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2013 Middleweight Supersport Shootout X

Monday, June 17, 2013

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2013 Honda CBR600RR Track Shootout Video
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Honda arms its CBR600RR with updated suspension components in hopes of toppling the competition in this summer’s Supersport Shootout. Will it work? Watch the 2013 Honda CBR600RR Track Shootout Video.
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2013 Yamaha YZF-R6 Track Shootout Video
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Yamaha’s racy YZF-R6 chases another win in the tenth edition of our Supersport Shootout. Click on the 2013 Yamaha YZF-R6 Track Shootout Video and find out how it finishes.
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2013 Suzuki GSX-R600 Track Shootout Video
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Suzuki’s GSX-R600 has been a favorite of both pro and amateur racers chasing paychecks at racetracks worldwide. Watch the 2013 Suzuki GSX-R600 Supersport Comparison Video and see if it’s the bike for you.
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2013 Ducati 848 EVO Corse SE Track Shootout Video
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Ducati returns to the Supersport Shootout party with its tried-and-true EVO-spec 848. Does the V-Twin machine have what it takes to outpace the competition? Find out in the 2013 Ducati 848 EVO Corse SE Track Shootout Video.
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2013 Triumph Daytona 675R Track Shootout Video
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Triumph arms up with a new and improved Daytona 675R for 2013. Will it have what it takes to hold onto its Supersport Shootout crown? View the 2013 Triumph Daytona 675R Track Shootout Video and find out.
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2013 MV Agusta F3 Track Shootout Video
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MV Agusta has its sights on the Supersport Shootout crown with its 675cc F3. Will this all-new Italian hot rod have what it takes to vie for the No.1 spot? Click play on the 2013 MV Agusta F3 Track Shootout Video to learn more.
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2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R Track Shootout Video
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Kawasaki wants another Supersport Shootout crown and its using its larger 636-powered Ninja ZX-6R to get it – will it work? Check out the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Track Shootout Video.
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2013 Suzuki GSX-R750 Track Shootout Video
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Suzuki stays true to its roots and continues to offer racers its GSX-R750. See for yourself how it ranks against the middleweight competition in the 2013 Suzuki GSX-R750 Track Shootout Video.
Twenty years ago the Supersport class spawned a revolution in the sportbike world. Racing heroes the likes of Miguel Duhamel and the Hayden brothers had replicas of their race-winning bikes rolling off showrooms as fast as dealers could uncrate ‘em. The classic ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ maxim was as heavy as the trophies these athletes hoisted. It was the heyday of sportbikes. A lot has changed since then, including the engine displacement as the class evolves, and while the popularity has cooled there are still riders who value apex strafing middleweight performance. It’s for those we present the track edition of our annual Supersport Shootout.


In the motorcycle dictionary, Supersport can mean a lot of things. But for us the explanation is simple: Japanese-built sportbikes that employ high-revving and state-of-the-art, liquid-cooled 599cc Inline Four engines. For 2013 there are three: Honda’s CBR600RR ($11,800), Yamaha’s YZF-R6 ($10,990) and Suzuki’s GSX-R600 ($11,599). Where’s the Kawasaki? It has jumped to the middleweight class, but we’ll get to that in a bit…

Honda joins this year’s shootout with its fresh-faced CBR600RR. After a lengthy hiatus from any hardware updates at the factory, the two-time Supersport Shootout champ finally comes to bat with fresh components, including new wheels and suspension from Showa. It also got a facelift and some subtle aerodynamic improvements for greater efficiency. Last time around Honda finished in the runner-up spot despite being one of the oldest platforms in the contest. Will this be the year Big Red reclaims the top spot?

Yamaha returns with its racy little YZF-R6. Last updated five years ago, the R6 still continues to rack up race wins in both the amateur and professional ranks worldwide. Although it’s been a while since the Yamaha last scored a Supersport Shootout victory it’s always a favorite known for sharp handling and punchy top-end engine power. Joining Yamaha in the unchanged-for-2013 category is Suzuki with its GSX-R600. To date, Suzuki is the only Japanese brand that hasn’t scored a shootout win despite success within the AMA Daytona SportBike class. Could this be the year Suzuki finally lives up to its “Own the Racetrack” mantra?


