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2012 Superbike Smackdown IX Street

Monday, June 11, 2012

Superbikes are the absolute pinnacle of the motorcycling world – the tip of the spear. These open class sportbikes have all the latest technology showered upon them by the manufacturers with the goal of delivering the most impressive performance possible from a two-wheeled machine.
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2012 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC Street Comparison Video
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The 2012 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC has a compact chassis and a lively V-Four engine. See how it performs in the 2012 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC Street Comparison.
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2012 BMW S1000RR Street Comparison Video
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The BMW S1000RR is a two time champ in the Superbike Smackdown. Find out if can can do it again in the 2012 BMW S1000RR Street Comparison Video.

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2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale Street Comparison Video
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Ducati’s 1199 Panigale S Superbike goes head-to-head against the world’s best liter-class sportbikes. Find out how it does in the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S Street Comparison Video.

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2012 Honda CBR1000RR Street Comparison Video
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Honda's CBR1000RR received an update for 2012. Find out if those changes helped it in scores in our 2012 Honda CBR1000RR Street Comparison Video.

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2012 Kawasaki ZX-10R Street Comparison Video
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Kawasaki’s ZX-10R comes into 2012 unchanged so how will it stack up against its competition? Find out in the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-10R Street Comparison Video.

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2012 KTM RC8R Street Comparison Video
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The RC8R continues to be refined by KTM. Find out how it performed in the 2012 KTM RC8R Street Comparison Video.

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2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Street Comparison Video
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The Suzuki GSX-R1000 gets some changes to the engine, suspension and exhaust system. Find out how it stacks up in the 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Street Comparison Video.

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2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 Street Comparison Video
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Yamaha's YZF-R1 gets traction control for 2012. Find out how it did against its competition in the 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 Street Comparison Video.
Horsepower to weight levels verge on lunacy while the handling capacities are beyond 99% of the users’ skills that are buying these beasts. Yet somehow it is not ever enough for any us, and the manufactures are hell-bent on giving us what we want. While development cycles vary from brand to brand, the quest for the ultimate sport motorcycle marches on, and what was hot last year may not be anymore.

That is where your loyal servants at Motorcycle USA step in. For you the reader we toil away behind the bars and windscreens of these race-bred rockets to bring you the answers. After the riding and performance testing is done, we discuss the details and obsess over the finest of points. All in an effort to find out which Superbike is the best.

For the ninth iteration of our annual Superbike Smackdown we gathered the top offerings from eight manufactures, one of our biggest fields tested to date. As we have for the last several years, we split the testing into reviews from both the track and street. This year we begin with the Superbike Smackdown IX Street with the track results to follow in a few weeks time.

For 2012 we have a new model from Ducati, some quasi-new bikes from Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and BMW, a slightly updated KTM and a carry-over model from Kawasaki. Aprilia has also rejoined the fray with its updated repli-racer. As for the last two players in the Superbike scene, the Eric Buell Racing 1190RS and the MV Agusta F4R, neither bike was available for street testing, but one of the two will be making an appearance for the Superbike Smackdown IX Track.

Last year BMW notched it’s second victory in the Superbike Smackdown in as many years. With a record like that, Bavarian Motor Works could have just left well enough alone and still fared well this year. While the S1000RR didn’t get a complete facelift or redesign, it received a slew of revisions to the fuel injection settings and some chassis changes intended to make it easier to ride. When you are the champ it’s best not to rest on your laurels.

Certainly the most talked about and most anticipated superbike in this contest is the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S. With an all-new oversquare engine and monocoque aluminum frame the Panigale is sure to shake up the class of 2012. Last year the 1198 didn’t fare well on the street test, but we expect that the same won’t happen this time around.

Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 has been one of the most successful superbikes on and off the racetrack. It finished well in our 2011 shootout despite being unchanged for three years. This year Suzuki gave the big Gixxer a going over with new pistons, camshafts and ECU settings. Surprisingly, Suzuki still forgoes traction control on its flagship sportbike.

Honda’s CBR1000RR is another strong performer that has finally got an update although it did well in its previous trim. For 2012 Big Red just tweaked the ECU settings of the CBR’s strong running mill, wrapped it in more aerodynamic bodywork and updated the chassis with new suspension and trick-looking wheels. Just like the GSX-R the CBR comes without TC. Will the lack of electronic wizardry hurt the Honda? It hasn’t thus far. 

