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Heed 505

Middleweight Sportbike Shootout Preview

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Although a good portion of the U.S. is blanked in snow we’re getting a jump on the spring motorcycling season by carrying out our inaugural sportbike shootout of the year featuring Ducati’s newly introduced 899 Panigale, MV Agusta’s long-stroke F3 800, and the machine that started it all, Suzuki’s GSX-R750. Also making an appearance is last year’s track winner, Kawasaki’s 636cc-powered Ninja ZX-6R. Last week we conducted the track element of the test at SoCal’s Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. After logging about 60 laps on each bike it’s clear how much each brand’s model has morphed over the years. Normally each machine feel and ride close to one other, but the differences between this group is tremendous. Yet each offer special attributes that we appreciated. The real question however is which manufacturer’s formula provides the best overall package. Tune in to Motorcycle-USA.com on Monday, January 27 for an in-depth analysis from the track followed by separate street-based reports soon after.

Post Tags: 2014 Middleweight Sportbike Shootout Preview
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Comments
OutOfTheBox January 23, 2014 11:16 PM
I will have to say that it would be sad if the contest came down to which bike has the most power and torque but I know that it won't come down to which bike weighs the least or is the least-expensive. I don't see how the MV will have a chance because the clutch and throttle-response will undoubtedly suck. The 750, while undoubtedly the cheapest and best wrung-out of the 4 bikes, still won't have the electronics package or the torque to match the 899 and won't have a price advantage either, and as such will be at a massive disadvantage. So really the comparison is the Panigale Lites' to win. But even that will just open the door to the age-old debate of whether a $15k literbike is better than a $14k 750. I think this really comes down to comparing any bike over 650cc in one class, and likewise all the bikes under 650cc in another. Because $15k will get you into a good new literbike and it is also about the top of the market for new 650s. Plus that will silence all the whiners who talk about how a 650 (or Ninja 300) is "enough power". Really? Let's see what you say after these two comparisons are done. There are just as many who say that a bike is too small and too slow as there are who say that it's too big and too fast. So break them down into two groups and let's see how well those preconceptions and prejudices hold up after the tests are done.
OutOfTheBox January 23, 2014 11:03 PM
always nice to hear from someone with an neutral, objective point of view as opposed to just another biased fanboi
motousa_adam January 20, 2014 07:30 PM
I enjoy your comments Superlight and agree with your thoughts... mostly-- haha.
Superlight January 17, 2014 02:38 PM
These comparisons are always interesting, but today's motorcycles are all good - the question becomes which one is best for you?

To me the test is between the Duc and the MV, as the Suzuki is too stale a product and the Kawi will be outclassed in power. Neither of the Japanese bikes are in the same league as the Italians from a styling standpoint, IMHO.

I'll read the test with interest and keep enjoying my MV F3 675.
AnthonyD January 17, 2014 02:27 PM
Guys....I think we just started a new fantasy league!!!! We should do this before every shootout.
DanPan January 17, 2014 12:53 PM
Cool....
Can`t wait to read this.
Thank`s for this shootout..........

My prediction, 1-Kawasaki 2-Suzuki 3-Ducati 4-MV
pacman52 January 17, 2014 09:03 AM
I predict: 1- Ducati 899 (its higher price may influence its ranking though) 2- Suzuli GSXR750 (lack of electronic aids may change the ranking) 3- Kawasaki ZX-6R (nothing wrong with this bike!) 4- MV Augusta F3 800 (fueling problems)
dmfd123 January 17, 2014 07:23 AM
MV will come in last. It has already proven to be poorly fueled among other problems. We know the Ninja will do well so the question is; how about the 899? Adam already loved it in the rain so we'll see. I predict 1)Kawi 2)Duc 3)Suzuki 4)MV.
motousa_adam January 16, 2014 10:20 AM
Sorry about that Anthony I was reading it in reverse!! haha - This is a fair prediction-- nice job.
AnthonyD January 16, 2014 09:06 AM
@adam, I think you are reading my results in reverse. I have the Kawi at #1
GhostRider11 January 16, 2014 04:53 AM
Why wasn't the Triumph 675R not included in this group??? This ShootOut seems a bit incomplete I think!
motousa_adam January 15, 2014 10:19 AM
Hmmm... That is a reasonable outlook-- but I wouldn't discount the Ninja. When set-up properly it's a heck of an amazing machine on track despite its more street-oriented suspension settings.
AnthonyD January 15, 2014 09:57 AM
I predict: 4.) MV800 3.) GSXR750 2.) Ducati 899 1.) Kawi 636.