Third try the four-cylinder comes to life and it appears the Yamaha will finally see combat duty. A plan hatches to run it in Clubman to get some practice time, knowing full well the bike is not legal for the class. I check with the other racers and as none of them have a problem with it, I decide to go for it, knowing that I might get protested.
The Yamaha handles better than I can ride it, but has ZERO power below 10,000 RPM. 10-13k it is sweet and fast for its displacement, but get it out of that 3,000 rpm power band and it bogs and sputters like a two-stroke and feels like it is going backwards.
The learning curve is steep, as the chassis is willing to do things that my survival instinct is not yet prepared to allow, while the lack of bottom end and midrange power make them absolutely necessary to run the thing at a reasonably quick pace. My mind refuses to wrap itself around how fast this machine can corner. My road racing experience up until now has been mostly limited to flexi-framed machines that proclaim the limits of handling and adhesion in loud and distinct tones, whereas the FZR seems willing to take you quietly and unawares to the very edge of tire traction without a shake, quiver or wobble. To the very edge, but over? That is the question.
|Razor sharp handling, dull and blunted rider|