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c'mon duke! Two new bikes from Suzuki and Yamaha and you have two bikes that were new LAST year ahead?! I am afraid it is hard to take your opinions seriously after this, given the fact that Suzuki alone has had the best Liter bike since 2001..or is it just not as good this year?

I'm gonna have to wait for motorcycle-usa's shootout to compare to yours...
 

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" I talk to a lot of riders who spend what I consider ridiculous amounts of money for (again, what I consider) negligible performance increases. Who in their right mind wants a VStrom 1000 to go even 1 full second quicker on a 1/4 mile bad enough to spend a thousand dollars on pipes and ECUs? Enough people to keep Dale Walker and the Vince Bros. in business. Yet it's a Dual-Sport. With a big windshield and side cases.


From a strictly objective point of view, I agree. On the other hand, adding free breathing exhausts and a Power Commander with a good map subjectively can make a huge difference in fun factor. An uncorked VStrom, for example, is a glorious thing with all that bellowing 90 degree V-Twin sound. Throttle response is likely increased dramatically too. It may not make that much difference over a stock bike in a drag race, but the modded bike is a lot more engaging and fun to ride.

The bottom line, it is fun to modify bikes :D
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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"On the other hand, adding free breathing exhausts and a Power Commander with a good map subjectively can make a huge difference in fun factor."

It's also violates noise and emissions laws which makes it even more fun!
 

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2 questions

2 things stand out here,
first the comment about the R1 being the easiest to slide the rear-end out of the corners:

"On the other hand, Steve "Speed" Kelly believes the cross-plane engine enhances corner-exit speeds on the track. "All that hype about there being a connection between the throttle and the rear tire is true."

<...I never would have guessed this>

" If you want to able to spin up the rear tire exiting a corner, having the bike sliding around while you keep the gas pinned, no other literbike I've ridden before made this so easy. The grip and drive the R1 gives somehow allows you to just keep opening the throttle when on other bikes you'd be backing off for fear of highsiding yourself.""

...but isn't that how a highside begins? I don't understand what it is about the crankshaft that makes it easier to slide the rear coming out of a turn. Or why this would be all that difficult on a 150HP motorcycle.

the other thing...

""It [Honda] felt so planted and confidence-inspiring that I crashed it," says a red-faced Gardiner. "If you take this bike to the track, you need to run it on real race rubber. That's a compliment to the brilliant handling; lesser bikes send you a warning as you reach the limits of the tire's adhesion but the CBR1000RR was completely composed, ready to do much more on demand.""

Is that good or bad?
How much was the chassis and how much due to the tires?
I would be really interested in this testers' opinion on the same bike with different tires.

thanks
 

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2 things stand out here,
first the comment about the R1 being the easiest to slide the rear-end out of the corners:

"On the other hand, Steve "Speed" Kelly believes the cross-plane engine enhances corner-exit speeds on the track. "All that hype about there being a connection between the throttle and the rear tire is true."

<...I never would have guessed this>

" If you want to able to spin up the rear tire exiting a corner, having the bike sliding around while you keep the gas pinned, no other literbike I've ridden before made this so easy. The grip and drive the R1 gives somehow allows you to just keep opening the throttle when on other bikes you'd be backing off for fear of highsiding yourself.""

...but isn't that how a highside begins? I don't understand what it is about the crankshaft that makes it easier to slide the rear coming out of a turn. Or why this would be all that difficult on a 150HP motorcycle.

the other thing...

""It [Honda] felt so planted and confidence-inspiring that I crashed it," says a red-faced Gardiner. "If you take this bike to the track, you need to run it on real race rubber. That's a compliment to the brilliant handling; lesser bikes send you a warning as you reach the limits of the tire's adhesion but the CBR1000RR was completely composed, ready to do much more on demand.""

Is that good or bad?
How much was the chassis and how much due to the tires?
I would be really interested in this testers' opinion on the same bike with different tires.

thanks
Sliding a literbike's rear tire isn't difficult. Doing it without highsiding is the difficult part. Most highsides result when a a rider backs off the throttle during a slide. The R1 does a better job at translating the feel of grip at the tire to what the rider is feeling at the throttle.

As for the CBR, I rode it at its press intro at Laguna with race-compound tires, and it was a very solid package. Gardiner's crash had nothing to do with any limitations of the CBR.
 

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c'mon duke! Two new bikes from Suzuki and Yamaha and you have two bikes that were new LAST year ahead?! I am afraid it is hard to take your opinions seriously after this, given the fact that Suzuki alone has had the best Liter bike since 2001..or is it just not as good this year?

