Interesting speculations, though we'll know for certain soon enough. And as for the person who wrote that article, and their perceived amount of suction, let me just assure you that, in no way at all, does he come close to vacuum of any sort.
I must wholeheartedly agree with Sean's assessment. Well written, to include the irreverence that makes me loyal to MO, where I could care less which print mag I read.
As for the bike, Yamaha can certainly pen a pretty bike. Distinctly Japanese design, but with an almost Italian flow to it. I keep telling myself I won't get a big-bore until I can wring everything out of a smaller one on the track, but it's getting harder and harder to resist....
I got my silver R1 2/18. I'm very happy with the bike. The fuel injection is remarkably well-sorted. The motor has gobs of midrange, and it sure likes to wheelie. Speaking of which, it would have been nice if Yamaha had fit a steering damper like Suzuki does to their GSX-Rs.
An excellent read! Entertaining and quite funny- much better than the other "less than stellar" report. Not to kiss arse, but I've been waiting for a good report of the 2002 R1 for a very looong time, and while many others promised, MO finally delivered. Now to go scheme on how to acquire a new R1 without making a deal with that Mephistopheles fellow whom has been hanging around here lately...
My smart arse comments aside, I read your stuff because I like the way you guys write.
The foreign correspondents ... not so good.
About the shootout ... how about doing two of them.
A "we don't need no stinkin wind protection" Open Class Shootout where performance is ALL that matters, and then say a 1 litre street shootout where the type of person who would actually purchase one of these bikes to commute on can argue about attaching soft luggage to the R1 or not being able to run Iron Butt rallies on a 998.
Seriously, a combination of stats, lap times, potential maintenance issues...
My complaint is this .. (and please pardon the analogy) but Car & Driver doesn't test a Ferrari and focus on luggage space, parking lot prowess and how comfortable grandma is in the passenger seat for the 5 hour ride to Vegas.
These are the upper crust of performance motorcycles. The bikes most of us growing up couldn't have dreamt would ever be a reality. I say have a test to judge them as such.
I agree that most people who buy these can't ride them at 60% of their potential, but that's not the point. Do you think owners of Porsche's/Ferrari's/etc's are any different ?
IMO - talk about the "real world" shortcomings in the individual road tests. The shootout should focus on performance, with the realworld faults being a footnote.
In the same way I wouldn't want to see a test of a tourbike biased on it's horrible race track performance, why bias the race-replica bikes the other way.
Then again, you can't please everyone ... but that's how I see it.
When I opened up the motorcyle.com page I half thought I was looking at a '99 Hayabusa. The colors are almost exactly the same. Of course it was probably just the lighting. I'm anxious to see how the new R1 will stack up this year and hopefully, like others have said, MO will base these bikes on performance first and foremost. But, I guess if they use last year's criteria Suzuki will have to detune the Gixxer so it can compete.
You know I could not agree with you more. I just picked up my blue R1, 2/21, and I already am half way to breaking it in. I also have owned a 1999 R6 and a 2000 R1. This R1 is really a work of art both on the road and to look at. My brother just picked up a silver 954, 2/21, and it is a great comparison to ride them back to back. The new R1 is far superior to the older R1s in most every aspect. This thing really can put a smile on your face. I can not praise Yamaha enough for there great product. To hell with the Suzuki lovers. There is more to a bike besides how fast it goes in a striaght line. If that was the case........we would all be riding Hayabusas or ZX-12Rs. I could not agree with you more!!!!
Actually, I rather enjoyed the foreign correspondent - a nice changeup in the MO lineup, I think. I thought he did a great job in conveying how the R1 felt.
Granted, I'll never be a great rider , but with all the R1's at my local dealership already sold (and that's here in SD), maybe I should try and find one to ride.
One other stupid back-country 'hick' question: I've seen it alot, and gathered that's it's a less than complimentary moniker, but would someone please define 'a squid' for me in motorcycle terms? I know the seagoing definition, but I'm confused here.