Not quite- it *feels* like it has more power and it sure seems faster in a straight line. Read Calvin's comments at the bottom of the story. The Kawasaki engineers must have built in a killer ram-air system or something...
Maybe Johnny B can help me understand something: Motorcyclist's test on the ZZR showed 145hp to the rear wheel, Cycle showed us 132hp to the back tire, and now I see you got 128.5. Why is that? Is it variances between individual models or dynos; differing test conditions; or something else?
I know you have experience with all three mags, so hopefully you can shed some light on this.
The ZZR will probably be my next bike. I loved the ZX11, and this seems to be a pumped up ZX11, with an nice suit on. Yes I dig the new bodywork.
Also, how about 1/4 mile numbers? Got any?
Kudos, I knew you guys must be busy doing something. I'd take an extended ride on these two bikes as well!
The dyno graphs represent static power, while the power we felt while riding represents actual power. This is power that inlcludes things such as ram air and what not. Perhaps the conditions for the carb-shod ZZ-R was better on the day of the ride, while the FI equipped Honda had its day during the dyno run. Honestly we don't know.
Hmmm... come to think of it, the wider fairing on the ZZ-R might also be sleeker to the wind (more frontal area, but maybe less coeffecient of drag?).
These are all conjectures. Actually, it might be fun tol figure out a way to get some charged air into the intakes of future test bikes... that way, we could account for ram-air. The thing is, it would be effective only at a certain speed. I don't think we have enough resources to make a variable-type system.
"Hi, yeah, I'm here with this 'Worst Looking AeroStitch Ever' award. Could you please direct me to the guy with the hideous blue and orange suit and toss me a welding mask so that when I see him I don't go blind? Thanks."
Also, one thing I had to assume: The ZZR went 170,and the XX went 175, right? It didn't make a clear distiction, but since 175 is close to what the CBR has done in the past, I figured that must be it's speed.
If that is the case, maybe the ZZR felt more powerful due to slightly lower gearing? We know it's predessor (the ZX11) would do 175-176, so lower gearing and more drag/better wind protection could be possible factors as well. Any thoughts?
There you go. I totally forgot about the gearing... when I get into the office tommorow (around 1500pst) I'll look up the final drive ratios for both bikes in 4th gear (thats the gear we use for dyno-ing).
There was the barn, far from anyones notice. The Asian atrocity cycle lurched to a stop. The atrociteur nudged the barn door open and skulked in. But the clear sunlight streamed in through the door opening and cast a bright line on the rough ground inside.
That ray of light on the ground laid out the values, principles and integrity of all decent and honorable men. The heritage, traditions and evolution of civilization itself. For that bright line of light on the ground separated the atrociteur from the sheep a few feet away.
A dark cloud passed overhead, the bright line on the ground disappeared and the atrociteur dropped his pants.
There are dark clouds forming in the skies of American motorcycling.
What motivates Honda to put linked brakes on some of their bikes?
It baffles me that all moto journalists hate Honda LBS, but none have ever explained the real reason Honda puts them on their bikes. Honda claims that LBS is designed for less experienced riders. But your average VFR owner is probably older and more experienced than your average CBR owner. Their entry level cruisers also don't have LBS. So, what's the deal?
Honda uses linked breaks whenever they put powerful front binders on a bike with cheap front forks. Honda uses LBS for the same reason BMW uses a telelever suspension; to prevent front-end dive when the front breaks are applied aggressively. Linked brakes cause the rear-end to squat whenever the front brakes are activated, preventing front-end dive.
LBS does create a problem. Only an experienced racer knows how hard he can slam the rear brake before he loses traction. Consequently, most street riders favor the front brake. LBS trades a powerful front caliper for a much less powerful rear caliper. Not a good thing.
However, excessive nose dive can also be a problem. Sudden, unexpected front-end dive is intimidating to the typical street rider. He may respond by backing-off the front brake. Also not a good thing.
It's likely that Honda looked at the two scenarios and decided, for their typical customer, that front-end dive is the bigger problem.
If the brakes are powerful enough to overwhelm the front forks, then LBS makes sense. Honda doesn't use LBS on their cruisers, because cruisers have weak brakes. LBS doesn't appear on the CBRs, because they have quality suspensions.
The final proof of the pudding is the change Honda made to the LBS on the 2002 VFR. They re-calibrated the LBS so more braking power goes to the front. Why? Because the new VFR upgraded to a stiffer 43MM fork vs. the old 41mm. XX brakes and forks remain the same.
I'm a huge fan of LBS and believe that unless you are racing, or performing some sort of squdish nonsense on the street, they are safer. I like to think I'm a pretty good rider, but if something jumps out in front of me, there simply isn't time to be concerned with how much pressure I'm feeding the rear brake versus the front and how the weight transfer effects things, etc. I just want to stop...NOW! I had a BMW 1150RT with power linked brakes. Don't believe everything written by the street terrorizing boy racer crowd. Those brakes were amazing. It was a very simple procedure to stop....simply square the bike, press the pedal and squeeze the lever as hard as you can. The damn thing would almost stop faster than you could put your feet down. Simply amazing.
BMW LBS is different than Honda. I'm not sure how it works on your bike, because BMW just introduced new LBS for 2002. The new brakes work this way:
Sport Oriented BMWs: Rear peddle operates all brakes. Front lever operates only the front brake.
Touring Bikes: Depress either front or rear break, and all calipers (front & back) are fully engaged.
These systems both make sense, because the goal is effective braking. BMW does not use the brakes to control front-end dive, because the telelever suspension does that job.
Honda uses LBS to both stop the bike, and prevent nose dive. In the latest version of the VFR, Honda moved closer to the BMW "sport oriented" setup. If Honda put higher quality adjustable forks on the VFR and XX, they could adopt the BMW "sport oriented" setup completely, and have brakes that actually make sense.
I'm another huge fan of LBS! My '02 bird is the 1st bike i ridden w LBS and i would find it very difficult to go back to one w/o it. I have used the rear for trail braking into and during corners (for more years than i like to admit) to bleed off excessive speed due to judgement error or situation changing mid turn (e.g. decreasing radius). The technique works just fine w LBS for me, what am i missing?
I occasionally touch down those thingys at the end of footpegs and figure it is definitely time to use rear brake to slow the pace (i just assume i'm well beyond the 80% pace ceiling for street riding like used guys recommend). Or are used guys flying at faster pace?
During 'street' emergency braking (and practiced hard stops on deserted road to learn linked braking), LBS does several important things, IMHO:
1. reduces front end dive considerably keeping steering geometry more consistent to what i'm used to. just in case i can't stop in time and have to change direction while heavy braking.
2. have yet to lock rear brake w LBS and that was during the hardest stop on dry pavement i have ever made. no wasted brain cycles trying modulate locking rear brake (i know, i've been there). i consider no wasted brain cycles in emergency situation critical to avoiding contact.
3. had to make panic stop in wet (cellphone abuser involved, r we surprised?) recently and am still utterly amazed as to hard i could brake in wet w LBS (i locked a front wheel w squirrely rear at 50mph on non-LBS cbr1000f many years back w much less braking force involved). mucho improvement in wet.
4. Next bike will have LBS and ABS!
So why do the moto-journalists in general take exception to LBS-only on a 'street bike'? Johhny B or Calvin, u can jump in any time!
p.s. i found your comments on da bird very close to my experience so far (8k) and thought it was a very good article. keep up the good work.
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