I'm gonna have to wait for motorcycle-usa's shootout to compare to yours...
You should be reading RoadracingWorld, they do much more than just test ride them. Its much more in depth. Besides I prefer a Roadracers perspective rather than a journalist opinon. I never read too deep into a journalists write-up unless they've had alot of race experience under their belt, no offense to them.

I'v ridden the R1 and found it very different in that you must almost retrain yourself as to how early you can drive it out of the corners. Kinda of scray at first but it works. The only problem I had was it fell way off at 11k everytime. Oh this is the order RRW judged them

1. Honda
2. Kawasaki
3. Suzuki
4. Yamaha

Sometimes an older package works better than the new stuff. And alot of times after the race teams have to work through some of the problems then the next year its a different bike.
 

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...right...

"Sliding a literbike's rear tire isn't difficult. Doing it without highsiding is the difficult part. Most highsides result when a a rider backs off the throttle during a slide. The R1 does a better job at translating the feel of grip at the tire to what the rider is feeling at the throttle."

...?
*how*?

As you say, the key to not highsiding is not to jump off the throttle in the middle of a slide. So, there's "sliding" and "not sliding"...and all of these bikes can probably easily slide the rear. So what's the difference? Without the cross crank it's much harder to know when the rear end is sliding?!? Or just harder to keep it sliding without getting totally sideways?

I have to echo an earlier comment: if this is such a big deal then the R1 should have rated much higher. If it isn't...then why make a big deal out of it? Not posting track times was a big mistake. If it can't be quantified objectively then it's all a matter of feel, and if it's just feel then it's a matter of how the bike feels when ridden at the limit...and maybe the limit is higher because of the better feel.

but then again you have a great-feeling bike which apparently doesn't give enough feedback, allowing the rider to ride it into the dirt...

"As for the CBR, I rode it at its press intro at Laguna with race-compound tires, and it was a very solid package. Gardiner's crash had nothing to do with any limitations of the CBR."

so ok what did it have to do with, then?

I'm not getting much out of this review, really. Ok some of the bikes are more comfortable than others, the exhaust sounds better on some than others, and some have more power above 10k than others, and the engine buzzes more on some than others, and the GSX-R1000 has a cable clutch. That's about it. You guys wrecked a bike and can't say why, and a bike which has the engine specially modified for better handling, you refuse to quantify how that improved handling helps performance. I could have done this myself. And better tires, apparently, would just have meant that it would have wrecked at a higher speed. While probably not providing any feedback that the rider was getting into trouble. Unless the bike is only safe to ride fast on race tires.

By the way the next time that you guys publish a "shootout" like this without lap times? Why not make it an open shootout. If lap times don't matter, then why not throw in some 600s and 250s? Sure they will make less power, but they will also be lighter and cheaper too, and when all that is factored into your rating equation they might even beat the literbikes.

Also what I think matters a lot but is entirely ignored here is how easy these bikes are to maintain and how well they hold up under sustained riding. What tires work well on them and what don't and what sort of performance changes are seen across the range of suspension settings. The CBR supposedly has a problem with leaky fork seals, is that still an issue? What about the transmission...hopefully the R1 has left the old fJ 2nd gear problem well behind...what are the mechanical disadvantages of the cable clutch vs the hydraulic clutches on the others? Ok so they all have fuel-injection now, but what about the valve adjustment procedure? Are we looking at cap and shim adjustment or do any of these have hydraulic valves? And why not test the ABS model CBR? Just too many holes here. I couldn't even tell from reading this which one of these bikes I *would* want to ride and which one I *wouldn't* want to ride for more than an hour or two on the highway. I'm sorry, I'm not going to spend $13k on a bike and leave it at Willow Springs and only ride it there, and at some point it has to be maintained, and that's just as important as anything else. If it's going to cost me $2k every 5000 miles to keep it running, it's not a good bike. I will trade 25hp at the top end for a hydraulic valve train. Happily.
 

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"Sliding a literbike's rear tire isn't difficult. Doing it without highsiding is the difficult part. Most highsides result when a a rider backs off the throttle during a slide. The R1 does a better job at translating the feel of grip at the tire to what the rider is feeling at the throttle."

...?
*how*?

As you say, the key to not highsiding is not to jump off the throttle in the middle of a slide. So, there's "sliding" and "not sliding"...and all of these bikes can probably easily slide the rear. So what's the difference? Without the cross crank it's much harder to know when the rear end is sliding?!? Or just harder to keep it sliding without getting totally sideways?

