2010 Modified Supersport Shootout Stage 2

Steve Atlas | October 4, 2010

We know the wait has been hard; nails chewed to the nubs, hair pulled out at the roots, and teeth ground down to the enamel in anticipation of the final installment of one of, if not the biggest, best and most involved shootout in MotoUSA’s 15-year history. Being the first multi-part shootout with the allowance of modifications, plus its sheer size, presented a number of challenges we had no idea even existed until once underway. It also provided some of the most interesting results as well as some seriously surprising outcomes, especially in regards to the sheer closeness of all four machines throughout the test. Once the dust settled, picking the winner for this shootout was without question the toughest decision we’ve ever had to make – it was that close! Without further ado, we bring you the final installment in our Modified Supersport Shootout series! Enjoy…

The Mods…

Four of the lightest, fastest sportbikes on the market made lighter and faster with official manufacturer support. Watch the results of our Supersport comparo in the Modified Supersport Video – Part II.

Stage 1 saw each of the 600s get a full-system exhaust of the manufacturer’s choice, ECU or piggyback fuel management system and dyno work to match, as well as optional chain and sprocket changes to gear each bike specifically for the two test tracks. Washers or spacers were allowed to the shocks of the bikes to enhance steering geometry for the racetrack, a very inexpensive and effective mod. Otherwise, everything else remained stock. The results of which can be seen in Part 1 of our 2010 Modified Supersport Shootout.

It was then on to Stage 2, the final part in this on-going saga. For this all four got full custom suspension from Race Tech, consisting of a re-valved fork with drop-in cartridge kit, accompanied by one of their new fully-adjustable racing rear shocks. Rear-sets, clip-ons and a speed shifter were allowed to aid in rider comfort, while brake lines and brake pads could be swapped out for more aggressive units and steel-braided lines to up the performance levels. Finally, internal airbox modifications were allowed, something one of the manufacturers requested to help free up some airflow to match that of the competition, as that particular machine comes with an extremely restrictive airfilter. As such, all machines were allowed to perform

2010 Honda CBR600RR sits on the bench following Stage 1 modifications.With Stage 1 mods installed  the 2010 Kawasaki ZX-6R awaits the track.Says Neuer: The Suzuki is super easy to get turned in  making me very confident at all times - it really felt like it was on rails at both tracks. 2010 Yamaha YZF-R6 in Stage 1 form  modded and ready of battle.
They’re back! The four Japanese middleweights return, this time featuring a host of new upgrades to see who comes out on top when fully modified into total trackday weapons.

equal mods, though most did not need it. The end result: fully-decked-out trackday machines. Short of bodywork, these bikes are nearly race-ready!

The Track…
To keep the number of variables between tests to an absolute minimum, the final stage was once again held at the same two Willow Springs tracks as the original 2009 Middleweight Shootout and the first part of the Modified Supersport Shootout – Day 1 at Big Willow and Day 2 at Streets of Willow, taking place on back-to-back days. Tires continued to be supplied by Italian giant Pirelli, their SC2-compound Diablo Supercorsa DOT race rubber adorning all machines front and rear.

The Riders…
Like the previous two comparisons, 3-time AMA 250cc GP champion Chuck Sorensen and I headed up the testing duties, again aided by fast club racer and CT Racing owner, Corey Neuer. But for this round our faithful Road Test Editor Adam Waheed was back in action, having missed the first of the Modified Shootouts with a shoulder injury sustained in a – yep, you guessed it – motocross accident. But wild Waheed was back and no shortage of one-wheeled, high-speed antics ensued; we almost forgot how much we missed them in the previous shootout! (Someone had to test how well the engine flows oil while on one wheel for extended periods of time…)

The Data…
To obtain the fastest lap times in the fairest way possible, our patented Superpole system was again used. Both Sorensen and myself did an out-lap, two fliers and an in-lap on each of the four bikes, one at a time, all fully fueled with pre-heated, brand-new Pirelli tires. Order was drawn out of a hat and Superpole was done congruently during a 1-hour session, the outright best lap for each rider being used to compare the bikes to both themselves from the earlier stages, as well as the competition. The same process was followed each day, giving us lap time data from both the ultra-fast Willow Springs and the tight-and-technical Streets of Willow.

In addition, like some of the more advanced shootouts in our past, we employed Kinelogix to fit each bike with its bolt-on data acquisition set-up during Superpole, providing an extensive amount of further parameters – corner speed, g-forces, lean angle, etc – from which to further compare each of the four supersports. The system was on the four machines at both tracks, but due to a system failure on Day 1, unfortunately we only have data from Streets of Willow for comparison. Some is better than none though, the results of which surprised in many ways.

Steve Atlas

Contributing Editor |Articles | Professional-grade speed and an attitude to match, Steve Atlas has AMA racing creds that are even more extensive than his driving record.