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FROM THE June 2010 ISSUE

Tamiya Yamaha YZR-M 2005

RELATED TOPICS: TAMIYA | MOTORCYCLE | 1/12
Tamiya Yamaha YZR-M1 2005
Yamaha YZR-M1 2005
Tamiya No. 14115
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black, gray
Scale: 1/12
MSRP: $64.00
Pros: Parts molded crisply; top-notch engine; excellent decals, wheels, and tires
Cons: Cowl/panel alignment tricky
A new addition to Tamiya’s fine line of Moto GP kits is the 2005 50th Anniversary Valencia edition YZR-M1. The kit is offered in the most-popular number 46 Valentino Rossi livery. The kit is identical to the Colin Edwards edition of the same bike Tamiya offers; Colin and Valentino were teammates during the 2005 Moto GP season.

A peek inside the box revealed more than 110 crisply molded parts. One noticeable difference with Tamiya, compared to other companies, is the way they attach parts to the trees: They strategically mount them where the area that is cut from the tree is not visible on the completed model. An example of their attention to detail!
Engine
The inline four-cylinder engine assembles perfectly, and the fit is top- notch. Tamiya’s paint guide is second to none; combined with reference photos of the 1:1 bike, the model will be museum quality right out of the box.

The delta box frame assembles in halves, and looks like a perfect replica of the 1:1 frame. Pay attention to part numbers, because Tamiya supplies the old M1 frame in the box with the correct 2005 frame. I almost prepped and painted the wrong one! 
wheel
The rear swing arm is a two-piece unit that glues together very well. Eliminating seams is a must to give you a realistic final look. The kit’s chain and sprocket will look real if they are carefully prepped and painted.

The rear swing arm and engine fit tightly, and are held in place with supplied screws. Be careful with the thickness of paint added to the frame, swing arm, and engine. The tolerances are small, and removal of paint in joined areas may be necessary.

Tamiya supplies a real spring for the rear shock, to step up the realism. Unfortunately the spring is black, and the instructions call for it to be painted yellow. White primer will be needed prior to painting the yellow.   

The front forks are painted in a mix of gold and clear orange. This can be eliminated by purchasing the detail-up front fork kit Tamiya offers for this bike.

The brakes for the front fork assembly are crisply molded, and look perfect when painted according to instructions. The calipers are molded separately, making detail-painting easy. Vinyl tubing is supplied for the brake and clutch lines. I find it to be a bit big for a really accurate and detailed replica, but for a stock build, it will pass.

The body cowlings assemble in such a way that the seams are eliminated with minimal sanding effort.

The Cartograf decals apply flawlessly. I chose to clear over the cowlings after the decals were applied, but it’s not necessary.

The front windscreen snaps in place, eliminating any need for glue.
The wheels and tires on Tamiya bike kits are excellent. The tires will need the mold line lightly sanded off. Michelin decals that are like a wet transfer are supplied for the tires and take some getting used to applying.

Upon final assembly; all the cowlings snap on or screw in place, making it possible to remove them to show the surprisingly detailed frame.

I had to ream out the front cowl locating hole to get the cowl to seat all the way on the front of the frame properly. The side panels also are a bit tricky to line up with the front cowl. Luckily, the supplied screws will pull them in place.

I recommend this kit to any builder who is looking for a challenge with great results.

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