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We swapped bikes again. We covered quite a few miles on the way to the strip that afternoon/evening. If I mentioned every instance we swapped bikes, well, there'd be no point in doing that and the story would have been stupid, I think. but that's just me.



The only part that was made up is where I say by looking at the bike's details you don't even notice the obnoxious color. It's BRIGHT, and you always notice it :)
 

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I agree with Minime.

Although the standard 998 doesn't have a "full Ohlins rack," it does have a rear Ohlins shock and a very well made Showa front. I'd have to say the 2 Italian bikes are very competitive to each other and also that the RC51 is right there with them, at minimum. This is going to be a cool comparison and I really like how MO seperated the inline-4s from the V-twins and did it over two comparisons.

Too bad my truck (TL-R) is about as competitive in this class as a Peterbilt - as least with its factory rear suspension. I'm still dumbfounded as to what Suzuki was smoking during the engineering and testing of that rear unit. $2000 and many Ohlins parts later, my TL-R finally handles more like a bike in this class should. Now if I could just put it on an all protein diet and lose some of its weight...

-v2-90
 

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minime - I really like the format of MO, as well as the content. Really looking forward to the twin comparo, but I would also like to see how the standard Mille compares to the R in an every day subjective sense.

By the way - What made you go with Aerostich? I like the features, but don't care for the "fat paratrooper" look. Ironically, I have the identical Spidi suit that Burns wears (but I got mine first...)
 

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DucButt,



Thanks. The 'Stitches we all wear are just the best for most of us. Easy on, easy off, worn over clothes (or none at all), very versatile, they protect extremely well, etc. We haven't found anything better.
 

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It is often stated that twins (and thumpers in the dirt world) are deceptive. They seem to be going slow but are really going fast. I gather the Mille R was very much that sort of machine.



An interesting point (for me at any rate) is that I think I prefer bikes that are deceptively slow. If I feel like I'm going fast, but am really going slow, my license is secure but I am having fun.



Anyway, your reply begs another question: was the Big G easier to ride fast or just so damned fast the easy didn't matter?



I hope y'all can do the Open Twins comparo at Fontana so that we can compare laptimes between the tiwns and fours.



Keep on beating the print mags to punch, fellas.
 

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That excuse you have for owning an SUV is insufficient. The Ministry of SUV Approval requires a detailed environmental impact statement as well as an explanation of why you couldn't transport your snow gear with an R1150RT.



Lastly, you must feel guilty every day.
 

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If I could figure out how to chain up a bike and somehow attach my giant (nicknamed by my friends as the "Door Board") 172 fatbob to it I would probably ride. Rain and near zero temps don't stop me but snow is a different story. Now that the weather is getting better Im seriously looking to try and develop a pull cart for my golf clubs that attaches to my bike.
 

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Oh but the Mille DOES look Japanese, that's the beauty of it.

I think that the Mille bikes (both R and RSV) combine the build quality of a Japanese bike with the character of an Italian bike. The MIlle is quite a package. My two favorite bikes this year are the R1 and the Mille-RSV (both in silver). I don't think I'd require a Mille-R. And if I may gripe, I really don't understand why Ducati thinks that winning the WSB means they can get away with charging the same price for the 998 as the Mille-R. Ducati needs to price the 998 like the Mille-RSV and bring the 998S (the real thing, not the Bostrom monstrosity) into the US at the price of the Mille-R to stand a chance of interesting me...
 

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I can confirm that the R1 "feels" faster than the GSX-R 1000. I think that MO has already conceded this point. I got on a friend of mine's Suzuki and I instantly felt more confident in corners, rode faster, felt safer, didn't break traction, etc. It laughs at you as if all road situations are ridiculous to it. The R1 is fast and handles, but it squirms a bit, spins the tire, shakes it's head... Just feels more alive. Ironically, for this very reason I like it better. If I had to race? F**k the R1... The GSX-R is the only way to go.



In the short time I had to ride the Mille, it felt slow but I knew better. It's also the quickest bike off the line I've ever ridden and also wheelies easier than anything I've ever ridden. Nice bike but I'm not sure I like Twins...



That said, I think my MV handles even better than the GSX-R... It's been described as the best handling 4 cylinder bike ever. I haven't ridden all 4 cylinder bikes, but so far, I concur.
 

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Actually, I throw my mountain bike on the bake of my R1100RT all the time. It straps on nicely (wheels off, of course), and is only marginally wider than the bags. The extra width is high up, so I happily lane split on Bay Area freeways with the bike on the back. It takes a while to put the whole thing together at the other end, and is a general pain in the ass, since you have to exchange bulky M/c riding gear for lycra MTB riding gear at the destination, but the looks I get make it worthwhile.



