I've logged probably 70,000-80,000 airhead miles. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that continues to learn the art
of shifting these things. I know about the pre-loading, shifting higher in the rev range, etc. Another thing I have found is that they are better once up to temp. I find that somedays they are butter smooth, but most days they require the right finesse and technique.
When riding a motorcycle you can use the muscles in your back, throttle hand, clutch hand, etc. But on an airhead my left foot gets the most work from the careful shifting