Offered from the estate of the late Clifford Jones
c.1990 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 004878
'Yamaha's FZ750R, code-named OW01, really is a race bike for the road, not a road bike taken racing. Only 500 were built, 140 of those were officially imported into Britain.' Performance Bikes magazine, December 2005.
The increasing popularity of the World Superbike Championship since its inception in 1988 has been responsible for the introduction of over-the-counter road bikes boasting specifications aimed squarely at the racetrack. Many of these wondrous creations did indeed end up being raced, while good original examples are nowadays among those most eagerly sought after by collectors of modern motorcycles. Most famous of these limited edition 'homologation specials' is Honda's iconic RC30, but Yamaha's answer the FZR750R, better known as the OW01 is even rarer and more exotic. When launched for 1989 the OW01 cost a staggering £12,700, more than twice as much as an FZR1000, with the optional race kit adding £2,415 to the price. By way of comparison, the Honda RC30 cost £8,499 but its race kit was considerably more extensive and expensive. (Yamaha included much more race-orientated trickery as standard, hence the difference). To put all that into perspective, the current list price of a Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike is £12,130.
So what did the fortunate OW01 owner get for the price of a small terraced house back in 1989? Well, the Deltabox alloy beam frame had already been seen on road-going FZRs but came minus internal sound deadening in the OW, while the suspension was just about the best available: 43mm front forks and Öhlins rear shock, with ride height, spring pre-load, compression and rebound damping adjustment at both ends. Magnesium-bodied, Nissin four-pot brake calipers gripped FZR1000-size front discs while the wheels were 17" in diameter.
A stressed member of the chassis, the 749cc, 20-valve motor was of shorter stroke than the preceding FZ750 and incorporated two-ring pistons and titanium con-rods. 38mm flat-slide Mikuni carburettors supplied the fuel. On the exhaust side, the presence of Yamaha's EXUP valve downstream of the header pipes ensured that, even though tuned for 121bhp, the motor possessed adequate tractability for road use. 'Pulling away is still normal; there's no drama, no fuss, not even the high-geared RC30's feeling that you've mistakenly selected third,' reported Bike magazine. The controls too, revealed the OW's race orientation: remote master cylinder reservoir, q-d speedometer and span-adjustable brake lever coming as standard.
In the World Superbike Championship, the OW01 won races in its first season courtesy of Fabrizio Pirovano and Britain's Terry Rymer, and continued to be competitive at world level for the next couple of years. On the UK domestic scene, the 'OW' fared even better, Rymer finishing runner-up to Trevor Nation's Norton Rotary in the '89 British Championship before taking the title the following year for Loctite Yamaha.
Unfortunately, nothing is known of the history of this example, which is finished in Loctite livery and comes with rear-wheel paddock stand. There are no documents with this Lot.