These are the full fairing sport motorcycles that fall outside of the traditional segment. They include Ducati’s V-Twin-powered 848 EVO ($14,995), Triumph’s Daytona 675R ($13,499) and the MV Agusta F3 ($13,999)— the latter pair powered by 675cc Inline Triples. Then we have Kawasaki’s  636cc-powered Ninja ZX-6R ($11,699), and the machine that started it all nearly 30 years ago: Suzuki’s GSX-R750 ($12,199).

Ducati’s 848 EVO is still the platform the Italian brand campaigns in the middleweight class. Although it’s been a few years since it last got a re-fresh, it has the distinction of offering the largest engine in the category. In spite of its obvious horsepower advantage and early adoption of traction control it hasn’t been enough to propel the Bologna-built bike to the top spot, but it has come close. Will this be the year of the Ducati?

Triumph recorded a decisive win last time with its Daytona 675R (see the 2011 Supersport Shootout IX Track). This season it’s in a better position than ever to retain the No.1 spot with an all-new machine that sports a redesigned engine and chassis. The Triumph has always been a favorite, but fully redesigned models always come with risk of first-year teething problems. Will this play a factor in the results?

After years of question marks we finally add MV Agusta’s F3 to the mix. The MV has already proven that it’s a formidable competitor during last fall’s 2012 Middleweight Sportbike Shootout and has even proven its might in World Supersport competition by nabbing a podium spot at England’s Donington Park round a few weeks ago. We’re excited to see how it stacks up stock for stock against the best of the best.

For the last few years Kawasaki has adhered to the displacement rules of its fellow Japanese OEMs, but this season it ups the ante with its 636cc Ninja ZX-6R. In addition to the stroked engine, the Ninja gets suspension and braking updates as well as traction control—making it the first Japanese brand to employ this rider aid in the Supersport class. Kawasaki has won more of our big shootout competitions than any other manufacturer and is in an advantageous position to extend its lead.

Last but certainly not least is Suzuki’s GSX-R750. A sportbike classic, the middle GSX-R finds itself in motorcycling no man’s land between the 600 and 1000 class. Despite not being eligible for competition in the former class, the 750 still competes in this middleweight genre based on its price alone. Due to the obvious advantage of its Inline Four, we didn’t include the 750 in the official ranking order, but we did assess its scores separately just to see exactly where it slots in your purchasing decision.


For the test we returned to Southern California’s Chuckwalla Valley Raceway and spun two days’ worth of laps on its 2.68-mile road course. Early summer weather had the mercury hovering near 115 degrees, throwing a curve ball and making for some interesting (and exhausting) results. We utilized Chuckwalla’s more traditional 17-turn clockwise configuration providing a good mix of slow-to-medium speed turns as well as moderate braking zones as a gauge for where each one of the bikes excel and where they don’t.

As in past years each motorcycle was fitted with a Track Day Data Logger from Kinelogix. The Kinelogix data provides tangible statistics to draw a more accurate conclusion regarding the performance attributes of each machine. In the round sticky donut department, Bridgestone joined us for the first-time ever, outfitting each motorcycle with is racing-grade Battlax R10 and R10 EVO-spec competition tires for Day 1 and its more versatile Battlax S20 tire designed for both street and track-day riders alike. We’ve had mixed results with the R10, but this time the tires blew us away with not only side grip and durability but the friendly profile and how it complemented the handling of each motorcycle.


Returning to the testing roster is the author along with former motocrosser turned pro road racer Corey Neuer. Also making an appearance is amateur club racer and Troy Lee Designs graphic artist, Jen Ross Dunstan. The remaining five seats were filled with some fresh faces that you might recognize.

Veteran AMA Pro and 2008 Formula Xtreme champ Jake Zemke joined the team as well as multi-time AMA champ and STAR Motorcycle School’s chief instructor/owner Jason Pridmore. Race fans might remember the rivalry between the two with Pridmore’s ’02 FX championship being decided by tiebreaker… Thankfully their past bar-banging rivalry didn’t spill over on track. We also enlisted stunt rider Aaron Colton. Although the Minnesota kid earns a living smoking Bridgestone tires he is one of the most well-rounded motorcyclists we roll with. Also joining us was AFM racer, fast guy and club president, Berto Woodridge. Our friend, fellow sportbike aficionado and Utopia Goggles General Manager Bobby Ali also lent us his throttle hand.