I have to echo an earlier comment: if this is such a big deal then the R1 should have rated much higher. If it isn't...then why make a big deal out of it? Not posting track times was a big mistake. If it can't be quantified objectively then it's all a matter of feel, and if it's just feel then it's a matter of how the bike feels when ridden at the limit...and maybe the limit is higher because of the better feel.

but then again you have a great-feeling bike which apparently doesn't give enough feedback, allowing the rider to ride it into the dirt...

"As for the CBR, I rode it at its press intro at Laguna with race-compound tires, and it was a very solid package. Gardiner's crash had nothing to do with any limitations of the CBR."

so ok what did it have to do with, then?

I'm not getting much out of this review, really. Ok some of the bikes are more comfortable than others, the exhaust sounds better on some than others, and some have more power above 10k than others, and the engine buzzes more on some than others, and the GSX-R1000 has a cable clutch. That's about it. You guys wrecked a bike and can't say why, and a bike which has the engine specially modified for better handling, you refuse to quantify how that improved handling helps performance. I could have done this myself. And better tires, apparently, would just have meant that it would have wrecked at a higher speed. While probably not providing any feedback that the rider was getting into trouble. Unless the bike is only safe to ride fast on race tires.

By the way the next time that you guys publish a "shootout" like this without lap times? Why not make it an open shootout. If lap times don't matter, then why not throw in some 600s and 250s? Sure they will make less power, but they will also be lighter and cheaper too, and when all that is factored into your rating equation they might even beat the literbikes.

Also what I think matters a lot but is entirely ignored here is how easy these bikes are to maintain and how well they hold up under sustained riding. What tires work well on them and what don't and what sort of performance changes are seen across the range of suspension settings. The CBR supposedly has a problem with leaky fork seals, is that still an issue? What about the transmission...hopefully the R1 has left the old fJ 2nd gear problem well behind...what are the mechanical disadvantages of the cable clutch vs the hydraulic clutches on the others? Ok so they all have fuel-injection now, but what about the valve adjustment procedure? Are we looking at cap and shim adjustment or do any of these have hydraulic valves? And why not test the ABS model CBR? Just too many holes here. I couldn't even tell from reading this which one of these bikes I *would* want to ride and which one I *wouldn't* want to ride for more than an hour or two on the highway. I'm sorry, I'm not going to spend $13k on a bike and leave it at Willow Springs and only ride it there, and at some point it has to be maintained, and that's just as important as anything else. If it's going to cost me $2k every 5000 miles to keep it running, it's not a good bike. I will trade 25hp at the top end for a hydraulic valve train. Happily.
We give you nearly 5000 words at zero cost, and you still want more. Do you ***** at your wife Adriana Lima about her not cooking often enough?

Perhaps you missed the part of the thread about why taking lap times is a practical and logistical nightmare.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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wow cool bikes, too small, too fast, too narrow focused for anything I would want a bike for. I'm actually glad these weren't available when I was young and stupid though, my '86 ZX1000R is about the fastest thing I've ever ridden and it was big and comfy too. Forgive me but I just can't get into these types of bikes anymore, it's like owning a Bugatti Veyron...cool as hell but what are you going to do with it.

I guess I've become hopelessly pragmatic.
 

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The Toad
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I'm with satanali2 on this one. Not much point in owning one of these bikes unless you go to the track frequently. Frankly I'd rather have something like a 73 Ducati 750SS. I'd ride it just as much but it's waaay cooler and every bit as practical.

For that matter it'd be more fun to own one of those 400cc class sportbikes they sell in Europe than a literbike that would never get out of first gear without getting me arrested.
 

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I'm with satanali2 on this one. Not much point in owning one of these bikes unless you go to the track frequently. Frankly I'd rather have something like a 73 Ducati 750SS. I'd ride it just as much but it's waaay cooler and every bit as practical.

For that matter it'd be more fun to own one of those 400cc class sportbikes they sell in Europe than a literbike that would never get out of first gear without getting me arrested.
I think I saw an FZR400 on Craigslist the other day...
 

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"Sliding a literbike's rear tire isn't difficult. Doing it without highsiding is the difficult part. Most highsides result when a a rider backs off the throttle during a slide. The R1 does a better job at translating the feel of grip at the tire to what the rider is feeling at the throttle."

...?
*how*?

As you say, the key to not highsiding is not to jump off the throttle in the middle of a slide. So, there's "sliding" and "not sliding"...and all of these bikes can probably easily slide the rear. So what's the difference? Without the cross crank it's much harder to know when the rear end is sliding?!? Or just harder to keep it sliding without getting totally sideways?

