For My Money:
Chuck Sorensen – BMW –
"Look out Japanese and Italian brands, BMW is now in the game!” - Sorensen.
“This would be a tough pick for somebody wanting to go club racing just because nobody else is racing an S1000RR at that level yet. I can see a dealership that is into racing having a program with one where you would have some technical assistance. But it’s truly amazing how good this bike is on their first try. Look out Japanese and Italian brands, BMW is now in the game!”
Corey Neuer – Honda –
“For me it was simple: The Honda did everything I needed it to, allowing me to ride the track and push myself and not have to worry about anything else. I got nothing but confidence from the Honda; it has a very light, nimble and aggressive feel. I was able to pick up the pace and not once did I feel the bike was riding me. Anywhere I wanted to go on the track I could hit my lines and push hard. I was very impressed with how the bike would hold its line, especially on the exits of corners; I had so much trust in the way the power and chassis worked that
Neuer (above on the Honda) was quickest and most comfortable on the CBR.
I could get huge controllable drives on exits. Bottom line, I could ride this bike fast and it didn’t make me work as hard as the other bikes.”
Michael Earnest – BMW –
“I’m all about performance when it comes to riding on a racetrack. A sport bike is just a tool and I’m not easily swayed by high dollar price tags or excess ‘bling’. We are asked to ride and evaluate these Superbikes the way the OEM’s deliver them. With a few suspension changes to several bikes my decision might be different.
“That said, if I were to pick a bike to go throw down my fastest laps on this day, I would have a hard time choosing between the Honda and Suzuki. They definitely showed up with game faces on, well prepared with the bikes dialed in. So what bike do I want to spend my hard-earned money on? I think it would be the BMW. With an engine that strong, superior electronics package and extremely adjustable chassis for just a few bucks more, it’s like I’m getting the ‘bling’ for free.”
John Hensley – Honda –
Hensley joined Neuer in picking the Honda, though it wasn't an easy decision for him.
“Now, this is where I’m stuck. Because I don’t know which bike I would buy between the BMW S1000RR and the CBR1000RR. Sure, on paper, the BMW wins hands down in the world of extras. Extra electronics. Extra horsepower. Extra everything.
“But, the CBR has something extra too. And, that’s an extra long history of being a supremely badass, well-balanced motorcycle on the track. And, that shows as soon as you hang off the inside of the thing. It’s just so good. Yes, it annoys the piss out of me that they refuse to put a gear indicator on the dash. But, while the BMW has all of those things, and more, which make it truly unlike any motorcycle I’ve ever seen available for that kind of price, I can’t help but wonder if I wouldn’t just go ahead and buy a CBR1000, fit it with those things myself, take a little pride in the fact that I did, and maybe find myself a little more willing to hang it out when I’m at the track. Because, then it’s truly your motorcycle.
“The BMW’s ready-made, and ready to go, but it feels expensive. The CBR’s the kind of motorcycle you build to your taste and ride like there’s no tomorrow. What can I say? Sometimes, I like to do my own cooking. Sometimes I like to ride my own bike. The one I had a hand in putting together. And, that’s why for my money... I think I would honestly buy the CBR1000RR. Though, the thoughts of how good the BMW is would keep me in awe a little every time I crossed paths with one at the track.”
Adam Waheed – BMW –
Waheed lofts the BMW into a horn mono. Oh, and it was his top pick.
“Whether I planned on road racing or just hitting some trackdays for thrills on the weekend I would do it with BMW’s S1000RR. Although I wasn’t the most comfortable on it at Thunderhill, given some more set-up time I think this bike has the ability to give you the highest sheer performance for the lowest cost.
“The engine itself is in a class of its own. Bottom end and mid-range is nothing special, but once it revs near redline the bike just takes off like you hit the nitrous button. It pulls with such voracity that every other manufacturers’ Superbike now feels slow. I know it sounds crazy but it’s the truth. Plus the high-rpm shriek of the engine makes you feel like you’re at the controls of an MotoGP prototype—it sounds that cool—which is amazing considering the audible splendor of the Aprilia’s V-Four and Ducati’s 1198 race replica.
“Not only does the BMW feel the fastest it has the best electronics package. For $1380 on top of its $13,800 base price you can get authentic multi-mode traction control and ABS that actually works and helps you to ride faster, safer and with more confidence. Then there is the $450 electronic quick shifter that helps you experience the BMW’s hellacious top end even quicker.”
Frankie Garcia – BMW –
Garcia: Hard decision but in the end the Beemer won him over.
“It's a hard decision when it comes down to the one bike that I would choose for my own personal track use. Each of the bikes has its own personality and high points. It came down to two bikes for me. Either the Honda or the BMW, but after thinking it over I think I would have to go with the Beemer because of its electronics package. Also, its four different modes for different conditions was a very impressive feature. Being a racer, this bike would be fairly simple to build into a winning machine. Throw some bodywork on, some steel braided brake lines, some slicks, a set of adjustable rearsets and an exhaust. And that's all I would need to have a basic club racer bike.
“It eliminates the need to get a quick-shifter, power commander, and a few other essentials when it comes to building a race bike. I would really like to take the BMW, throw on the bare minimum of parts and race the stock bike in AFM's Formula Pacific class or WERA's Open Superbike class and see exactly how competitive the bike is right off the showroom floor.”
Ken Hutchinson – BMW –
“It comes down to the two new bikes this year. The Aprilia is awesome and I already picked it over two built bikes in our Modified Superbike Comparison but the fact is that BMW is absolutely sick. It fits me pretty good but not as good as the compact RSV, so what it really comes down to is the fact that it’s all about the thrill of the
Hutch's pick... Yep, the BMW again!
ride when it comes to these open-class superbikes. And the BMW is the most exciting bike I have ridden in quite some time. It has more gizmos than you really need - but that makes it fun to ride. Traction control is sweet - Plus, every time I pulled the trigger on this bike it accelerated with ferocity that made me laugh like a little kid on a carnival ride. I know the faster riders had some issues with the front end it but at my pace it was fine. I’d take the new bike this time around because I like the way it looks, I like the funky headlights, the shark fins on the sides. It’s simply a killer motorcycle and all I can think of is how much fun it is to ride.
Steve Atlas – BMW –
“Okay, I’ve got to hop on the bandwagon with this one and go all BMW S1000RR. Don’t get me wrong, all of the bikes here are amazing in some way shape or form. The Aprilia’s chassis is as solid as a rock, the Yamaha sounds amazing, KTM’s looks could kill, the Kawasaki has motor for days, good luck trying to find anything much wrong with the Suzuki, who doesn’t love a Ducati on Ohlins suspension and the Honda is an all-around awesome machine. But then there’s the Beemer. With 20 horsepower more than the next closest bike and electronics that make it controllable for nearly all skill level riders, this bike has really and truly set a new benchmark for the superbike class. It may need a bit of suspension work, but in the grand scheme of things that merely takes a couple trackdays and a flathead screwdriver. Throw in the mix that it's the best value for the money of any bike in class and, well... All hail the new King.”