I just read through all this entire thread, and must say it is most disturbing since I have a 2006 R12RT, which no doubt has the plastic pulleys. What is the motivation behind doing it this way? it surely can't be to save a couple of ounces of weight as these bikes are hardly lightweight sport bikes. So apparently this must be a cost cutting measure, and one wonders just how much extra it would cost to use metal pulleys. Seems pretty cheap to do this since these bikes are not low budget economy models.