DaveK,Glad this thread is sticky... I'd forgotten it was here and just noticed it again. I'm attending at VIR (l1&2) in May. Not sure if Keith is still around but since he has the last responses above maybe he still stops by from time to time, in any case since this is CSS related I'm going to summarize a discussion I had in the Multi forum to get it listed here. Basically the question was about going to the CSS with no superbike riding experience (specifically around riding position).
The original thread is here
I'm on page 10 of reading through the thread and have not run across this question so I'll take a chance an post it since it's going to take me a while to get through the whole thread.
First a suggestion - I see you have mp3's of your books available on Amazon, I'd like to suggest releasing on Audible instead in audiobook format (better playback control for books vs. typical MP3 players).
Then my question from the Multi forum (I was looking for input from folks with the same bike):
I just signed up for next year's VIR 2 day session... any Multi pilot with experience at the school have any insight regarding how difficult/easy it is to adapt to the S1000RR? I don't have sportbike experience and I don't want that to cause issues with getting the most out of the weekend. They also have F800ST's and I need to decide which way to go. The S1000 obviously is a better power matchup to the Multi (and Streetfighter which I may have by then)... I doubt the F800 power drop would really limit what I get out of the class by much. I spent some time riding the F800GT in Germany last year and it was a lot of fun.
The discussion basically convinced me that I'd be fine on the S1000 even though the riding position will be new. Some thought the F800 would be just as good as the S1000 as a learning tool (probably correct), but most felt adjusting to the aggressive riding position would not be a big issue (and it's a chance to ride one of the premiere sportbikes available today... hard to resist). The most aggressive riding position I've experience on is when I traded rental bikes with a buddy for an hour on the B500 in Germany (I had an R1200GS and he had an F800GT). I found that I adjusted to the "somewhat more sporty" intermediate riding position of the F800GT very quickly and after an hour of increasingly aggressive riding I much preferred it to the GS (even with the power deficit) for fun roads like the B500.
Some thought the power would be an issue but I suspect for L1 and 2 power is not really an issue... and I've gone from 50hp to 110hp to 160hp bikes over the years without really feeling like more power was ever 'a problem'. In fact the bike that felt the most radical to me over the years was a 2 stroke 500cc dirtbike that wanted to kill me every time I rode it - and it probably only had 50hp.
Have you ever discussed how the class went for folks coming from other posture bikes (but with plenty of street riding experience)? For me the goal is to improve street skills... maybe be able to enjoy a occasional track day (but that's not really important for me).
I think you will find the S1000RR ergonomics easy to adapt to. While it is definitely a sport bike, the bar/seat/peg/tank positioning is not as radical as many other sport bikes. Yes, you will be positioning yourself forward and down compared to a standard such as the ones you mentioned (F800/GS). However, if you are anywhere in the range of 5'6" to 6'6", or taller, you'll get along fine.
The other thing to realize is that you will not be taking a freeway cruise to get to the corners That's the rub with most sport bikes, spending an extended period just riding along on straight roads is tiring when in the "sporty bike" riding position. Each 2.35 mile lap has 14 corners with only one longish straightaway. BTW, VIR is a very fun track with some flat, technical sections as well as some interesting elevation changes. It's a favorite track for pretty much anyone who has ever ridden there and great for rider training.
The whole school schedule is at www.superbikeschool.com