Video: Ben Spies & The 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1

09/26/2011 @ 5:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler30 COMMENTS

We’re not sure if Ben Spies drives a shaggin’ wagon when he goes to track days, or if he spaces out during the rider briefing with a lollipop firmly planted in his mouth, but trouncing the other riders with his “advanced” status sounds about par for the course for the GP racer. Helping Yamaha sell the 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 and its “born from MotoGP” traction control system, Spies plays the star in another video from the Japanese manufacturer.

Riding his 50th WGP Anniversary R1 out to some unidentified track for a bit two-wheeled schooling for some other Yamaha riders, we’re not really so sure about the story involved with this video, but as far as motorcycle industry videos go, it is not the worst we’ve seen. The photography, on the other hand, is stunning. Photos and video after the jump.


  • bemer2six

    what a bunch of BS…. Lol

  • Jake Fox

    Great concept, horrible execution. It definitely would have been better without the 70’s porn music and the Q&A session at the end. If there had to be Q&A, one of the riders should ask, “Hey Ben, when are they going to fix those fugly headlights?”

  • MikeD

    @Jake Fox:
    “If there had to be Q&A, one of the riders should ask, “Hey Ben, when are they going to fix those fugly headlights?”

    I lost it there…LMFAO…that has made my night (^_^ )

  • John Magnum

    Fuck, had that any more cheese put on it……….BS!
    i like how he wheeled the bike into the back of the van by himself, good CGI or 4 guys out of frame giving the bike a big push to get its fat guts into the back of the van im guessing.

    Go buy your 2012 badged “2009” R1 with TC……damn shame cause it sounds so good.

  • buellracerx

    classic…I love it.

    would’ve been cool to have some clips of him actually stretching his legs out, maybe backing it into a few corners

    & I actually like the headlights…does look way better in race skins tho!

  • MikeD

    My bitchin with the headlights is not precesily it lay out but rather what they mimic…GOOGLY EYES ! SILLY GOOGLY EYES !

    Had it happened for it to be recesed or flush with the plastics i think it wouldn’t look so darn SILLY.
    They should just copy the MR-1 Front complete with intake and all and slap some decent self-respect looking lights into it.

  • That track is pretty sweet, anyone know where it is?

  • Jason

    Circuit Parcmotor in Spain.

    Cheesy ending. Should of took more time before getting off the line, like someone suggested. Changed the QA session a bit.

  • MikeD

    @John Magnum:
    i like how he wheeled the bike into the back of the van by himself, good CGI or 4 guys out of frame giving the bike a big push to get its fat guts into the back of the van im guessing.

    Yeah, i said the same…WTF ?! is that thing made out of Balsa Wood ?

  • GeddyT

    You heard it first from Ben Spies: “I wouldn’t trust the 2012 R1 enough to lean it more than halfway over”…

  • Bob

    what a lame ass advert

  • david

    i don’t mind the headlights, it’s actually the back end that doesn’t hand together for me, though the WSB’s look mean and aggressive. that said, i like the r-1; it’s unique with it’s own charms, and sounds bitchin’, i would have one if i could afford it. oh, and where did ben say he wouldn’t trust the r-1 to lean more than half way over? looked more than half way over to me..

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  • 76

    wow, the little dity at the end was not necessary at all, I bet Ben was like WTF? you want me to say what? Cant Colin say that part?

  • Beary

    Yamaha hasn’t got too many bright ideas in the ad department at the moment.

    I thought the mancation stiff he and colin did was so much better than this run of the mill tripe.

  • Beary


    Lol…. mancation stiff. That could be taken the wrong way. (OUCH)

  • Richard Gozinya

    Ben Spies smoking a bunch of non-pros at a track day on a liter bike just isn’t that interesting. Now, if he’d done it on that WR450 Roland Sands built for him, then it’d be cool.

  • SBPilot

    Terrible video ad…..amazing pictures. Ben was probably thinking “why can’t these cheesy lines be left for Jorge to say?”

  • John

    Great graphics on a butt ugly bike. MikeD is right, just emulate the M1 and its a home run. I realize the economy is really tight, but how much can a mod like that cost??

