With the race bike near completion (when is it really though) for the start of the season I turned my attention towards my neglected, off in the corner of the garage collecting dust, 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1. Emma, yes I have given my bike a name upon rolling off the showroom floor, has been a joy to ride but I found it was time to spruce things up for the start of the road riding season. There wasn’t much I think it needed, specially in the performance department, but nevertheless any excuse to spend money on the bike was always rationalized, one way or the other.
I wanted two things really when looking for some upgrades and they were simple: performance and protection. The source for the upgrades were equally as simple as I just picked up a Woodcraft Technologies catalog, figuratively of course, and threw it at my bike. They not only make but also carry basically anything a road racer could possibly need for a race weekend and now even the regular ole street aficionados can find something for their steeds.
I opted to go with their complete line of bike protection products for a plethora of reasons, the first being it is very simple to install even someone like myself with little wrench knowledge can do. The second is that everything is made in house so quality control is of highest regards. Each part is replaceable and they carry every replaceable part imaginable is in their warehouse! Lost a hex slider? They have that. What about a socket cap 6X16 bolt for your rearset shift pedal? You bet they have those too! Best part is their customer service which is top notch, something not many can boast in this day and age. Decision made easy so on order was the following:
- Axle sliders for the front & rear to protect my front fork lowers and the rear swingarm. Inexpensive investments to prevent costly repairs is always a welcomed notion.
- Engine case covers/protectors for the stator and ignition & frame sliders to protect the vital bits and I do mean vital. Easier and cheaper to replace a skid plate on the engine covers and a puck on the frame sliders than it is an entire engine or the frame.
- Complete rearset, well this was mainly for me, I always enjoyed the versatility of the adjustments these offered but not many people know that they also double in aiding bike protection if you happen to lay it down.
After the protection department was covered I turned my attention towards the performance aspect. Like I have said before the R1 straight out of the crate is a very stout performer compared to the last generation but still it could be improved upon in some areas. One of the big one was the catalytic system which if you have seen my review on YouTube and many others like it you would know the stock exhaust system weighs a ton and is a big eye sore.
Luckily for me Woodcraft has become a true one stop shop because now they carry Hindle exhaust systems! I know what you’re thinking “Hindle who?” I knew of Hindle from older bikes that used to be adorned with their atrocious, big oval mufflers that were equally sore to the eyes as the stock system on my R1 and sounded like a fart can on those Honda Civic after a night of watching the Fast and the Furious. But before you cast your stares upon me just know that as skeptical as I am I gave them a chance with their new line of exhaust systems called the Evolution.
From a performance standpoint they will net gains like the other power houses in the business (gains from full systems are usually all around the same ball park) but the winner here is the weight savings I achieved. The stock catalytic system comes in to weighing about 17 lbs through a lot of reviews and install videos over the web but this system weighed in at about 5-7 lbs and that is including the canister! True in the game of exhaust tuning weight savings is all the rage but Hindle uses thing gauge stainless steel which results to as much or equal in shedding those lbs as compared to more exotic materials such as titanium. The real kicker too is that they are AFFORDABLE! This seemed like a brainer to me. I gladly picked up a titanium muffler/carbon tip combo 3/4 system from them and was on my merry way to installing it.
I am in the middle of creating a sound clip of before and after so that will be on the webs in the next couple of days. I will just say that this exhaust system checked off all the boxes I had in mind before purchasing and then some. The sound this setup makes is orgasmic to the ears. If you yourself have one of these bikes or even the last generation cross-plane and really want to open up that engine then give this a shot!
Of course an exhaust upgrade also meant that upgrading the ECU, or in my case flashing it, was necessary! Off my ECU went to the good folks over at Superbike Unlimited on a Monday and back in my hands that following Saturday. Their flash was definitely worth the money because not only were the factory restrictions and limits all removed, they are able to do a baseline map to the system and let you really feel the monster that has always been lurking underneath. If you haven’t heard of these guys neither then it is time for you to come out from under that rock of yours. Give Justin a call, send in your ECU and you’ll have smiles for miles. Of course a dyno tune or a real time A/F tuner is still needed to really dial in the system but this was a great first step.
Now she sits back in me garage as I prep the final stages for the race weekend … that is next weekend!