A detailed model mechanism for the G1/S transition in the mammalian cell cycle is presented and analysed by computer simulation to investigate whether the kinetic origins of the restriction point (R-point) can be identified. The R-point occurs in mid-to-late G1 phase and marks the transition between mitogen-dependent to mitogen-independent progression of the cell cycle. For purposes of computer simulations, the R-point is defined as the first point in time after mitosis where cutting off mitogen stimulation does not prevent the cell reaching the threshold activity of cyclin-E/cdk2 required for entry into S phase. The key components of the network that generate a dynamic switching behaviour associated with the R-point include a positive feedback loop between cyclin-E/cdk2 and Cdc25A, along with the mutually negative interaction between the cdk inhibitor p27Kip1 and cyclin-E/cdk2. Simulations of the passage through the R-point were carried out and the factors affecting the position of the R-point in G1 are determined. The detailed model also shows various points in the network where the activation of cyclin-E/cdk2 can be initiated with or without the involvement of the retinoblastoma protein.