um, how come nothing was made of the fact that David ran a 142.6 against Goliath's 143.1???? I mean jeez, not only is it David's first time on that class of bike, but that bike is giving away 490cc's for pete's sake. Goliath is going DOWN in 2002
HOw about day 3!!! Daijiro Katoh ran a 142.4 to Rossi's 142.8 on the same bike!!! They were both on the NSR. I know Rossi is better in a race than in a test, but still, Katoh looks impressive. Seems like Engine braking is really a problem for the 2 stroke vets.
It is tempting to draw conclusions from these lap times, but they don't mean SHISHT, for several reasons:
1. Everyone is testing the new RCV bike and wanting to learn it and get a feel for how to make set-up changes, not compete for qualifying position.
2. Guys like Rossi get into a very different psyche for a race -- that guy gets into a whole different world of focus and mentality, frankly an incredibly mental plane of being, which is very different from him a testing a new bike for set-up.
3. They aren't even sure about the new track surface and tyres.
4. Different bikes, different riders. Up-and-coming riders feeling more of a chance to get noticed by pushing it harder.
That being said, the RCV looks like it will be an Awesome Bike. I can't wait for it to hit the streets. What someone said about some kind of vacuum delay system that eases off the intensity of de-throttling sounded like a very good idea, as it would take the bite out of the engine braking. Similar behaviour could be programmed into fuel injection.
Too bad we can't get a 2-stroke for the streets, like the NSR.
I had already mentioned the race and test difference mentality in less words, of Rossi, which is similar to Nicky Haden, where they both may test/qualify poor but are always up front, during the race, kicking in the fastest laps.
Surface is understood, but you got to admit that the kid looks good. Also Katoh didn't always qualify 1st either, but would destroy them all in a race. Rossi, when he won the championship in 250, didn't lead the way Katoh did in his races. I think Katoh will give the rest a run for their money. Hopefully, I pray, that Kenny can do well on Dunlops and can get the power he wants from the Suzuki, so we can get the Americans back up top in GP. EB, KR, BB, NH, should all be in the GP series soon enough.
Two-stroke for the street? What will give you on the street a bike which has to be revved to the moon to deliver a barely-controllable punch of HP? You can't ride it on the street, you can even barely ride it in canyons. The only place for it would be a highway - what good will it be? Having ridden RGV250 on the street, I'd better be on a 250cc scooter! The bike has NO power, when you need to accelerate FAST, to get away from some idiot that's trying to kill you, and then, when you already got away, you get your surge of power at 12000-13000, which only makes you brake... No use for it. I preferred - you'd laugh - a good old GPZ (EX500).
The new RC211V requires MUCH more setting up than the established NSR500. HRC has plenty of experience with the two-stroke machine. More than enough to give Katoh a half-decent, proven (probably by Rossi himself) baseline setup. Where as with the RC211V, Honda is treading new waters, not being real sure where to go. Kind of a gussied up trial-and-error. Now I know you are going to say something about superbike and four-stroke technology, but there is just so much difference between a WSB and GP bike that the only thing they do have in common, indeed, is the fact that they are both four-strokes. Chances are the new RC211V probably has more in common with the NSR500.
2-stroke streetbikes do not rev as high as people think, though they often sound like it. The Aprilia RS250 redlines at 11.5K rpm...what's the R6 again, 15K? Riding a 2-stroke is about efficiency and precision, keeping up momentum, losing as little speed as possible in corners, and keeping the motor where it's happy. Takes a little more mental coordination that a 4-stroke, but some of us like the busy, buzzy things.
Oh, and the EX500 and GPz550 are rather different bikes...one's a parallel-twin, the other's an inline-4. I would be extremely surprised if an EX500 could touch a 250cc 2-stroke streetbike in any department other than perhaps off-the-line snap. Of course, I've never ridden an RGV, but the Aprilia RS250 is virtually the same motor according to various sources I've spoken to.
