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Super Street bike, March 2010
Dave Sonsky
March 8, 2011

You almost wonder why someone would even bother to shell out the extra cash for a limited edition R1 when it's destined for a major rebuild. Most of the upgraded parts that came on the LE package were ultimately scrapped for higher-spec upgrades, leaving the retro paint as the only indication of the bike's pedigree.

Though our well-pocketed aftermarket parts patron prefers to remain anonymous, we can recognize him as the type of person who doesn’t know when to say when. The original $18,000 LE came sporting Marchesini aluminum wheels. So why upgrade to the most expensive BST carbon fiber hoops on the market? How about swapping the stock slipper clutch for an aftermarket STM unit?

Apparently the Yamaha-issued Öhlins forks and rear shock on the LE weren’t good enough either because they were also upgraded with Öhlins superbike components.

While these mods all seem rather flamboyant we do agree with the braking improvements. Don’t be fooled though-they aren’t your standard brake mods. Brembo monobloc calipers and a master cylinder along with Brake Tech ceramic rotors replace the stock R1 components, and while these parts are perhaps a bit over the top for a street bike, they’re certainly lust worthy for any red-blooded performance freak. More thrifty tuners would likely spring for lower range calipers and traditional steel rotors, but then this bike is anything but a practice in frugality.

The LE’s original engine was mildly massaged to give it 3 HP over the standard mill, but did you expect that would be sufficient in this case? Aside from the obvious full titanium Akrapovic exhaust system and accompanying Power Commander, the internal tweaks are numerous: blueprinted motor, ported head, YEC cams, pistons and injectors-all adding up to 169 HP at the wheel.

Some might say that this bike ruined everything that the LE was intended to be-a collector’s keepsake. Instead of altering the LE version wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper to buy a crashed R1 and bolt all this sweetness onto? Certainly, but when cash is no concern such considerations are irrelevant.