Kawasaki is on an off-year on the ZX-10R’s development cycle and comes into the fray with zero changes from 2011, save new paint and bold new graphics. Last year it made it up on the podium in the 2011 Superbike Smackdown VIII Street with a third-place finish proving it’s a formidable adversary. But get caught sleeping and you get left behind in this class.

The second V-Twin in this showdown is the KTM RC8R. Largely unchanged for 2012, the Austrian orange and white machine gets some new camshafts, a heavier flywheel and new ECU settings. Could the bump in engine response and power be enough to bring the RC8R further up the charts this year?

The venerable Yamaha YZF-R1 got a subtle facelift along with the addition of traction control. One of the major pluses of the R1’s crossplane crank motor is its tractability, so will the addition of TC really help the claw its way up the scoresheet? Additionally the YZF gets a new shock spring that is more progressive, and that’s it. Not a big list of updates, but it just might be enough.

Missing last year in our shootout was the Aprilia RSV4, for this year the Italian manufacturer went all-out, supplying us with the RSV4 APRC Factory. We were very impressed with the standard 2011-version when we road tested it by itself, and surmised it would have faired well in the Smackdown. With this up-spec model the results should be interesting to say the least.

To put these bikes to the test we hit the road riding from our headquarters in Irvine, California to the ever-popular sportbike roads of Palomar Mountain. This gave us plenty of time on the freeways, light-to-light blasts, traffic jams and twisty mountain curves. Afterwards we high-tailed it to a rarely-used desert airstrip to gather our performance numbers. We chose to this location because it was more like the conditions that you might encounter on the means streets with its dusty surface and cracked asphalt. How often do you find perfectly prepped drag strip launch pads on public roads? That’s right. Never. So we decided to give you data that would be more representative of real world street usage. These numbers are not the best that they can do in perfect conditions, but what they can do with imperfect circumstances.

For the street testing we assembled a mixed crew of riders equally capable of surviving the freeway commute as they are carving up our fabled canyons. As many of you know, it is arguably more important to find out how these rarified machines peform in the real world. Lap times don’t matter here, only the fun factor, comfort and handling. To help us uncover the supreme street superbike we enlisted Monster Energy’s stunt riding superstar Ernie Vigil, our Road Test Editor and superstar in his own right, Adam Waheed, and yours truly. We also brought in two wonderful ladies for the first time in our Suberbike Smackdown history. Lori Dell has been dicing up with the So-Cal canyon carvers for almost 30 years, and when I first started on sportbikes she showed me the fast lines on the famed Ortega Highway. Our second female shredder is Leah Petersen, an Icon sponsored stunt rider with more than her fair share of street experience.

Superbike Smackdown scoring consists of objective and subjective categories with each bike receiving points according to ranking. Ten points goes to the highest ranked, eight to second, seven to third and so on. The categories then get the points tabulated and then compiled to find the winner. So with that out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the Suberbike Smackdown IX.

