To celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2006, Yamaha kicked out 500 extra-special versions of their newly-redesigned, 175 horsepower flagship bike, the R1. Normal R1s that year were on another level from earlier iterations, with frame and engine modifications that took them closer to the all-conquering YZR-M1 MotoGP bike of Valentino Rossi, but marketability dictated that they cut a few corners with parts spec. The 2006 Yamaha R1 LE fixed that.
The most obvious nod to the marque’s racing past is the black and yellow speedblock livery that graced Kenny Roberts’ 500cc GP machines, but the changes go deeper than that. The telltale gold forklegs give away the R1 LE’s tastiest upgrade, the fully adjustable Ohlins forks. At the back, a fully-adjustable Ohlins shock kept everything in line. To keep the thing straight during high-speed braking, Yamaha fitted a slipper clutch. Gold Marchesini forged wheels rounded things out.
This 2006 Yamaha R1 LE is number 221 of the production run, and has barely been ridden in its 13 years. It is bone stock down to the stock rear fender and turn signals, but wears a fresh set of Pirelli Diablos to give the next owner peace of mind. It is as clean and immaculate as you would expect a 2,500-mile bike to be, though the new owner could probably increase that total some without worrying too much.
From the eBay listing:
Like New condition 2006 Yamaha R1 LE. #221 of 500 sold by Yamaha. Starts, runs and rides excellent needs nothing. Has new Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa SP tires. Tires were replaced due to age not wear. Bike has a clear title in our name and we will provide a new title in your name. We are an Ohio motorcycle dealer and are required to collect sales tax from Ohio buyers as well as buyers from AZ, CA, FL, IN, MA, MI and SC.
There is $15 title fee collected from all buyers. No other fees.
At $12,500 buy-it-now, this very special R1 is cheaper than the least expensive version of the current R1, though it will ask you to rely on your right wrist to control traction. If we were faced with the choice, it’s the yellow bike every time.