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2012 Hypersport Motorcycle Shootout

Monday, April 30, 2012

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2012 Suzuki Hayabusa - Hypersport Comparison
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Suzuki’s Hayabusa meets a new crop of challengers. Watch the 2012 Suzuki Hayabusa Comparison Video and see how it performs.

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2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R - Hypersport Comparison Video
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The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R gets some important upgrades for ’12. Will it be enough to take top honors in the class? Watch the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R Comparison Video.

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2012 BMW S1000RR - Hypersport Comparison
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The BMW S1000RR, a two-time Superbike Smackdown winner faces new competition in the Hypersport class. Watch how it does in the 2012 BMW S1000RR Comparison Video.

The Hypersport class of sportbikes is the closest thing you can get to a time machine. These motorcycles achieve epilepsy inducing velocity while maintaining a reasonable degree of riding comfort. Their engines are powerful enough to drive many small cars, wedged in stretched aluminum chassis, and covered in streamlined bodywork allowing them to pierce air like a bullet, delivering the rider to his or her target like few things can in this world.
For the last few years, this arms race has been between Japanese manufacturers Kawasaki and Suzuki, with both companies routinely besting each other with a bike that is marginally faster here, better handling there, etc. The original Suzuki Hayabusa (released in 1999) shocked the world with its 1299cc Inline-Four engine, swoopy bodywork and nearly 200-mph top-speed claim. Not to be outdone, Team Green unleashed an updated version of its then top-of-the-line Hyperbike, the Ninja ZX-12R. Despite sporting a smaller displacement engine, the ZX-12R delivered an awful lot of performance for its size. But it wasn’t until 2006, when the ZX-14 was introduced, that it had a true tit-for-tat competitor.
Suzuki quickly fought back and updated its GSX13000R for the ’08 model year which saw a small boost in engine displacement among other things. This was just what it needed and it reclaimed its crown as the ultimate Hypersports bike in our 2008 Ninja ZX-14 vs. Suzuki Hayabusa comparison. Things stayed the same until this year when Kawasaki engineers fitted another round of technical updates that it claimed would push the limits of performance into the ‘R’ category and put the Ninja back to the No. 1 spot once and for all… but we’ve heard this before, haven’t we?
While the Japanese companies were waging war, a new, unlikely competitor had emerged onto the scene. Although the BMW S1000RR doesn’t exactly fit the exact niche of the other two, considering the absurd top-end performance of its much smaller 999cc Inline-Four engine and exceptional power-to-weight ratio we wanted to see how the German-built machine would stack up amongst the heavyweights. So the stage was set for the ultimate showdown.

2012 Hypersport Shootout horsepower dyno chart.
2012 Hypersport Shootout torque dyno chart.
2012 Hypersport Shootout dyno charts.
We began by painting fat lines of rubber at Arizona’s Firebird Raceway drag strip – rifling off quarter-mile runs to see how effective these rockets are during a run-what-ya’-brung-style street race. Next up was a visit to SoCal’s Chuckwalla Valley Raceway for some high-speed cornering action to learn how the bikes react when leaned over on the side of the tire. After all, what sport rider doesn’t enjoy the occasional track day to get a speed fix without having to worry about the fuzz? Lastly we logged mileage on the street to find out which machine would be deemed the best getaway tool if the need arose. Each bike was rated based on our standardized street scorecard thereby revealing the winner and true king to the title of world’s best production Hypersport bike.

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Tunneldweller   May 12, 2012 05:39 AM
How about an opinion from the cheap seats....I ride a ZX-14 - WOW what a beast! Never been on the Hyabusa, but I bet it is a monster as well. What I can say about my bike: it is super fast and suprisingly nimble for such a big bike. I love riding it, but the acceleration is addictive. I fear for my future as I allow my addiction to grow. At low rpm I easily pull away in regular traffic, as I find empty lanes and crank-up the rpms the speed just so fast tunnelvision takes over and the ride is almost scary. What a rush! I chose the 'Zuk' over the 'busa' strickly based on asthetics - I like the lines (particularly the tail end) better on the ZX-14. Color and fit could also be good reasons to choose one over the other. To me, aguing about which bike is stronger or fast, or the minute differences in HP at rpms is kind of like arguing which martial artist is better based on how quickly they could kick MY ass (chuck Norris or Bruce Lee)- either way, I would be down and out before the sound of the bell starting the round even reached my ears. It is more interesting to me to talk about how bikes I have evolved through; how I used to think 500cc was enough, how 1000cc used to seem like a fast bike - now as I ride some of these other bikes, they seem like children's toys after riding a REAL super sport bike. whether you ride the Suzuki or Kawasaki - enjoy the fun and power these manufacturers have bestowed upon you! Good luck, great riding and fun summer!
Jaimeb   May 2, 2012 07:58 PM
504, You are still taking all this too seriously, however, I do apologize for implying that you can't read. What I meant is that you can't accept Hutchy's explanation.

That is what that particular Busa dynoed, nobody at MC-USA benefits from making up dyno readings.

