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· Team Hissho
62 Posts

I used to own a '98 and a '99 R1. The '98 thru 2001 is generally the same ergonomically. I now have a 2002 R1 ('02 and '03 are the same). In my opinion the '02/'03 models are easier to ride. They do feel different due to many things-for one like you mentioned the fuel injection, the power is more linear with the fuel injection so it doesn't feel like it has the grunt but it is very fast, deceivingly fast, but to me safer because it is easier to control when powering out of the corners due to its smooth power delivery. Also, The rake and trail are different. For '02/'03 Yamaha focused on the bike being stable in the corners so they gave it more trail. So it feels like it takes a little more effort in the corners but the trade off is stability versus the '98-'01's squirrely front end feeling. In any case get a steering damper either way, it really helps. And lastly, the bars on the '02/'03 are angled downward (don't know why) whereas the '98-'01 bars are straight. It took a little getting used to the bars but now I find it kinda helps when cornering, the bars already feel like they are going into the turn. So basically to me the '02/'03 bike does feel better overall.
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