2009 Buell 1125R Roadcarvin

7 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2009 Buell 1125R Roadcarvin
Buell 1125R Sport Bike

Track day road test impressions of the 2009 Buell 1125CR and 1125R

2009 1125R in White: Fun any way you slice it.

We rode the 2009 Buell 1125R and 1125CR models at the Buell Inside Pass Track Day at Infineon Raceway. Though our main focus was on the track riding sessions (and the track itself), we learned enough about the bikes to offer a street rider’s perspective on their performance during moderately aggressive riding.

(If you are interested in reading about the track day session, see our Buell Inside Pass track day article).

The Buell 1125R and Buell 1125CR

The 1125R (introduced in 2008) and the new-for-2009 1125CR represent a radical departure for Buellno matter how much they evolved the Sportster-derived motors, Buell would always encounter resistance to the ‘paint shaker’ image of the legacy motor design: though torquey and tractable, many sporting riders prefer modern power delivery, higher redlines, slicker-shifting gearboxes. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to find that tech bits like double overhead cams, multiple valves per cylinder, stratospheric redlines, peak horsepower, close-ratio gearboxes and other spec-sheet details are the stuff of bench-racing sessions, whether or not they have a significant impact on a given rider’s street or track results.

Ken Hill rips up Infineon Raceway on a factory-stock Buell 1125R

Two street riders take a run at Buell’s Inside Pass Track Day

2009 1125CR (left) 1125R (right): Mike and Dwight ready to hit the track.

What’s it like to ride your first motorcycle track day? What kind of challenges will you face as a new track rider?

True confessions

I’m a longtime street rider, since the mid-‘70s when the café racer craze was taking hold in Northern California. I never got into that scene, though: hanging my butt off the bike seemed just too weird at the time. I was more of a pleasure rider but enjoyed pushing my luck by riding fast on my first street bike, a 1975 Honda CB400F.

Buell 1125R Sport Bike

I confess: I’ve done one motorcycle track day in my life, at Laguna Seca in the mid-‘90s. I rode my ‘93 Honda VFR750 shod with Metzeler street tires, and the bike handled as well as could be expected given its bulk and my abilities. I spent most of my time alternating between the sheer thrill of being on the track, and momentary fear as I tried to deal with the unfamiliar environment: safety crews, corner markers, braking points, and other riders.

I recall nearly running off the track on the corkscrew exit, because I made the mistake of following another rider’s line. Note to self: Choose your own line and stick with it, don’t lock on to the rider in front of you.

Since that day, I’ve read both Twist of the Wrist: The Motorcycle Roadracers Handbook and A Twist of the Wrist 2: The Basics of High-Performance Motorcycle Riding . as well as Ienatsch’s excellent Sport Riding Techniques . I’ve tried to apply what I’ve learned from them: attention and traction budgets, turn-in points, cornering techniques, throttle and braking skills, and yes, a modest amount of ‘body English’applying Ienatsch’s guidance on pushing the outside knee up against the tank, sliding from one side to the other around the turns, just to see how it feltand it felt good. Moving to the inside of the bike during cornering definitely raised my comfort level. Even so, I’ve not developed a persistent habit of hanging off the bike in turns.

No matter how much street riding I do or how confident I’ve become, there are things I won’t do on the street. As a result, my ability to gain and improve critical sport riding skills is limited unless I can practice in a controlled environment, with input from other experienced riders. Yeah, I can do some of that on the street, but I’m far too aware of my own mortality to push the envelope much.

Over the years I’ve wanted to return to the track to improve my street skills and raise my confidence level. Work, family, budget, and web site development duties conspired to consume all available resources, so I’ve not returned. It’s been so long since my first and only track day that I might as well be a complete beginner.

So, now you’re in on my dirty little secret.

Click here to continue.

Buell 1125R Sport Bike
Buell 1125R Sport Bike
Buell 1125R Sport Bike

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