Superbike Smackdown IX Street Gallery
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Comments
disreputablebastard   December 14, 2013 12:30 AM
"Getting on bikes of lower spec feels downright un safe for me. Suspension to soft, bad brakes and iffy handling" an interesting take: "lesser bikes" are just unsafe because the handling, brakes and suspension aren't up to superbike levels LOL it's not the *bike* that's unsafe it's the rider. (eh that may post twice but wtf)
disreputablebastard   December 14, 2013 12:26 AM
"AM, chances are Honda won't be making a $22k CBR anytime soon, " LOL
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dailyriderX3bikes   June 26, 2012 12:41 PM
I have high hopes in the future for the 1199 and still have not ridden a BMW S1000RR - but let me throw this out there, i've been lucky to have a lot of nice bikes including the 09 CBR1K, 1198S just to name the best ones I've owned BUT it's the new Ducati 848 Evo that I got rid of my 1198 for that I consider the very best Sportbike for the backroads. 1st-2nd-3rd I've never been on a bike that can do what that bike can do period. Until I ride an Aprilia, S1000rr or the 1199 my mind is not changing but hope it does because I know I'm going to want something new next year but not selling the 848.
GP   June 24, 2012 10:37 PM
Man - those R1s are fat, slow and awfully hot......wonder who'll win Barber? Go Yamaha!
enntense   June 21, 2012 09:06 PM
JFC1, try getting a demo ride on a hypermotard. That's what I ride these days. The least powerful lowest top speed bike I may have possibly ever owned...But if you ride one, you will be left wondering why you bothered chasing these high HP bikes..Seriously..Give one a go.
GhostRider11   June 18, 2012 05:09 AM
@HUTCHY... I was only teasing you guys about how long it took... but great job again to the team. As owner of a 2005 CBR1Krr-Repsol, 2009 CBR1Krr, and a 2011 Ducati 848 black EVO I can relate to the write-ups on the Honda and Ducati. After reading this SmackDown portion, I went out and purchased a 2012 CBR1Krr-Black! The 2012 CBR in black looks sinister since it has the least FUGLY headlight design of the bunch. As with any Honda, my only concerns will be changing tires, oil/filter, chain and sprockets as I wear them out over time... which to me is the best part of owning a Honda! After riding my 2009 CBR1Krr then the new 2012 CBR1Krr, the ride difference is really minimal. I was looking at getting a 2011 CBRkrr left-over but the dealer gave me a good deal on the 2012 so I went with it. The new CBR is great everywhere no matter what you want to do: commute, carve the twisties, and/or just leisure ride with a bum on the passenger seat! lol. I am contemplating on the Ducati 1199 since I'm ready to upgrade my 848-EVO. The Ducatis are race-bikes made street legal. I only enjoy riding my EVO when there's no traffic, dry weather, and decent temps so I can stretch her legs doing some aggressive corner carving! That's when the Ducati shines in it's element. I feel the same will happen with the 1199. But do I want to have a $18-23k sportbike that I can only ride when the 'window' is right???
fkranich23   June 17, 2012 11:21 AM
@leward18, He wrote more about the reviews then the review...
leward18   June 17, 2012 06:39 AM
@jfc1, I'd be happy if you smash your keyboard to pieces and get a life.
rogase   June 16, 2012 02:38 PM
Jfc1 I don't really get your just as fast in the real world type comments. Nothing is good as a sports bike through the twisties plus I think a modern 1000 makes a perfect road bike, once geared down you can spin the motor between 6-10 thousand rpm for very rapid progress through the cnrs. Granted a monster top end is not really required but it doesn't hurt either for the occasional leap to hyper space. Getting on bikes of lower spec feels downright un safe for me. Suspension to soft, bad brakes and iffy handling. It feels like riding a marshmallow. Sure not the greatest choice for a cross country tour, but that's hardly the point is it.
enntense   June 15, 2012 08:51 PM
We all read these shootouts trying to glean information from each bike. But the truth is..These are all terrible steetbikes that don't really have any use in the real world on real roads. Get on one of these bikes and ride in a pretty much straight line for 50 miles..Hows that feel? Can you feel your butt or hands any more? Oh no, choppy road surface, you just got the stuffing beat out of you. Wow, look at that incredibly attractive single woman, oops she wont fit on the back. There's really no where on public roads you can ride on that requires you to be crushed into a full tuck egronomic bend to get any actual performance advantage over a bike you can mostly sit upright on. These bikes are neat to read about and look at, but that's it.
