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929RR Press Intro Day Two – Part Two

Editor Dirck Edge on the 929RR at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Editor Dirck Edge on the 929RR at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

I’ll tell you what, it’s hell riding 150 horsepower, 379 pound motorcycles all day long on a pristine racetrack in the desert shared only with a handful of other journalists (no more than 7 on the track at one time). I’m beat.

I finally understand what Tadao Baba means by the “widening circle”. His goal is to design a bike with extreme performance delivered benignly. He has thoroughly succeeded, in my opinion.

The 929RR is so easy to ride you almost forget how viciously fast it is. Power wheelies out of slow, second gear corners, and wheelies out of fast, third gear corners are delivered so smoothly and effortlessly that you forget that your skill level shouldn’t be allowing this.

How does it compare with an R1? I know that’s your question, but I’m not going to answer it. First of all, although I’ve ridden an R1, I simply haven’t ridden one enough to offer the informed opinion you are looking for. Second, after a day filled with endless adrenaline rushes (following a night with little or no sleep on an uncomfortable hotel bed) I’m almost too numb to think about it.

I will say this, based on my extensive ride on the 929RR, and discussions with other experienced journalists at the press intro, I have no doubt that 95% of the street riders out there will be able to
get more out of the 929RR than an R1.

A brief comment about handling (and then I’m calling it quits for today – I’ll write more tomorrow). The 929RR is very flickable. It seems to change direction almost as easily as the best 600s. Yet, it is very stable under hard acceleration. The 929RR also offers great feel in the corners – giving you confidence to test the limits of your tires.

Chief Designer Tadao Baba borrowed Kurtis Roberts' leathers and took a few laps late in the day
Chief Designer Tadao Baba borrowed Kurtis Roberts’ leathers and
took a few laps late in the day