Last but not least is Cycle News Editor Paul Carruthers, who has been riding the latest and greatest sportbikes before some of us were even alive. Kidding aside, there are few persons in the world with more experience testing high-performance motorcycles than Carruthers and we were happy to have him.

Now that we’ve dispensed with the basics let’s get into it and find out which bike is best for ’13…

2013 Supersport Shootout X Photos
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Supersport Shootout Track Scoring
Compared to some magazine tests where it sometimes seems a winner is chosen by what color looks the best, the results of our comparison are determined by a comprehensive scoring system. Each machine is scored on unbiased performance-based factors – things like corner speed, side-to-side flick rate, braking and acceleration force. Of course, rider feedback is also valuable, so we have an equal number (10) of subjective categories allowing each motorcycle to earn points for the characteristics it does best. Points are then tallied based on a hybrid Formula One points scale with 10 points for first, eight for second, seven for third, six for fourth, etc., with all 20 categories scored equally. The numbers are then calculated and we come up with the bike’s finishing position and this year’s shootout champ!


Maximum Acceleration / Braking Force:
How hard the motorcycle accelerates and how hard it slows, measured in Gs by the front-to-rear (longitudinal) accelerometer in the data logger.

Top Speed: The velocity measured in mph of the motorcycle at its peak before it begins decelerating for the upcoming turn.

Corner Speed: The maximum speed of the motorcycle at the apex of a turn measured in mph.

Max Lean: The lean angle from vertical, in a turn, measured in degrees and calculated from the motorcycle’s velocity and radius of the turn.

