Went for my first ride on my 05 R1 and wow! This thing is very sensitive and fast! I'm almost scared of it. I guess I just have to get use to riding a sport bike or shall I say super bike? My Harley is way easy to ride and control compared to the R1. I wanted to take a class at a race school, but most told me I don't have enough riding experience to take thier course.
I have been riding since November 2012. I love the R1, but I would definitely feel better taking a class so I can feel what this bike can do and build my confidence. I totally understand what people were saying about respecting this bike. When you twist the throttle, it makes you feel like twisting it more and more. When I first took my Harley sportster on the freeway last week, it felt like I was doing 100 and I was only doing 65. I took my R1 on the highway and I was doing 75 and didn't even know it. A totally different animal that's for sure.
First question is, have you just started riding since 11/12 or is that when you started riding the R1. I ask this because like you've said, the smaller lighter Harley's are easy to ride compared to a large V-Twin an especially a liter bike like the R1.
Find a group of mature sportbike riders in your area and tag along. Have them teach you the ins and outs of how it's done. Sign up for a novice track day in your area and you'll learn so much it will swell your head. Once you get it down you will find out the R1 handles much better than your Hardley Sportster.
Like Skeeter said, once you get used to the R1 it will seem like a much safer bike to ride than the slow handling weak braking Harley.
Just came back from another ride on the highway. I opened her up a little. Woooooooooow! I got up into the rpm, towards 9000k, this bike is insane. I was going about 95 mph and couldn't even tell. Felt like I was going the speed limit because there were no cars on the road as far as the eye can see. Definitely going to have to watch how fast I'm going.
One thing I noticed was the transmission. It felt like the shifter wasn't engaging the gears all the time when I would downshift. I was wearing thick work boots. Almost like if I was going too slow it wouldn't downshift. Needed to rev it up to change the gears. Is this something normal? I hear these bikes have an issue with 2nd gear.
The 2nd gear issue was only on the 02 model which I owned. The 04-06 trans (I currently own a 06) is a very clean trans which should have no issues shifting unless the bike you purchased was beat on. You may be a little slow on your shifts which goes back to skeeters post on riding with a group that has some experience.
Wait tell you start winding it up!
9,000 is just the starting point!
Be careful when you get past 9,000, the bike is extremely sick fast above that RPM range.
I already did that, I have my M1 license. I took the Harley Davidson class which was much better than the regular MSF. This class was also MSF and we actually used Buell sport bikes. The class was 5 days long compared to the regular 2 day class. We got 20 hours seat time in, compared to 8 in the regular class. I recommend this class to anyone and you don't have to have a Harley. Has nothing to do with having a Harley. 80% of the students owned sport bikes. The regular MSF class had 125 motorcycles which people learned on, pretty weak. This is the whole reason I also purchased a sportbike,learned on the Buell and it gave me the bug. The little Buell handled awesome, I got 100% in the class and received a special award for quickest and most precise cornering out of the whole class. I'm not Valentino Rossi, but my instructors were impressed. I rode dirtbikes for 11+ years and had stopped riding after a bad crash in 2007, so that's the last time I rode a motorcycle. Until recently this past November.
Sometimes yes. I looked at the shifter closely last night and went through all the gears by shifting it with my hand. Was very smooth, but I noticed after shifting each gear the detent felt weak. Almost like the lever spring to make it go back to its original position was worn or something. Is there a spring somewhere in the trans or something?? Bike has 29k and the dealer supposably changed all the fluids. I am going to take the bike back to the dealer today and have them check it. Just got the bike last Friday. Yes, I always use the clutch.
When shifting the bike when it's not running the shifts will seem to feel like they stick. This also hold true if your not in the correct RPM range while riding. I think one you get used to shifting the bike while riding your problem will most likely disappear.
Enjoy the bike, take it slow and have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!