Location: Clovis, California
Price: Auction, $15,000 starting bid
Okay, well here we have something special. While Yamaha built many, many bikes in the new R series when it came to 600's and 1000's (R6 and R1), that was not the case with the R7. This bike was limited run (500 produced), made for racing and only built so it could qualify for World Superbike (of which a title was never achieved but is an interesting story if you want to look it up). The other way this bike was different from everything else? The price. You want to take this baby home in 1999, get ready to fork over $32,000. But with that $32k came front and rear suspension and steering damper from Ohlins, titanium valves and connecting rods, vertically stacked close-ration gearbox and a frame specially braced for stiffness. The five valve per cylinder in-line four only cranked out around 100 bhp (purposely restricted) from Yamaha, but the addition of race parts from the factory could take you well beyond that.
Here's some more photos-
The seller provides very limited information, especially for a bike of this significance. Here it is-
1999 Yamaha YZR R7 s/n -------406, 6365 km 3955 miles,as of 07-08-2011. Brembo Monoblock front brakes, Marchesini front wheel w/rotors, Track body panels (tail/front/bottom)
Brembo clutch & front brake master cylinders, Carbon air box, New tires, OEM front wheel/rotors/brakes included.
The seller does highlight some of the changes to the bike, notably the Marchesini front wheel and Brembo monoblocks, maybe not unusual for someone looking to race the bike. It looks as though the original parts are included here, which is good for those looking for originality. The windscreen also looks to be a replacement as does the exhaust (I believe it should be carbon fiber). The only other comment I would have is there are few photos of the bike, so you may want to request more.
Outside of those concerns, which are minor, the OW02 is one special machine. I think anyone serious about collecting can't overlook one in terms of its significance. Certainly, if Yamaha is your brand, this has got to be near, if not the very top, of the list. If you agree, check out the auction!