Most of you will know me by the thread "My first Bike, a noobie rider" http://www.bcsportbikes.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=76376 and it is an interesting read in that it starts off with the standard flaming but it actually has some great advice on how to tame a R1 for a noob.
Now there are dozens of interesting thread on the site R1-forum.com and they have been gathered here: http://www.r1-forum.com/forums/showt...threadid=75113
However what all these threads have in common is that it has been stated repeatedly that a R1 is NOT for a noobie, but I know for a fact that there are noobies with a R1 because I am one of them (edited: this does not mean that it is ok for a noob to buy a R1, just means that if you are one of the noobs that don't listen to anyone and ended up buying a R1 anyways, this post may help you get the bike going at a safer pace).
So where does a noobie or even an experienced rider trading up from a very old bike to a R1 look for information?
This post is meant to be just an informative post, a collection of advices given by other bcsb members, bits and pieces from PRS and a handful of my limited noob experience with my R1.
Disclaimer: as many of the post below will indicate, training in this manner does not prepare you for the real world scenario and will not make you a good R1 rider. However it will get you out of 1st gear which is dangerous situation to be on a R1.
My buddy, the one that sold me the R1, when asked "how do I tame the R1?" gave me the advice of "take it easy", "take it slow".
Now the problem with the 03 R1 is that it is part of the new generation fuel injection bikes that is very difficult to "take it easy and take it slow". A gentle twist of the throttle will take you into the ditch from the showroom door, after your purchase.
Here is how I tame the R1
1. riding the neighborhood continuously by riding the clutching.
This allowed me to get the feel of the throttle. PRS says that Racers have slow hands which is a gentle increase/decrease of the throttle vs Street bikers that have on/off throttle control. I spent over 12 hours on getting my muscles to learn the gentleness of slow hands. I ended up using only the web portion between my thumb and finger to control the throttle and gripping gently only when necessary.
2. riding in 1st gear in the neighborhoods.
Riding in 1st gear throughout the city and highways was a good mistake but dangerous. It was from an offhand remark by Dat, that the R1 is so powerful that you can get up to 160kph on 1st you never have to change gears; I took this literally.
Riding around the city in 1st really trains you for slow hands as well as clutching around corners. The jerkiness of 1st without slow hands, can take you down in corners if you are not careful. I would suggest that you do use it to slow-hand train at 15kph in a neighborhood, but not out on the roads.
3. Short shift as often as possible. You can use 2nd gear to help you tame the bike.
Short shifting was the life saving advice that really helped reduce the surge of power of the R1. In fact, the R1 has the torque to start in 2nd or 3rd gear with a bit of riding the clutch to get it up to speed. At 1000 rpms and 3rd gear, the bike will still pull you back to speed without a complaint. The bike runs fine at around 4000 rpms.
4, Short shift smoothly before attempting to shift at higher rpms.
learn to short shift smoothly at low rpms because this bike kicks in at about 8000 rpms (at least that is what Kramer says). At that point in time if you are reving at 8000rpms and don't shift well, you will either engine brake at high speeds pulling your bike forward, or over reving the throttle creating a breathtaking riderless bike. It is at the high end of this bike that makes it so dangerous. I was also told that popping the clutch on this bike can toss you rather quickly; rather then killing the engine.
5. lastly a really light grip on the throttle and brakes.
I am using only one finger to brake because it is really really sensitive. I do have my other fingers over the brakes, but I apply only a one finger pressure to avoid over braking.
So I really hope this post will help those who are noobs or anyone just starting out with a R1. It is a fantastic bike and it brings a smile even thinking about it.
for all those that kept telling me to get rid of it.... my reply is...
Its my bike....
and if you don't understand that, then you are not really a biker
Thanks for reading!!!
edited: The writer of this post is a noob himself and the advice given should be taken with a grain of salt. It may or may not work for your purposes.