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Exclusion of the ZX9R is the height of moto-elitism. The latest Cycle World takes the same path as you do. But look at their own numbers for the 954 and the 9R. The 9R weighs 34 lb more, has 7 less hp, yet BEATS the 954 in 1/4 mile, 0-60, and top speed.

When you add in better ergonomics, wind protection and lower price, the only conclusion that makes any sense is that the 9R is not in your shootout because you don't want it to show up the three track pigs that its stylish to rave about.
 

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Maybe the best way to do bike tests, especially sport bike tests, is to do each bike individually and report on it individually. Then reserve shootouts for specific comparisons such as track lap times, twisties etc. I think what happens in the shootouts is that one factor, e.g. laptimes, tends to dominate the the entire comparison and disproportionately diminish losers (comfortable, faster than a speeding bullet, but gee wizz, .02 seconds slower than our winner - brand x).
 
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