Six Maniacs - Fast Bikes

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Six Maniacs - Fast Bikes

Bike Test1000cc group test1000cc group testAPRILIARSV4 FACTORYIf there was one bike thatVatsyayana would have chosen forthe Kama Sutra, it would have beenthe Aprilia RSV4. The Italian oozessex appeal, loves to be spankedhard and makes all the right noises– as well as all the right moves.Even the seating position could bemistaken for one of the positionsin the Kama Sutra as your kneeslovingly caress your ears.At least there’s no hiddenagenda with the RSV. The clue is inthe ‘Factory’ tag. From the extremeriding position to the tallest firstgear and most agricultural ’boxin the world, it’s immediatelyapparent that the Aprilia isn’t aneasy-going Honda clone. Simplyput, it’s a homologation exercisefor Aprilia’s WSB race efforts. Walkaway now if you’re looking for arelaxed ride.Two days in Wales exaggeratedits poor road protocol – it’s likethe rev-hungry R6; too focused onwhat the stopwatch says ratherthan anything the rider has to say.Unless you’re racing the Aprilia,or trackdays are more importantthan sleep, you should only lustafter the RSV4 in the same waythat you love your impossible-tomaintainsmoking-hot supermodelgirlfriend.Despite a total disregardfor anyone other than skilledthrashers, the RSV has a magicalimpact; it really sucks you in. Dipbelow 100 per cent commitment,however, and the ’Priller losesinterest and treats the jockey ontop with disdain.“At least There’s no hiddenagenda with the RSV4”The crux of its misdemeanourson the Queen’s highways laysquarely with the motor. Asidefrom the booming soundtrack,anything below 7,000rpm is awaste of time. The jerky, threestagethrottle is unpredictable,wheelies are impossible, and theiffy fuelling combines to give littleconnection to the rear wheel thatsaps a rider’s confidence. I’ve hadmore feel from a strimmer.All of this is irrelevant when theneedle hits the powerband. Torqueand the V4’s characteristics tagteam and substitute for the lackof peak power – but dyno figuresare immaterial when an enginefeels this good. It’s difficult toThe traffic in the Brecon Beaconscan be shocking at rush hourkeep it in the go-zone, though,the abundance of engine brakinghampering your efforts andcausing frustration.It’s no revelation that a bikedeveloped by a couple of ex-GPriders is stiff and unforgiving,mirroring the motor’s barbaricattitude. It’s relentless and doesn’twant to stop charging. The racebikegeometry and super-rigidchassis offer race-bike steeringthat can be intimidating. It’s thequickest of the lot to turn-in,lives for peg-scraping and lovesbig-lean.Like the BMW swallows itsbudget Sachs equipment, theAprilia manages to house Öhlinssuspension that elsewhere getsDucatis pitching and diving likean overpaid footballer. But nomatter how soft the springs are,the chassis takes over to ensurethe ride stays firm. The RSV4 justabout copes with UK roads andmaintains a decent amount ofstability. As long as the surface ishalf-smooth, the mechanical grip(and outright grip from the aptlyemployed Pirelli Supercorsas)guarantees fast lap times with aplanted stance.At £16,500, the RSV-4 Factory istoo expensive. Simples. If Apriliahad finished the job and theFactory wasn’t so erratic, we couldexcuse it to some extent. There’slashings of carbon, trick wheels,Brembos and Öhlins, but you mightas well save a few grand and getthe R version.“SecondopinionAprilia RSV4 Fact. - 5thIf you’re looking for adevoted trackday machine,then you’ve just found it. Oncircuit, the Factory makesso much sense. It’s achinglyaccurate, proportionallypowered and stimulatesthe senses like no othermachine. If you can affordthe extra few thousands,then you’ll be rewarded withItalian engineering at itsbest. Getting to the track isanother story. Sharp fuelling,edgy steering and super stiffsuspension turn the dreaminto a near nightmare themoment you leave the track.It’s relentless anddoesn’t stop charging”aprilia rsv4 FactoryDon’t be fooled by:The adjustable chassis.It’s just a homologationtweak to keep the old GPboys happy at the races5 4 4 1 5You wanna be here, don’t ya? With thesun on your back, there’s nothing like itHighlightsV4 