Japan’s finest new-for-2017 sports bikes go head-to-head

BikeSocial
By Michael Mann
MannOnABike BikeSocial's Web Editor. Been riding bikes since 1984 and writing about them since 2013. Commuted in Central London for 10 years, fast and smooth road rider, does a reasonable job in a track day quick group. 6 ft and 14 st.
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP

  • Suzuki GSX-R1000R

  • Kawasaki ZX-10RR Performance Edition

 

Blessed are all sportsbike enthusiasts with the plethora of two-wheeled, road-going super weapons at our disposal in 2017. Each year we ooh and aah at the gorgeous sculpted lines of the latest challenger, mutter with disbelief at how much power it is supposedly throwing down at its peak rpm and brush aside the oh-so important weight figure as we establish what the latest set of electronically-induced acronyms mean.

And that’s even before working out what they do and how they do it.

How much better can the newest one be? Will it break the sound barrier in under 10 seconds? Can it make tea and mow the lawn too? Why aren’t all 26 letters used in its name? Will it please every writer, reader and rider?

This year, and even the couple prior, we’ve been treated to the most significant advances in horsepower, torque and electronic assistance than ever before.  And then special sportsbike diets have shaved kg’s from BMW, Ducati, Aprilia and the four Japanese manufacturers as each attempts to create their own USP. Prices have inflated faster than my 6-month old sons’ nappy too.

BMW’s S1000RR would set you back £10,950 in 2009, yet 8 eight years on and the standard model is available from £13,950; a 27% increase. I’m not just picking on BMW, it’s common to see price hikes higher than inflation but does that represent the upgraded specs, the advanced tech fitted as standard, the development of the engine, brakes, suspension etc? Probably, but that’s a debate for another day.

So, when Honda announced their Fireblade SP model would retail at £19,125 (the 25 relates to the anniversary of the model), the ooh’s and aah’s changed to air-being-sucked-through-teeth with raised eyebrows. This had better be good. Especially when Suzuki revealed the £3,000 cheaper price of the GSX-R1000R.

As arm-stretchingly powerful as these rockets are, after all ‘power is nothing without control…’ said Pirelli 10 years ago and how right they were/still are. And even as rider assistance, suspension and tyre development gets more complex and above all, helpful, PCP deals make 200bhp from a 200kg bike pretty accessible with a signature or two at your local dealership this weekend. That’s a hell of a lot of power-to-weight to be in control of.

What about the latest three though – Honda and Suzuki offered brand new, highly anticipated top-of-their sports-range bikes for 2017 while, Kawasaki took an existing brute and gave us a limited-edition version that’s lighter, faster and even more track-focussed. Bear in mind the 2016 ZX10-R was already the base model from which the British and World Superbike Championships were captured.

So, we chose a Silverstone bike track day followed by two laps of a 68-mile BikeSocial-designed TT route from the office in Peterborough to incorporate a little dual carriageway, some tight, twisty B-roads, plenty of flowing, smooth A-roads and a bit of bumpy stuff too. This would give us a thorough overall test.

The keys for the Honda CBR1000R SP, Suzuki GSX-R1000R and Kawasaki ZX10-RR Performance Edition went in to a helmet for a spot of lucky dip, not to be confused with keys in a bowl etc. Each member of the test team was left to promote the advantages their machine had…

The Test Team:

Alongside me in the Test Team on track at Silverstone and on the East Midlands roads are:

  • Kane Dalton (bottom right): BikeSocial’s Commercial Manager, ex-Manx GP rider with over 40 years riding experience. Kane picked out the Suzuki’s keys.
  • Jimmy Doherty (track only, bottom left): Ex-Supersport racer turned freelance bike journalist. Jimmy had the Kawasaki, much to his delight given he was wearing all black.
  • Jon Urry (roads only, top right): Seasoned freelance bike journalist who has tested every new bike in the last 20 years. Jimmy passed the Kawasaki baton onto Jon.
  • Leaving me (top right) with the long-term loan Honda.

