Exhaust & brakes upgrade on my Yamaha R1 WGP 50th Anniversary Edition

The bike really isn't that loud at all from a 3rd person's perspective. But for the rider, you really do feel quite a bit of difference in the sound you get to hear and feel.

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Bags packed and ready to roll:

Finally, after 2-3 weeks of no riding, I'm back to riding the R1 and this time it was special because it was the first time I was taking the bike out, post the installation of the Akrapovic exhaust and let me just tell you what an epic experience it is riding the bike now, don't get me wrong riding the R1 is always an epic adventure but throw in the sound from the Akra and it is just something else altogether.

The bike really isn't that loud at all from a 3rd person's perspective. But for the rider, you really do feel quite a bit of difference in the sound you get to hear and feel. I was a bit apprehensive about running the bike without the DB killer installed but post some 600 plus covered in total with the Akra I have changed my mind. Rode through numerous police checkpoints and routine checks and passed through without being stopped once, even when the cops did notice me approaching, now apart from the non-obnoxious sound that the Akra produces under 6k rpm it also helps if you are riding decently without creating a ruckus/ doing any sort of attention-grabbing stunts in general. I mean for sure this goes without saying but still thought I'd mention it.

Now above 6k rpm it's a different story, that's when the actual audio experience starts, the bike just screams and oh what a beautiful symphony it is to take in. Words are not enough, I'll try to include an audio clip soon to try and communicate what I get to experience with the current exhaust setup. The next best part is the burbles or as I like to call it "the growls and grumble" the bike creates when decelerating, this is not something new that has started post the Akra addition, it has always been there in the bike, it is part of the AIS system that's there in most modern bikes and it's mainly present to control emissions, simply put what it does is that it injects air into the exhaust system to help burn unburnt fuel vapors in the exhaust pipe and this causes burbles or cracks which is also referred to as backfiring. It happens on the stock system too when the bike gets to temp and is more pronounced with an aftermarket exhaust system. A lot of people get Block off plates that delete the AIS system which usually makes the burbles go away. For me I like it, adds some extra drama to the experience of riding the bike.

Ok, so now that we have that out of the way let's get into the meaty part of the update. about 2 weeks back I received a bunch of parts that I had ordered over a year back. It has been a long wait but finally, the day is here. After the Exhaust system, this is probably the biggest mod I have been looking forward to which is upgrading the braking system of the R1. The Brembo RCS19 Corsa Corta has finally reached my hands and in this post, we are going to cover the installation and initial review after about approximately 500kms of riding post the mod. Along with this I also got the Lightech chain adjusters and the ASV clutch lever installed and also got did some suspension tuning and an oil change done too.

The goodies waiting to go in:

Brembo RCS 19 Corsa Corta upgrade:

Well, it's no secret that I feel the stock braking prowess of the R1 is something I am not happy about. The bike does on most occasions and as inevitable as it is on our roads there have been plenty of occasions where I have been left wanting with more bite and at many times more stability from the braking system. In short, I wanted to change the behavior of the bike's braking to something that's more communicative of what the system is doing while being stable and stopping at a dime with a more aggressive bite!

Obviously, the first step anyone would think of will be steel braided brake lines, alas the bike already comes with a very good quality Spiegler steel braided brake lines, so yeah, I wanted more, the next step would be better brake fluids, I tried a variety of fluid from Liqui Moly Dot 5.1 to Maxima race fluids and with progressive and positive results but nothing that was a change I would say substantial.

So what next, logic dictates, get better brake pads, yes, so I go and get the EBC double sintered pads for the bike, I made the purchase and have been sitting on these for over a year, why haven't I changed it yet you may ask, well, the OEM brake pads still have a ton of life to it, I did not want to waste the OEM pads by just swapping it out for the EBC right away.

The next step in the braking system upgrade would be better master cylinders and I did that too, did a lot of research, and decided to pull the plug on the best Brembo had to offer, the RCS 19 Corsa Corta, last year on my birthday I was feeling generous and decided to splurge and gift myself the Corsa Corta and I had also ordered the EBC pads on the same day thinking it would be a good mod to combine in one go.

Anyways, here we are over a year later, I finally got the MC in my hand but I decided not to go for the EBC pad swap just yet, there are 2 reasons for this, firstly, again the OEM pads still have plenty of life in them. Secondly and more importantly I want to be able to experience what just an MC upgrade would do for the brake upgrade plan and then later see how much of a difference a better set of pads can add to the system, you know, step by step upgrade and experimentation.

Ok, that was a lot of ranting, now let's get to the brass tacks, all the stuff had been laid out and we were ready to get started with the MC upgrade and we hit an unexpected roadblock!

The problematic Banjo:

The current kit came with the banjo bolt that accepts 2 banjo bolts directly to the MC, but the current brake lines have only 1 banjo bolt that comes and feeds into the MC. The reason is that the Spiegler lines are a bit different as opposed to the independent lines that you find with many other brand solutions where there are independent brake lines that run from the mc directly to each caliper. For the Spiegler, it's a single unit that has 1 line that feeds the fluid from the MC, and about halfway it splits into 2 lines via a T junction and makes its way into the 2 calipers.

