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MCN reader Andy Goodman reviews a Yamaha R1

By Andrew Goodman -

First rides & tests

 24 November 2006 17:33

"Don't try to be clever with it, that's what the guy on the Gixxer did, he tried to be clever and now it's in a right old state. This one's brand new and immaculate, and we'd like it back in this condition"

I am in the motorcycle shop picking up a hire bike for the weekend. The bike that I had originally booked out, a GSX-R1000 K5, is apparently no longer roadworthy, so I've been offered an R1 instead. I'm OK with that. I was hankering after a go on the king of 1000cc sportsbikes, but sometimes you've just gotta go with the flow. In any case didn't Wills just buy an R1? Well, if it's good enough for the second in line to the throne, it's good enough for me.

Having just been told there's a £750 damage excess, I'm starting to feel a bit nervous, that I'll do a repeat performance of gixxer boy, and put myself £750 in the red. What have I got myself in for? Is this bike such a handful?

The bike to be mine for the weekend is an immaculate, 06 plate R1 with a few thousand on the clock. As we're going over the controls, alarm etc, the owner fires up the engine, and the bike gurgles into life. I almost can't believe it's in standard trim; the sound from the exhaust is properly loud, even at idle ?
throaty and raw, an indication of the state of tune of the engine. I climb aboard and get underway becoming familiarised with the controls throttle and brake and mindful of the wise words from the bike shop owner. I take it easy back home.