We ran all three bikes on a control tyre for the track and road test: Dunlop’s Sportsmart2 Max.

 

The BikeSocial road test route

The BikeSocial road test route

 

Three-way Road and Track Superbike Test
Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP vs Suzuki GSX-R1000R vs Kawasaki ZX10-RR Ninja
It’s as light on its feet as Michael Flatley on a trampoline holding a bunch of helium balloons
Michael Mann BikeSocial.co.uk

 

HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE SP (Michael Mann)

Celebrating 25 years of Honda Fireblades comes the 3-pronged model range for 2017 with the stock bike, SP and as-yet-unseen, limited edition, homologation special, SP2 – though BikeSocial expects customers of the 39 that are making it to the UK, of the 500-limited edition range, to be receiving theirs before the end of July.

With rumours of a potential V4 configuration being the powerplant of choice for ‘The Big H’ before the decade is out, the new and hotly anticipated ‘blade could be the last using the current in-line four and it’s the first all new CBR1000RR bike since 2008. The 2017 version is a beautiful bike that keeps the silhouette of the previous generations of Fireblade and in my opinion is the best looking on show.

Unquestionably, the Fireblade SP is the lightest of the three, has the shortest wheelbase, the lowest seat height and yes, is the most expensive but with the most advanced of all the trick electronics and rider aids on show. And it’s that combination which instantly proves to be successful as an easy-to-ride, well developed, friendly sportsbike. Designed to look and feel at home on track the Honda is, well, typically Honda, in the way the chassis, tyres, suspension, engine, gearbox all gel so well. The first lap at Silverstone felt like I’d been around the 1.8 mile International Circuit 20 times already. It’s a rewarding bike to ride and the sense of build quality and refinement is in abundance.

 

 

The 999cc motor makes a claimed 189bhp at the 13,000rpm sweet spot but frankly it’s (always) all about the useable power and torque band, which on the Honda is anywhere from 6,500rpm onwards where a valve in the new titanium exhaust muffler opens. This transforms the bike from treating you like an Anthony Joshua tickle-on-the-chin into full blown right hook as the red missile catapults into action. There’s nowhere better to feel this insert of power than on the track because, quite honestly the law are going to be after you if you're spanking the Fireblade at more than 7,000rpm even in second gear. Trouble is, the fun times are quickly over once that pocket of rev range brilliance is found on the road.

Lower down the revs and the more sedate part of the Jekyll/Hyde Honda engine is much more town and neighbour friendly with a light clutch action and late bite, softer power delivery and a decreased exhaust note. The lightweight Honda is a doddle to ride, and is as easily manoeuvrable around traffic, into parking spaces/the garage at low speeds as it is on when scavenging for apexes on racing circuits. Each lap at the end of the Hanger Straight, pulling 170mph in 5th, I’d drop two gears and slap the bike down into the long right-hander at Stowe. Every time I pushed my luck later on the brakes, harder on the front tyre and pinched an extra few degrees of throttle and the Fireblade soaked it up as if to say, ‘come on then, is that all you’ve got?’ – I was being taunted by a motorcycle that is as light on its feet as Michael Flatley on a trampoline holding a bunch of helium balloons.

Its agility is akin to those 13-year old Russian Olympic ballerinas, though on my steed I have the added benefit of a set of Dunlop’s to stop unwanted slippage. As it sashays and prances into any corner, smoothly with relative ease, the feeling of trust brought on by stability is refined enough to start justifying that price tag. Holy shizzle it’s good. The electronically adjustable Ohlins do a fine job at keeping everything silky smooth and balance the bike neatly on Rider Mode 1 while on track, which offers the raciest of settings. On the road, I use one of the two available rider settings and use Mode 1 as a base then add a little more traction control…a bit of gravel while on setting 2 still spins the rear which is less than convenient when cantering around the B-roads.

