Three class-leading sportbikes. Three varying states of tune. Which bike is the best bang for the buck? You be the judge.
So what do lap times cost? A lot. Reason being today’s stock sportbikes are so good from the factory that to get anything more from them takes loads of time and money, as well as rider skill. So if you want to go faster, we recommend buying additional track time before investing too much in aftermarket parts. That is, unless you’ve got a fat enough wallet that allows you to have both, in which case we say go nuts. As long as you have someone knowledgeable helping you set the bike up, you’ll have an absolute blast. We sure did…
In all, this was one of those offbeat and extremely subjective comparisons where you can infer just about anything you want from the data and rider opinions. While the amount of money you put into a bike doesn’t always directly translate into massive gains in lap times, it’s the ease at which those lap times come that is most noticeable. I had to push far harder on the Aprilia to get in the 1:28s, where 1:27s on the Yosh Suzuki and 1:26s on the Ducati came easier each step of the way. Not to mention, had the track temperature not been so frigid and the Suzuki had proper gearing, the times surely would have been quicker, showing truly how capable all these bikes are.
And while this wraps things up for the Aprilia (we will have an RSV4R in our upcoming Superbike Smackdown) and the Ducati Superbike (we’re sure sad to see it go), the Yoshimura Suzuki is just getting started. So be sure to stay tuned as we will be building a full American Superbike-spec machine out of the GSX-R1000 and plan on racing it in several events, including one big one you won’t want to miss!
For My Money
Steve Atlas – Executive Editor
This is about as hard of a pick as I’ve ever faced. Each one of these machines has qualities about them that I absolutely adore. The Ducati chassis handles almost telepathically and the Ohlins suspension relays so much feedback to the rider it’s nearly overwhelming at first. Mate that to the torque-laden engine and the bike is pure ecstasy to ride. Only problem is ecstasy has a price, and it’s $75,000. As for the other two, the Aprilia’s chassis is nearly that of the Ducati’s while the Yoshimura Suzuki has an engine that puts just about anything I’ve ever ridden to shame. Thus, all things considered, I’d take the Yoshimura GSX-R (because I can’t afford the Ducati) and massage the chassis – Wait, that’s exactly what I did do, so be sure to tune in for Stage 2 and 3 as we bring you the results…
Ken Hutchison – Editorial Director
Aprilia RSV4 Factory
Well, I can’t afford any of these bikes right now but if I was planning on hitting track days and riding my bike to the end of the earth, which is what I like to do, then the choice is easy: The Aprilia RSV4. It’s not the best looking and it doesn’t have the same style as the Ducati but it is the bike I could easily ride all day. I like the Yoshimura GSX-R but it was overkill for me. The Ducati is just plain too awesome for me to want to deal with. The Aprilia, however, was easy to ride but it was still really fast and sounded bad-ass. I’ve always liked the V-Four engine design but it never excited me like this one does. Man, get this bike dialed in the same way the GSX-R is and it would be incredible.
Adam Waheed – Road Test Editor
Without question I’d take the Yoshimura-prepped GSX-R1000. Its way more comfortable than the Ducati and the Aprilia and it absolutely rips on the racetrack. Even better is how easy it is to ride. I also like how stock it looks, making it an absolute sleeper when you’re racing that guy next to you at a stoplight. This may sound funny, but for the price you simply can’t beat the performance and day-to-day practicality of this Yosh-built Superbike.