Video: Ben Spies a public trackday and the 2012 R1

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What happens when a MotoGP racer takes a brand-new liter bike on a public trackday, then every color but red is desaturated? Less mayhem than you might expect, but more on-message product talk on the 2012 Yamaha R1 than you’ll stomach. How were those OEM-fit D204s, Ben?

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  • nymoto

    For some reason so Not Badass.

  • Beale

    Boy, does that feel like it was directed by a committee. Bland.

    • Denzel

      …and 4 minutes and 6 seconds of NOT the theme from Shaft fits with that…

      It’s also from Yamaha Europe,so maybe it’s trying for the Disney version of American bad ass…

  • je

    The only thing I felt after watching this was my want for a R1 was decreased significantly. Was this video created by Honda/Suzuki/Kawa?

  • Bryan Whitney

    Hey Ben! How’d you do that!?

    yea, the traction control with the tires and the trust so you can have fun and the new technology and the bike is so cool with the re-designed graphics and yea, you can just trust the fun.

    Love that last part. I want one.

  • Pete

    yawhn. i didnt even see him get his knee down…

  • Justyn


  • Mark D

    Best part of that video is his awesome van.

    • pinkyracer

      totally. the van doesn’t have traction control and looks MUCH more fun. Fuck electronic rider aids. I don’t want to trust the computer, I want to trust my ability. Not the least bit interested in replacing my ’09 R1 with this crap. My next bike will have an electric motor, but it damn well better not have traction control.

      • Sean Smith

        My next bike will definitely have traction control and I’m even planning on adding a Bazazz unit to my current GSX-R 600 at some point.

        Your ability to dynamically understand what the bike does as speed and then tune the TC system to allow for slides, but prevent crashes is how you TC makes you faster. It also lets you push a lot harder, a lot more of the time, with less risk. TC is a win-win, so long as it’s a fully adjustable high-performance system.

        Besides, it’s more than a little hypocritical to say “I don’t want to trust the computer” and then say “My next bike will have an electric motor.” There’s a computer controlling every aspect of the powertrain in an electric vehicle ;)

        • pinkyracer

          true, but that’s completely programmable, as it should be. I did not know the TC that comes stock on a bike is programmable. And to what extent? So if I don’t buy the upgrade, I’m stuck with some program that’s dumbed down to protect me from myself. No thanks. I’m already pissed that I blew $10,500 on a new R1 and THEN realized it sucks to ride unless I flash the ECU.

          • Sean Smith

            lol, It’s on you to check those things out before you buy something.

            Aprilia’s APRC system is awesome, Kawasaki’s KTRC is awesome, the BMW system works well enough to have a good time, but it is limiting and I don’t have a lot of experience with Ducati’s system, but I’ve yet to hear good things about it.

            Only time will tell if Yamaha put a good TC system in the R1, but I’ll guess that they’ve learned a lot with their MotoGP program. Imagine if you were able to walk into a showroom and buy a bike that’s equipped with a traction control system developed based off of Rossi’s input. If it’s good, this is going to be a pretty big deal.

    • Bronson

      +1 on the van, I want one. The rest of the video bit ass.

  • Richard

    I like his van

  • todd

    sheeesh that last bit was unbelievable. Almost seemed like he didnt know what he was saying…. robot: I like yamaha, it go fast good, traction control, good, trust ……ummm traction control.

    A guy needs a paycheck but come on.


    • The other Joe

      Give him a break, he’s a racer, not an actor. Frankly ,I’ve seen worse. I thought it was funny how he was trying not to laugh at the beginning of his speaking part.

      • holdingfast

        still.. they should have scripted that last sentence. i mean c’mon.

  • oldblue

    Ben, if you hadn’t been so busy goofing off in the rider’s briefing, you wouldn’t have missed the bit about removing your mirrors and taping your lights.

    Hang on … everyone missed that bit.

    Strange track day. Lame video.

    • DesmoMorello

      That was my immediate reaction too. I was a bit disappointed they showed him actively being bored by the riders meeting and blowing it off. We know he’s a talented rider, having him act like that only makes him look like a punk. He’s a professional, why shouldn’t he act like one?

      • mugget

        Because he’s not working – he’s having fun on a track day so he can be a punk! :P

  • Eric

    Yeesh. That whole video felt like an 80′s Volkswagen ad, done in HD. All that was missing was omnipotent-deep-voiced-voiceover guy.

  • Chris Davis

    They must have pulled the van and the soundtrack off the CHiPs set. Thumbs up for both.

    Once did an open track day with one of our sponsored riders (Daytona SportBike guy). Once everyone found out he was out there, they all had to race him and prove themselves. Freaked him out and he didn’t have any fun at all.

    • stempere

      My thoughs exactly, in a real life scenario, odds are they’ll be at least one rider, less experienced than he thinks he is that would crash trying to catch up with him.

      What was more painful for me was not the -understably- bad acting, it was the perfect placement of every yamaha suit and bike in the two “interview” angles, to have at least 245 logos in there at all time.
      Subtle, this was not.

  • Caleb

    Anyone know what track this is?

    • damien

      I’d also like to know. That overpass spanning the track is pretty kickass.

      I thought the video was fine. With the van, I assumed it would be another funny yamaha vid, not so funny but it doesn’t deserve all the hate.

      And that’s what Ben fucking sounds like after a GP race! I think he IS a robot.

  • 1

    That video just makes him look bad. So camp. It’s a pity.

    If these profiles were to persuade buyers I’d probably buy what ever Rossi rides, he’s not the fastest rider at the moment, and me myself personally will never desire to be. But at least Rossi’s PR image is pimping it up on a yacht with a smoking hot hard body.

  • Sean Smith

    Whoa. I finally watched the video. It’s fun watching awful dunlop D204s, stock suspension and unfamiliar ergos kill his confidence and make him look like a squid. The CGI, desat and time effects are just icing on the cake.

  • mugget

    Hmm… not a bad vid, but the marketing speel at the end does stand out…

    They should send him out on a real track day, undercover on an R1… now that would be a video!!

    • Sean Smith

      A video of every fast guy trying to race him ;)

    • John

      That would be awesome, give him a mustache
      and some on board cameras and the commercial would shoot itself.