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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 318 September 2016 > THE £18,749 TRACKDAY


The price tag may make you weak at the knees, but given the stars on show, the salubrious surroundings and you get a free Yamaha YZF-R1M thrown in for good measure it’s all starting to sound quite reasonable! Welcome to the R1M Racing Experience

The excitement of buying a new Yamaha YZF- R1M is naturally all encompassing – so perhaps it’s understandable that the little baubles that come with the bike are forgotten about when you’ve got a shiny new machine to play with.

For a start, the process of buying an R1 with the subtle suffix is a little out of the ordinary. To order one you had to go onto a special website to register your interest, before your local dealer rolled out the red carpet and invited you to come in and sign on the dotted line. That’s what 85 or so customers did in the UK last year, within hours of the website going live, easily fulfilling the UK’s quota of bikes – and leaving many of Yamaha’s more minted fans disappointed with no R1M to show for their efforts.

So for 2016 Yamaha changed the system, and all of Europe’s allocation was put in a pot with the bikes being dished out on a first come, first served basis. The results were staggering, with nearly two and a half times more bikes sold to Brits – a total of 175 – meeting the pent up demand for the bike and eschewing any notion that people won’t pay close to 20 grand for a Japanese sportsbike.

Over the course of spring, these bikes were delivered to some very happy and proud owners – a massively diverse group of people as it turned out. The usual procedure of riding, polishing and aftermarket part procurement then began in earnest, with little thought of an envelope from Yamaha dropping on the doormat. There was too much to take in trying to understand how to get the best from the sublime Öhlins Electronics Racing Suspension (ERS), the clever Communication Control Unit (CCU), the apps that accompany the bike and trying to engage the slide control system to worry about what might come in the post.

The karaoke proved popular throughout the two days...

Within that letter was an invitation to the Yamaha Racing Experience – what you could easily dismiss as an R1M trackday – either at Mugello or Silverstone, which most owners thought was a nice gesture, but little more than that. So arrangements began to get the time off work, buy new tyres and to get race faces on. The invite also offered a night’s accommodation, some track instruction and a free t-shirt. But few thought that this day would turn into the best event on track you could ever imagine – because that’s exactly what happened.

What a line-up!
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About Fast Bikes

Fast Bikes vs World Superbikes - What happened when we took on a former WSB champion using a Yamaha YZF-R1MS on an £18,749 trackday! Used Test: Ducati 848, The Goldilocks Superbike Sopshisticated Strippers - MotoGP RGV250 - and loads more!