Cockpit-wise, there’s plenty of room to slide around the tank and the seat has enough space to push right back when in the racing crouch. The SP has no resources for pillions in the shape of a seat or pegs. The screen offers a fair degree of protection and, while it’s the smallest of the three bikes here today, it’s still effective enough. For most riders, sportsbikes aren’t bought for long distance touring anyway so who cares about a few extra mm of Perspex.

Even cracking the throttle open when pulling out of a slower bend low down in the revs and there’s a moment before the craziness smacks you into another dimension offering such a reward for keeping it above 6,500rpm – bit like a two-stroke. The fly-by-wire is new tech for the 2017 model and offers instant reward, the mildest touch is monitored by the throttle angle gauge on the LCD display which proves quickly how little throttle is required. 65 degrees is the maximum you’ll see by the way.

Punish the throttle and the front wheel will lift, just. Trust the electronics though and keep the gas on while the bike calmly puts the front back down again. It’s all part of the refined, smoothness of the Honda experience. On the brakes and the lever, its master cylinder and the Brembo-supported discs will do everything required on the road and more. On the track, I felt as though the lever came back to the bar too quickly – and by adjusting the lever just makes it too far away for my liking.

What is advisable is a change of riding mode when creeping around towns, cities or just in traffic at anything below 30mph. If in the most racy setting, the engine will being marginally hunting for revs making the experience little more jerky. But only a little, mind.

Upshifting through the sweet and slick gearbox is effortless, the meekest touch pops you into the next gear on the way up while keeping the throttle twisted in the go-faster position. A tidy little hint of revs on the autoblipper offer audible prowess to a downshift system that requires only slightly more effort on the lever than going up the ‘box. No false neutrals were found during this test, just so you know.

 

 

The settings on the Fireblade’s new Öhlins suspension adjust both the compression and rebound damping force of the fork and shock and can either be used in accordance with the three pre-set riding modes or using the two manual mode settings can be adjusted for rider preference. The set-up is hellishy good too, gliding over the imperfections in the BS TT course without so much as a wobble or shake. It’s sportsbike prowess with road-going perfection and the SportSmart 2 Max tyres were more than up to the task making mincemeat of the faster sweeping bends as the traction control light flickered like a disco on the TFT instrument panel taken directly from the RC213V-S.

The SP is such a fine machine, so easy to ride and ultimately as rewarding as and I beg every naysayer/Guy Martin fanboy to go to their local dealer, book a test ride and make their own mind up based on fact and personal experience rather than hearsay. And that’s part of the reason why we invited half a dozen BikeSocial readers to Bruntingthorpe airfield last week to offer a riding experience. The results of which can be found here on BikeSocial very soon.

Honda have put many eggs in their Fireblade basket and even though it’s targeted for the European market while its 125cc bikes, scooters and mopeds clean up in Asia giving Honda the ability to spend big on R&D for the flagship model, I believe the bike has unfairly suffered in the dealerships because of the race-oriented SP2’s lack of immediate success on the race track. Try it, you might just like it. I do and I can’t get enough of it.

 

 

 

KAWASAKI ZX-10RR (JIMMY DOHERTY) – Track

So, I bagged the Kawasaki ZX-10RR! I’m surely on to a winner straight away as I have something the other two here don’t - an additional ‘R’. So, what does it mean? Well that extra consonant means that this particular model should be most suited to today’s task of taking on Northamptonshire's finest racing circuit, Silverstone.

Kawasaki haven’t produced a homologated special in many years but now we have a 500-limited run of this flagship litre sportsbike. It has an abundance of performance potential that could (if your desire and pockets run deep enough) sit you on the grid of a WSB meeting. The obvious changes from the standard bike are lighter Marchesini seven-spoke forged aluminium wheels, no pillion seat or foot pegs and styling based on the factory teams winter testing livery. Overall, in my humble opinion, the looks are stealthy, poised and dare I say it, sexy. As I glance across at the two rival machines, here in garage 36, my eyes tell me Kane drew the short straw in this department, the GSX-R’s end can is downright hideous. Aesthetics aside, does the ZX-10RR have any new goodies under the hood? That’ll be KQS (Kawasaki Quick Shifter and auto blipper), diamond-like carbon coated cut tappets, highly rigid crankcases and a modified cylinder head ready to take a high state of tune.

