The GSX-R churned out the most horsepower according to the EDR Motorsports dyno, posting 152.2 hp @ 11,300 rpm. Click Graph to Enlarge.
As usual, we spun up each bike in this test on a dynamometer to measure its power at the rear wheel. But instead of our usual dyno locations at White Brothers or Hansens Motorcycles, we dynoed the bikes at EDR Motorsports in Beaverton, Oregon while we were in the neighborhood during our track test at Portland International Raceway. We were a bit surprised by the lower power numbers than we saw last year, but they are a true representation of comparative muscle, all making their runs within a two-hour block of time.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the new GSX-R spat out the highest peak horsepower, 152.2 at 11,300 rpm. The Suzuki is evenly matched with its closest competitor, the ZX-10R, but the Gixxer’s higher redline gives it a longer pull up top near its peak. Although the Kawi’s peak torque is a marginal 1 lb-ft higher, the Suzuki’s peak arrives 1000 rpm sooner.
The ZX-10 motor was the king of the hill last year, and even without exotica like titanium valves it is still at the top of the class. “With the exception of the louder engine howl found on the GSX-R,” says BC, “the motor in it and the ZX performed near identically.”
The CBR’s motor is the mildest in this bunch of raped apes. It lags behind all but the R1 below 6000 rpm before running with the class leaders from 6000-9000 rpm. It finally loses touch with the Gixxer and ZX up top where it hits its rev limiter earlier than the other Fours.
From 5500 to 8000 rpm, the 999R is the bike to beat, churning out tire-rippling midrange torque right where you want it. The Duc actually tops all comers during its 1000-rpm spike from 7000-8000 rpm. This isn’t your normal V-Twin, and there’s more to be uncorked. Despite the R’s carbon fiber muffler cover, it’s the same old restrictive breadbox as regular 999s to meet federal emissions standards. Our buddy Mason Hansen at Hansens Motorcycles fitted a Leo Vince Corsa pipe and a Power Commander 3 to his 999R and emerged with significantly boosted numbers that would put it right up there with the Fours in this test. According to Hansens’ Dynojet 250, his bike cranked out a solid 153 hp at 11,000 rpm, with a torque peak of 82 lb-ft.
In terms of midrange power, the 999R is the bike to beat, pumping out asphalt-folding torque between 5500 and 8000 rpm, right where you want it on the street.Click Graph to Enlarge
The 1320-foot Sprint
Dragstrip runs are a very effective way to help decipher the performance characteristics of a motorcycle. An easy-to-modulate clutch and a low center of gravity helps get the bike launched, optimum gearing piles on speed, and outright horsepower gets the job done at the end of the strip.
Traction isn’t usually an issue for short-wheelbase sportbikes, although, as we found our during our Supersport acceleration runs, grip can be surprisingly lacking at a dragstrip. The road course at Portland International Raceway incorporates a dragstrip as part of its front straight, so we clicked off a few runs at lunch time during our trackday testing. The heavily rubbered-down launch pad at PIR was drenched the day before and was very slippery, so I decided to instead launch the bikes on a relatively clean surface between the two official lanes. Traction wasn’t an issue; keeping the front wheel out of the sky was.
While the times that follow aren’t the most stellar about 3 or 4 tenths slower than when previously tested the little extra oomph from the ideal weather conditions made the bikes easier to wheelie, seriously holding back the 60-foot times and, hence, the whole run. We limited the number of runs to four apiece, and the bikes were left in their roadracing setup instead of being tweaked for the strip. As PIR is virtually at sea level and the temperature was probably only a couple of degrees warmer than the 60-degree standard for correcting ETs, we are showing you the raw, uncorrected numbers.
Although the GSX-R’s clutch was a bit grabby, the seat of my pants guaranteed me that the Gixxer ran the quickest quarter-mile. This thing is crazy-fast. Even though I had a hard time keeping the front end down and couldn’t use full throttle in first gear, its hellacious hit of power hurled it down the strip ferociously.