RJC Fury R1 Design Build Drive Gallery Video Contact Me Misc
Last page update was 30 Jul 2020


Based on price and availability, I narrowed the choice of power plant down to three options. My decision was to go for a 2003 Yamaha R1 engine. The recommended source for a new R1 engine seems to be PDM Racing  but, Fisher Sportscars  can also supply R1 engine packages. In the end, I put in a request over the Internet and a number of breakers came back to me with available engines, at a wide range of prices. They are also some advertised on Ebay. To make sure I bought all the required parts, I put together a check list. Without the throttle bodies the engine block and gearbox weighs in at 65.6Kg. This means that it is fairly easy to lift, despite its awkward shape.

Essential Reading:

The engine cooling system is covered in a separate section. There is a Haynes manual for the Yamaha R1 but it only covers bikes up 2001. A new version is due out soon apparently that will go up to the 2003 model.

The official part number for my engine is 5PW00 Y-2 and it is also marked as 998cc. Apparently, this identifies it as the 2003 year model.

With hindsight: The Yamaha R1 is a great engine choice. It's not the cheapest but it has good power and torque and doesn't need to be dry sumped. A simple and cheap baffle in the sump will work on road and track. The configuration makes for an easy installation too.


I'm not going to be using my engine for a while. It is a good idea to drop a teaspoon of engine oil down each spark plug hole, to prevent corrosion. It is also a good idea to take out the screw plug in the ignition timing cover and stick a socket on the crank to turn it round once a month, to stop the same valve springs being compressed for the duration of storage. The over plug coils just pull out to reveal a spark plug in the depths of the engine head.


This is covered on a separate page.

Engine Mounts

The engine is mounted via two long bolts and two short ones. In a bike there are also some mounting plates fixed to the engine using three Torx T30 bolts but these are not used in a car installation and can be removed.

Fisher Sportscars  now supply mounts for the R1 engine which are much more elegant (and light-weight) and more along the lines of the mounts that Sylva made up for Richard .

Chris  mounted his engine slightly lower at the rear than at the front. The reason cited for this was that the car has a rear ride height which is approximately 1" higher than the front, so his engine will actually be level in the finished car. I'm not convinced this is a good idea though as whilst it helps reduce the front propshaft angle it results in unequal propshaft angles front and rear. Assuming a zero degree centre bearing angle, this is not desirable as it could introduce torsional vibrations.

I'm planning to mount my engine horizontally relative to the chassis because a wheel base of (say) 2000mm, with a difference of 25mm in front/rear ride height, equates to an angle of about 2°, which is going to have negligible impact on oil levels (especially considering that it is a bike engine) but, is quite a large propshaft angle difference to introduce. Getting as low a prop angle as possible is more important than a couple of degrees for oil surge. The prop will most likely slope downwards from the sprocket, so mounting it with the rear lower will actually reduce the angle. However it's much more important to have equal and opposite angles at each end of the prop (assuming zero degree centre bearing) so that the torsional vibrations cancel out. For this the diff and the engine need to be square.

Output Shaft

The R1 has a toothed sprocket wheel on which the chain is fixed. Obviously, this is not needed for connection to the propshaft and is removed so that a mating flange can be bolted on in its place. This requires the sprocket cover to be removed (which like just about everything on the engine is fixed with 5mm Allen bolts). The shaft nut is 36mm and has a locking tab washer. The nut is torqued to 85Nm (61 lb-ft). This will be ordered with the prop-shaft from Bailey Morris.

Oil System

The R1 engine is a wet sump system and requires 3.8 litres of oil and API Service SE, SF, SG or higher grade. The recommended oil is Yamalube 4 (10W-30 or 20W-40) or SAE (10W-30 or 20W-40). You must never use an oil that contains anti-friction modifiers.