  • @Richard Gozinya I believe some of those guys if not all to be pro Yamaha riders. I think I recognized David Checa(Blonde) in the group. Do you really think Yamaha or Ben would risk his livelihood riding on track wheel to wheel with a bunch of track day advanced racer wannabees?

  • steve

    That was horrible, barely made sense….more like nonsense actually. I feel sorry for Ben. Yamaha can do a lot better I would think.
    The R1 sounded great though.

  • Alexontwowheels

    On a positive note, I’m really happy with Yamaha for generating a spot like this. They get that trackday riders are a critical segment of their audience. And they understand that this audience loads all their own crap into a stinky old van to get to the track. That’s how i roll baby! Literally, I have a conversion van almost exactly like that, gutted and everything. I love that they understand this and made it a part of the video/photo’s. And @ John Magnum and @ MikeD, I load my bike exactly the same way, gently feather the clutch in 2nd gear and walk her up. easy as cake.

    Now, Yamaha, take note:

    What is GREAT about this video:
    + The van! And the burnouts in the van, haha! Thank you for understanding your audience.
    + Ben Spies. Better than Lorenzo, he’s our homegrown hero and it’s awesome to imagine (though unrealistic) that he would roll to a TD like we do.
    + The cinematography. Great feel to the video!

    What COMPLETELY missed the mark:
    + The riding. BORING!!! and way too long. I don’t think that was Ben riding that bike in the video, cause he doesn’t even know how to ride that slow, I think he probably would have crashed going that slow. Get him on the bike, and let him flog it good ‘n proper so you have some action shots to use. Not sure if it was the camera equipment and cars you were using, but next time, let ’em rip!
    + The dismissal of the riders meeting. Not cool. As a trackday regular, we get enough morons that don’t understand the rules, setting the example that it’s OK to blow it off, not cute. And in real life, I guarantee Ben would not treat a riders meeting that way, do you think TD providers run the same flags and lights systems as MotoGP??….. FALSE!! Ben is one of GP’s most vocal safety advocates, so I’m surprised he even agreed to doing this scene.
    + The LAME coaching session. That was the most poorly executed ending to any video I’ve ever seen. You should have just left it at him being worshipped by his fellow riders, then cracking a beer with buddies before heading home for the day. It also was counterproductive to your goal…. basically saying that even a MotoGP star can only go marginally quicker than average trackday riders on this bike.
    + The Jersey Shore fist pump while he’s driving away. Why? Why did you do that? stop it. just stop it!


  • Alexontwowheels

    @ a 1…. do you really feel the video you just saw warrants calling that a “thrashing” track session? I think the tires should look new with how weak they were riding, haha.

  • Steve Lang

    Great music. A cross between background music from an old porn film and the theme song from Starski and Hutch.

  • 3 points:

    1. ugly bike!
    2.ugly bike!
    3.ugly bike!

    in my opinion, the video was kinda cool. had some good stuff (cinimaphotography), and some bad stuff i can forgive Yamaha for. but i can’t forgive Yamaha for selling such an ugly bike from every angle and even in race trim.

  • Singletrack

    Great camera work on a cool track. But lame dialogue.
    And why did producers make him so aloof and arrogant during the class session? He came across as an asshole that would get kicked out (if he weren’t Ben Spies). Not sure that this does much to sell me on a Yamaha. Makes all those ‘old’ R1’s look like shit piles too.

    Re: the tires. I guess the Yamaha traction control works so well that you won’t wear out tires! But my satisfaction from a track day comes from shagging a set of tires to the edge.

  • Alexontwowheels

    @singletrack, TC is not intended to save tires. Frequently TC can actually accelerate tire wear. If your ‘satisfaction from trackdays’ is rooted in destroying tires…. you’re doing it wrong :-)

  • Ros

    Great video!!
    This track is Castellolí near Barcelona, Spain; great track very funny and great memories came to me so there was when I put me knee on tarmack for the first time!!

  • Hasnt anyone of the commentors here ever loaded a bike by themselves? The bike was running when Ben loaded it into the van. He simply slipped the clutch and walked it up the ramp!