Maximum Flick Rate: How quickly the bike is leaned from side to side during a transition, measured in degrees per second.
Monster Energy Supports the Sport
When it comes to motorcycle road racing Monster Energy backs the sport at all levels. From its sponsorship of race-winning teams like the AMA’s Monster Energy Graves Yamaha SuperBike team all the way up to the factory and satellite Yamaha MotoGP squads, there are few brands twisting the throttle in motorsports as aggressively as Monster. More than a clever marketing ploy, Monster Energy beverages help athletes, enthusiasts and fans give it their all in whatever they do on the streets, to the racetrack and everything in-between. Once again, Monster came out to support our testing troupe at Chuckwalla, making sure we were all properly hydrated in scorching 115 degree temperatures keeping us energized with its special low calorie blend of Rehab drinks.
Superpole 101
As usual we instituted our proven Superpole methodology in which both myself and Pridmore put a flying lap on each of the motorcycles to see how it reacts “near the limit” under the watchful eye of each brand’s press manager. Keen readers will note that some of the data differs from that of our previous test, which is attributed to the vastly different riding styles of ‘11 Superpole test rider Steve Rapp, whose style can be defined as more modern, point- and- shoot style versus Pridmore’s more fluid momentum-based form.
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disreputablebastard   December 16, 2013 03:01 PM
Amazing that in a world full of women complaining about sexism, we have yet another woman saying that the most valuable review was that of a woman. Because she's a woman.
motousa_adam   July 12, 2013 11:41 AM
Glad to hear your feedback RevGirl. Jen Ross Dunstan is a true ace and we really value her insight as a speedy woman... Adam
RevGirl   July 11, 2013 04:43 PM
That was GREAT! Loved hearing honest, candid reviews and most importantly (to this rider/consumer, anyway), you included a GIRL'S POV! Love you guys, but Jen's input shot to the top of my list for valuable insight. I knew it was love at first sight when I saw that F3 in Milan...
InaGotadaVida   July 9, 2013 02:50 PM
yah man those midsize coupes and SUVs with their 300hp engines...that's why you can't take it for granted that your riceburner will outrun them LOL you might beat them 0-60 and 1/4 you might not and you might not beat them on the top end but they will definitely beat you in the curves and in braking, especially on bad roads and in bad weather.
SupersportShooter   July 9, 2013 12:10 PM
...and you wonder why the new Ford Taurus makes 263hp with the base engine. And why can't you compare literbikes to super cheap tiny econoboxes...that cost about the same? Shall we get on eBay and compare only vehicles that have the same BuyItNow price? The fact that bikes have a better power/weight ratio than cars is so obvious as to be overlooked. But yes, that's obviously one big reason that people ride bikes instead of cars. Even so, many bikes simply make more power (and certainly more torque and have a better power/weight ratio) than many cars. So let's agree to agree on 85% of the issue vs argue about 15% of the issue. And you're going to see the smaller bikes more often as people simply want to buy and ride motorcycles without paying so much for them especially as credit gets tight. Remember a lot of the big bikes were sold when they could just walk into a shop, sign a loan and ride out with the bike. Not being able to do that makes a HUGE difference in what you actually end-up buying. I personally don't think that means you buy a $6k 250 rather than a $15k literbike. It means you buy a $4k literbike or maybe a $4k 750 or 600, but maybe that's just me. I know what I just bought, that's all I can say.
brucelee   July 8, 2013 09:30 AM
I like how you used a Honda Civic engine to base your HP of cars off of... LMAO. Look at HP for the new Ford Taurus makes about 263 with the standard engine. This is supposed to be a daily driver and this isn't the best motor they have for it. A 1000 rocket motor makes what? 175 hp? maybe 200 at the highest. These ones they tested here are only making between 100 to 130 it seems. Sure there are some bikes that make more than cars, especially when looking at super cheap tiny econoboxes. But then you can't really compare those to 1000cc motorbike, But instead to an Ninja 250. Which is why I was arguing they don't make as much power but have a better power to weight ratio and they are designed better for speed yes. Also, in MN all I see riding around is Harley and metric Cruisers that look like Harleys. Barley any 1000 class sport bikes, mainly around 600cc sizes and I've started seeing more and more 250 and 300's around. For every rocket I pass I see like 20 cruisers, maybe more.
SummerFun   July 7, 2013 12:01 PM