I've bought some Red Line 10W40  motor oil. This is a race proven oil for bike engines. Note that it can't be used with new clutch parts though, as these need to be soaked in hot mineral oil first. This oil is sold by the US gallon (3.78 litres) or US quart (946ml) so it is an expensive choice (circa 50 for about 5 litres) but, it is also an expensive engine, which needs looking after.

To get the required oil level for a BEC you need to fill to the max line in the sight hole. To do this you need to wait a couple of minutes after switching off for the glass to clear and the level to settle, but not overnight for example when every last drop will be in the sump rather than clinging to the inside of the engine and it'll look like there is a lot more oil in there than there is. The bike handbook outlines this highly non-scientific method too. Make sure the engine is level when doing this. Once you've got the level at the max add 250ml and then remember what it looks like. You need to keep a good eye on the oil level in the R1 as hard use will soon see the level fall. It can easily use ¼ to ½ a litre on a trackday and this could be the difference between no oil surge and a knackered engine.

It is recommended to wire up the factory oil level sensor as I'm sure this would warn when the level has dropped to some cleverly pre-determined level when the engine is running. The R1 engine does consume a lot of oil and it is something you need to check more often than you think.

Oil Filter

My engine has only done 2800 miles but I'm changing the filter just to be sure. Yamaha have their own design OEM filter and my local dealership recommended retaining the OEM part. It cost £7.59 + VAT from Orwell Motorcycles  (part no. 5GH-13440-00). Many people fit a Champion F306 filter (£5.99 from Halfords) as an alternative. The filter is quite small (64mm diameter). The O-ring has a 52mm inner diameter and a 60mm outer diameter. The filter has six 6.5mm holes in the filter face.

With hindsight: The biggest challenge in getting the engine to sit nicely in the car is in getting the oil filter to not foul the chassis rails. I should have gone for a remote oil filter. I've already added a take-off plate for the oil temperature and pressure sensors. If these solutions had been combined into one take-off plate and one remote oil filter plate, things would have been so much easier. Access to the oil filter would also be easy.

Oil Temperature and Pressure Sensors

The R1 has a single oil circuit with oil flowing from the pump round the loop pipe, into the oil cooler matrix back along the front gallery to the filter and then along the central galley and up to the crankcase, gearbox and head. A lot of people fit oil pressure senders by drilling and tapping the bolt in the oil cooler. It is also possible to fit a sensor to the oil gallery in the head, in place of the removable bolt that is used to check if oil is reaching the head. This hole is only 8mm though, so either it needs to be enlarged and re-tapped or an adaptor is required. Most metric senders are a 10mm x 1 thread.

Richard  used a Think Auto  billet aluminium sandwich plate which was 68mm OD with an O-ring seating 54mm ID and 65mm OD and can supply an M20 x 1.5 threaded hollow bolt for the centre. It had two 1/2" BSP ports and they also supply 1/8" NTPF adapters. This is a different size to the 2003 R1. A sandwich plate is designed to divert the oil flow out and around an oil cooler. Blocking the ports will with sensors will stop the oil flow, obviously causing engine damage. To prevent this the sandwich plate is modified by drilling eight M6 holes through the outer portion of the plate. It is also necessary to file down the inner surface of the plate to accommodate the nut on the M20 screw onto which the filter screws, which would otherwise foul on the plate and prevent the o-ring compressing and sealing. Richard found the space for the straight side of the sandwich plate (where the ports are), to be very limited on the R1 to around the 4 o'clock position and found it necessary to file a slight chamfer on the edge of the plate in order to clear the crankcase and not prevent the o-ring compressing and sealing.

The oil pressure sensor is very sensitive to vibration so it is mounted on a flexi-hose and attached to the bulkhead. It's a 150 PSI / 10 BAR sensor with a 1/8"NPTF thread and it includes built-in low pressure warning light switch. It can be tested with a multimeter measuring resistance across the 'G' terminal and ground. It should show a resistance of 10ohms at rest and as the pressure goes up the resistance should increase up to 180ohms. If it has failed the meter will see an open circuit.

It has no ground connection so you have to some how earth the body. I did this with a jubilee clip around the body.