Razzic   June 15, 2012 01:52 PM
@Hutchy, thanks buddy, also any ETA on the 600 shootout? Last years was great! :D
Razzic   June 15, 2012 12:21 PM
@fkranich23 : There is section there for value for money (MSRP score I believe) and it got the 3rd highest what are you on about? You cant rate it higher for that cause it doesn't perform as good as the BMW and Honda and their prices are either around the same (honda) or not that much more for getting a lot more (BMW) the scores are pretty much spot on buddy.
GP   June 14, 2012 10:11 PM
I had a 2004 R1 and just bought a 2012 R1. It is the red & white limited edition. As many have said, any of these bikes are above most riders. I bought mine due to the looks and the bullet-proof nature of the Yamaha. All the sh*t about them not measuring up this way or that way doesn't seem to slow down Josh Hayes.....the thing fits like a glove, sounds great & works for me. It is a GREAT street bike and obviously works on the track. Go Yamaha!
sqd8r   June 14, 2012 07:51 PM
BMW wins again, not surprising given the overall package and while the Ducati is no doubt a great bike, as has been said before, it seems rushed to production. It will never beat the BMW or Honda simply on dollar value alone. All of these bikes are OTT for 99.9% of riders and yes that means you and me. :) No losers in this crowd.
rogase   June 14, 2012 06:49 PM
Following the debate below, it seems to have been lost that the CBR actually beat the 1199 in the shoot out. I agree with the comments, in regards to value. Buy the CBR put a slip on it (remap it), a few carbon fibre pieces, maybe some rear sets, an HM quick shifter and some money on suspension tuning and you will have a kick ass bike for a fraction of the cost of the Duc which in base trim has already beat it despite being put up against the S model with its top line Ohlins and Brembo componants. Its hard to argue against.
neo1piv014   June 14, 2012 11:01 AM
fkranich23: the only thing I'd really dock the R1 for is the fuel economy. Other than that, I'd definitely put it up higher for the street too.
fkranich23   June 14, 2012 09:01 AM
R1 should be much higher. It's a Japanese liter bike with character and it looks awesome. It's also half the price of the Ducati. Who cares if it doesn't have a real punchy top end for the street? 150hp is still more then 99 percent of the people buying one of these bikes can handle on the street. You put a bike thats nearly unrideable on the street (ducati) near the top and you put one of the best bikes Yamaha/Japan has ever built on the bottom and it's a great value... Makes no sense
Hutchy   June 14, 2012 08:08 AM
@Hokie: Check later this afternoon in the gallery for additional group photos. Are you looking for a killer screen saver? @Razzic: The track test is scheduled for the end of the month. We have other projects & guys going all over the place so we are trying to get it a firm date set ASAP. @Ghost Rider: The reason this test didnt come out as soon as the last few was that we had to wait to get some of these bikes. Ducati and a few others were late getting press bikes to the USA so we had no choice but to wait.
HokieRider   June 14, 2012 06:41 AM
Quick question. Can you guys post the group photos (of all 8 bikes) like you have in previous years? Thanks.
Razzic   June 14, 2012 06:03 AM
Hey Hutchy when do you think (or know) the track testing will be done on this group? Will be an awesome read :D
Piglet2010   June 13, 2012 09:18 PM
To me, the most important aspect of a bike's looks is the view from the saddle. After all, that is what you spend the most time looking at (if you buy a bike to ride, and not to wash and polish in the driveway, that is).
Superlight   June 13, 2012 07:16 PM
AM, chances are Honda won't be making a $22k CBR anytime soon, so what are you saying? Sure, it might be possible to build a CBR with Aftermarket parts that competes, performance-wise, with the Duc and BMW, but who actually does that in real life? Most want to purchase the bike off the showroom floor and enjoy the factory engineering. The other pieces that money doesn't buy are character and design. There, for me, the Aprilia and Ducati stand apart from the rest. The BMW is just too Japanese to be considered even if it does perform.
