When posting status updates on Facebook in regards to the new Yamaha YZF-R3, one friend asked a great question: "I still wanna know why they made it a 320 when it's supposed to be a lightweight class bike."
"It's like the mule of the motorcycle world," said Jim Downs with Motostella, shortly after arriving in the desolate desert town of Pahrump, Nevada. Located in the off skirts of Las Vegas and Death Valley with tiny casinos scattered between stop lights, Pahrump was far from the wooden terrain I grew up in.
When I decided to bring my old track bike back to race trim, the first order of business was the suspension. Many moons ago, I had the forks built up with GP Suspension internals and installed an Elka 3-way shock. The improvement in feedback and feel on the track was a revelation, and transformed a well-mannered…