As for the snowboard, the only solution I can think of is a street legal dirt bike. Suzuki DRZ450 or street legal XR650 should be just the ticket. Plug in your electric gear, strap the board to the bike, and away you go. OK, maybe that is a tad extreme, but I do have a friend who rode year round in Chicago on a dual sport. He only went through 4 chains per winter, too. I suppose he could have washed it occasionally...
 

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Re: Power in the right places?

I don't know a thing about how the GP1 bikes feel, but the difference between a twin and a four is fairly well recognized. Tires are subject to both static and sliding friction. The former is how much the tire resists sliding before it starts to slide, and the latter is how much resistance is offered once grip has already broken. Static friction is MUCH stronger than sliding friction.

Engines deliver power in distinct pulses when each cylinder fires. When the bike is really making power (and the engine is revving high), those power pulses are delivered very frequently, especially on a four, which has four pulses for every 2 revolutions of the crank (usually). Once the tire starts to slide, it is the much smaller coefficient of sliding friction that is responsible for stopping the slippage. If another power pulse is delivered before the tire regains grip, it is likely that the tire will continue to slide. Since a 4 delivers power to the tire twice as often as the twin (more actually, since the fours make good power at higher revs, so the engine is spinning faster), the 4 is MUCH more likely to cause the back end to slip under power. This means that a well ridden twin can usually be under power quite a bit before an inline four in the same corner at the same speed. That makes a twin a LOT easier to ride. Even the difference between an inline 3 and a twin of the same displacement is quite noticeable (Triumph Daytona vs Mille R, for instance). This is, at least partly, why the V-four in the Ducati GP1 bike will have the same firing order as the twins (2 cylinder at a time, rather than 4 distinct pulses).

The comment about the power of the big G making it far superior to the other open classers was made about racetrack performance. At the racetrack, it isn't about how easy it is to ride a bike, but how fast you get it around the track. That is not the case on the street, where it is all about rideability. At least, it is if you are planning to survive to your next ride. I don't have enough time in the saddle of an open class four to say which is the better bike, but I have tens of thousands of miles on triples and twins, and I know that I prefer the delivery style of the twin over anything I have ridden, including all of the bikes reviewed in the open class shootout. Then again, I am far from the fastest person at the track, and my sense of self preservation usually overrides my right hand on the street, too.

There is no question that the Aprilia would lose the top gear roll on test, but let's see which bike performs better when you snap the throttle open 3/4 of the way through a 2nd or 3rd gear turn. The big G will slide and then high side (or probably just loop you over backwards), and the Aprilia will just drive nicely out of the turn. Basically, the twin is more tolerant of any mistakes AND has the ability to go very fast when ridden well on the street, where excessive power is only a liability. How often do you or I have an opportunity to go to wide open throttle in top gear, anyway. I try to keep my bike OFF the freeway (and out of Nevada) whenever I can.

In the interests of 'journalistic integrity' I should disclose that I bought a Mille on Saturday and absolutely ***** LOVE it, just in case you couldn't tell.
 

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I suspect it was typical corporate jargon.



"Fours are overdone, Italian twins rule, wait for our new triple."



I am intriqued by the Aprilia. I just have no passion for the design. Compared to the Ducati, they look like a bloated corpse.



I have been itching to ride one though. I just may get my chance during the Aprilia sponsored track day at Texas World Speedway. Of course that depends on weather this weekend in Central Texas.
 

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Man, this comparo couldn't have come at a better time for me. I'm thinking about replacing my 98 VTR (55k miles on it) and was looking hard at the RC51 and Mille R. Thanks MO!!!
 

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Reading reviews is great n all, but riding the bikes will sell them. I rode an Aprilia SL1000 Falco (same engine as the Mille, different frame) back to back with the RC51 and it was no comparison. The Falco stole my heart and will soon steal a big chunk of my monthly income. If you have your possibilities narrowed down to just two, go ride em man!



MO: How bout pitting this little known gem (the Falco) against the competition ie. 900SS, TL1000, VTR1000, hell even the RC51 and 998. For real world value (street performance, funfactor, comfort, PRICE!) it will cream any of the above bikes.



Oh and personally, I think if you're gonna get the Mille you might as well get the R. If not, go for the Falco and save $3k for the same engine.



Peace,

D
 

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I guess Lord Blip decreed swearing for artistic purposes is a fine enough thing. I think he was just trying to eliminate foul name-calling here, littered with expletives.



You could still swear, though. Try calling somebody a "poopy head" or a "doo doo caca brain" and see what happens....
 
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