Mike Follmer’s #1: R&D Yamaha FZR Mark Hahn 2011 spec
The endurance performer
Prior to the Mark Hahn 300 race, R&D prepared a specific Endurance package for the Yamaha FZR of Team Follmer in order to withstand the long distance run of the 300mile race.
Test rider:Vasilis Moraitis
Last October, I had the unique opportunity to test ride Mike Follmers Yamaha FZR which was especially prepared from R&D for Off-Shore sprint races. The particular craft was set up for good performance without sacrificing the parameter of reliability. Though, when someone is faced with the challenge of an endurance race such as the Mark Hahn 300 then the specifications have to change since the craft has to run at its top speed, at full throttle standards for more than four hours. These operating conditions place the crafts engine in outstanding stress therefore reliability is the number one parameter when setting up your engine. After all, “to finish first you must first finish”.
Therefore, Mike Follmer took his race craft to the R&D work shop in Lake Havasu, Arizona where Bill Chapin and Glenn Dickinson took care of it. They altered the engines specifications and also fine-tuned the hull for this particular race. Additionally Follmer’s race craft was equipped with a quick refuelling system on the tank in order for it to be able to fill up the FZR tank in less than 30sec.
Engine wise the crankshaft was equipped with Carillo rods and CP pistons, while Chapin worked also on the valve train by changing the valves and springs according to its new spec. The Yamaha Supercharger housing was replaced with the new water-cooled one made by R&D in order to ensure not only the better performance but also to keep the temperature of the engine compartment at a lower level.
The water-cooled Supercharger
The new R&D Water-Cooled Supercharger System is fully water jacketed and eliminates the heat at the Supercharger. The new system replaces the OEM inducer cover and mounts directly on the OEM Supercharger body. R&D water-cooled Supercharger housing features a High Performance Volute (intake air path), Internal Anti-Surge Port, 100% Water-Cooling and a custom R&D Power Plenum Air Filter. Since the Supercharger is the coolest part in the engine compartment and runs at lake temperature, it only made sense to design a custom R&D Power Plenum Air Filter that would take full advantage of the new found cool air, now located directly in front of the Supercharger. The real benefit is up to 200° F cooler supercharger temperature, cooler and denser intake air, decreased engine compartment temperature, improved clutch life through Internal Anti-Surge Port, increased RPM (up to 200 rpm), increased boost pressure, improved top speed, no heat fade, consistent peak engine rpm.
Follmer’s race craft was equipped in the past with a R&D C3 Supercharger wheel which was replaced with a C1 in order to drop the engine’s rpm and keep its operation at a safer level. Due to the different charger wheel, Chapin also replaced the bigger fuel injectors (725cc) he had put in the past with the stock ones. The new engine set up was now taking orders from the R&D R3 reprogrammed ECU.
Pump set up
Chapin and Dickinson spent the last day on setting up the R&D drop nozzle to the appropriate angle. The R&D 2.5 degree reduction nozzle accommodated a R&D 82.5mm steering nozzle. The later was lifted by 1 degree in order to enhance the top speed and also the auto steering brackets were adjusted to full 3 degrees at maximum drop on each side.
The real test
When you ride a race craft which is prepared for a race like the Mark Hahn 300 you do not expect to get arm pump acceleration out of it since this is not what you normally need from such an engine tune up. The first thing I noticed when making the first long run for 15 minutes was the smooth power band of the new engine spec. The FZR engine was pulling out nice and smooth from idle all the way to 8.350rpm without any hesitation. The engine seemed like it accelerated in an electric way without stop loading the pump. It kept going and going without out revving the motor.
Since I had tested Follmer’s race craft last October (read the complete report and the set up of his craft under the Race Tests section) I was familiar and noticed the big change in terms of engine performance and acceleration. Not to mention the big difference in top speed. At the end of my first 15min run on the water I stopped somewhere in the blue water field of Body Beach, I lift up the seat and put my hand on the Charger and the Cylinder Head cover. You would not believe it. I could crab the water-cooled charger with my bare hand due to fact that it was so cold whilst I was barely touching the Cylinder Head Cover and my hand was nearly getting burned… This was really big news. You can easily understand how much better the whole system operates under those conditions.
Follmer’s FZR remained stable at all speeds and kept its stability even at rough water conditions. The nose of the hull felt also stable nor heavy nor light. It was set up with the right load so the craft remained stable on one hand and fast on the other. Handling was very good even at long sweepers, the type of corners you have at the particular race. Follmer’s FZR had very predictable handling, without needing more input from the rider. The steering system felt lightweight, nimble and very precise on its operation at low and high speed loads. When the steering was at full lock the craft remained stable with the nose pointing where you wanted it to be, as a result the craft was sweeping the long curves as it was on rails.
Apart from the fact that Follmer’s FZR was a fun to ride race craft, it seems to be a very good option for the weekend enthusiast that needs something better than the OEM package that Yamaha has to offer. The better overall performance and the 300miles race are proven reliability and ensure the “Value for Money” deal that is appropriate for the great percentage of watercraft riders out there. You can have real fun out on the water with this Off-Shore Endurance kit without spending too much time being on top of the engine compartment wrenching. If you are not a close course enthusiast or a weekend racer this particular R&D kit is a real performer. Need to say more?
I would like to personally thank Factory Yamaha rider Mike Follmer and R&D for trusting me to test ride this craft two days before the Mark Hahn 300 2011 race.
Mike Follmer’s #1: R&D Yamaha FZR Mark Hahn 2011 spec
R&D/CP Pistons 9.5:1
R&D Pro Tune Cam Gear Kit
R&D Dual Valve Spring Kit
R&D Water-cooled Supercharger Housing
R&D C1 Supercharger Wheel
R&D Billet Supercharger Shaft
R&D Pro Series Intercooler Kit
R&D/Greddy Surge Valve
R&D Fuel Pressure Regulator
R&D In-tank OEM Fuel Pressure Regulator Block off
OEM stock injectors
R&D Engine/Intercooler Cooling kit
R&D Intake Manifold Sleeve (Ribbon removal)
R&D Power Plenum Air Filter Kit (for watercooled Housing)
Fuel: 100 octane Leaded race gas
Additional tachometer Pet-tac 2100DX (Program P41)
Boost pressure gauge
R&D Multi-Port Adaptor
R&D re-flashed stock ECU, with R3 Ignition Pgram
Pump and Driveline
R&D Line Bored Transom (pump shoe)
R&D Anti-cavitation Pump Cone
R&D/Skat-Trak Twin Prop re-pitched impeller by Bill Chapin
R&D Reduction Nozzle: 82.5mm
R&D Auto Drop Steering Nozzle: 94mm
R&D FZR VTS Quick Shift Cam System
R&D Billet Aluminium Couplers
Hull and Handling components
Yamaha stock hull, deck and hood
R&D Aquavein Intake Grate
R&D Pump Shoe Seal Kit
R&D Adjustable Ride Plate
R&D Sponsons Kit
Stock seat modified by Hyrdo-Turf
Stock steering system
R&D Renthal Grip Kit
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