Biking tips

Jonathan Rea Yamaha R1 replica hits the road

JR R1 replica

If, like us, you’re a big fan of Jonathan Rea read on, because now there’s a chance to buy a replica of the Yamaha R1 raced by the six-time WorldSBK champ – built by the very same team behind his factory race bike.

South coast based Crescent Motorcycles, who run Yamaha’s official WorldSBK squad, are building up to 65 modified R1 superbikes dripping with special parts to reduce weight and increase performance of the already 200bhp machine. The modifications come at a price though, with a £29,995 price tag being more than £11k on top of that of a regular R1. That said, considering the parts list, and compared to some of the Italian exotica out there, Crescent’s JR R1 doesn’t look too expensive. The list of modifications really is quite special and there’s a choice of two custom paint schemes from renowned bike painters Dream Machine, replicating either Jonathan’s race bike or the simple black and silver livery used during winter testing. Both are bold and authentic replicas, with Jonathan’s famous number 65 on the front of the fairing.

Starting with a standard R1, Crescent’s mechanics have fitted a lightweight Akrapovic exhaust end can – a replica of the one used on the factory racers – which should boost power and reduce weight. There are also forged aluminium Marchesini M7RS wheels, another modification which contributes to a significant weight saving. The wheels come fitted with Pirelli Supercorsa SP tyres, a change from the OE Bridgestone R11s, and the suspension gets an Ohlins makeover. While the replica falls short of a full-on front suspension swap, the standard forks get the Swedish company’s NIX cartridge kit as an internal upgrade, although the rear shock is swapped for an Ohlins TTX unit. The suspension specialists have also supplied an adjustable steering damper, similar to the one found on JR’s racer.

Brakes are upgraded too, with a race-spec Brembo master cylinder and HEL Performance braided hoses specified to increase braking feel and stopping power. There are also a whole host of special detail parts to up the specification and increase the factory racer look and feel. For example, Gandini front and rear sprockets are the same as those used on the race bikes, as is the DID chain. Team sponsors GB Racing throw in a track developed brake lever guard and engine protection kit, Pro Bolt supply the titanium fasteners and some of Yamaha’s GYTR (Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing) division’s chassis parts also find their way onto this R1 special. Topping off the package are a JR-logoed grippy race seat, carbon fibre tank and belly pan extenders, tail tidy and pillion seat cover.

If that’s not enough, an additional £2000 gets a further brake upgrade in the form of Brembo GP4RX calipers paired with the Italian company’s lightweight ‘T-Drive’ racing discs. Another £700 also gets the ‘Garage Pack’ which consists of front and rear paddock stands, bike mat and a bespoke bike cover.

With Yamaha announcing plans to make the R1 a track only model from 2025, this Rea replica takes on added significance, being one of the last R1s eligible to be registered for the road. Whether or not it becomes a truly collectable classic motorcycle in years to come remains to be seen, but for fans of Yamaha R1s and/or Jonathan Rea, it looks like being one of the ultimate machines of 2024.

Bike News, Inside Bikes, Jonathan Rea

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