It doesn't take much to see that there are different "modes" of riding a motorcycle and that each bike has its pluses and minuses in different areas. But likewise there are different risks and rewards in different areas, each area has a different "risk-reward profile"...and we also spend different amounts of time in each mode. This is somewhat circular but still very clear. You can talk about the hypotheticals or the realities but some of the realities are very clear. Cornering a bike near the limit on the street is stupid, and it's not even a great idea on the track. You back off from the limit of cornering and now you're just riding the bike around a turn. How much fun is this? Is it the kind of thing that is going to have you out all day long riding around off and on-ramps? Of course not. How does this translate to canyon-riding? That depends on whether you know the roads well or not, but still there's always the unknown of riding on a road with a lot of blind turns. Riding a bike at 7, 8, 9-tenths on such roads is simply stupid. Cornering is just one of those things that rewards 5-tenths riding, maybe 7-tenths...sure we all have our own thresholds but in the end we know when we see a stupid rider riding stupidly that we want nothing to do with. Compared with cornering and braking, acceleration is a maximum reward for minimum risk, a pleasure that cuts across all sorts of driving and all sorts of vehicles. Even if in the end we all resort to cruising, acceleration is the cream that makes the cake.
PeaceOut   July 4, 2013 09:41 PM
You forgot to mention that you can go as fast as you want, as often as you want, on a motorcycle if you pick the right spot, time it right and slow down quickly enough. Which is more fun, to come around an off-ramp at a casual 25mph with maybe a 45deg lean-angle then accelerate rapidly up to 100mph and then slow to a casual 75mph cruise, or to come around that off-ramp at 45mph trying to drag your knee and slide the rear and then accelerate slowly up to 75mph fighting to even go that fast? Keep in mind that if you really want to, you can take that off-ramp faster than 25mph but easily still go slow enough that sliding-out is not a real risk. On a bike, power will give you speed and enjoyment a lot more easily and a lot safer than handling will, as long as you use it sensibly, even if it means using only a fraction of the RPM band over only one or two gears. Trying to extract maximum handling from a bike is not safe. It's a lot less safe than trying to make use of all the power. You're far safer burning up the straights and taking it easy in the turns. As long as you are cautious enough on the straights it's no real risk at all. The moment you take a bike off-vertical you're placing your life in Gods' hands. You are no longer in control of your own destiny.
NinjaTurtle   July 4, 2013 09:10 PM
More to the point, I see a fair number of new and used bikes in the 250-500cc range, but usually parked somewhere. I rarely see them on the road and almost never see them on the highway. Scooters and step-throughs, 600s, 750s and literbikes, sure. Baggers and cruisers, sure. But rarely small-displacement bikes. I literally have not seen a Ninja 300 on the street for months and I can count on one hand the # of times since then that I've seen a Ninja 250 or CBR250 on the street. Also I've been to many bike-shows over the past few months and I seriously can't recall seeing anything under a 600 (which may in fact be because the Ninja 300 looks so much like a 600, but still). At Thunder in the Valley a week ago I didn't see squat under 600cc, I'm pretty sure, and most of the bikes there were 1000cc and up. Same with Americade. So empirically the point stands. When I go to Carlisle in a couple of weeks I will try to get some hard numbers, but clearly in no way has there been a 300cc revolution in terms of street-bikes.
NinjaTurtle   July 4, 2013 09:00 PM
...most cars don't have modern fuel-injection systems, overhead-valves, 4 valves per cylinder and high compression ratios with oversquare bore-stroke dimensions and high redlines. It's a recent phenomenon that they do have such modern technology, whereas most motorcycle mfgs have used most if not all of that technology in their bikes for over 20 years. Only recently has FI been standard on motorcycles, but FI isn't a huge boost in performance, it basically makes up for the power-loss due to tighter emissions regulations. So it's a fair question, as to what the "median" HP/L numbers are for cars vs bikes, which one has to consider given the fact that car displacements, torque-peaks and redlines are all over the map. Even given the difference in performance for the EU market vs the US market, since cars are so strictly regulated and expensively-insured just like motorcycles. Using the 1985-2005 1300-1500cc Honda Civic inline-4 engine as a baseline, you're talking about maybe 125-150hp at the shaft, which is a number that every literbike beats these days, and a number of 750s can match. Given the market share for such motors on both sides of the fence, it's not a real stretch to see bikes as having more power, literally, than many cars. If not "most cars". Obviously the power/weight ratio clearly favors bikes, even if you take into account the rider weights and the variation in redline which can be anywhere from 7k to 13k, with HP increasing linearly with RPM. No one is saying that people ride motorcycles "just because of the power", but clearly power is a big factor. It's