I have to echo an earlier comment: if this is such a big deal then the R1 should have rated much higher. If it isn't...then why make a big deal out of it? Not posting track times was a big mistake. If it can't be quantified objectively then it's all a matter of feel, and if it's just feel then it's a matter of how the bike feels when ridden at the limit...and maybe the limit is higher because of the better feel.

but then again you have a great-feeling bike which apparently doesn't give enough feedback, allowing the rider to ride it into the dirt...

"As for the CBR, I rode it at its press intro at Laguna with race-compound tires, and it was a very solid package. Gardiner's crash had nothing to do with any limitations of the CBR."

so ok what did it have to do with, then?

I'm not getting much out of this review, really. Ok some of the bikes are more comfortable than others, the exhaust sounds better on some than others, and some have more power above 10k than others, and the engine buzzes more on some than others, and the GSX-R1000 has a cable clutch. That's about it. You guys wrecked a bike and can't say why, and a bike which has the engine specially modified for better handling, you refuse to quantify how that improved handling helps performance. I could have done this myself. And better tires, apparently, would just have meant that it would have wrecked at a higher speed. While probably not providing any feedback that the rider was getting into trouble. Unless the bike is only safe to ride fast on race tires.

By the way the next time that you guys publish a "shootout" like this without lap times? Why not make it an open shootout. If lap times don't matter, then why not throw in some 600s and 250s? Sure they will make less power, but they will also be lighter and cheaper too, and when all that is factored into your rating equation they might even beat the literbikes.

Also what I think matters a lot but is entirely ignored here is how easy these bikes are to maintain and how well they hold up under sustained riding. What tires work well on them and what don't and what sort of performance changes are seen across the range of suspension settings. The CBR supposedly has a problem with leaky fork seals, is that still an issue? What about the transmission...hopefully the R1 has left the old fJ 2nd gear problem well behind...what are the mechanical disadvantages of the cable clutch vs the hydraulic clutches on the others? Ok so they all have fuel-injection now, but what about the valve adjustment procedure? Are we looking at cap and shim adjustment or do any of these have hydraulic valves? And why not test the ABS model CBR? Just too many holes here. I couldn't even tell from reading this which one of these bikes I *would* want to ride and which one I *wouldn't* want to ride for more than an hour or two on the highway. I'm sorry, I'm not going to spend $13k on a bike and leave it at Willow Springs and only ride it there, and at some point it has to be maintained, and that's just as important as anything else. If it's going to cost me $2k every 5000 miles to keep it running, it's not a good bike. I will trade 25hp at the top end for a hydraulic valve train. Happily.
WOW? You take these articles too seriously, The bikes arent that much different unless youve got the capability to notice the difference, on a track.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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WOW? You take these articles too seriously, The bikes arent that much different unless youve got the capability to notice the difference, on a track.
You nailed it MOKE. And the percentage of guys that can actually notice the difference is about .00001% of the riders in the whole world. Most people like to argue the theoretical differences, because they could come nowhere near their capability on the track, and we won't even talk about street riding. Just read a view from someone that rode em all, and take it at that.
 

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You nailed it MOKE. And the percentage of guys that can actually notice the difference is about .00001% of the riders in the whole world. Most people like to argue the theoretical differences, because they could come nowhere near their capability on the track, and we won't even talk about street riding. Just read a view from someone that rode em all, and take it at that.
Although I dont agree that its that small of a percentage, people do read way too deep into some write-ups on new bikes. Just ride the dam thing, come to your own conclusions.

I wish you would take a trackday LR, you'd love it!!! Just once?
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Although I dont agree that its that small of a percentage, people do read way too deep into some write-ups on new bikes. Just ride the dam thing, come to your own conclusions.

I wish you would take a trackday LR, you'd love it!!! Just once?
MOKE, I know I would love it. I would be a junkie with one ride. One day I will get out there for sure. I'm 100% that it will hook me like a big fish!
 

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MOKE, I know I would love it. I would be a junkie with one ride. One day I will get out there for sure. I'm 100% that it will hook me like a big fish!
The old Moroso Motor Sports Track has been completely rebuilt and is now the Palm Beach International Raceway. They are doing "Motorcycle Mondays" which appears to be a track day every week. I'm going to see what that's all about; I have no idea if it's something I'd really pursue, but who knows. I'm going by on Sunday for a Superbike event and I'll see what's up with that while I'm there.
 
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