Long-Term Yamaha R1 Gets a Fender Eliminator From Graves Motorsport

Removing the big hunk of plastic hanging off that sweet R1 tail.

yamaha r1, sportbike mods, graves fender eliminator
Graves Motorsport Fender Eliminator Kit (gravesport.com; $150) on the left uses the factory turn signals next from the factory fender.©Motorcyclist

WRIST: Zack Courts MSRP (2015): $16,490 MILES: 2,041 MPG: 33 MODS: Graves fender eliminator

Other than racking up miles on the Yamaha R1 I turned my eye to tinkering with some obvious sportbike mods for the Motorcycle of the Year. First up, that gargantuan hunk of plastic that dangles hideously off the back of R1's sleek glutes, holding the license plate and blinkers. It's no fault of Yamaha's, of course; all bikes are mandated by The Man to have comprehensive fenders. In general it's a good idea, but it's ugly, and as long as we're in the midst of a multi-year drought here in California I figure I'll take advantage of not having to worry about road spray.

yamaha r1, sportbike mods, graves fender eliminator
Fender: Eliminated! The Graves kit is simplistic, but build quality is high and the bike looks much better. I like that it uses the stock blinkers, but I’m sad that there’s no plate light.©Motorcyclist

As I learned removing the passenger pegs (and then reinstalling them when the lady friend informed me she wanted to try to R1’s pillion), going under the seat means dealing with a bunch of fasteners and layered pieces to get to the actual electronics and mounting hardware for the fender. After digging past a few covers and the seat-release mechanism, an easily accessible plug and three bolts released the entire bracket/fender in one piece.

For this first attempt at tidying up the R1's tail I chose the Fender Eliminator Kit from Graves Motorsport (gravesport.com; $150). Transferring the blinkers from the stock unit to the aftermarket piece required mastering the puzzle securing the blinker stalks to the main unit. A plastic ring holds the blinker's rubber base in position and needs to be moved aside, at which point the base needs to be pinched and forced out of the grommet for removal (I hit the rubber with a heat gun to soften it). Placing the blinkers into the Graves assembly required the reverse of the same technique, and then the new assembly bolted quickly back in place. (The photo above shows just how much smaller the aftermarket piece is, sitting to the left of the removed blinkers and the stock piece.)

Because this is likely to be such a common modification I will likely experiment with a couple different options, but the final look from this Graves unit is clean, and it’s a big improvement in aesthetics. If it ever rains again here in SoCal we’ll see just how messy the R1’s caboose gets.