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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new baby as more than 800 miles now, and I thought I should share with you all what I think about the bike now that I have spend more time on it's "saddle".

As posted previously, the front brakes are out of this world. Very, very strong, yet very progressive. On the other hand, rear brake is typically Honda : it sucks! It doesn't brake at all! There's almost no travel, as soon as you press it, it feels like it is reaching it's maximum (feels hard), which I know it hasn't, but I'm just afraid to press it more because I don't know when the rear wheel is going to lock. There's no feedback. How can Honda make such amazing front brakes and such a crap rear one ? My previous bike (SV650) had a rear brake that was much much better, very progressive, very usable stopping power, and I really knew when the wheel was about to lock. From what fellow riders have told me, 2001 R1 have the same problem. Don't know about the 2002 model or Gixxers1.
Transmission is a bit snatchy and noisy, doesn't feel strong. A friend of mine, who had a 2000 CBR600 and has a SP1, rode my bike and said it was normal because it had so few miles in it, it would improve with time (same happened with is bike).
Some magazines are complaining about snatchy fuel injection, well, it's true in second gear corners, the midcorner off/on (or the other way around) transition in second gear does upset the bike a little, but that's no problem because you can just use third gear and take advantage of the huge midrange. It only happens in second gear.
As far as the engine is concerned, all I can say is WOW!
Very strong all the way up! It's starts pulling very, very hard right from just 3000 RPM! It reminds me of a twin ! It pulls from just anywhere.
And the top range... well, I don't understand how can someone choose another bike just because of 3 or 4 hp. This is more than most people will ever need, it's hard to top fourth gear, let alone fifth or sixt! It pulls like a demon!
The handling ... has to be experienced to be believed. You can corner has hard as you dare, and with no effort. It feels very, very light.
However, all that power in such a light, small, short, fast turning machine does have it's price. A steering damper is a must. I haven't had a problem yet, but the front end does feel light when you exit corners with full throtlle/high revs. I'm thinking about getting a Hyperpro.
Just had the rear fender (I believe that's what it's called) removed this morning, and changed the licence plate to a smaller one. It looks incredible, the rear tyre looks twice the size.
I will be buying a digital camera soon, i'll post some photos then.
 

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Congrats on the bike /images/icons/smile.gif. What color did you get?
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>

I don't understand how can someone choose another bike just because of 3 or 4 hp.

<hr></blockquote>

Tell me about it.
 

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Well as for second gear being snatchy you could see if a powercommander will smooth it out some, or if your taking 2nd gear turns practice the skill of looking thru the turn correctly so that your not doing the on/off on/off throttle to correct your line. Then you'll be on the gas the whole time holding it steady then when you get into it you can roll on the throttle on your apex better cuz you won't be on/off the gas and then having to whack it back open causing the burst to upset the chassis. Have you set your sag for the suspension yet...that's kinda something everyone needs to do right off to get the bike to fit you not the other way around! If the Fi is anything like the F4i Fi then it's just a matter of keeping on the gas or holding it steady never fully letting off in a turn. Try trail braking with the front a bit instead of trying to slow down by letting of the gas...you'd actually be suprised at just how much trail braking you can do without hurting the bike. Trail braking the front will while counter steering will help the bike turn in more, if you just use the front brake and not counter steer the bike will stand up on you. Just giving ya some ideas or things to try. The steering dampner is a must, if fact I still think they should be mandatory from the factory with one on anything bigger then a 600. The new bikes are just to light vs the power ratio not to have them on.
 

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That would be funny if the snatchy throttle response was cured by rider acclaimation.

 

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You aren't supposed to using the back brake much, hence the reason they suck... And that midrange you are talking about is what R1 owners have been saying for 4 years. /images/icons/smile.gif
 

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ever had to jam the brakes pretty hard, and all of a sudden, and get that clicking sound?? Or is it just my bike? Was just wondering if thats the front or rear brake doing it..The few times that it happened I was too nervous from jamming on the brakes to pay attention to where it came from..Thx.

 

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Yes, I've heard that clicking sound. I was wondering if it was because I didn't disengage the clutch, had locked the rear wheel up, and was essentially stalling-out the engine.

 

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The clicking sounds is from braking to hard on the front which is lifting the rear off the ground and then since your using the rear brake at that same time so the tire is trying to stop while the pressure is off of it being off the ground a bit. This is also caused by not blipping the throttle before downshifts and braking, your not matching engine speed or tranny speed rather with the rear wheel speed. If you learn how to blip the throttle and get to a lower gear you don't have to use braking as much you end up using the engine to slow you down...I'm not saying by doing this that you don't have to brake...just you don't have to brake as long and sometimes not as hard. On the race track races are won on the brakes not the gas!!!! I know don't sound right but it's true! Next time some of you new guys that may not have had been told this or don't know how to practice it go out and ride your usual turns do your usual downshifting first then brake then turn your eyes and head and fix your eyes on something thru the turn if you can get this down you'll find that once you get done braking you'll be back on the gas all the way thru the turn and you won't have to be on/off the gas which is caused by not looking thru the turn you are constantly correcting you line with the gas. There a lot of people who say they know this but doing it all the time is a different story. I rode with a lot of people last year that were talking the talk up something bad...then come time to show up for a Sunday ride I'd ride behind them and evaluate them for myself to see if it was safe to ride with them....these guys were all over the place...I was riding just as hard as them the whole road and only was riding with my hand on the gas. It's all apart of looking thru the turn, being in the right gears, and counter steering. I was running in a lower gear and using engine speed with a touch of front brake here and there while they were up and down shifting with their lines all over the rode. One guy even was saying he had a race license..funny lol never seen him at the tracks before. BTW he was on a R1 if that makes it any funnier that I was riding his tail with one hand lol. Anyway if you guys can get these skills down you'll find you'll love the twisties a whole heck of a lot better then you already do. Oh yah just for you bashers...lol I wasn't trying to brag on my skill I was trying to use it as an example of how looking thru the turn and the right gear using the right braking techniques you will get faster and feel more comfortable doing it.
 

