To make any racing project a success, countless pieces, people, and plans need to come together. From chassis development to engineering, from the rider to the data technician, it takes a village to raise a race bike. When Yoshimura R&D of America launched Project R7 in September, 2021, the firm enlisted the help of industry leaders to bring its heavily-modified Yamaha R7 to the MotoAmerica Twins Cup grid.
Yoshimura tapped accomplished road racer and RevZilla Common Tread journalist Ari Henning to assume riding duties while developing the race steed alongside Yoshimura engineers. With several track-based test days in the bag, the team was ready to take on the REV’IT! Twins Cup series at the Laguna Seca round on July 8-10, 2022.
However, no race project is complete without an eye-catching paint job, and Yoshimura turned to the styling experts at Troy Lee Designs for guidance. While the team favored a primer gray test livery during development, the low-key color scheme wouldn’t do the souped-up R7 justice on the raceway.
Troy Lee Designs founder Troy Lee revealed that Project R7’s bisected paint scheme plays on Laguna Seca’s iconic Corkscrew chicane.
“Having the bike flipping both ways, I wanted it to feel like it was two different bikes for the spectators out there,” explained Lee. “I think when people walk through the pits, they’re going to go, ‘wow, this is the wildest bike I’ve ever seen!’ But I think their buddy’s going to go, ‘you got to come check out the other side!’”
Lee and team differentiated the two halves with cool and warm color schemes. The starboard side features red, orange, and yellow hues while the port side counters with a dominant blue tone. An offset Yoshimura logo adorns each side, adding even more color to the lively livery. Lee also noted that the special paint job was a month-long task, but the end results were well worth the time.
After months of development and endless coats of paint, the Yoshimura-prepped Yamaha R7 hit the Twins Cup starting grid on July 9, 2022. Henning crossed the finish line in 13th place, nabbing three championship points for the team in the process. Yoshimura hasn’t announced further plans for Project R7, but we hope to see the colorful supersport back on the race track again in the near future.
Sources: Young Machine, Roadracing World, MotoAmerica, Yoshimura