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Honda tests at Suzuka

4414 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  badsac
Daijiro not so fast.

Daijiro was thought to be a favorite on his beloved Dunlops. He topped the time sheets often in the preseason and even gave the new RCV211 fits. Honda has forced him to make the switch to Michelins and his times have suffered. Instead of him being as fast or faster than the top 500GP riders, he's running up to a second slower.

If Honda wants a native champ so bad, why force him to make the switch?
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Good question. Makes me wonder if Katoh on Dunlops could end up embarrassing Honda by posting quicker lap times than Rossi on the RCV.

But Honda does have an alliance with Michelin so they would prefere Michelin even if a rider posts quicker times on Dunlops than Michelins.

BTW, check out the new Kawasaki MotoGP bike at Kawasaki, make it a production bike! Knock, Knock, new '03 ZX-7, 9, or 1 as in 1,000...

Much, much better looking than the test mules photographed recently.
Just a concept design. The real thing may only look 1/3rd as good. I will wait and see. You would think that Honda would ally with Dunlop since it's Nihon based. But it is mostly owned by Goodyear.
I can't say for sure but I think that its a wear thing. I have done track days on pilot sports and 207gps and while these arn't full on race tires I don't ride as fast as Rossi. I have noticed that dunlops will give you quicker times but wear out quicker. I am sure that the GP racers would roast them in a full length race.
Everyone (that counts) says that Dunlops give a different feel and that the front Dunlop is a bit more forgiving when pushed. Ben Bostrom said on dunlops you can get away with murder sliding and although Michelins have a bit more grip, the front end would push and was less forgiving so when you went over the edge you already went too far.

Only difference I noticed was that the Lops are a bit mushier feeling. I never pushed half as hard as any privateer or pro racer.
I know this is kinda off topic but go check out the first pics of Kawasaki's new gp bike ( Holy S***. I can't believe this design came from Kawasaki. I normally think their sport bike designs are overly busy colorful pieces of terd but this fine piece of machinery just screams speed. Notice the simple and clean lines, the bike looks highly functional and lightweight and it appears that there is nothing on this bike that is out of place or was put there just for styling sake. This is a well-honed blade who's only mission in life is to slice through meaty blood laden flesh (kinda a sick metaphor I know, hehe). I know we still have to wait to see how it performs but to me, Kawi has a definite winner on their hands and is headed in the right direction. If Kawi were to produce road bikes that resembled this fine example of purposeful motorcycle design they couldn't build enough of them for all the people that would be lined up to get one. BUILD IT, DAMN IT, BUILD IT NOW!!!
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You're not really off topic since it's about a motorcycle and is related to MotoGP in a way. I absolutley agree with you, Kawasaki, please build this bike!

I was shocked when I saw the design coming from Kawasaki - they make unbelievable engines but so-so bike designs.

Regardless of where the design came from or if they had *outside* help (Suzuki merger?), the bike will sell like hotcakes and could pull K out of a sales slump.

"Build it and they will come"....
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Re: Daijiro not so fast.

If Honda wants a native champ so bad, why force him to make the switch?

Follow the money.
Dunlops suck

Since we're talking our own experiences

I've never had a set of Dunlops that were any good. The first ones I tried on my CBR600 turned it into a tank slapping pig. Tank slappers in the middle of 100mph sweepers so bad that you see tire smoke in the mirrors is no fun. Had to ease the rear preload down and make the handling sloppy to fix it. With the Metz I put on after, I didn't have a problem at all.

Then I tried some on my next bike a ZX7R, and the rear just would not work at the track. Didn't matter what presure I tried they wouldn't feather and would just go greasy and not grip. The Bridgestones I put in after worked a treat.

I'll try anything but not Dunlops. I think Corser had it right. They might make the odd good tire, but there's a lot of crap thrown out to the punters as well.
Looks like they knocked off the RC211 to me. (NT)
Re: Looks like they knocked off the RC211 to me. (NT)

Does look like the rear end, bottom fairing, and the nose resemble the RC's a bit - in a way it resembles a higly *refined* RC but who cares! It looks sharp!
Re: Dunlops suck

I've raced on Dunlops and Michelins. The Dunlops lose their peak grip sooner, but after they "go off" they are much more forgiving at the limit than the Michelins. For those of us who cannot afford a new set of slicks for each session, this is a big plus. I don't recommend this, but I once put 52 sessions on one set of KR 106 / 108 Dunlop slicks over a 3 month period. Though the grip level sucked at the end of that period, they were still very predictable and forgiving. My experience with Michelin has been that they are fantastic when new, good when old.... BUT they can bite you when you push them really hard. P.S. In street compounds, I strongly prefer the Michelin Pilot Sport to the D207zr for street riding. I'm not sure what it is (profile?) but the Michelins just feel better on the street. For racing, I'll stick with the Dunlops.
Re: Dunlops suck

I think it's more the profile than the compound that had you slapping. I had to re adjust my front fork height for Dunlops where as I could leave the fork stock with michelins. The michelins were more neutral while the profile of the Lops cause the turn in to be too fast to my liking but I liked the predictable nature of dunlops. I was scared to push Michelins because the rear was too snappy.
Re: Dunlops suck

Yeah, I agree it must have been the profile. It was just frustrating since no other make of tires did it.

I think with Michelins, you need to get the setup right. Back in the day I liked to run Hi-Sports on my CBR just because I seemed to have a setting which really matched them. I could slide that thing on the track like a dirt tracker on them if I wanted to. Compare to that the only time I've high sided on the track was on Dunlops when I was just trying to pull a normal lap the same as the previous. I've never been able to slide Dunlops well either. I guess I'm weird. ;)
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