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Old August 30th, 2019, 01:18 PM   #1
MrAtom
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Upgrading to an R1

I'm sure you've heard someone say something like, "yeah, if someone gave me that bike, sure. But I'd never buy one."

Well, in the case of a single-owner 2001 R1, this is no longer a hypothetical question. I know someone who's retired and downsizing their fleet and they want to give me their R1, and all they ask in return is that I have fun with it.

I've had my 250 for 5 years and I've spent a lot of time in the saddle. I've been riding a lot the past few weeks but before that I had about a 9 month dry spell, so I'm still a little rusty. I've also never ridden a literbike before. What are some things I need to consider? I plan on making the gearing taller to nerf the bike a little bit. Anything else I should consider?
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Old August 30th, 2019, 02:10 PM   #2
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Old August 30th, 2019, 04:47 PM   #3
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Well they are very fast and a 2001 isn't going to have a lot of the "Nanny" features like ABS and traction control.

So take it easy.
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Old August 30th, 2019, 07:34 PM   #4
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I learned to ride and took my test on my H2, so as long as you're respectful, you should survive. On the other hand, I've come to like light bikes, so if someone gave me an R1 I'd probably sell it and get an R6 or something in that weight category.

An R6 holds the record at the Tail of the Dragon, by the way.
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Old August 30th, 2019, 08:47 PM   #5
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Nice! That sounds like a bargain you could definitely hold up.
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Old August 31st, 2019, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple Jim View Post
I learned to ride and took my test on my H2, so as long as you're respectful, you should survive. On the other hand, I've come to like light bikes, so if someone gave me an R1 I'd probably sell it and get an R6 or something in that weight category.

An R6 holds the record at the Tail of the Dragon, by the way.
Yeah, but you can't get an R6 until you crash your Ninja 250, then it's mandatory.
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Old August 31st, 2019, 05:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAtom View Post
I'm sure you've heard someone say something like, "yeah, if someone gave me that bike, sure. But I'd never buy one."

Well, in the case of a single-owner 2001 R1, this is no longer a hypothetical question. I know someone who's retired and downsizing their fleet and they want to give me their R1, and all they ask in return is that I have fun with it.

I've had my 250 for 5 years and I've spent a lot of time in the saddle. I've been riding a lot the past few weeks but before that I had about a 9 month dry spell, so I'm still a little rusty. I've also never ridden a literbike before. What are some things I need to consider? I plan on making the gearing taller to nerf the bike a little bit. Anything else I should consider?
Practice up on smooth throttle control.

Good tires.
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Old August 31st, 2019, 05:56 PM   #8
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All you need to do on a liter bike to stay rubber side down is to use less throttle. The only real difference between a 20HP bike and a 200 HP bike is the user. You can ride the R1 in the lower RPM and it will not have any/much more power than your 250. Whenever you ride a new bike just make sure you grab the throttle with your wrist lower than you normally would grab the throttle of your 250. The sudden acceleration bigger HP bikes can generate will throw an unsuspecting rider backwards with force and if you grab the throttle with your wrist higher up, you will be unable to roll off to save your life. The throttle tube on the R1 is a bit quicker to max than the one for my Ducati 999 (They use the R1 throttle on the 999 as a cheap "quick turn" throttle) so if you are really worried buy a 999 throttle tube for $12 off Ebay and it will take more rotation to hit full steam. As long as you use little throttle then the bike will not accelerate any faster than you can handle.

The second thing to remember is that the clutch lever will remove all power in any crazy situation. Should you find yourself suddenly accelerating waaayyy too fast, just pull the clutch lever. You must be careful when you do this because if you are mid corner at lean or if the rear is sliding, this will have bad results but most of the panic type acceleration is usually with the bike upright and pointed in a straightish line, and this is the best time to use this technique.

Last, speed on these bikes can sneak up on you. When you are used to a 250 turning 13,000 RPM at 100 MPH and then get on a 1000cc, you may find yourself at 125mph @ 8,000 RPM. Just be very aware of what the speedo says until you get used to the mind warping speed these bikes are capable. I have a 1997 Ducati 916 with maybe 100HP and it hit 110 MPH at 9,500RPM today at half throttle. The bike you are getting will most likely hit 100 in first with the front tire rising quickly. Just take it real easy with the throttle and you will find that the bike is as easy to ride as your 250 just with much more speed and acceleration potential, all of which your wrist and brain control.

All you need to do is ride gentle and carefully until you are comfortable and know your new machine. Congratulations and have fun, dont be scared just careful. Cover the clutch, front brake and rear brake and keep the rpm and speed down until you have many miles on the new ride. Like everything on motorcycles, just make small steps and keep your head on a swivel
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Old September 1st, 2019, 11:04 AM   #9
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Awesome!!

Not joking, does any company make a bigger/softer throttle pulley for older liter bikes to neuter them a little? lol. A smaller throttle pulley would also work I guess.

Restrictor plate on the intake, NASCAR style? lol.




mostly kidding on those. Learn to not manhandle the throttle like you can get used to on the 250. It will be fun to ride once you acclimate to it. Remember to work on the basics of slow look press roll and you'll be fine.
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Old September 1st, 2019, 12:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choneofakind View Post
Awesome!!

Not joking, does any company make a bigger/softer throttle pulley for older liter bikes to neuter them a little? lol. A smaller throttle pulley would also work I guess.