motorFully adjustable chassisRide-by-wire throttle90s Öhlins suspension179 kg (kerb weight)156bhp£16,500 otrVerdictWoo-hoo on track, shit on road,the Aprilia was never designedto have lights and a horn fittedTrack pace, top-end,handling, the idea’box, throttle, fuelling,road skills, the executionFinal ScoreScore relates to otherbikes in this test only 7/10EngineThe 65˚ V4 lump has double overheadcams that turn the intake cams, whichthen turn the exhaust cams via a gear.The engine is just 225mm wide, which is175mm narrower than an inline four. Tokeep the weight down the engine casesare made from aluminium alloy withmagnesium in non-stressed parts. Twinfuel injectors per head; one in the port,one in the airbox, as well as variablelength intake ducts and a cassettegearbox. A slipper clutch is standard.ChassisThe chassis uses GP technology. Thehead angle, swingram pivot and engineposition are fully adjustable. The chassisis very light and weighs just 10.1kg, whilethe swingarm is 5.1kg. The fuel tank ispartially located under the rider’s seatto help centralise the bike’s mass andmake room for a large airbox, while thefairing is purposefully kept as minimal aspossible to show off the frame while stillproviding good aerodynamic abilities.The wheels are forged aluminium.38 Fast Bikes May ’10 www.fastbikesmag.comwww.fastbikesmag.com Fast Bikes May ’10 39


Bike Test1000cc group test1000cc group testsuzukigsx-r1000Aside from the K9’s glut of caninejokes, maybe a year of floatingon the scene was good for theGSX-R1000. Thanks to BJ’s brutallongtermer, the Suzuki convincedus that it’s a better ride headinginto Twenty-Ten. His year offiddling has proved that there’sa wicked wolf lurking behind theplacid sheep’s clothing. Who sayslongtermers are irrelevant?It’s also had time to make aserious impact on 2009’s racescene, dominating the Britishsuperstock series. OK, AlastairSeeley weighs less than one of myturds, he’s extremely talented andhis K9 received significant loving,“but superstock racing has a closereference to the bikes me andyou ride everyday, and it’s clearthat the GSX-R has an abundanceof talent. It also seems to thechoice in BSB Evo, where stockperformance counts.Although we’ve previouslymoaned about a lack of rawexcitement, the free-revvingmothership of a motor is theSuzuki’s ultimate forte. If youexclude the scandalous BMW fromthe medley, it’s the fastest hereand it constantly lets you know it,with a stunning midrange frenzythat never stops thrusting. It getsmore bitchin’ the harder you rideand it feels indestructible on thelimit. It’s the most user-friendlyand easiest to ride up to 100 percent with the widest spread ofusable power, superb fuellingit’s also the easiest toride up to 100 per cent”suzuki gsx-r1000Don’t be fooled by:McDonalds. Their DoubleCheeseburger, althoughsmaller than a QuarterPounder, has an extra 100calories over the classicand the smooth bottom-end tomidrange transition. But thatdoesn’t win a 1000cc group test.As mentioned before, BJ’slongtermer unlocked a dark sideto the Gixer. With just some cansand a Y-piece, the motor evolvedinto a bona fide lunatic (with moremidrange than plenty ofBSB bikes), offeringno choice but to laydown fat lines oncorner exits.This simple ease-of-usetranslates to the handling. TheGSX-R is like your cuddly platonicfriend that could do no wrong.While others pile on the dramatics,the Gixer remains unfazed andguzzles anything you can throwat it.It feels assured onits springs, its bulkcontributing to itsEven back to standard, BJ’sbonkers Gixer is still a handfulpoise, and along with the ’Blade itmakes for excellent road etiquette.The Showa Big Piston Fork isn’tthe true anti-dive system foundon the ZX-6R, but ensures youcan run into corners hot and buryit into the apex (as long as thetemperamental brakes don’t gettoo hot). The rear is a too soft forbanzai action and this can lead toweight transfer issues, but sortedit’s a proven lap aficionado.Suzuki’s policy of ‘shortwheelbaseand long swingarm’ hascured the torrid side-grip issuesof the K7/8 and sharpened up thesteering to some degree. Thiscombination has left some stabilityproblems left unanswered whenyou’re hard on the gas, but it’snothing