there, in abundance, easily-controlled by your right hand. The point is that it's counterintuitive to ride a motorcycle then claim that you don't really care about its *acceleration* only its *handling*. As if you are going to ride the bike all day long at the same speed. We all know that's not the case. As if cars don't brake better than bikes and aren't much easier and safer to corner near their limits than motorcycles ever will be. You might want better handling, sure, but if you really want *good* handling, a car is the only way to get it, especially as the suspension on a bike doesn't even work properly when the bike is off-vertical not to mention that if you lose the front or the back you're likely to take the rest of the corner on your ass. Good and quick are hardly the same thing.
brucelee   July 4, 2013 09:10 AM
@AnditsDone- I don't ride motorcycles just because of power. In fact they have less power than most cars but instead hey have a much better power to weight ratio. I am wondering who's this we your talking about? I like all the comments about the Ninja 250. The guy I bought my CBR 954 from got a Ninja 250 instead because he just had a baby. Personally I thought my CBR 600 was better for the street now that I bought a 954. My cousins girlfriend has a Ninja 250 and that thing is soo slow. I don't think I would have as much fun with that. I am not bashing them, I'm just saying not everyone likes a slow tiny rocket.
GAJ   July 3, 2013 12:25 PM
Geez, that's a lot of typos in my post! Sorry about that.
GAJ   July 3, 2013 12:23 PM
Not going to denigrate sportbikes but, for me, truth be told, my DRZ400SM is far more fun on the street than my 135hp sportbike ever was. With a stage 2 kit has more than enough pep the rail the twisties up her in NorCal. After 13 years and thousands of dollars of upgrades I sold the sportbike as I rode it the least of all my bikes. Enjoyed owning it but having it sit in the garage most of the time was silly. Of the bikes tested I'm most surprised at the very positive comments by half the testers of the MV yet its horrible results in the points standings.
AndItsDone   July 1, 2013 07:07 PM
@Piglet2010 ... no, we need more power. That's why we ride motorcycles in the first place. If we didn't need power, and lots of it, we would not take the risk of riding a two-wheeled vehicle in the first place. We would be happy riding around in a car that does 18sec quarters. Even your 250cc minibike will do the quarter in under seconds, and as you probably know by know, is widely-available at a cost of less than $6grand, especially used. I'm sorry but our motorcycle needs are, apparently, quite different. I just made a deal for a bike for about half of a new Ninja 300 but with about 7x the peak HP and torque for a relative weight-penalty of under 200lbs. Actually I don't see the additional weight as a penalty. I see it as a bonus. It took me a while, a lot of thinking and riding both on my bike and on demo-bikes, to arrive at this decision and it finally happened though in a way I didn't really see coming. In the end I had to go with a package from a mfg that gave me the best overall value. Not just in the bike but also in the dealer and factory-support. If you know what I ride now the choice is really obvious. There's just one bike on the market that is almost exactly like it...but much newer and better. Fully up-to-date, shall we say, without the modern-day price-tag. I'll have to fly out and pick it up this August so no more talking about it until then.
Muzzy   June 30, 2013 03:13 PM
I'm sure that all these comments confuse the practical rider of a modern-day motorcycle. The whole issue is circular. You buy a bike to ride on the street you have to remember that sometimes a bike just isn't suitable transportation. You ride on the track you have to remember that life isn't all about getting the lowest laptime possible. You have to find a middle-ground and be happy with it. Riding on the track is nice, instructive and all that, just as riding on the street is nice, exciting, entertaining and all that, right up until the point where you wreck expensive machinery and damage your body. So a smart rider doesn't ride near 100% either on the track or street. Along the same vein riding the brakes, engine, chassis or tires to 100% isn't smart either, so a smart rider gets a bike that is more than enough for most if not quite all of the riding that they will ever do, and rides the bike well below 100% of all its components. This means that they don't corner, brake, or accelerate at 100% of the bikes' limits either on the track or the street. Likewise even when it comes to MPG or longevity of components they don't ride the bike right up to the limit. You don't, for example, try to get 5k miles out of an oil-change or 40k miles out of a chain, a tire or a set of pads. You don't even try to get 275 miles out of a tank of gas. Just as you don't try to do 250 calories of useful work for every 250 calories of food you eat. Some "local" inefficiency is inherent to the process in the name of overall efficiency, not to mention "fun". At the same time we ride bikes for fun in the first place. Some of us do it for