2014 Light-Heavyweight Supersport Shootout Conclusion

January 27, 2014
Adam Waheed
By Adam Waheed
Road Test Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

His insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

Adam Waheed, 34, Road Test Editor – 6’0”, 178 pounds – Racing: Suzuki GSX-R750

The F3 800 by MV Agusta literally blew me away during this test. And over the next few years this bike is going to get better and better. But for now it is too much of an unknown to race on, plus it’s the most expensive. And good luck getting parts if you crash. Although I didn’t enjoy riding it as much as the F3 when it comes down to it you can’t beat the stone axe reliability of a GSX-R. Parts are abundant, they are relatively easy to set-up for racing and there are tons of tuners out there that would have a field day hopping this thing up. If I was going racing I would do it on a Suzuki—no question.

Jason Pridmore, 43, AMA Champ and Star Motorcycle School Instructor – 6’0”, 185 pounds Racing: MV Agusta F3 800

I don’t know what class I would race it in. But I would probably take that 800 and race it up against 1000s. I think I could go pretty well on it with some minor tweaks. The lap time I did on it wasn’t that much slower then what some of the guys are racing out here at Chuckwalla. I would love to race the MV.

Corey Neuer, 35,  Expert-Level Racer, owner CT Racing – 5’10”, 160 pounds – Racing: Suzuki GSX-R750

Overall the GSX-R750 was one of the easier bikes for me to go fast on. I feel really confident on it everywhere on track. The motor is certainly no fire breather but it has power when needed and the torque curve is linear and usable. Combined with a very balanced chassis the GSX-R handles great with very little effort. For me this bike had the best of everything and would be the one I would go racing on.

Chris Northover, 27, Superbike Road Test Editor– 5’8”, 156 pounds – Racing: Ducati 899 Panigale

After a day spent hammering the MV, Ducati, Suzuki and Kawasaki around Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, the big question is which of the four would I pick for a race bike? The obvious answer would be to check out the lapboard and take the fastest bike, right? Well that’d put the GSX-R750 bang at the top of the list and, you know what, that might not be too bad a choice. The Suzuki was definitely the easiest bike to get on and ride hard; with some money spent trimming the weight by fitting race fairings and a full titanium exhaust you’d have a pretty formidable track bike. On the day, the Ninja felt the most like a race bike, but at 636cc it’s too big to race against 600s and too small to race against these guys. Corner speed is no use when someone’s out-dragged you on the straight and parked a Ducati 899 right in your way mid-turn. And the MV, well, that definitely felt like it had the most potential for extreme highs and sobering lows as a racer. If you fancy your bike development skills are pretty special then get stuck in – a well-sorted MV F3 800 would be unstoppable. Just don’t expect it to be an easy task.

So what would I pick? Heh, the Ducati. Why? It’s somewhere between the get-on-and-win GSX-R and the development mountain that is the MV. The GSX-R will win the opening three rounds of our imaginary race series, I’ll make a fight-back mid season on the Ducati and by the final three races, no doubt Adam and the MV Agusta will be untouchable.

2014 Light-Heavyweight Supersport Shootout Specs
Kawasaki
ZX-6R
MV Agusta
F3 800
 Ducati
899 Panigale
Suzuki
GSX-R750
Engine: 636cc liquid-cooled Inline Four, 16-valve Engine: 798cc liquid-cooled Inline Three 12-valve Engine: 898cc liquid-cooled L-Twin; 8-valve Engine: 750cc liquid-cooled Inline Four, 16-valve 
Bore x Stroke: 67.0 x 45.1mm Bore x Stroke: 79.0 x 54.3mm Bore x Stroke: 100.0 x 57.2mm Bore x Stroke: 70.0 x 48.7mm
Compression: 12.9:1 Compression:13.3:1 Compression:12.5:1 Compression: 12.5:1
Fueling: Fuel-injection Fueling: Fuel Injection w/ twin injectors per cylinder Fueling: Fuel-injection Fueling: Fuel-injection
Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type with electronic quickshifter Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type with electronic quickshifter Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type
Clutch: Wet, F.C.C.; Cable actuation Clutch: Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; Cable actuation Clutch: Wet multi-plate; Hydraulic actuation Clutch: Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; Cable actuation
Final Drive: Chain; 16/43 gearing Final Drive: Chain; 16/43 gearing Final Drive: Chain; 15/44 gearing Final Drive: Chain; 16/43 gearing
Frame:Twin-spar aluminum Frame: Steel tubular trellis and aluminum Frame: Monocoque aluminum Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
Front Suspension: 41mm Showa BP-SFF with spring preload, compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 4.7 in. travel Front Suspension: 43mm Marzocchi fork with spring preload, compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 4.92 in. travel Front Suspension: Showa 43mm inverted fork; three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.72 in. travel Front Suspension: 43mm inverted Showa BPF; three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Uni-Trak equipped gas-charged shock with spring preload, compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 5.3 in. travel Rear Suspension: Sachs gas-charged shock with spring preload, compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 4.84 in. travel Rear Suspension:Sachs gas-charged shock; three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 5.12 in. travel Rear Suspension: Showa gas-charged shock; four-way adjustable for spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping; 4.9 in. travel
Front Brakes: 310mm petal discs, radial-mount monobloc-style four-piston Nissin calipers Front Brakes: 320mm discs, radial-mount  Brembo monobloc calipers Front Brakes: 320mm discs with radial-mount Brembo four-piston M4 monobloc calipers Front Brakes: 300mm discs with radial-mount Brembo monobloc four-piston calipers
Tires: Bridgestone Battlax S20; 120/70R17, 180/55R17 Tires: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa; 120/70R17, 180/55R17 Tires: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa; 120/70R17, 180/55R17 Tires: Bridgestone BT-016; 120/70R17, 180/55R17
Curb Weight: 424 lbs. Curb Weight: 428 lbs. Curb Weight: 437 lbs. Curb Weight: 427 lbs.
Wheelbase: 54.9 in. Wheelbase: 54.23 in. Wheelbase: 56.57 in. Wheelbase: 54.7 in.
Rake: 23.5 deg Rake: 23.6 deg. Rake: 24.0 deg. Rake: 23.0 deg.
Seat Height: 32.7 in Seat Height: 31.96 in. Seat Height: 32.48 in Seat Height: 31.9 in.
Fuel Tank: 4.5 gal. Fuel Tank: 4.22 gal. Fuel Tank: 4.5 gal. Fuel Tank: 4.5 gal.
MSRP: $11,699 MSRP: $15,798 MSRP: $14,998 MSRP: $12,299

 

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