This post is not a justification post to ride a R1. It is a compendium of reasons of Why you should not ride a R1 and its interpretation from a Noob perspective.
Since my first thread on this forum "Surviving riding a R1 written by a Noob" http://www.bcsportbikes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76498
, I have finished the Pacific Riding School, got my full license to ride, applied most of the practical skills with diligence and acquired my confidence while still keeping a good healthy respect for the bike. Clocked over 1500 kilometers within a span of 3 weeks.
Now remember before my first post, I had no idea that a R1 is not for noobies, so it was only after the fact that I read the posts about R1 and noobies.
However in none of the threads, it never really explains why a R1 is so dangerous, so I thought I will write this up and perhaps get the involvement of the community to share their first litre experience.
Here are the some of the responses from other threads that I will try to qualify with a definition
1. "It scares the shit out of me" - meaning that the throttle response is so violent that it can toss you off the bike quicker then you can blink. Even at speeds of 100mph, flicking the throttle can give you more then whiplash. You cannot flick the throttle unless you can call a hair movement a flick.
2. "It is a dangerous bike for a noobie" - dangerous in the sense that the power can lull you into a false sense of control. Every input is amplified because the bike is so responsive as well as there are virtually no limits (at least for a beginer). There is enough torque to even buck the bike in 2nd or 3rd gear from an almost standing start. On lower power bikes, the engine will complain thereby reminding you to shift down.
3. "Noobies will have more fun with a lower power bike" - This is because you will have to shift to get the most out of a lower power bike. There is a lot less fear of the bike then with a R1. Rarely do you go beyond 3rd in the city. You can ride around on this bike in 1st even on the highways. For the first little while you will be afraid to dance with the bike thinking that it will throw you off at the first opportunity.
4. "Am I ready for a R1 with 80 years of experience with the 600?" - most of the fear comes from reading the forums from people with bad experiences. 95% of riding is in your head and if you have fears of riding a R1, then it will translate into inputs to your bike. You are ready when you feel you are ready, which doesn't mean that a 19 year old should jump on one and do wheelies, however it does mean to be prepared for a hard learning curve if you do ride a R1; even for experience riders.
5. "You must be responsible enough to ride a R1" - translate into "not doing wheelies and not racing around on the streets like the tracks" and patience in learning. Time must be spent on slow hand throttle control. This doesn't mean going slow, but learning how to throttle with gentle movements. You can throttle quickly but slowly (does that make sense?). You need the patience to acquire the subtle throttle movements. Without this, any sudden throttle reactions can unsettle the bike (eg. sudden throttle cut off in a turn can lowside you).
6. "Too much power for a noobie" - doesn't mean that it is simply power but a combination of responsiveness and torqueness. A litre touring bike will ride like a cadillac and can be fine for a noobie, however the danger of a R1 is that the power translates to putting a 150hp motor on a bicycle.
7. "it is a light bike" - 400 lbs to me is not a light bike, however it is very responsive bike, thus translating back to being a light bike. At the low rpm end I imagine the R1 to feel like a R6 (it is what I am told) handling and weight wise. If you use 40hp on a R1, it is the same 40hp on a R6.
8. "You won't learn as much on a R1 as you would on a smaller CC bike" - which isn't totally true, but it translate to fear and the fact that most bikers will never use the potential of a R1. The fact is that you never have to shift if you are riding in the city however 1st is the most dangerous gear to be in on a R1; as it can accelerate and decelerate rapidly in a heartbeat. You need to short shift this bike in order to learn.
9. "You will get killed riding a R1" - this is probably very true as the fact that all your concentration will be on controlling the bike. Again time must be spent to acquire the bike skills before being a part of traffic.
10. "Mistakes are very unforgiving" - your mistakes will be your throttling, braking, popping the clutch and shifting at the wrong times. Of course there are other types of mistakes, but these are the ones that the R1 does not forfive. The torque is simply amazing on this bike and the braking is very very sensitive; I am using only a 1 finger pressure to stop.
My buddy that sold me the bike, told me that he had more then half a dozen bikes before he finally bought the R1. This was the only bike that he was satisfied with his purchase. In fact he had two R1's.
It is a sweet bike once you are comfortable with it. The raw power is amazing and it takes a long while to get use to the throttle and brakes, but once you have survived the learning curve, it is "The one" for life.
Share your litre experiences and remember don't just say to a noobie that the R1 will kill you if a noobie asks. Ask him/her whether they have the patience to learn? or would they rather have fun on a bike?
Thanks for reading...