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Using your rear brake coming into a turn... Or in a turn more appropriately. If you don't know what it is please don't attempt it.
 

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Trail braking is using either front or rear brake while in a turn to change your line or if you are riding someones tail like thru a turn you can trail brake a bit as you are hitting the apex and shorten up your turning radius and come down underneath them and beat them out of the turn. Now when we say Trail braking this is a technique that is used a lot but if used improperly it will either put you on your head or your arse quickly. Trail braking basically is slight pressure on the brake lever. You want to be very smooth no jerky sudden pulls. Do as if your rolling on the gas nice and smooth only your squeezing. When you do this the bike will want to stand up out of the turn so to keep it leaned over you need to counter steer for the braking. You are already counter steering by pushin on the bar in the direction you want to go(push right go right, push left go left) so while doing this and trail braking you need to keep that pressure on that bar or depending on how much you trail brake you need to apply a bit more pressure to that same bar. Another trick while in the turn to that most people don't use is using your feet to put pressure on the pegs...you'd be surpised at just how much more stable this makes the bike in a turn. Now I suggest if your going to practice trail braking that you do install a steering dampner...it will help smooth out your steering and smoothen out the front end a lot which in turn helps the rear. I've got some other tricks too lol but that's for another lesson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
G_man_911, about that clicking sound, I was going to mention it, but I didn't because I didn't know how to explain it in english. I don't know if we are talking about the same thing, but something strange happened 2 or 3 times when braking very very hard from very high speeds. The best way I can describe it is someting starts to vibrate a lot, it seems like an ABS system (not in the brake lever). The first time this happended I really got scared, because I was overtaking another bike and suddenly a car happeared in front of me, and I was doing something like 120/130 MPH, so I braked really hard and when this appened I thought the front wheel was about to lock, but I still had to brake in order to avoid the car. I was scared shitless, to say the least.
I believe this comes from the front wheel, but I don't know what it is. I have ridden other bikes before (all hondas, except for my previous SV650), braked really hard on all of them and this never happened, even on the 929. Because of this, I believe it has nothing to do with what F4IRacer was talking, this never happened on other bikes.
Because this only happens when braking from high speeds (bellow 80/90 mph this will not happen), I thought it was because the front suspension is hard and the road surface being less than perfect (roads here suck), it was overloading the suspension. I wasn't using much rear brake, because of the reasons explained before.
Sorry not being able to explain it better, in portuguese it would be a lot easier for me...
 

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Thanks for all the info. Clicking definatly wasn't the engine, it was something with the brakes, I think F4iRacer may have hit on it, although my rear tire wasnt off the ground. These couple of times was done on the street, for example when a car pulled out in front of me..And I had to grab a hand and foot full, so I want sure which brake it was, or WHAT caused it..still not sure..But thanks for trying /images/icons/smile.gif

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would like to add that while this symptom ocurred, braking performance never decreased, neither did the bike's stability. The rear tyre wasn't off the ground either.
If or when you guys know about any recalls with the 954, please post it. Here in Portugal there are never any recalls, motorcycle or cars. I think the dealers just try to hide these informations.
 

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This is caused from the braking of the bike in a hard situation where the bike is trying to stop faster then the engine is turning. I know it's hard to explain kinda. Basically, your trying to slow the bike faster then it wants to! Your pushing the limits of braking and skidding out at this point or locking up the wheels and sliding out. Your creating cavitation...there that is a good example. It's like having your bought in gear going forward and then throwing it in reverse...it wants to cavitate. SO it's a miss match in rotating between the rear wheel and the engine!!!! I've done this a few times myself on the track where I get caught in the draft over take someone and then pass them and catch up to fast to the person in front of that person I just passed and they then brake check...and I didn't have time to prepare my braking correctly. Oh yah and when you think your rear tire isn't leaving the ground...you'd be suprised under heavy braking that it is and you don't realize it...sometimes it will step out a bit on you and sometimes it don't depends on the pressure put on the bars and body language.
 

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Great, thanks alot for all the info Racer, just wanted to make sure I didnt break anything /images/icons/smile.gif, it had that plastic breaking kinda sound "cli-click-click-cl-cl" hehe. Almost like a baseball card in your spokes as a kid..thats the type of sound but maybe a little slower, and more time between the clicks.

P.S. this is totally off topic but i feel the need to tell someone hehe. I bounced my bike off the rev-limiter a few times tonight!! /images/icons/laugh.gif Hey this makes me think on another question for you racer, u would know..Does your bike, or did it before you modified it i should say (LOL) have a flat spot around 9 or 10,000? I feel like it pulls like a demon until it hits there, on its way to the limiter, then kinda dies till you change gears real quick..Thanks for all the help!

 

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No flat spot that I noticed. However, I started modifying my bike the second I got it home. SO it had only been rode about 4 miles at that time. The full Micron, and air filter went on after that. That 9-10,000 rpms is right in the middle of your power band...that's odd to have a flat spot there. What exhaust are you running...sounds like where the F4's had a flat spot using a 2bros pipe? I just looked at my first dyno run without any tuning to the PCIIIr and it had a very small dip in the power curve at starting at about 8G going to 10G but it was very small when drawing a straight line from start of curve to where it rolls into the peak hp you could just see a bit of paper between my pencil line and the curve line drawn from the printout. I'd suggest getting a power commander it will help clear that kinda stuff up pretty well.
 
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