an aftermarket dampercan’t fix. Be warned – using a stifferdamper will slow the steering.When the pack is this close,style can go a long way. Owninga bike you can be proud of is likeswaggering into the pub withyour fancy new Doris dolled upto the nines. Unfortunately, theGSX-R1000 retains its ugly inbredfamily looks. So let’s hope Suzukicarry on its manifesto of upgradingmodels every two years and givesit some surgery.Suzuki’s used to be thehooligans choice, but now they’reanything but. There’s nothinginherently wrong with the GixerThou’, but it doesn’t have theengaging thrills and feel-goodfactor of any ofthe rest.SecondopinionSuzuki GSX-R1000 - 4thIt’s a travesty that a bike thisgood finds itself this low downin the pecking order. Riddenwithout the context of itsrivals, the Gixer ticks all theboxes. Brawny motor, focusedchassis package, sharp looks;they’re all there. It’s just thatthe Yamaha, Honda and BMWdo everything better, are ableto outgun, outhandle andoutshine the GSX-R in everydepartment. Mind you, you’llneed to be well acquaintedwith the throttle stop tonotice these small deficienciesand ownership is unlikely tobe unhappy.5 5 3 4 3HighlightsShowa BPFElectronic damperS-DMS power switchShe ugly205 kg (kerb weight)158bhp£10,250 (otr)VerdictA good bike but not sensational.In a class as hot as this, theGixer needs more to succeedMotor, fuelling, anyone’sbitchNot a BMW, bland,’slapper habitFinal ScoreScore relates to otherbikes in this test only 8/10EngineThe shorter stroke motor smoothsout torque across its entire range. Thecompression ratio is up from 12.5:1 to12.8:1, with re-designed cam profilesand combustion chamber. Crankcasesare now two-piece, while the crankshaftfeatures an end lubrication system fordurability, the first ever on a Suzukiproduction bike. The crankshaft hasa forged steel alloy, smaller balancershaft. Ram-air feeds a new airbox, whichis lighter, yet retains the same capacity.ChassisThe big news was the BP fork andlonger swingarm, joined by the allnew twin-spar aluminium frame. Thethree-spoke alloy wheels are lighter,saving 410g unsprung weight. The BPfork is fully adjustable, lighter, and has a43mm inner fork diameter. The steeringdamper has been tweaked, and remainselectronically controlled, increasingdamping forces as speed rises. The rearshock is also fully adjustable. The frontmonoblock brakes are 23 per cent stiffer.An immense machine, but there arethree better bikes to come. Amazing40 Fast Bikes May ’10 www.fastbikesmag.comwww.fastbikesmag.com Fast Bikes May ’10 41


Bike Test1000cc group test1000cc group testbmws 1000 rrThere we were, lamenting BMWfor creating bitchin’ cars andlacklustre two-wheelers, andalong came the S 1000 RR. Prior tothat, we clung to the HP2 Sport asBMW’s pinnacle of sporting intent.That dark hour has vanished.BMW drivers used toautomatically acquire the tagof ‘massive twat’. The RR is alsogoing to encourage a new breedof absolute bell-ends, offeringno choice but to ride like you’rebeing chased by Jimmy Somervillebrandishing a cucumber.Obviously, 180bhp is partiallyresponsible for the mischief,but these huge numbers havenever been so usable. The BMW’sdelivery builds with pace andaggression, yet there’s no bulgesor surges to separate midrangeor top-end – just one long stretchof hard-hitting clout. Even in ‘Rain’mode, where power is cut byaround 30bhp, the BMW punts outmore power than a 2007 ’Blade.The Dynamic Traction Control(DTC) offers a bipolar attitudeto the S Thou’. While superior tothe HRC race kit I used last year,the system doesn’t saturate thepower and offers safety. It’s verynearly highside-proof, except forthe nanosecond of spin. On theflipside, it promotes new levels ofthrottle jockeying. You could havea knackered remould on the backand still exit corners quicker thanyour buddy on his new R1. Runningwide as the electronics take over,and the limits of adjusting thesystem are the only tarnishes.The traction controlhas a spiralling affect thatsubconsciously makes you quicker.The Beemer grips hard, cannoningon corner exit, firing you into thenext bend 10mph faster. This thenLook very closely and you’ll see that theanti-wheelie function has been disengagedSecondopinionBMW S 1000 RR - 1stBMW didn’t bother with thetoe in the water approach,preferring to dive bombstraight into the deep endwith the S 1000 RR. Whenyou combine the best looks,chassis and motor in classwith a very healthy dose ofnew-age gizmology, you can’tfail to be impressed by theTeutonic techno package. Thisis what happens when youadd five years of developmentto make a GSX-R1000 K5better. After doing all the hardwork, Suzuki must be kickingthemselves that they weren’tresponsible. Sieg heil BMW!