work, sure, but most of us ride for fun. So to lambast other riders for being "inefficient" for riding bikes that are bigger, heavier and faster than "optimal" -for being "inefficient"- is, to say the least, completely unrealistic, penny-wise but pound-foolish. "Efficiency" means that you don't buy and ride a motorcycle in the first place unless the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term costs, taking the purchase & maintenance expenses into account. You certainly don't waste time and money and risk of riding it on a TRACK. Buying a vehicle and riding it on the track is one of the most inefficient uses of money that I can think of. You're spending all that time and money...to ride around in a big circle...time and time again? GTFOH dude. Now sure for real-world riding all these issues come to play again but at least hopefully you're getting some real-world use out of the bike. So fine. You buy and ride what suits you, and I will buy and ride what suits me. You think that riding a bike with a big engine is the sign of an incompetent rider, fine. You ride your 250 twin that puts out 25hp at 13k or your 650 twin with its 50hp peak output, and I will ride my literbike that puts out over 150 hp at just over 10k. And we'll see who's happiest and who spends their money most "efficiently" in the process. Fair deal.
FreudianFolly   June 30, 2013 02:30 PM
" sorry that your street riding skills are not to that point so you need the crutch of a big motor." the challenge to the manhood from a guy who just downgraded from a 600f4i to a Ninja 250 for trackdays, in the name of "efficiency" and the 600 being "more bike than his instructor felt that he could handle" is well-noted. Maybe you'll *really* make us all look like a bunch of wimps and go and race up and down hills on a bicycle.
FreudianFolly   June 30, 2013 02:22 PM
Now you display not only weak logic (engaging in a classic "expert-logic" fallacy) but hypocrisy, following-up your own attempt to undermine the credibility of those who disagree with you with an entirely-unsupported assertion that rests on your assumed expertise and experience as a street-rider.
Piglet2010   June 29, 2013 09:30 PM
@ Muzzy - You do not need more power, but instead to pay more attention when riding in traffic. These days I am usually taking mild evasive action before anything dramatic happens - sorry that your street riding skills are not to that point so you need the crutch of a big motor.
Piglet2010   June 29, 2013 09:27 PM
All you Internet keyboard warriors sure talk a lot of smack, but tell me this - how many successful professional racers have you trained, how many professional level races have you won, and what other real world motorcycling accomplishments have you made? Please post citations so your accomplishments can be verified. Until then, I will listen to the people who have accomplished something beyond sniping from a keyboard (trading down was largely on the advice of Jason Pridmore - $300 well spent at Star Motorcycle School).
RD500rules   June 29, 2013 08:58 AM
Seriously trading down from a 600 sportbike to a Ninja 250 is like trading down from a 9mm Para to a 32ACP because the 9mm round has too much recoil, the gun is too heavy, the round itself is unsafe and can't be used "eficiently". The fact that it's so obviously so much cheaper should tell you something. It would be so insightful if they would actually plot time vs speed for these bikes based on their 0-60 and 1/4-mile data. I'd bet that these mini-riceburners just take FOREVER to get up to any real speed. Just based on my seat-of-the-pants measurements, but still. Funny how you see torque-curves and all kinds of measured data but not time to speed charts.
RD500rules   June 29, 2013 08:41 AM
@Piglet2010 dude seriously hope you got training wheels with your new racebike LOL be honest, Mommy made you trade down after you wet your leathers just riding your bike to the racetrack
Muzzy   June 28, 2013 08:17 PM
Maybe you should join Scientology instead. In fact I can't even say that I'd want to ride a Ninja 300 in stop & go rush-hour traffic. Because when I spot an opening and want the bike to move, I want it to move NOW. Not 3 seconds from now. When I need it to be doing 15mph a second from now, getting 10mph in 3 seconds is not good enough. If acceleration ever really truly matters from a practical perspective, it's when negotiating highly-dense traffic. When you do not need it is when you're riding a flat highway at a constant speed, and for that, say cruising to NYC on the flat backroads of Delaware or NJ at 65mph, the Ninja 300 would be fine. But that is ALL that it would be fine for, in my opinion. Even if I am not a MotoGP "alien" I can still use a bike that can accelerate very well, and I enjoy riding it even more if it meets all my needs at half of its performance potential. And they put steering-dampers on sportbikes these days for a very-good reason.
Piglet2010   June 28, 2013 06:26 PM
FuzzyLogic = jfc1? The style and general content match. Oh, by the way, Pridmore approved of my trading down from the F4i to the Ninjette (as I was not born with alien level talent, unlike most who comment here). :)
Piglet2010   June 28, 2013 12:33 AM
