Video: Watching a Yamaha R1 dance at Spa is spellbinding

15th July 2022
Seán Ward

We’ve watched so many great Spa Francorchamps over the years we’ve entirely lost count, but this has to be one of the most exhilarating. Why? Because all of the onboards we’ve seen so far have been in cars, never on a motorcycle. So, let’s jump onboard a Yamaha R1 and scare ourselves silly.

The R1 might be road legal but it performs in a way many four-wheeled racing cars wouldn’t be able to compete with. It weighs 199kg, has a 201PS (148kW), 1,000cc four-cylinder engine and will do 182mph flat out. With a view from the rider’s helmet as he blasts around Spa following another rider, you get a real taste of that power and speed, and the noise is incredible. Amazing, too, is how much angle these riders are both able to achieve, the one up front throwing his leg to one side under breaking, sitting upright, before ducking back down again. The rider we’re onboard with is doing the same, and it doesn’t even feel like he’s pushing as far as he or the bike could go.

You’ve got to be brave to take on challenge of Spa in any case, so to hurl yourself on an R1 and fire yourself at the horizon is a brave thing indeed. And because of the angle, with the rider so low to the ground and so exposed, we get a new look at one of the world’s finest tracks – the texture of the tarmac, the undulations of the rubber-covered kerbs. It’s spellbinding.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: This Isle of Man TT chin cam is savage

  • Elevenses

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  • Onboard

  • Yamaha

  • R1

  • Spa Francorchamps

  • Motorcycles



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