The track is open and the three of us head out to explore the overcast but calm conditions of the circuit. My first impressions of the Kawasaki on the sighting lap are not what I was expecting. A distinct lack of bottom-end punch from the first real twist of the throttle exiting the pits has me momentarily wondering where the claimed 197 ponies are hiding but once we get the all clear to drop the hammer the 10’s rapid top-end has me sucking up scenery like a Dyson on heat. Firing along the Hangar straight, the RR’s long gearing sees fifth momentarily engaged before I pop up from behind the screen, which offers more than enough frontal area to get everything tucked in when I need to. Hitting the brakes for the first time, it’s apparent these anchors are seriously strong as I find myself releasing the lever as I’m scrubbing off more speed than intended. So, the brakes are clearly remarkable but if I were to split hairs, a touch more feel wouldn't go amiss, Mr Kawasaki. The Showa suspension shows its class soaking up the bumps and ripples through The Link section before Becketts, though as the pace quickens, I imagine adding a little more compression and ride height would sharpen it up. The steering is by no means slow but as I flick the bike from left to right through the chicane before Club Corner, Michael on the ‘Blade looks to be having an easier time.

With a ‘set and forget’ attitude the traction control was left at “2” which did little to interfere with the drive out of corners or the mechanical feedback felt throughout the seat. The flashing KTC light on the dash also helped with my self preservation. On occasion the rear Dunlop stepped-out when getting a wee bit throttle happy but it returned without drama or fuss. Compared to the other two bikes our photographer Gareth, tells me that the ZX-10RR has the most rock’n’roll sound track thanks to the Akrapovic system.

For today’s scratching the riding position is suffice but at 5ft 8 I’m finding it’s cramped for my legs. Yes, it’s a sportsbike but if Ducati can make the focused Panigale with ample leg room then I can’t help thinking Kawasaki missed the mark here.

So, should all the 2016 ZX-10R owners be jealous they didn’t hold out for the RR? Well possibly not. In reality, the bike won’t feel much different due to sharing the same power and similar weight, but with the addition of the race kit added, the RR can be taken to a whole new level. Basically, think of this limited-edition Kawasaki as a considered platform to build an incredibly fast track weapon.

 

 

KAWASAKI ZX-10RR (JON URRY) – Road

When I was handed the key to the Kawasaki this morning, if I’m being truthful my heart sank slightly as this is the road and not track part of the test. And the problem with Ninjas has always been they aren’t the best road bikes. Brilliant on track, less so on the open highway. They are designed to fulfill a purpose and that happens to be getting Jonathan Rea up on the WSB top step, not Jon Urry down the shops. And the RR version is even more track-focused thanks to lightweight wheels, an up and down quickshifter, sharper brakes and a paint scheme that looks like a Goth’s Christmas card. Sorry, I’m not a huge fan of the ‘winter test’ colours.

 

 

 

Sure enough, when I sat on the RR it felt typical ZX-10R with widely splayed and low bars that are idea for racers who want to muscle a bike around and also demand high pegs for ground clearance. It’s one of those riding positions that puts you quite forward on the machine, over the front for ultimate grip. Looking at the other guys on their less aggressive bikes, I couldn’t help but feel a bit envious. And then they pulled away…literally.

The Ninja may have a claimed near 200bhp, but the low end of the rev range feels muted and restricted. When we pulled away together, the Suzuki and Honda opened up yards with ease while I waited for the Kawasaki’s inline four to come on song. It’s quite frustrating at first and when you are going at a slow pace the aggressive riding position, lack of instant punch and instruments that are cluttered, hard to decipher and look like an old Casio calculator compared to the latest LCD colour displays don’t endear you to the Ninja. But when the pace ups the tables are turned.