“The supernatural equilibrium that was present on thelaunch at Portimao hasn’t vanished here in the uk”Turn on all the toys and your grancould be riding like this by tea timepunishes the Brembos, ABS, andslipper clutch – the RR is pushingthe boundaries in every aspect.The supernatural equilibriumthat was present on the launchat Portimao hasn’t vanished herein the UK. Somehow, BMW hasmanaged to concoct a very specialblend of balance and handling – it’slike you’re sitting in the middle of asee-saw, soaking up both ends withamazing poise.The bike is so neutral with noapparent bias, yet still maintainsmagical steering at the front anddoesn’t sacrifice the rear poiseeither. No other motorcycle hasthis combination.Yes, the cost-cutting Sachssuspension is a little soft, evenon the road, but the Beemer justgoes to show you don’t need anÖhlins badge to go fast. PreviousSachs efforts have been cheap,badly set-up examples on shoddymachinery. The S 1000 RR flattersthe cost-cutting kit, with ten-waydamping adjusters that really work– start on ‘3’ for the road and workyour way up for the track.You could have sparrow limbsand weasel nuts, and still thrashthe BMW close to its limits. We’vespent two busy weeks with theS Thou’ and the Beemer hasstood proud, offering little togrumble over. BJ is sceptical of theelectronics and how they banishrider input and control, but if youdon’t like being faster and saferjust turn everything off.Day-to-day assessmenthighlighted a dislike of slow speedmanoeuvrability – it’s a bit fluffyright at the bottom, and the clutch/throttle action is a tad ropey on thecruise. But we don’t care. 180bhpand racing technology was nevermeant to peak in town to pleasecommuters. The quickshifter ain’tbang-on either, but would youkick Beyonce out of bed forhaving one fun bag slightlybigger than the other?bmw s 1000 rrDon’t be fooled by:The fact that the S 1000RR is a faster, morecapable bike than the£60k Fireblade I rode inBSB last year. It’s still aroad bike5 5 4 3 5HighlightsFast as fookAmazing TCSachs suspendersChinese wheels183 kg180bhp£12,500 (otr)VerdictThe last time the Germans hadthis much of an impact it camein the form of a doodlebugEverything......except limits toelectronicsFinal ScoreScore relates to otherbikes in this test only 10/10EngineThe big-bore, short-stroke 999cc motorgets an injection of BMW’s F1 technology,particularly the four-valve head, andit only weighs 59kg. It comes with asophisticated engine managementsystem (BMS-KP) that looks aftereverything. The crank is forged from asingle piece of steel and runs a traditionalangle of 180°. Lightweight titaniumvalves are also fitted, as is a very goodslipper clutch. Advanced DTC sets a newstandard for production bikes.ChassisAn aluminium bridge frame madefrom four castings tilts the motor at anangle of 32°. The steering head angle is66.1°, which is very steep. At the rear,the swingarm is relatively long for goodtraction. Huge 46mm Sachs forks hold alight and extra stiff wheel while a Sachsshock looks after the rear with an optionof increasing ride-height by 10mm. Bothhave dual-damping. Brembo Radialcalipers bite Brembo 320mm discs andthere’s a race ABS option.48 Fast Bikes May ’10 www.fastbikesmag.comwww.fastbikesmag.com Fast Bikes May ’10 49