AM   June 13, 2012 04:43 PM
@CS23 - Yes, I have. Last one was a 848 SF. But RRX is talking about MORE and the problem is that there's not a MORE of anything except money, and almost double the amount.Sure it has more power, but only 14 HP. And then he's saying: Also, 1199 works REALLY, REALLY well and will run circles around the CBR. And that's not true either. It will not, even in his dreams... What the Ducati has is caracter, style, front end feeling, sound,and whatever else you like on it... and if you like that, and can afford it, it's just fine. I recognize it's probably a better bike on the track but it's also DOUBLE the price. I am curious to see what the time difference at the track will be. DUCATI is the high end brand of motorcycles and that's it. Status. Just like Mercedes is for cars. But if you're looking for a MOTORCYCLE to ride the canyons,and street / track that will be hard to match and are willing to spend $22,000.00 + get the Honda and put another 10,000.00 and you will have a motorcycle that the DUCATI can only dream to be. Again, it will not be a DUCATI but it will be a much, much better motorcycle in ALL aspects of it. And I can tell you that it WILL run circles around the DUCATI Panigale.And you will be able to ride on the streets. And I repeat: If and when HONDA decides to make and sell a $22,000.00 CBR you will not be able to compare it to the DUCATI Panigale anywhere, because it will be that much better. Something the Panigale can only dream to be. And that's my point: If Ducati makes a $13,000.00 Panigale it will not be even close to what the Honda CBR is today. But it will be a DUCATI.
Hutchy   June 13, 2012 04:41 PM
@Gray22: As far as the EBR test unit is concerned, well, there was only one available for testing and apparently we are down on the pecking order behind the print pubs, still. Let's see how well Cycle World does with it in their test. Hopefully they give us more than a quarter page of review info and some pretty pictures - I know there will not be a bad-ass stand alone video (Or two) of the bike though. (I couldn't resist - I'm not bitter or anything). Hopefully, we will get the EBR and pit it against a few of these machines for a follow up test later on, maybe? Right now, we have begged but have no definite answers as to if/when we will get an EBR - but damn, I hope we do!
CS23   June 13, 2012 01:05 PM
@roadracerx clearly @AM has never ridden a ducati, yes it's much more expensive than the other bikes but there is something about a Ducati that no other bike can match. Is it worth that much more than the other bikes?? Well that's a matter of opinion. Don't get me wrong I love all the Jap bikes but I bought my Ducati because it offers a riding experience that no other brand can offer
GhostRider11   June 13, 2012 11:11 AM
Well, it took you guys long enough to put out this portion of the 2012 Smackdown! However, it was worth the wait! 'Good Look' to all involved in its production. The Top-3 was pretty much a given. As an aggressive street/track-day rider... this info is utmost important for buying a new bike. The BMW's headlight design is still UGLY as sin. I'd probably get one after I get past that. The 1199? I hear it gives off more heat than the 1198 did! And the CBR? Honda can't do anything else to this design now so it's finally time start over from the ground up! If Honda could somehow take the BMW's performance, 1199's styling, and combine it with their package... that would be the bike to have! Another thing to consider being a 'rider' and not just a commuter... If you drop either the BMW or the Ducati, getting parts will cost you an arm and a leg after you wait several months! For all the riders out there including myself, if you can't go fast on the 'boring' yet well-balanced CBR1000rr on the street/track--- you can only blame your riding skills or lack thereof! Anybody can go fast in a straight line! I live for the corners so I will take the CBR's comfort and ride-ability. Many average people that buy the BMW or 1199 can't ride them to their full potential anyway! I'm a Honda/Ducati owner... I will wait for Ducati to refine the 1199 in future generations before I purchase one. Until then... I may get another CBR.
AM   June 13, 2012 11:09 AM
@ roadracerx
What does the Panigale does MORE than any other bike??