On a fast road ride, when the motor can stretch its legs, the Ninja comes alive. Get over the initial hesitancy and that inline four is absolutely bonkers, even more so when you get it near the rev limit. It’s such a powerful motor and one that has a real Ninja spirit of ferocity that fans of this brand will love. Is the RR any faster than the R? On the road you will never know the difference, and ‘I’m just trying to test the modified cylinder head’ won’t stand up in court. The brakes are certainly a bit sharper, but I’m not 100% convinced they are as good as their rival’s set-ups, and I struggled to get on with the autoblipper as it often entered a throttle jerk to downshifts and I found my own autoblipper (my right hand) was far smoother – but I am sure owners will soon adapt to the system. The wheels, however, I loved.

Entering knee down-type bends the Ninja is brilliant. It turns so precisely thanks to a combination of its race geometry, forward riding position and those Marchesinis and you get a real feeling of the front tyre being forced into the tarmac. Through smooth second and third gear bends the Ninja was a joy, but add an element of unevenness and the suspension did kick me around a bit. The front is good, but the rear is a touch firm and poorly damped, even with my 14-stone bulk to compress it!

After my initial hesitancy, once I had ridden the Ninja on the road I did start to warm to it, but I always found myself wanting to swap to the Honda or Suzuki to see if the grass was, err, greener. When I did mange to grab the keys to the GSX-R1000R for a brief blast I discovered the joy of an engine with instant punch, a dash that is clear to read, a far more comfortable riding position and plusher suspension, which made swapping back to the Ninja something I avoided for as long as possible. Great on the track, not so much fun on the road – in other words, the RR is a typical Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. If that focused ethos floats your boat, you will love it.

 

 

SUZUKI GSX-R1000R (KANE DALTON)

In 2003 I once heard the phrase, “GSX-R: too much throttle equals too much hospital, the bike is an animal.” So what did I do next? Went and bought my first Suzuki GSX-R 1000 race bike of course. I wanted that hyped hooligan machine. Turned out all the hype was true and yes there were a few trips to the hospital.

They said similar things about the 2005 Kawasaki ZX-10 but I stuck with Suzuki’s facelift model that year.

I raced Suzuki’s up until 2009 when I was ready to explore other options, my first choice was a full-blown Hawk Kawasaki ZX-10 superbike. I spoke to the Hawk team boss selling the bike he said, “The ZX-10 is the most exciting bike. You have to be fully focussed and you have to sweat blood to put in good lap times.” So, when I rode the Honda Fireblade I get great lap times with far less effort but there is no soul and it’s not half as much fun, it does everything so well. Too well.

My conclusion: I was going to buy the easy-to-ride ‘blade but my master plan was simple I was going to sweat blood too and therefore would be leaving everyone riding ZX-10’s and GSX-R’s eating my dust.

The early GSX-R and ZX-10 had extremely direct throttle response with a powerful engine. If you rode over a bump in the road and your hand twitched the throttle you felt yourself hanging on to the bars when they bike reacted almost instantly. This was particularly true for the GSX-R. The bike was a great lesson in throttle control. If you offered little respect to the power delivery then it was your own dust you’d be eating.

The big news is that the new-for-2017 Suzuki GSXR1000R Suzuki still has the same pokey power house engine producing a claimed 199 bhp and all the typical GSX-R characteristics but now, like the new Honda, it has caught up and has an electronics package that works.

The new electronics allow you to be far more aggressive on the throttle harnessing that raw GSX-R power and converting it to fast drive. You can get harder on the gas earlier while the bike is still on its ear in the corner and on exit making it easier to ride faster.

Speaking of the quality electronics, the SportSmart2Max tyres are good as fast road and occasional track day rubber yet after five sessions on track pushing hard on 190bhp+ bikes they were less grippy and past their peak. I was working on getting the throttle to the stopper coming off the hairpin onto the back straight and when I got a little over excited and gave it a little too much gas, the back lit up and threatened to come all the way around on me. I would usually be holding on to the bike with my ass at this stage but the electronics kicked in, smoothed out the input and set me straight. 

