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First post, gents.



Wa'al, I'd say not bad. I'm very disappointed that the Kawasaki didn't make the test; I feel that it would have done well. I'm not buying any of these bikes nor would I ever consider one, so my opinion doesn't really matter (even to me) so I'm just going to give you a pat on the back and be on my merry way. Late.



BTW How did Hackfu get up front? And if he kicked so much tail on the Suzy how did he not vote it tops, let alone mention it in his write up? I mean, he said he wasn't scared at all...in fact, he said he felt confident on it...and from all the mags the vibe I'd gotten was that the Gixxer was scary. Even the pros said it. What gives?



--Foxy

 

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The Kawasaki was left out because we didn't have it in time and also because nobody thought it would finish higher than last place (this was mentioned in the Weigh-in for this story that was posted a few days ago). And after riding one today (it belonged to another magazine who is voting it last in their shootout, by the way) we more than ever stand by our initial words.



As for Calvin, he was sent out to the front under the premise that John and myself would pass him as we thought it'd make great video (this is in the second paragraph of the story). As for why he didn't vote it tops, it's because (as he says of the Yamaha in his Unwanted Advice): "it was the easiest for me to ride. I didn't really need to acclimate myself to any aspect of its performance envelope... The R1 just worked."
 

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Entertaining read, nice summations of each bike's feel.



-GSX-R: Motor and stability get you there first, regardless, if a bit crudely in doing so compared to the other two. (Having ridden a few GSX-R1000s, I find it almost impossible to fathom how anybody could ever describe its handling as anything other than polished and honed to the finest point imaginable, so these two new bikes must be absolute handling bastards if they make the 1000 seem even a little bit crude.)



-R1: Coolest, best looking, most desireable, albeit neither the fastest, most comfortable or easiest to ride for most. Sounds like the throttle response on this one oughtta be made a law. What you ride if you wanna get laid by the top shelf strippers, while the GSX-R will at least get you laid by the ones working the Monday afternoon shifts. The Honda? Well, that smart, sensible girl with the great rack that you're bangin', the one who lives next door, she still COULD be a stripper, right?



-954: Finally, the real deal in middle weight handling allied with true litre bike punch. Easiest to ride, most versatile, sharpest handling, best brakes, most confidence inspiring (only to a point though, although that point is well beyond 95% of this readership's abilities and/or nad...) It's a bleedin' Honda, and finally it's pretty pissed off.



Still have the feeling the GSX-R will take the track marbles, if the track has room to stretch the legs of these things. Then again, the way they described the GSX-R stomping 'em with torque on tight corner exits, hey, maybe it won't need a wide open track.



Oughtta be interesting, though it seems the writing is on the wall that the GSX-R won't be allowed to win the comparo because of subjective reasons (and the fact that it's not in the best interests of the industry to have a year old bike beat the new pups in these comparos), even if in the end the GSX-R puts up the best numbers no matter how they test 'em...



One little side bar, as a Real World Shot O' Reality, regarding these magazine bikes vs the bikes We The Gleefuly Fleeced can buy: Our shop recently dyno'd all three bikes, all 2002s, all bone stock, with the Yamaha and the Honda being 49 state versions and the GSX-R being a California spec bike.



-GSX-R: 148 rwhp

-R1: 128 rwhp

-954: 126 rwhp



Add in the GSX-R's monster torque and its ram-air effect above 100 mph and it's pretty easy to see why the Suzuki still makes the other two feel relatively slow, anywhere. In reality, assuming ram-air is worth anywhere from 5-10 extra hp at peak, the GSX-R still has something like a real 25-30 rwhp advantage once you roll it out of a real world dealership.



Something to consider, if you need your bike to make up for what momma didn't give you.....



 

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No matter what your excuses are for the ZX9R not to be included in the comparo most of us readers (I think) would have preferred if you had waited and commented on it too.



Nevertheless this is so far one of the best articles I've read at MO. Keep up the good the work and please don't be offended by any of our opinions, just try to dig out some pointers for next time.
 

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Yes, its seems the R1 and 954 came out on top because of the sheer feeling of being so small, even when compared to the GSXR. If that is what made them stand out enough to conquer the GSXR on the road, i dont think the ZX-9R would have had what it takes to win the road, in spite of the road being its forte.



I think a trip of any duration (600+ mile days) would have shown where the ZX-9R shines in this company, and i dont think anyone would disagree with that.



Nonetheless, it would be nice if ya'll could make an addendum when you get the 9R, and perhaps give some insight into how the changes made to it compare to these bikes, as well as last year's 9R. I am sure you will anyways, as you have done so in the past.



The track will probably be a different story, with the GSXR in 1st, the R1 in second, the 954 in third, and the 9R would take last, and it would go something along the lines of "the 9R had the softest suspension, in conjunction with the most mass, making it the most work on the track" but at least it would still be comfy for the ride home ;)
 

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More videos!!!

How about some videos from onboard the Honda? While you can't tell a real lot from videos, some footage from behind the screen on both the 954 and the GSXR like on the R1 you've provided would help us draw a few more conclusions of our own.

Not a bad article otherwise. My only other gripe was that I saw you had the next part of your article up, so I looked at the conclusion straight away and saw the Honda won. So I emailed my GSXR1000 riding mate (who will never read your site again after you didn't give his bike the win last year) and told him his bike got cained again. But after reading the article, from the tone of it you'd swear the placings were in reversed order. Trying for a little political correctness to quiet the squids this year?
 