With hindsight: The above approach was not rigid enough and I used a different mount in the end, which also grounds the sensor.

The temperature sensor is solid state, so it can be mounted on the sandwich plate. The sensors provided by ETB also need an earth.

The oil filter mating surface is 53mm inner diameter and 69mm outer diameter. It uses a 20mm through bolt with a 27mm nut on it.

Think Auto  supplied a straight-through sandwich plate specifically for remote sensors, which basically requires no drilling. This still has 1/2" BSP ports but they supplied and adaptor for the temperature sensor and a 12" flexible pipe to fit the plate and accept the 18" NTPF oil pressure sensor. It is 32mm thick. The whole lot came to about £69.54 including P&P and delivery.

The standard bike engine pressure switch is activated at a very low pressure (around 7psi), because the bike engine idles at very low pressure. If you see 7psi at high revs for any length of time, the engine will be damaged. Fortunately the Digidash is fairly intelligent and has warning levels set to operate at defined rpm points (e.g. below 30psi while revving above 3000 rpm).

Oil Sump Baffle

Most people use an All Bikes sump baffle to stop oil surge on hard cornering. Installed in a bike, the engine leans into corners but in a car, the engine is fixed upright, causing oil to surge within the sump. This baffle has been widely used and tested. All Bikes, Unit 19-20 Highfield Industrial Estate, Folkestone, Kent CT19 6DD. Tel. 01303 248444

As supplied, it looks a bit agricultural. It is essential to remove any loose bits of metal and to make sure that none will end up in the oil. I smoothed up the rough edges with a Dremel and found the best way to tidy it up was with some wire wool. You don't need to polish it (no one can see it)!. It is also only 1mm thick aluminium so is not particularly strong. I plan to wash off any swarf with some petrol before it goes in the sump. This baffle comes with a tulip. A new sump gasket is required to do this job and it cost me £6.30 inc. VAT from Orwell Motorcycles  (part no. 5LV-13414-00).

There are alternatives to the All Bikes sump baffle available now. On the Sylva Chat List  you can get a CNC machined one for half the price of the All Bikes version. There have also been a few that have suffered cracks from vibration. I'm not sure if this is down to a design flaw or poor quality materials but, on the Sylva Chat List , there are plans to get a batch of steel ones made up and I'm in on the deal for future replacement. I reckon I'll leave my existing baffle in for 12 months and then replace it.

Oil Sump Bolt

The oil sump bolt is 17mm and is done up to 43NM or 31lb-ft torque. It has been known for it to vibrate loose so connecting up the in-built oil level sensor in the sump makes good sense.

Oil Filler Cap

With the crank speeds involved, the oil filler cap is essential for keeping the oil in the engine. Several kitcars are known to have suffered engine failures from it vibrating out. This is more likely if the cap seal is old and has been compressed. Some owners use a spring as a backup to keep it in place.

Crankcase Breather

The crankcase has a vent pipe, that feeds into the airbox on the bike. In a car installation this is simply replaced with a small breather filter which is fixed to the 13mm outlet. Halfords sell two brands. 16.99 gets you a Pipercross filter in a choice of colours but, these have cheap plastic bodies and clips to mount them. I bought the alternative, Ripspeed branded one (part no. B98 0DE) for 9.99, which has a 12mm rubber tube mount and jubilee clip. It's cheaper and looks better made.

Air System

The R1 comes with a large black airbox which sits on the throttle bodies and will not fit under the bonnet. You need this box, or more specifically the sensor mounted in it, to get the engine to run correctly though. The rubber trumpets are also required from the air box to allow the new air filter or air box to be connected. The air filter inside is a rectangular, paper filter about 230mm x 90mm in size.

Four rubber trumpets allow the R1 airbox to be connected to the throttle bodies. These sit in tapered holes in the airbox (54m diameter outside face to 50mm diameter inside face, 5mm deep). This means the holes cut in the filter plate need to be 50mm in diameter. The holes are in a line but not evenly spaced. The edges of the outer holes are 33.8mm apart from their neighbours. The edges of the two holes in the middle are only 25.4mm apart.

