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2016 MOVISTAR YAMAHA R3 – GET YOUR MOTOGP ON
Yamaha called and said they had a mad new R3 for us to test. We thought of appropriate people to go and ride it for us, but then threw that list away and sent Boris. Who better to test a hot LAMS bike than the crankiest big man in motorcycling?
Oh to be 17 again.
Fearless, bulletproof…attractive to babes…sigh…
Sadly, being 17 these days is not like being 17 when I was 17.
When I was 17, you made your motorcycle bones on vicious fire-breathing Jap 1100s. Or you died.
Today, our feckless youths have been constrained by the State to straddle LAMs.
They make whatever bones they have to make on bikes that are in every way more friendly and useable than a GPZ1100 with the entire Moriwaki catalogue fitted to it.
I kinda feel a bit sorry for them. It must be really hard to look, ride and sound like a road-demon on a LAMs bike, huh?
So if I was 17 again right now, and hell-bent on riding motorcycles, I would be looking for something that’s got a bit of…um, swag (is that the term?). Something that’s got a bit of sass.
So how about a Yamaha R3 with a full race-system on it painted up in Movistar MotoGP colours?
Yeah, I reckon I’d have me some of that. Hell, I might even buy a Lorenzo replica helmet from Shark, or an AGV replica lid from AGV and watch the damp undies just pile up at my feet.
Borrie even went adventure riding on it
The normal R3 is a superb LAMs bike. It offers the beginner excellent ride characteristics – the brakes, the handling, the riding position, the ease with which you ride it, the confidence it offers to the unsure, and the forgiveness it provides to the hesitant, are all top-notch.
But paint it up in MotoGP colours (Yamaha did this because George and Vale brought the constructor’s MotoGP title home in 2015), stick a serious Akrapovic sound-system on it, and suddenly it’s quite special. Not that it’s gonna give you more horsies. It will, but only maybe three or four.
This is all about the noise.
That exhaust system is the reason this is the first time I can put my hand on my heart and state: “You know, this is a LAMs bike that sounds pretty good.”
Normally, I wanna beat the rider to death with a tomato stake – which is what old people want to do to lickspittles who rev-bomb LAMs bikes at 2am because their brains have surrendered to testosterone overload. And because they sound terrible. Hell, kid, if you’re gonna sing the song of our people in the middle of the night, please make that song worth listening to.
So enough “get off my lawn” shit.
Get the Akra, fo’ shizzle
The Movistar R3 and I spent a cheery two weeks banging around Sydney and making lots of noise. It lane-splits like a bastard, but since L-platers aren’t allowed to do that, I’m only mentioning it in case some of them decide a law that endangers them is one worth ignoring.
I also had a lot of fun pinning it around twisties. If you ride it high up in the rev-range (double digits all the time every time), you’ll find that it carries a hilarious amount of corner speed. And corner speed is what you need if you like to shame wombats who’ve bought litre-bikes they can’t really ride very well. The R3s handling integrity is superb. Be smooth and you’ll be fast. But if you button off in fear, you’re gonna struggle coming out of bends hard on the gas. A LAMs bike doesn’t come hard onto the gas like a litre sportsbike does. So you have to carry a high corner speed to stay competitive. Just so you know.
But that’s alright. You have to work with what you have. And this high corner-speed paradigm will teach you to ride, just like those Moto3 bikes teach racers to race before they step up to the big league.
But wait. There is more.
On the day I went out to photograph the beastie, I made a wondrous discovery.
There is a way you can make your R3 spin the back wheel coming out of corners just like the champions do through Stoner Corner at Phillip Island.
What you have to do first is wheel the bike into a muddy paddock. Make sure both wheels are coated with magnificent clay. Let it dry a bit.
Now go find some corners.
Happy days. Again.
Oh how I laughed as I filled my pants with terror the first time the clay-caked back-tyre stepped out and started spinning.
But, as I discovered after a few passes, it’s quite a lot of fun. Especially with that Akro pipe screaming it head off.
And Australia is a land with a lot of clay. Any good building site has tonnes of it. Most times, you’ll have to bring your own water to make the racing clay, but the reward is certainly worth the effort.
But see how you go. Try not to write cheques your arse can’t cash.
It has enough pillion accommodation to get home from the club, and that’s all that matters, right?
Oh, and another thing. You know there’s this thing called the R3 Cup? It’s a race series for R3s. Grown men compete in it, as well as kids with pimples. It’s hilarious. Check it out.
So there you go.
The Yamaha Movistar R3 with an Akro race system on it.
Do it. Think of the panties.
The Movistar R3 is the same price as a normal R3 – $6399.
The Akrapovic stainless steel exhaust system is $839, or about 140 gelatos, 209 coffees, or 56 pizzas. When you get older, you’ll realise that girlfriends spend this much on a pair of shoes.
Just want the can? No problems. That’s $399.
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