@ Muzzy - I do not give an [expletive deleted] what you think*, but I hate to see others making a poor choice based on advice from people such as you. As Jason Pridmore said**, race replicas are weapons and need to be treated with the same training and respect. And as for riding a race replica at low rpm and/or partial throttle on the street or track - sure it can be done, but is waste of money compared to getting a more suitable bike (that will also cost less to buy, insure, and maintain). *But stating that you have won an argument is a sure sign that you lost the argument. **During a thunderstorm delay at Blackhawk Farms when someone asked him about this article.
Muzzy   June 27, 2013 11:30 PM
Last thing I'm going to say about you and your affection for the Ninja 250. 70lbs, 350lbs wet weight vs 450lbs wet weight isn't going to make a fart of a difference in terms of bike turn-in. The thinner and lighter wheels will make a difference, sure, but even so, how much lighter and quicker to turn in than a 600F4i do you need it to be to have fun riding it on a track? We are talking about a freaking 600 sportbike, dude, not a Busa! And as far as the power, you can see on the curve above that the CBR600 makes 40hp at about 6k. so if you only want 40hp? Don't rev the freaking bike over 6k. Put a longer final drive on it if it really upsets you, use an ECU with an adjustable rev-limiter and set it to 6k if it really bothers you that much. Put a stop on the cable so you can only use 1/2-throttle. Block-off most of the air intake so that it cannot make over 40hp even at redline with the throttle wide open. You still have a bike with real power that you can use when you grow out of your diapers. If you buy a Ninja 250? You got nothing. If a 600 is too much for you to race then you need better instruction, that's all there is to it. Beyond that, this is way too easy, it's like picking candy from a baby's hands.
Muzzy   June 27, 2013 10:51 AM
" On the street one can actually use something besides 1st gear without getting up to go to jail speeds." Not sure what that means. I've rented a Gixxer 1k and an R1 (which last weekend I rode 400 miles between DC and Trenton NJ), and I've been to at least 10 demos riding 600s, 750s, literbikes and "GT-cruisers" (popularly known as "hyperbikes") riding happily through all 6 gears without "getting up to go to jail speeds". Of course I did go fast, but not so fast I seriously had to worry about going to jail as a result. How could I possibly do that on so many bikes so many times and not actually go to jail as a result, if it's a serious concern? Yet if you ride 65mph on a Ninja 300 in a 25mph zone, which the bike is easily capable of doing, you're looking at the same problem. But I don't hear a word about that from you. Why is that?
Muzzy   June 27, 2013 02:18 AM
...so you don't believe in quantifable, verifiable numbers except when it comes to weight, length & wheel-size, huh.
Piglet2010   June 26, 2013 08:13 PM
@ Muzzy - 70 pounds less weight, and a narrower and shorter front wheel on the Ninjette compared to the F4i makes the bike turn in which much less effort on the track. On the street one can actually use something besides 1st gear without getting up to go to jail speeds.
Muzzy   June 26, 2013 07:00 AM
I can believe that it's more fun on both the street and the track than an F4i if you give me one technical reason that makes sense, to believe it.
Piglet2010   June 25, 2013 07:38 PM
@ Muzzy - Traded in my CBR600F4i for a Ninja 250; and find that the Ninjette is more fun to ride on both the street and track. :)
Muzzy   June 23, 2013 07:55 PM
now if they could just somehow be shrunken down so the peak was 35hp or less you'd be totally happy LOL
Piglet2010   June 23, 2013 08:12 AM
I like that whoever does the HP and torque plots, where possible matches the colors of the curves with those associated with the bikes (e.g. Honda red, Kawasaki green, Suzuki yellow, Yamaha blue).
neo1piv014   June 19, 2013 07:10 AM
@Bart: Thanks for clearing that up. Just trying to make sure the little Zook got its due.
fivespeed302   June 18, 2013 02:14 PM
Finally!!! Thank you for writing this article. I look forward to the shootouts more than anything else, and read them several times over the year. Sometimes I go back and read about the older tests too. I figure it's always a good idea to know what you're up against at the stop light. I wish you would do this for all classes of bikes too.
MCUSA Bart   June 18, 2013 08:40 AM
You are correct, the Suzuki GSX-R600 won our Supersport Street test in 2011. Adam meant the Suzuki has yet to win a Track Shootout. Over the past 10 years, we haven't always separated the Shootout into Street and Track sections. The 2013 Supersport Shootout Street test is forthcoming...
neo1piv014   June 18, 2013 05:56 AM
"To date, Suzuki is the only Japanese brand that hasn’t scored a shootout win despite success within the AMA Daytona SportBike class." I thought the GSXR-600 (and 750) won the shootout last year.
Piglet2010   June 17, 2013 07:13 PM
Calling Pridmore's riding style fluid is an understatement, as anyone who has ridden pillion with him at a Star School event can verify.