If you put $22,000.00 on the Honda it will be so much better than the Panigale that it will not be fair to compare anywhere. Track or street. And you probably will not have to spend that much to beat the Panigale anywhere. As a matter of fact, that goes for any bike on this test.

And and when HONDA decides to make a $22,000.00 CBR and sell it, the bike will not be in the same league as the Panigale. It will not be fair even to put them together standing still to compare.

It's a $22,000.00 bike compared with a much less costly bunch of bikes. For almost double of price you DO NOT get even close to DOUBLE the motorcycle

So, what are you talking about? Ducati does MORE.
If only this:
Takes more money from your account? Cooks your ass more? More time on the shop for valve adjustments? More noise / vibration from the engine? More uncomfortable? More often to the gas station?

Panigale my BUTT...get real.



B-kings Rock   June 13, 2012 10:01 AM
Thanks for really breaking it down on the first part of your Smackdown. Great to see these tremendous machines compete in real world conditions with both subjective opinions and objective facts and figures going into the mix.
Being a drag racer, I'm hoping your track portion of the test includes some quarter mile times on a prepped drag strip, as most of the bikes my B-king goes up against on the strip are sportbikes.
Have to admit, I chuckle every time I see how well the CBR1000RR does in these comparisons!
Keep up good work!
mi2tom   June 13, 2012 08:15 AM
Any manufacturer can come up with loads of horsepower and calm it with traction control and electronic gizmos which if spoilt or shortcircuited will be pain in the arse. But for a manufacturer to come up with total balance and total control like the CBR1000rr its hard. Well done honda, I bet you kick ass in the track session and get the top spot no matter what these reviewers says BMW has this ducati has that all. Without traction control and electronic gizmos its like winning a bodybuilding contest without using steroids.
moomoodeadcow   June 13, 2012 03:20 AM
ps. don't get me wrong I love Ducatis. Even thought about buying one. It was a streetfighter s though.
moomoodeadcow   June 13, 2012 03:18 AM
I love sports bikes that look good and the 1199 looks good. I love track days and mountain roads and racing really fast and the 1199 does all of that. However I also care about my ass and the 1199 doesn't. That's how we disagree.
Piglet2010   June 12, 2012 06:50 PM
It does seem quite a few people missed the point that this is a *street* use comparison - you do realize that MotoUSA has promised us a *track* comparison of the same bikes (plus the MV Augusta F4) in the near future???
luv2spd   June 12, 2012 05:03 PM
I always enjoy watching the Superbike Smackdown videos every year on this site, you guys are doing a great job and are usually the first to test these awesome machines. My hard earned cash goes to Yamaha, every time I ride my R1 I feel like a MotoGP star. If I could, I would also buy a Ducati, I believe it is the coolest bike here (maybe because the EBR wasn't tested).
Hutchy   June 12, 2012 03:44 PM
@RRX: Yeah, the only bike that has made me laugh in my lid like the 04 ZX10 is this S1000RR. Fugly or nt it is a ripper. Back in our first shootout we all though that ZX-10R was never going to be topped. It was so much better than the rest of the bikes in my opinion at that time. Man, those were the days: Fast bikes, wild-ass test riders (Steve Crevier) and a day tearing up Laguna Seca. That was cool. ANyway, as far as the Ducati goes, I actually think it is going to be abetter Street Bike initially than it is a track bike. It is so similar to the feel of a skinny GSXR-ZX-10R that its not even funny. Wahed was right, its a Japanese-infused Ducati. Which is very freaking cool. You will have a load of fun on that bad-boy and you will get to be one of the few that have the first generation so thats worth 2000-3000 bucks right there. @Razzic: Thanks for coming to our defense. You are truly a good soldier for the MCUS-Army. Come on buddy, RRX is Ok in my book. I love that Ducati and I'd buy one in a heartbeat if I could justify it. That bike is sick and I think Ducati (Like BMW) gets a bad rap sometimes. They are expensive true, but then again. Who can put a price on true love? Are you with me ladies? Anyone every buy a karat out there? @Gray22: I appreciate the kudos, our team works hard even though you can make a case its not always work. Its not easy since we cant make everyone happy and for the most part, office jobs rarely have to deal with automobiles driving through the front door or highway patrol jumping out of the closet to arrest you for using the copy machine too fast! But then again, I have to admit, it is pretty dang fun too. But I digress: As far as the MV goes, it is a great bike but when its compared to this crop its nt in contention for the win. But we did ride the hell out of it at Thunderhill so stay tuned.
Gray22   June 12, 2012 03:21 PM
