KIWI RIDER 11 2018 VOL.2 - Page 105

Fast, light and accurate... the bike, not the editor an experience that goes against everything a road rider learns. ASBK (and NZSBK) rules are superstock-style, which mean the engine must be standard but it a can have the cylinder head skimmed, the cam-timing dialled in, a race exhaust, air filter, and the ECU can be ‘flashed’ to suit. According to the team, this is a genuine 194hp at the rear wheel on the dyno, not 200hp at the spark plug. This is genuine big horsepower, and it feels like it. It’s doing small wheelies out of corners while I’m still leant over. Big throttle makes the front light just about everywhere. It accelerates so fuggin hard that I’m afraid I’ll fall of the back. Compared to the R6 I’ve just ridden, this thing is like King Kong on the rampage compared to the R6’s chimpanzee. Is that a fair comparison? No, of course not, but, then, I’d just jumped off the R6 onto this beast, so it’s the only one I had at hand. I thought this fuggin wheelie control was on?? It turns out it’s wheelie ‘control’, not ‘anti’ wheelie. So this thing will still wheelie out of every corner, while still leant over. A couple of laps in and I’m starting to get used to the vicious acceleration and, seemingly, limitless amounts of grip – the suspension is barely bothered by my efforts and the brakes have far more capability than I do. They’ll pull the bike up hard enough, in combination with the ungodly amount of grip from the front slick, that my arms start to buckle when I try to brake ‘hard’. The top riders like Daniel put up with this violent acceleration and deceleration 20 times a lap for 20-odd laps. These guys are not ‘riders’, they’re athletes. It’s the strangest experience – this ASBK YZF-R1 is vicious and nasty, yet easy, smooth and placid all at the same time. There’s a brutality to it that’s controlled and accessible, but it’s definitely waiting to bite. Anti-lift wheelie control keeps it kinda controllable under severe acceleration out of corners and the pre-heated slicks keep grip completely under control. As my half a dozen laps came to a close I’d gained enough confidence to realise there was nothing to worry about. There’s huge grip. Massive amounts of sticky black rubber sucking the bike down onto the KIWI RIDER 105