The 2009 Graves Yamaha R6 AMA Bike

Motorcycle-usa.com had a great write up on the 2009 Yamah R6 AMA bike.

2009 Graves Yamaha R6 AMA Bike

When you ride a stripped-down, purebred racer like this you get back to what motorcycle racing is all about; the noises, the vibrations, the feel. It really puts the rider in touch with what is going on underneath him or her, making for a much more visceral experience.

At speed it quickly became apparent that no matter how much I could throw at the middleweight racer, it’s not enough. Try and try, the R6 would do no wrong. And therein lies the beauty of it. The bike pushes you to push it harder, strives to be thrown into the corner with more aggression, begs to have the throttle opened sooner. Bostrom himself had similar feelings after riding the Graves R6 for the first time and, like me (of course, much more so), was instantly fast on the R6 with ease.

AMA rising star Josh Herrin pulled us along for our fastest laps ever around the Streets of Willow circuit. AMA rising star Josh Herrin pulled us along for our fastest laps ever around the Streets of Willow circuit. “The first time Ben rode Herrin’s bike last year at a few tests he was instantly half-a-second faster than Herrin, within two or three laps,” said Ollie Hutchinson, Bostrom’s crew chief. “Right away he was fast, so we knew the potential was there, but consistency was the question mark.”

“That little bike is amazing,” Bostrom added. “Right from the first time I rode Herrin’s bike, it was just so easy to go fast. It was hard there at the end of the season, not racing for the win. The bike was telling me to ride harder and go win the race, but I needed to hang back and be smart for the championship; that little bike just wants to win.”

Head tucked behind the windscreen, pushing to the point of exhaustion to keep on Herrin’s backside, I could see exactly what Bostrom was talking about. The limits of this motorcycle are truly remarkable and it takes some serious mental coaxing to grasp them, especially with visions of a $50,000 R6 tumbling down the road in the back of your mind. They are so far beyond that of even the best street bike’s capabilities that I was constantly mentally pushing myself into territory I haven’t recently charted. While this isn’t totally new – I raced a very fast 600 in the Daytona 200 this past March – it’s amazing how quickly one forgets.

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