Published on November 7th, 2016 | by Boris


Oh to be 17 again.

Fearless, bulletproof…attractive to babes…sigh…

Sadly, being 17 these days is not like being 17 when I was 17.

When I was 17, you made your motorcycle bones on vicious fire-breathing Jap 1100s. Or you died.

Happy days.

Today, our feckless youths have been constrained by the State to straddle LAMs.


Racing clay, ladies. It’s the new black.

They make whatever bones they have to make on bikes that are in every way more friendly and useable than a GPZ1100 with the entire Moriwaki catalogue fitted to it (May you rest in peace, Scotty).

I kinda feel a bit sorry for them. It must be really hard to look, ride and sound like a road-demon on a LAMs bike, huh?

So if I was 17 again right now, and hell-bent on riding motorcycles, I would be looking for something that’s got a bit of…um, swag (is that the term?).

Something that’s got a bit of sass.

So how about a Yamaha R3 with a full race-system on it painted up in Movistar MotoGP colours?


Just like Rossi, only heaps slower and fatter. And poorer.

Yeah, I reckon I’d have me some of that. Hell, I might even buy a Lorenzo replica helmet from Shark, or an AGV replica lid from AGV and watch the damp undies just pile up at my feet.

The normal R3 is a superb LAMs bike. You may view my soliloquy to its Learner glory in this video.

It offers the beginner excellent ride characteristics – the brakes, the handling, the riding position, the ease with which you ride it, the confidence it offers to the unsure, and the forgiveness it provides to the hesitant, are all top-notch.

But paint it up in MotoGP colours (Yamaha did this because George and Vale brought the constructor’s MotoGP title home last year), stick a serious Akrapovic sound-system on it, and suddenly it’s quite special. Not that it’s gonna give you more horsies. It will, but only maybe three or four.


This is where the song of your people will come from.


Just so you know who your sponsors are… Movistar is the major Spanish mobile phone carrier. ENEOS is a Japanese lubricant company that makes some of the finest oils on earth. “Semakin di Depan” is the spirit of Yamaha Indonesia, which means “one step ahead”.

This is all about the noise.

That exhaust system is the reason this is the first time I can put my hand on my heart and state: “You know, this is a LAMs bike that sounds pretty good.”

Normally, I wanna beat the rider to death with a tomato stake – which is what old people want to do to lickspittles who rev-bomb LAMs bikes at 2am when their young brains have surrendered to testosterone overload. And because they sound terrible. Hell, kid, if you’re gonna sing the song of our people in the middle of the night, please make that song worth listening to.

So enough “get off my lawn” shit.

The Movistar R3 and I spent a cheery two weeks banging around Sydney and making lots of noise. It lane-splits like a bastard, but since L-platers aren’t allowed to do that, I’m only mentioning it in case some of them decide a law that endangers them is one worth ignoring.


Just so you remember. No, it’s not you. But it could be.

I also had a lot of fun pinning it around twisties. If you ride it high up in the rev-range (double digits all the time every time), you’ll find that it carries a hilarious amount of corner speed. And corner speed is what you need if you like to shame wombats who’ve bought litre-bikes they can’t really ride very well. The R3s handling integrity is superb. Be smooth and you’ll be fast. But if you button off in fear, you’re gonna struggle coming out of bends hard on the gas. A LAMs bike doesn’t come hard onto the gas like a litre sportsbike does. So you have to carry a high corner speed to stay competitive. Just so you know.


The quality of finish is very high. It’s always very high with Yamaha.

But that’s alright. You have to work with what you have. And this high corner-speed paradigm will teach you to ride, just like those Moto3 bikes teach racers to race before they step up to the big league.

But wait. There is more.

On the day Boon, Dan and I went out to photograph the beastie, I made a wondrous discovery.


With full Racing Clay slicks to go with its full racing exhaust system.

There is a way you can make your R3 spin the back wheel coming out of corners just like the champions do through Stoner Corner at Phillip Island.

What you have to do first is ride the bike into a muddy paddock. Make sure both wheels are coated with magnificent clay. Let it dry a bit.

Now go find some corners.

Happy days. Again.


High-side in 3…2…1…

Oh how we all laughed as I filled my pants with terror the first time the clay-caked back-tyre stepped out and started spinning.

But, as I discovered after a few passes, it’s actually quite a lot of fun. Especially with that Akro pipe screaming it head off.


All the buttons and info you need at your age. Anything more will only confuse you.


The lightest in its class and razor-slim.


Very comfortable for you. For her, not so much. But then you can’t legally carry pillions anyway.

Happily, Australia is a land with a lot of clay. Any good building site has tonnes of it. Most times, you’ll have to bring your own water to make the racing clay, but the reward is certainly worth the effort.

But see how you go. Try not to write cheques your arse can’t cash.

Oh, and another thing. You know there’s this thing called the R3 Cup? It’s a race series for R3s. Grown men compete in it, as well as kids with pimples. It’s hilarious. Check it out.

So there you go.

The Yamaha Movistar R3 with an Akro race system on it.

Do it. Think of the panties.


Yeah, I could lose a few pounds.


The Movistar R3 is the same price as a normal R3 – $6399.

The Akrapovic stainless steel exhaust system is $839, or about 140 gelatos, 209 coffees, or 56 pizzas. When you get older, you’ll realise that girlfriends spend this much on a pair of shoes.

Just want the can? No problems. That’s $399.

Go HERE for more info, specs and your nearest dealer.

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About the Author

is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.

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