As far as I remember, RGV250 redlines at 13K or 13.5K, and at its peak it pulls as the R6 does at 6K. GPZ - I meant GPZ500, In my country that's what EX500 is called. All the technique you just described, is heavily track-oriented - you can't afford trying not to loose speed, cornering in the city streets - you'd prefer safety, thus you are forced to deal with superslow acceleration afterwards. Thus shifting at a high pace, trying to always ride just before the power surge, to have it available at needs. EX500 is better in 4 things: 1) initial acceleration; 2) steady power delivery; 3) Top speed; 4) Engine braking. Of course, that's from my point of view, which is subjective, and I can't even ride a cruiser (I tried and didn't quite click with it - it felt like playing pool with a metal cue).. Also, I'm 184 cm, and 85kg, so I'm a bit overkill for a small bike like RGV, I suppose.. But I can understand the appeal of it, though I really don't feel the same.
Good points, all. Four-strokes definitely have the 'smooth power delivery' appeal. I like a good 4-stroke as much as the next person. However...
From comments that my buddy has made to me about the RGV250's (he's had 'em all... TZR, RGV, NSR.. I'm jealous as h e l l!), you couldn't have picked a worse 2-stroke to lope around on on the streets. NO bottom end power... even by two-stroke standards... all top end, and very peaky... track oriented. I think they're great bikes, if wrung hard. TZR's have MUCH better 'around-town' riding power, I have one... it's -still- kind of weak below about 5.5~6K, but not un-ridable... they sign off earlier than all the others though and have less peak power and are hard to hop-up, it's a compromize. My RZ350, on the other hand, has pretty good torque for a two-stroke and you can lope around on it pretty well (yep, I'm a two-stroke nut) ... kits exist to punch 'em out to close to 500cc, more if you go to Banshee cylinders (no powervalves though). WooHoo!.. next project!
And you're right, the size of the guy riding does matter. I'm on the ragged edge of being the 'right size' (170lbs) for my TZR250, but it still manages to haul me around pretty good. It's like the other guy was saying.. you really have to stay on top of the powerband, shift up and down like crazy, and you'll be just fine. It doesn't take much to kick a little 2-stroke down a couple of gears and whack the go handle! wooHoo! love the powerband!
Let's not forget that these are little 250's after all! If you bought/ride one b/c you want to be the drag-race king on the street, you bought the wrong bike! That said, there's few/no typical cars that'll match you off the line... just don't mess with 600's light-to-light!
I also agree with whoever it was above wishing someone would make a modern 500cc 2st... they CAN be made to be clean.. Honda has the technology.. there's an article on this very site that details it. Aprilia's F.I. is on the right track... it's possible, it's just a matter of demand/economics.
To Aprilia: I would sell everything to get a new, modern, clean 500cc stroker!!... dunno if enough people agree w/me though. I still think that if one company would do it, and not charge Bimota V-Due money for it, that the press would get out, and throngs of people would convert... it's -that- much fun to ride one.
This concludes my 'standard rant/babble' about two-strokes on this website for I say the same things (or nearly so!) every time two-strokes become the subject matter! lol!
W/out a doubt, an eye-opener! I think it's fair to say that (1) Rossi is testing and fiddling with a new bike, perhaps not pushing 100%, fair enough... but (2) Katoh is -brand new- to the 500cc as well.. it's just as foreign to him as Rossi's 211V... even if he starts w/Rossi's setup... different riders want different things. Rossi's setup may be just as foreign to Katoh as a brand new bike is to Rossi. And from what I've read, the 211V is based heavily on the 500cc bike.. frame + susp. They ought to weigh the same or very nearly so... so it comes down to power delivery, which is more friendly on the 211V anyway. Rossi -should- go fast immediately.
I'm sure Rossi will get his times down some more, but Katoh is very impressive... and will improve further as well... no one can deny this.
Check Katoh's times from all of his 250 races this past season... his fast lap/fast qualifying times would've put him in the hunt in the 500cc group on several tracks!... someone said that his lap times made a lot of 500cc guys weep! (o.k., not the top 8 or 10 guys, but still!)
The guy is going to be fun to watch I think... I'm already rooting for him, but I have a two-stroke bias so that's not surprising!
All I could say was "Jesus!!!" This was the first opportunity I had to hear the RC-V. I just leave it playing in the background. I can't wait for the new season of MotoGP Racing! This ain't your daddy's superbike that's for sure.
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