The T junction that is the root cause of the issue:

So immediately we had a red flag, I guess my research wasn't as thorough as I thought. But then I thought not to worry, I'll just use the banjo bolt off of the current system and that should be fine, right? But no, If history shows us anything it's that in my case it can't be something that simple, the current Spiegler banjo bolt does not fit into the Corsa Corta because the pitch of the thread on the Banjo bolts is different. The Brembo MC accepts a 1mm pitch while the OE MC (which is also made by Brembo back in 2013) accepts only a 1.25mm pitch. So yet again we had to find a solution to this problem, so I set about looking at RevZilla and sportbiketrackgear, and many other websites to see how fast I can ship out a banjo bolt that would solve my problem. But then suddenly we realized that maybe just maybe there are some bikes sold here that might be using a 1mm pitch Banjo bolt in their braking systems, most of the bike here run on bybre systems which is a sister company of Brembo anyways and a banjo bolt at the end of the day is, well, a banjo bolt. It serves the same purpose no matter what MC it goes into.

The solution:

The saviour:

And that's how we find out that the Bajaj 200NS MC uses a 1mm pitch Banjo bolt for its front brake MC, and as you'd imagine we immediately jumped on the bike and went to the nearest Bajaj dealership and bought the Banjo bolt in question.

Quick drop in at Bajaj:

We made sure to carry the MC along with us to do a test fit and make sure that the bolt fits correctly and as expected fits like a glove.

Notice the difference in pitch in the Banjos. The red bolt being the Spiegler Banjo:

And the best part, how much did it cost us to solve this problem? A huge sum of Rs.21/- including taxes and there I was trying to buy a Banjo bolt from the US for 15 dollars . Sometimes buying local is the best solution.

While we were out we also went ahead and bought 4L of Motul 7100 10W40 and also HiFlo filter that I usually use for the oil change I also decided to try out the Brembo Brake fluid to go along with the MC upgrade.

Once all the required items for the change were collected we got cracking, we were tackling the MC change and the Oil change together as the oil change is pretty much a low maintenance job that just takes time and our attention from time to time.

Anyways, we began by making sure we did have all the parts that were required to complete the installation of the new MC and did a test fit, the reservoir and the feed line were plumbed onto the MC and were made ready so that we can attach it as a single unit onto the handlebars which makes it so much easy to work with. Then we started by disconnecting the banjo from underneath the OE MC and freeing the brake line from it and then we removed the cover off of the old fluid reservoir and drained as much fluid as we could before removing the whole unit as one piece from the handlebars.

And we then immediately mounted the new kit onto the handlebars and connected the brake line onto the new MC using the new Banjobolt we purchased from Bajaj and voila we were ready to bleed the system. Yeah, it's as simple as that if you do the prep work just right. Because of the way we removed the line from the OE MC we did not introduce a lot of air into the system from the brake lines to the calipers. So the bleeding process we did was only required to drain any air out of the system that's in the new MC, which was not a lot and we were done within 15 mins, but we went ahead and bled the braking system at all 3 spots, first at the MC bleeder, then at the left and right calipers also. All in all the most time-consuming part of this exercise was the bleeding and that took about 30 minutes in itself(we wanted to be thorough).

Now the next step was to figure out how to mount the reservoir, as the OE mounting points are now unusable.

I had also purchased a reservoir with the mounting kit along with the MC as I knew that using the OE Reservoir was not an option, and the kit came in handy, it had a bracket that attaches the reservoir to the top bolt of the MC mounting clamp to the handlebars, the clamp is flexible enough to allow you micro-adjustment as needed for different bikes and we spent barely 2 minutes before we got a position which was good enough to clear the fairings from coming in contact with the reservoir in full handle lock left to right.

Now since that was done let's talk about the difference now shall we, if I have to use 1 word to describe it it would be "Stability". Oh boy what a difference this change has made, I am not exaggerating or messing around when I say this has made a night and day difference in the way the bike stops. The lever feel has 0 sponginess to it, it's very very direct and precise! There are 3 different modes in which you can set the feedback and that's labeled as S, N, and R. I am currently in N which I think stands for Neutral (Not sure need to check) with S being the most aggressive I am yet to try. The pedal feel is just something else, it's very direct and communicative, you get to feel exactly how much pressure is being applied onto the pistons in the calipers and all it takes is 1 finger to bring the bike to a halt no matter what speeds you are doing and it does this with no drama at all, you don't need to guess at what point the wheels are going to lock up(No ABS on this bike!) because they feel from the levers is just enough you know where the limit is! In the 500 plus km I rode with this I have covered it in multiple scenarios, I rode it in the dry, in the wet, during an active heavy rainfall, and tried it at different speeds varying from city crawling speed to highway cruising and WOT to standstill drills as well and I am just blown away from what the product has to offer.

I cannot express how happy I am for what I have got out of this one single upgrade. Worth every single penny I spent on it and worth every single day I waited for it too. No regrets whatsoever. I will be covering the range of adjustability the Corsa Corta has to offer (which is huge) in another post once I have put a few thousand km of riding behind with all the different settings and will post my finding here, until then what I have already typed up should serve as an initial experience/review.

Current setup:

Final look post install:



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