything from the 1000 motor, including the five-speed gearbox, was bolted to the YZF’s cases. The only modification necessary to mount the new motor in the frame was a replacement hanger that bolted the new cylinder head to the frame. This hanger is visible through the air duct in the side of the bike’s fairing. Bolt-on performance parts include a set of Mikuni 41mm “Slingshot” carburetors, and a carbon fiber Yoshimura exhaust pipe. Stainless steel braided brake lines improve the feel and stopping power of a pair of 320mm Brembo Gold Series rotors. To ensure that there would be no problems lofting the front wheel, the stock front fender was canned in favor of a lightweight carbon fiber unit. A Marlboro Yamaha race replica paint job and Zero Gravity windscreen make the bike look as good as it goes, while ultra-sticky Michelin radials put the power to the pavement.
THE REAL WORLD
Since the bike is in Italy and the Motorcycle Online test tracks and dyno are in Southern California, we can only estimate (with stopwatches and indicated speed readers — not the best test equipment) the performance capabilities of the bike. But the combination of a powerhouse FZR1000 motor in a lightweight, nimble YZF750 frame has to be, well, pretty damn fast. Here are some Chianti-influenced numbers from our Italian correspondent.
We can only guess at the top speed, but the bike was running away from a 1994 Suzuki GSXR1100 whose speedometer was pegged at 280kph.
Giulio Meccoci, Italian Desk:
This is a well-balanced bike with massive amounts of power. The YZF chassis is perfectly capable of maintaining its composure under the stress of an FZR1000 motor at full throttle, yet it still makes for a very streetable bike. I want one! Lanfranco:
I think I have finally found the total bike, the final weapon: It combines the grace and power of an FZR1000 engine (made even more powerful with a Yoshimura kit) and the first-rate YZF750 chassis. This machine feels rock steady in 200kmh sweepers, yet maintains superior driveability in the city thanks to enormous amounts of torque. I’m very happy with the way the bike turned out.
Special thanks to Lanfranco Penna.