Bike Test1000cc group test1000cc group testkawasakizx-10rapriliarsv4 factorySuzukigsx-r1000yamahayzf-r1hondafirebladebmws 1000 rrEngineTypeBore x StrokeCompressionFuellingtested Powertested TorqueChassisFrameF SuspensionR SuspensionFront BrakesRear BrakesDimensionsWheelbaseSeat HeightDry WeightFuel CapacityPricePriceFrom998cc, liquid cooled, 16v inline four76 x 55mm13.0:1Fuel injection159bhp @ 12,000rpm101Nm @ 10,200rpmAluminium twin-spar43mm inverted fork, fully adjustableMonoshock, fully adjustable, twin speedFour-piston radial calipers, 310mm discsOne-piston caliper, 220mm disc1,415mm830mm179kg17L£10,209 (otr)Kawasaki UK(01628 856750)Kawasaki.co.uk999.6cc, liquid cooled, 8v, 65˚ V478mm x 52.3mm13:1Magneti Marelli electronic fuel injection156bhp @ 13,000rpm102Nm @ 10,250rpmTwin-spar adjustable aluminiumÖhlins 43mm inverted forks, fully adjustableÖhlins monoshock, fully adjustableFour-piston calipers, 310mm discsBrembo two-piston float caliper, 220mm disc1,420mm845mm179kg17L£16,500 (otr)Aprilia UK0208 290 8800Aprilia.com999cc, four-stroke, DOHC, 16v, inline-four74.5 x 57.312.8:1Electronic fuel injection158bhp @ 11,900rpm104Nm @ 9,950rpmTwin-spar aluminiumBig Piston Showa Fork, fully adjustableShowa Monoshock, fully adjustableFour-piston calipers, 310mm discsOne-piston sliding caliper, 220mm disc1,405mm810mm205kg (kerb)17.5L£10,250 (otr)Suzuki GB0845 850 8800Suzuki-gb.co.uk998cc, liquid-cooled, 16v, inline-four78 x 52.212.7:1Electronic fuel injection182bhp @ 12,500rpm115.5Nm @ 10,000rpmAluminium Deltabox43mm telescopic fork, fully adjustableMonoshock, fully adjustableSix-piston, radial calipers, 310mm discsOne-piston caliper, 220mm disc1,415mm835mm206kg (kerb)18L£12,499 otrYamaha UK01932 358000Yamaha.co.uk999cc, liquid-cooled, 16v, DOHC, inline-four76 x 55.1mm12.3:1Electronic fuel injection162bhp @ 12,000rpm107Nm @ 8,600rpmAluminium twin-spar43mm inverted fork, fully adjustableMonoshock, fully adjustableFour-piston calipers, 320mm discsOne-piston caliper, 220mm disc1,410mm820mm172kg17.7L£10,321 otrHonda UK0845 200 8000Honda.co.uk999cc, liquid-cooled, 16 valve, DOHC, inline-four80mm x 49.7mm13.1:1Electronic fuel injection179bhp@13,000rpm106Nm @9,750rpmAluminium bridge46mm inverted Sachs fork, fully adjustableSachs monoshock, fully adjustableFour-piston radial calipers, 320mm discsSingle piston caliper, 220mm disc1,432mm820mm183kg17.5L£12,500 (otr)BMW UK0800 777 155BMW-motorrad.co.uk0-60:0-100:0-140:Stg 1/4 Mile:Standing Mile:Top Speed:BHPPower180160140120100806040203.05s5.66s9.61s10.37s @ 145.03mph26.06s @ 185.00mph185mphThanks to:3.18s5.81s10.18s10.60s @ 143.06mph27.18s @ 174.52mph178mphNmTorque2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16RPM x1000RPM x10001201101009080706050403.03s5.54s9.60s10.34s @ 145.18mph26.26s @ 180.96mph182mph3.12s5.58s9.89s10.45s @ 142.35mph26.45s @ 179.35mph181mphAprilia RSV4BMW S 1000 RRHonda FirebladeYamaha YZF-R1Suzuki GSX-R1000Kawasaki ZX-10RDyno data supplied by:• Beth, Martin, Fi, Luke, Simon and Scott from each manufacturer’s PR departments • The Lord above for stopping the snow• Wales for being surprisingly great in the middle of February2.94s5.56s9.55s10.32s @ 145.33mph26.51s @ 175.55mph178mphconclusionOnce upon a time, there were sixmotorcycles. One of them wasamazing and made the others looksilly. The end.Reading through the previouspages, it sounds like we’re givingthe majority of the litre bikes anabsolute pasting – and we are.But this is only in the context ofa bike that has cropped up andcaused utter devastation in theranks. A genius piece of Germanengineering is that bike.Right, let’s talk moolah andfinishing order. The recessionmight be starting to lift but1000cc sportsbikes continue tocause fiscal uproar with all of thecontenders costing over £10k – ana (Biblical deluge stopped play)na (Biblical deluge stopped play)na (Biblical deluge stopped play)na (Biblical deluge stopped play)na (Biblical deluge stopped play)186mph“It sounds like we’re giving the majorityof the litre bikes a pasting – and we are”conscious milestone. Used bikesales should now see anotherupsurge, but once again we’venever had it so good as far as newmetal goes.The Kawasaki may be thecheapest but, sorry Ninja fans, it’salso the least talented at the toptable. Now in its third year, theZX-10R can’t rely on its trackprowess to brag. We know there’san all-new model in the making(says an ex-Kawasaki employee)and it can’t come soon enough.The Aprilia finishes fifth simplybecause it’s utter shit on the road.50 Fast Bikes May ’10 www.fastbikesmag.comwww.fastbikesmag.com Fast Bikes May ’10 51

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