Questions don't get any easier to answer. Part 1 was a racetrack comparison with some assorted comments on comfort. It was written BEFORE we had a chance to spend any serious time on the streets. The seat on the Kawasaki IS comfortable, my ass never got sore or numb. The problem is with the angle of the seat causing you to slide foreward into the tank, creating discomfort in a part of your body that doesn't even come into contact with the seat. The seat itself is fine and the simple addition of a grippier seat cover might even solve the sliding problem.
As for the R6 front feeling like it wanted to tuck, on the stock Dunlop D208s, the feeling was there on the racetrack, but on the street, the lean angle and cornering forces are such that it doesn't surface. Since the feeling of impending tuck is missing on the street, it isn't something that we would hold against the bike (tires) on the street portion of the test.
The Honda is not really available in the marketplace -- they ship out a few token ones, but they won't be generally available for some time. So, not only can't MO test one, you can't buy one yet anyway.
First off, I was speaking about mags in general, not MO.
I never implied that MO exchanges favorable reviews for money. In fact, I've always maintained that the small annual fee of just over $10 would help to prevent such carryon, and I'll gladly be paying it again next month because of this. However, I know from experience that the "money for reviews" game is played year-round in the mag industry, so I stand by my words.
In fact, MO, or at least some of it's writers, seem to agree with me. As your own staff writer put it in the Open Class Shootout: 2001, "And, while we're not saying another magazine didn't have their reasons (ad-choo! Oh, excuse us...)"
So lighten up, cut back on the joe, and give me a break, Sean.
The Buell has a built in "anti-head-shake" in that the wheel has much more rotational inertia (gyroscope behavior) than any other sportbike out there. By having so much weight (the brake disk) spread out to the edge of the wheel, this naturally dampens the steering rate as it requires more force to deflect the wheel.
And the faster the bike goes, the more force is required.
Personally, thats probably a good idea for a streetbike, but racebikes have been going the other way (some superbikes in the UK use 4 disk setups specifically to reduce rotational inertia by allowing the brakes to be 4 very small disks.)
I have to agree with Dardas on this one about some of the other mags- you just wait. I'll bet Honda wins Motor Cyclist's street part of their shootout, simply because it's a Honda and Boehm likes them.
I never have bought a bike I didn't ride first, so I pretty much formed my own opinions. I read road tests for entertainment, as you suggest, but also to help me narrow down those bikes that I might be interested in. For example, I had never really considered the Triumph Speed 4 until reading the MO test. Probably would still go for a Speed Triple instead, but I would at least try get a test ride on the Speed 4.
You are certainly right about the Brit Bike tests -- they are entertaining but have little relevance to real riding in MY universe.
A tank-slapper is certainly the result of either a front-end slide OR the front coming down from anything (bump, wheelie) even slightly crossed-up. The cause is that the contact patch is actually behind the line that the forks are attached to the frame on. This means that any turn from straight actually moves the contact patch SLIGHTLY forward. The slapper continues because as the handlebars whip back so the contact patch is far enough back but then the inertia on the bars carries the contact patch SLIGHTLY forward on the other side - then that just keeps on going until luck has it's way and the forces keeping the contact patch back overcome the inertial forces moving the bars from side to side.
Since my last physics class occured in a drunken haze as I switched from Mechanical Engineering to English as a major in College - this is the best I can do - but it must be incredibly hard to engineer out a tankslapper w/out just fitting a damper.
My VFR was prone to tankslappers and I took the time to figure it out as best I could - and that's what I came up with
Sean, JohnnyB did either of you notice the above? Ive barely seen a couple on the street as the dual one side only projector beams can almost not be seen during the day. How does those lights work in the evening? They seem great for stealth riding during the day...
These bikes all look and sound like they are great bikes. The problem is, I am 40 years old, have bad knees, have never touched a knee down on the pavement, and unfortunately do not think I ever will. My 1999 Honda F4 seems to be getting better all the time(I believe better than a F4I based on their crappy seat). I know the manufacturers have to keep selling new bikes, but how many of us really ride our bikes anywhere other than the street?
I have to give it to Yamaha though, it does seem to be the most street friendly of the new 600's, and still kicks butt on the track.
You may be surprised. I have the new R6 and the bike is quite comfy. Let me know how your ride goes.
However, I recently installed genmar bar risers on it and it is even better now. They raise the bars about 3/4" of an inch and look stock. The rise is Just noticable but it doesn't seem to affect the handling at all, though I haven't had time to ride it in the twisties yet.