RRX looks are subjective. I went to the Ducati dealership in SOHO in NYC with my cousin who owns an Evo 848. We went with the single purpose of seeing the Panigale. As it happens a guy pulled up on a BMW S1000RR and oddly enough my cousin who had just seen and very much liked the Ducati found himself taken by the looks of the BMW as well. Also RRX motorcyclenews in the UK just put the new Ducati and the Aprilia up against the BMW and they too came to the same conclusion as Motorcycleusa. They liked the duc but it did not dethrone the BMW. MotorcycleUSA consistently do a very thorough job testing these bikes so they can give us, the consumer, buying information so we do not go into dealerships blind. So I thank you staff at MotorcycleUSA for putting the time into testing the bikes that we do not have. Hutch do you think there is any chance you will get an opportunity to test the EBR 1190 RS? Also how do you think the MV Agusta would have done in this comparison? I know the Buell and MV are in different price leagues than this bunch, if it is even possible to get a hold of one, I'm just curious where they would sit in this company.
Razzic   June 12, 2012 03:04 PM
@roadracerx Sorry mate you sound like a Ducati fan, and a lot of Ducati fans got dissapointed at the results of a LOT of reviews (not just this one) but the Ducati didn't top any one of them, most places gave it 3rd or even 4th, it just didn't live up to the Hype. I thought Motorcycle Usa gave an awesome review (as per usual), I know what you mean about the Honda, but I rode one and it doesn't need TC or ABS, it is really that well refined JUST like the reviews said it is. Also its a ROAD review, they stated the Ducati is a track bike, they are reviewing (if you didn't notice) ALL of these superbikes in the review for the STREET, and Ducati's have never been a street bike, the ones I've tested (1098, 848) were the most uncomfortable bikes I have ever ridden, its good the 1199 is better but Ducati are known for not having the best street bikes, that NORMALLY goes to Honda followed (sometimes very closely) but the other Jap manufacturers, its good to see BMW has taken an interest in this department. If you wanna show off your bike and be a tool get the Ducati either way, but I LOVE reading these reviews and buy what is best for my hard earned money, not just to showboat my purchase to other people that have no idea.
roadracerx   June 12, 2012 02:34 PM
@Hutchy - I totally agree the 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R was/is awesome! I raced one for several years....it was stupid fast and handled great too, especially as a SuperStock machine with all the go fast bits :-) Guess I was one of the few that saw the snafoo when the results went live. I pick up my 1199 next week. It will be a street bike/cayon carver. I currently race a Graves R1 and Ducati 1098 and ride MX on a KX450F. I wish I never sold that ZX-10R (2004)...
Hutchy   June 12, 2012 01:07 PM
RRX: The BMW won the test, no big deal. It wont be the last time someone doesn't agree with our results. The S1000RR is a great bike despite the troubles you mention here. The 1199 is a great bike as well. So is the CBR. You have valid points across the board but we cannot choose a winner based on the issues the bikes have outside of our control. If that's the case, the 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R would be the winner. Anyway, we all loved the Ducati and we hoped it was going to finally dethrone the BMW, but it came up a little short. We had riders of all sort of skill and experience rate these bikes on so many different categories so we could provide a thorough test so readers can take the data and make their own assesment of whether a bike is right for them or not. As far as the fauxpaus Monday morning: Someone turned the test live before it was time & things weren't right. It was available for about 15-minutes and I about had a heart attack as a result. All is well now, so hopefully, the test, videos and so on are still an entertaining and useful read for you guys.
roadracerx   June 12, 2012 10:38 AM
So I find this review kinda odd...first off the 1199 was in second place on June 11th and then it was switched to 3rd today? Um.....ok, well anyway, I have ridden the the 2011 Aprilia, the 2012 CBR, the 2012 S1000RR and the 2012 1199. The Honda works very well but it is boring and costs 15k - too much for no TC and ABS version is another 1k. Honda frustrates me because we all know they are capable of making anything but every year they do the bare minimum....I mean how freakin' long did it take for them to put a slipper clutch on the 1000??? The Beemer is really, really good but it is UGLY and it REALLY costs about 17k, check your dealer for prices....you can't get one without the TC, ABS or QS, this is a little BAIT and SWITCH BMW NA pulls on the consumer. They advertise one price stating traction control is included but go to a dealer and you find QUITE A DIFFERENT STORY. There is something called RACE TC and ABS which is different and an additional cost. The base 1199 with ABS costs 19k and YES it is a little vibey in a different way than the BMW but it is BEAUTIFUL! People talk about this thing, I mean seriously put an S1000RR and a 1199 next to each other....one looks like a supermodel and the other looks like her mentally-challenged cousin. Also, 1199 works REALLY, REALLY well and will run circles around the CBR and is 30 pounds lighter than the BMW. I agree it is focused but aren't we talking about SPORT bikes???!!! Forget MPGs, emanating heat, blah, blah, blah. People who are passionate about riding don't wax on about these things, people who ride with skill and purpose want to know if a bike turns, does it have grip, does it inspire confidence? The Panigale does MORE than any other bike in this test and the base model suspension is actually better on the 1199 than the S version. Oh, and here's another big one.....ummmmm, you can't even buy a BMW S1000RR right now because there is a WORLD-WIDE recall on the engine.....hmmmm.....