The outside of the four rubber trumpets allow the airbox to be connected to the throttle bodies. These are sealed to the airbox with a brown sealant/glue. To remove them you need to remove the jubilee clips (approx. 55mm diameter, 4mm Allen key required) and break the seal with the plastic air box. By flexing them, they can then be pushed through the hole (inside to outside of airbox). The clips have a small cut-out in them into which a lug on the rubber trumpet must sit or they won't seat properly.

Most people use a TTS Performance  BEC filter (this is a Pipercross  PX600 foam filter), which consists of a separate blank aluminium backing plate and a foam filter approximately 43cm x 18cm x 9cm. It's fairly expensive at 81. It requires the rubber trumpets to be extracted from the old air box and then the right size holes cut in the plate, to fit the trumpets.

Air Box

I want to be sure that the temperature of the air taken into the engine is as low as possible to increase power output. In this respect the open filter solution is poor, as it sucks air from the engine bay, that has already passed through the radiator. It is also noisy and may not pass SVA noise limits. I'm building an air box to enclose the filter, fed by a cold air duct. It is custom made from fibre-glass and is made from two similar moulds for the top and bottom section, which will be bonded together to form a box. I've taken this approach as it allows me to make it before knowing the final height that will fit under the bonnet. As designed, it could be 120mm high or as low as 70mm high. The bottom section is open and bolts to the aluminium plate to which the trumpets and filter are fixed. This picture shows a commercially available carbon-fibre box.

With hindsight: There is not a lot of room under the bonnet for an airbox but you need something to keep the noise down during the SVA test.

Air Filter

The filter is a Pipercross PX600 C6002 box filter. It is 435mm x 190mm x 55mm, with a 230bhp rating. I bought it from PiperXonline  for £56.21.

Internally it has a 40mm clearance.

Air Ducting

I'm planning to make a combined radiator mount and air funnel which forces air coming in through the front grille, through the radiator and into the air box. It is going to have to be a little more elaborate than Richard's design shown, since I have a bonnet and not just a nose cone. The bonnet is also mounted on hinges at the front of the car so my solution will have to be sculpted to the inside shape of the bonnet.

Looking at the standard R1 airbox, the air inlet duct is about 80mm by 30mm (2400mm²), which looks quite small. This means 60mm diameter intake ducting (~2800mm²) from the front of the car will also carry an adequate supply of cold air. To allow for the resistance in the longer length of tubing, possible power upgrades and simply because of ready availability, I've decided to use some Marley 100mm semi-rigid aluminium ducting from B&Q. There are expensive insulated brands and micropore ducting but we are only talking about a 100cm run here. The ducting I bought was less than 5 for a 3m length is semi-rigid (which makes mounting easier) and is incredibly light. B&Q also sell plastic ducting connectors which are ideal to fix on the front radiator mount as in intake duct.

Air Injection System

The R1 engine has an Air Injection System (AIS) fitted that allows air into the exhaust headers at idle and part throttle/fast idle to burn off hydrocarbons. The is removed as described on Richard's web site . The downside of this is that the hydrocarbons level rises and to meet SVA requirements, I will need to use a Power Commander to remap the mixture.

With the AIS removed, there are 4 head connectors left plugged into the head (two shown in this picture). These are 12mm in external diameter and have a 7mm inlet hole. The plan was to tap a thread into these and block them up with a 8mm bolt, but this proved difficult due to location and the hardness of the material. I ended up cutting the stainless steel pipes just below the removable clamp, using some bolt croppers to compress them and cut them. My local workshop then welded up the compressed ends for me. The AIS parts removed weighed 1115g and the modified parts put back weigh 105g.

Fuel System

The fuel system up to the engine is covered in the fuel system design. The 2003 R1 engine is fuel injected.

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