BTW, I don't work there, but have been a long time reader and these guys do the best bike tests around (way more detailed than print mags).
Piglet2010   May 2, 2012 04:38 PM
Well, with the two bikes I have ridden quite a bit that Waheed reviewed (Honda NT700V and Suzuki TU250X) I found his opinions to be on target. And while rolling dynamometer measurements do a service in reflecting drive-train losses, there is a reason why the standard measurements (e.g. DIN, JIS, SAE) are made at the crank. The differences make me ask the question - did the different years of the bikes have the same tires, as casing flex will also affect rear wheel dynamometer readings?
Rucuss54   May 2, 2012 12:56 PM
You have to rev the BMW to over 10K rpm to match the torque the other two produce at 3500rpm, must be cool to lug the motor at low rev and at any moment twist the throttle to get instant torque.
504boy   May 2, 2012 12:02 PM
no the problem is that i can READ & THINK and its obvious the results are doctored kinda strange to the level of offense and sarcasm 1 receives from just stating the facts so let me get this right then on the old dyno the busa mysteriously has low #'s while the bmw has higher #'s and with the new dyno it's vice versa yeah right jaimeb & hutchy stop offering me beers and @least give me some of that good stuff your on so i can starting making some b.s. post too ; )
Jaimeb   May 2, 2012 11:03 AM
504, either you can't read, or don't want to pay attention to what Hutchy answered to your accusations - the 2009 'Busa was dynoed on a different dyno, different day (and year). If the Busa measured optimistically high on this dyno, so did the other two bikes.Understand the concept?

Don't loose sleep over this! Go have a six pack...
504boy   May 2, 2012 10:33 AM
i'm a zuk guy also and dynos do have many variables to consider would love to see zuk start competing more and inprove the gixxer 1000 and maybe a 1441 busa but the point of my post's weren't to get sarcastic responses it was to bring attention to discrepancies in the information provided also the 1/4 times do seem pretty consistent but how are we to believe these are accurate times when there's so much fluctuation in other tests?
raber   May 2, 2012 09:46 AM
I too find the hp numbers for the Hayabusa suspect.
From every article I have read, the Suzuki is in the neighborhood of 165 rwhp.
Unles Suzuki made significant changes to the 2012 model, I can't believe your dyno numbers.
raber   May 2, 2012 09:41 AM
I too find the
B-kings Rock   May 2, 2012 09:11 AM
First of all, THANK YOU for this test. The 1/4 mile times are pretty much a snapshot of how these three shake down. Dyno results have so many variables and I see it in all the different tests done by the various bike mags. Have to confess, as a "Suzuki guy" I'm hoping Suzuki throws another 100cc's into the mix on a new Hayabusa before too long....and then let'em scrap again. Keep up the good work. I really appreciate the race results you guys post!!!
Drunkula   May 2, 2012 07:32 AM
It's a good thing we have trolls like 504 to share their opinions with everyone. What would we do without them? ;-)
504boy   May 1, 2012 07:09 PM
you can try to make excuses for your false report all day bottom line is there's not that much fluctuation in the hp #'s and its sad that you would think your viewers wouldn't compare and contrast the information you post smh don't worry though i'll be informing every mc forum i'm apart of about your misleading articles have a good day i'm sure you have a lot of $$$$ to make selling your misleading information to the highest bidder!!!
Hutchy   May 1, 2012 10:17 AM
504: Unfortunately, Kawasaki hasn't supported MCUSA with any advertising in the past year and a half so it would've made more sense for us to give the win to Suzuki since they are advertising. So that theory is dead. Thanks for asking though. As far as BMW and Busa Dyno results go. You are correct in pointing out that different bikes on different days will have different results. Add into the mix that BMW and all OEMs probably bring the strongest press bike in the fleet to a superbike Shootout so that may have made the disparate Dyno results look more alarming. As far as '09 & '12 Busa results go, we didn't Dyno that first Busa on this Dyno we have now. The better way of looking at this is all three bikes were ran on the Dyno on the same day so these results are about as valid of a head-to-head as we can produce. Now grab a cold one and get your aluminum-foil hat on because the aliens are about to start probing your mind again!
504boy   May 1, 2012 09:40 AM
so let me get this right motorcycleusa whom i've relied on for numerous years to provide me with accurate information expects me to believe they performed an unbiased report for the 2012 hypersport shootout when the information they've provided contradicts their own past reports examples* for 2012 the bmw s1000rr now makes 175.83hp as opposed to 183.37 which is roughly a 7hp difference and i'll be the 1st to admit 7hp on a dyno between differing weather conditions is possible but to follow it up by having a 2012 suzuki hayabusa pulling in 178.51hp while a 2009 (closest year to the 12' they've tested) hayabusa put up 166.6 a 12hp gain over machines that are virtually identical with no real documented factory improvements, so i ask motorcycleusa who's lining your pockets to provide the public with false information??? ( the 2012 zx14 had no previous hp test for a comparison so i'm omitting it for now ) (*i i'm providing links to all of the information if anyone would like to view it) http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/82208/Motorcycle-Photo-Gallery-Photo/2012-Suzuki-GSX-1300R-Hayabusa-Comparison.aspx http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/67360/Motorcycle-Photo-Gallery-Photo/2011-Ducati-Superbike-1198-Track-Smackdown.aspx http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/52213/Motorcycle-Photo-Gallery-Photo/2010-Honda-VFR1200F-Comparison.aspx