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I can't believe you didn't include a "motarded 1995 RMX250 in this test!

And another thing, tell my wife for $12 a year it's worth it for me to have the computer near the toilet.

Actually, good start. I don't feel so bloated sitting here and after moving the computer, I don't need a paper magazine.

Craig
 

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Speak for yourself...I've had a ZX9R, and rode a 954 this week. The 9R is a great bike, and has been the sensible choice. The 954 is so all-around great, all while being perfectly comfortable and practical, that it seems like the 9R has lost much of it's advantage in its greatest strength. I'm in the market for a literbike, but regardless of the outcome I'm already sold on the Honda (or the RC51 if I decide to sacrifice comfort/practicality for character).
 

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Include the ergonomic triangle you worthless twits :cool:

I agree that the "ergonomic triangle" measurement is imperfect precisely because it is two dimensional, width being important to the feel of the bikes. Heck, to me, all of three of the 2001 versions of these bikes feel like draft horses compared to most Ducati's which not even the Ducati rider owned up to and is exactly why you should give some objective width measurement. Even if the "industry" is not unanimous as to the points to measure, you could at least show the bikes in plan view and indicate the width between the "average" riders knees. It's not that difficult to show the difference. Or can Johnny not measure? :cool:

Despite my complaining, I liked the review, it is easily as good as anything that you've ever done.
 

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Decent article I guess.. as is typical of American press you show no real favorite. I know the Honda comes out on top but the other two bikes are so highly praised and each rider just happens to pick one as their favorite. What a total shocker.



I want to see an article where someone says "That bike is junk. I'm glad I work here so I can say I'd never actually spend money on one."



If that has ever happened on this site please give me the URL so I can stand corrected. It's just not possible for every manufacturer to have gotten it right the first time every time. Show me a review of a Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, or Kawasaki sportbike that just plain says "don't buy this bike, there's nothing good about it."



I know you'll throw in little dings like "the brakes don't offer as much feedback as I'd expect from a Honda" but that is quickly corrected with something like "but just twist the throttle and you'll forget all about that."



Offer criticism and let it stand.



On a side note. You boys need to get on a scale because your weights are way off. JohnnyB could possibly be in the right neighborhood but the other three are all playing with the numbers.
 

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Right click on the hyperlink and copy it. Start up your video player (I use Real), copy the hyperlink into the target window and click go. Speed on my DSL connection went from about 20 kbs to 45 kbs.
 

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to cdurand, have you been an a**holeall your life or did you just get that way recently?



do you even own a motorcycle? and who gives a rats a** if their weights are correct.



get a F***ing life!!!!!!!!!
 

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Interesting that there were so few comments on aesthetics. It seems to me that all of these bikes are pretty fabulous, so aesthetics and brand preference would end up weighing in pretty heavily.



Just yesterday, a friend asked my about deciding between a Mille and a 998. I said "Which do you think looks better? Buy that one. Unless you ride them back to back and are really being critical, you'll never be dissatisfied with either."



Ditto on this comparo (although I really did enjoy it).



BTW, I am a Honda lover, but the 954 (in addition to a lousy name) just looks like a jumble of parts. The R1 is by far the best looking to my eyes. The Gixx looks like the 600/750 and they ain't pretty (except the Telefonica 600).
 

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So far I agree with most every comment you fellas have made, with one exception..... Speaking as a person who has been lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time on two of the bikes in this comparison (Suzy and Yammie). I'll take your word for the insight on the Honda. The Suzuki is strong as all hell but does already look and feel dated next to the Yammie. The Yamaha's handling is sublime, it's suspension is firm yet compliant, fuel injection is above reproach, with the thrust of a lear jet... A perfect balance... The Honda must be a marvelous machine and I hope someday to have the pleasure of experiencing it's charms... Now the gripe, Hackfu I think you may have gone a bit far in saying that the luggage straps on the Yamaha are a "fatal flaw". Personally I thought they were quite ingenious. I mean after all these bikes are ridiculous by nature, who needs a bike like any of these? These bikes are about passion not convenience. I think the exposed hard luggage points on the other two machines, while perhaps ergonomically superior, are flat out ugly. A concession to practicality on a machine that by it's very nature is completely impracticle. If you want luggage get a beemer....
 

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Whoa! Check out the onboard video. I believe the rider on on the R1. Watch the tach. On the straights, he never gets anywhere near redline. This means he could be a gear lower. This means the thrust at the rear tire could be maybe 20% higher. Hence, he could be accellerating much faster.



Guys, don't tell me the Gixx outpulled you because you were in the wrong gear. Now, before anybody flames me, I know that the power is easier to modulate in a higher gear in corners, but don't ***** about straight line power when you should be in 2nd but are in 3rd.
 

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Apparently the R1 wheelie tendency isn't a problem that needs discussion. Why is that?

Shouldn't a bike spin it's rear wheel before it lifts it's front when the rider is in his/her normal riding position? Apparently this is true of the 954 and the Gixxer, while the R1 requires extra weight up front. This could be a problem if emergency acceleration were needed.

I think it's clear that, with a short learning curve, all three bikes can be managed by any reasonably experienced rider and that's amazing for machines with F1-like acceleration!

Great start, guys!
 
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