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QB Yamaha R71 draws crowd at bike show


NEARLY £30,000 is a lot of money to spend on a road bike – but this is no ordinary machine. The makers claim that just 20 minutes work on the QB Carbon R71 will turn it into a machine capable of winning the TT.

The extreme Yamaha is currently taking breath away at the MCN-backed Alexandra Palace Road Racing and Superbike Show. It is the latest road-ready offering from the firm which supplies specialised carbon parts for British superbike teams.

And, according to boss John Merrill, all you’d need to do to prepare it for the TT is fit race-spec tyres and remove the lights.

MCN tested an £18,000 “standard” R71 last year and found it was an amazing combination of the best of Yamaha’s R1 and R7.

QB Carbon Yamaha R71 & Checa R1 at the 2000 Alexandra Palace Motorcycle Show

We can’t wait to see how much better one is with an extra £10,000 spent on it! This new version has been built specifically to target the TT-winning Yamaha R1 of V&M Racing.
Merrill is negotiating with a top TT racer to ride the bike. “We want to beat V&M – they are the benchmark,” said Merrill. “We’ll beat it with this ultimate bike – the best looker with the best engine. (V&M later used the R71 for the 2000 season of road racing)

Its startling looks were quick to draw the crowds during the opening weekend of the show. “I don’t know why Yamaha don’t do one of these. If they could make a bike look like this for £10,000, I’d have one,” said Dave Johnson, an R1 owner from Hertfordshire.

Other show-goers gawped at the hand-modified swingarm, based on an R1’s but braced to look like the R7’s. QB’s R71 concept grafts modified parts from Yamaha’s exotic WSB racer – the R7 – on to a tweaked R1 chassis. This latest R71 is race-tuned and with over 100 R7 components built into it.

Visitors to the show got a close-up look at how the chassis has been changed. The fork tubes are dropped through the yokes and the offset changed for improved steering. But the swingarm has been lengthened for improved high-speed stability and has a quick-release mechanism for the rear wheel.

Leading German superbike tuner Herbert Kainzinger has worked on the R1 engine, fitting strong and light titanium connecting rods to allow the engine to rev higher and faster without suffering reliability problems. Bigger valves for a better air flow also help boost power from the original 134bhp at the rear wheel to 165bhp.
With flat-slide carbs it makes 172bhp. And QB’s ram-air system adds more power at high speed – upping the rear-wheel power figure to a probable 180bhp when ridden flat-out.

QB’s new bike costs £27,500 thanks to its tuned engine, top-spec WSB Ohlins forks, and new super-light Marvic Puma magnesium wheels. They are worth £950 alone and make their debut on the R71. The bike also has Magneti-Marelli instruments with datalogging built in, and light carbon bodywork to save 2kg (4.4lb). Merrill reckons he can give it a dry weight of 171kg (376.2lb) – 6kg (13.2lb) less than a standard R1.

QB’s Carlos Checa replica R1 is also on show, a £10,000 special featuring new bodywork and R7 lights to copy the tuned R1 the GP rider plays with on his weekends off.
QB Carbon has also created a new-look Yamaha R6 with restyled carbon-fibre bodywork and a new high-level titanium exhaust for £7000.