Restrictor plate on the intake, NASCAR style? lol.




mostly kidding on those. Learn to not manhandle the throttle like you can get used to on the 250. It will be fun to ride once you acclimate to it. Remember to work on the basics of slow look press roll and you'll be fine.
Never used one, but yes they are made.

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Old September 1st, 2019, 12:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choneofakind View Post
.....Learn to not manhandle the throttle like you can get used to on the 250. It will be fun to ride once you acclimate to it. Remember to work on the basics of slow look press roll and you'll be fine.
So many years ago I lived in the Australian outback. I had a Honda XR250 and my buddy had a Honda XR600, he had a big bore kit and a bunch of other modifications on his bike.

So one day I'm headed to the bike shop to drop off my bike for a new set of tires or something. I called my buddy Mike to bring me home from the shop, he has to work but he tells me his bike is in the shop and ready to be picked up so just ride his bike home.

So I drop off my 250 and pick up his 600. Pull out of the bike shop and get stuck at a light behind a tourist bus waiting to make a turn. We make the turn and the bus is of course moving like a bus, I go to pass the bus and whack the throttle like I would on my 250. The front wheel comes up and I pass the bus doing the best wheelie of my life, scared the crap out of me.
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Old September 1st, 2019, 01:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
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The front wheel comes up and I pass the bus doing the best wheelie of my life, scared the crap out of me.
Ha, the accidental wheelie... always fun. I did one of those on my H2 shortly after I got it when a car next to me was trying to edge me out as a parked car was coming up ahead. I had let the car next to me get ahead and was signaling left to get in behind it, but the clown behind him hit the gas to block me. I just meant to give it enough gas to jump ahead of the car, but managed to do it on one wheel. Funny that 41 years later I still remember it, just like you remember the XR600 wheelie.
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Old September 8th, 2019, 05:53 PM   #13
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Thank you all for the great advice and little reminders to be humble sprinkled in :-) I haven't gotten to the bike yet but I feel really optimistic about riding it for many years.
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Old September 8th, 2019, 11:55 PM   #14
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This 2001 R1 is last of carbureted "new-gen compact" models in response to Honda's revolutionary CBR900RR. It still has 5-valve engine from previous generations.

power = 148-150bhp, that's +120hp more than Ninjette!
wet-weight = 457lbs, +83lbs more
0-60mph = 2.96s
1/4-mile = 10.3s @133mph
top-speed = 167mph !!!

That's some serious speed! The extra mass should tame extra power somewhat. Be careful under braking and cornering as it won't do those as well as Ninjette. First couple laps out, I find myself skipping back tyre under braking and tucking front-end in corners on CBR600RR after session on Ninjette, and that's only an extra 35-lbs!

Heck, if you don't like it, I'll buy it off you!
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Old September 9th, 2019, 10:54 PM   #15
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01 R1 nice! Last of the carb. Just rode mine 3 weeks ago before selling it, big bike little bike they are all about the same just take it easy on the throttle when acclimating.

Just make sure the tires on the R1 are warmed up before gunning it because the back tires won't hookup. Other than that, the seating position is much more aggressive so you just have to get used to it if you're coming from a 250.I have clip-ons and rear set adapters on my 250 and the R1 still feels much more aggressive.

Outside of comfort, the R1 obviously is gonna cost more on maintenance. That's probably the biggest difference. I remember paying over $600 for valve check/ adjustment /carb sync with parts and oil included.

Right now my Ninja 250 is at the shop for the same thing and my quote is about $400 not bad. I don't think I could ever sell my 250 it feels too familiar lol.
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Old September 14th, 2019, 01:45 AM   #16
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Man, an R1 sounds nice! Well, just know less is more when it comes to that throttle. But you know that. The R6 is twitchy to say the least. I hope the R1 is more manageable... and I am sure it is. I’d probably take an R1 over an r6. Low speed sucks on those babies. Good luck!!!!!
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Old September 14th, 2019, 07:33 AM   #17
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Sounds awesome, I've gotten the chance to ride a lot of different bikes (albeit at the track) over the years. The 1000s have never failed to leave a smile on my face with how ridiculous they are.

From a technique standpoint, the technique of riding a sportbike/streetbike is the same regardless of the bike. What changes is the degree of application. What this means is that with the throttle and brakes on a ninja 250 you can be very aggressive and the bike won't do much. It will let you get away with many sloppy inputs simply because the engine and braking system are lower powered. What this means when switching to riding a much more powerful machine like an R1 is that you need to be much more conscientious and precise with your inputs. Opening the throttle halfway and releasing the clutch quickly from a stop on a 250 will just result in the front becoming a little light and the bike continuing on without any fuss. The same input on an R1 will likely result in an accidental wheelie. The same concept applies to the brakes, steering will be heavier and more stable which is nice for street riding. Remember that you don't have the crazy electronics of modern bikes to rely on as well, the bike will do exactly what you tell it to and won't say no if you tell it to do too much.

TL;DR Focus on your inputs with the bike and you will become used to how much more sensitive the bike is to throttle and braking inputs before you know it
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Old September 14th, 2019, 05:27 PM   #18
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Old September 14th, 2019, 06:20 PM   #19
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I haven't ridden a liter bike specifically, but having owned two bigger bikes with more torque than the 250/300 (FZ-09, Street Triple R) I'll echo the sentiments of making sure to ensure you have smooth throttle control and brake application, cuz it's a very noticeable difference. The smallest twitches in the throttle will actually have an effect vs the ho-hum response of the Ninjette.

I found U-turns to be far easier on a bigger bike cuz it just carries itself through with only clutch input.
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