The early GSX-R’s were bulky with a long reach to the handle bars, you felt like you were sitting on high top of the bike rather than in it. The 2005 bikes were more compact with less reach to the bars and you sat lower in the bike which was a much better riding position and while the 2017 version feels even more compact it’s still more bulky than competitors.

Visually I was expecting a radical change, the front looks so similar to the last model and the back end looks borrowed from the 2015 ZX-10 though I have no doubt it will still appeal to Suzuki fans.

There has not been a kind word said about the bread bin can. However, before Yoshimura think their quid is in and they make their fortune selling cans, Suzuki are having the last laugh. The GSX-R1000R was tested by our friend Paul Curran at PCR Performance and the standard exhaust system is making 194 bhp. Paul fitted a full Arrow exhaust system and the peak power is only 4 bhp more, producing 198. The main difference comes between 7,000 and 10,000 rpm where the full system increases power by 12 bhp.

For the first session on track, I left the suspension set up with the standard road settings. Under braking the front was way soft and on corner exit it wallowed. After a few positive adjustments to the compression and damping the bike felt well balanced for the track. It’s easy to change direction both under acceleration and into corners. I felt confident even when I was offline making an overtake. The engine is everything I expect from a GSX-R; it pulls like a train all the way through the rev range. It delivers some almighty power in such a smooth and linear way.

 

 

 

Once you have achieved ballistic speeds you need to know that you can get it stopped. Under hard braking the bike was stable. Suzuki have upgraded the calipers to Brembo so it’s a shame that they never fitted a Brembo master cylinder too. On track the Nissin master cylinder is not the best and there was some brake fade but in normal road-going conditions the brakes are more than brilliant.

The Suzuki is just as much at home on the track as it is on the road, the bike is comfortable to ride and the power delivery makes it a stonkingly enjoyable thing to get from A to B on. It is still easy to put the front wheel in the air like a hooligan which will keep GSX-R fans happy and lining up to purchase.

 

 

Conclusion

Euro 4 emission regulations may have benefits to trees, city dwellers’ lung longevity and a motorcycles economy (emphasis on may) but they don’t half spoil the engineering expertise these great manufacturers have at their disposal. Nevertheless, it does at least provide quite a challenge for the handsomely paid clever folk to find ways around the governance. That said, as each new model strives to make more power, yet provide a heap of electronics to keep it in check, the closer they get in terms of competition.

So, when choosing which is ‘the best bike’ we are left to split the proverbial hair. Do we award an extra point to the bike that can stop 1m shorter than another from 60mph, or offer the crown to the machine that is 0.3s faster per lap. The fact is there’s not a bike that deserves to be third and if you had £16-19k burning a hole in your pocket (split over several years or otherwise) then you would be foolish not to test each rival and take into consideration where and when you’ll ride it. If its autobahns or the track where the bike will spend most of its time then I’d recommend an alternative to the one I’d choose for a Sunday A-road blast.

We put the three on the dyno at BSD in Eye, near Peterborough and looking at the results plus taking our thoughts from real-world track and road riding, the Suzuki has the strongest and most powerful engine from lower in the rev range. It’s easy to feel too, offering a massively impressive yet linear surge especially through the oh-so-important 5,000 – 7,000 rpm range. The electronics are refined and among the best on the market and while it’s price is the most attractive of the trio, it’s appearance is not. Compared to the Honda, the Suzuki’s rider aids and instruments are a little more fiddly to operate and lack the slickness the rest of the package has.

Despite the grunty VVT motor, it’s the standard settings of the GSX-R1000R plus it’s riding position make it more at home on the road than the track. That said, look at what Hawk Racing have managed to achieve in British Superstock and at the TT with the new bike…ok, it’s been heavily revised but the base bike is still at the core of its success.

It’s the Kawasaki that gets closest to its claimed maximum bhp on the dyno at 191.9bhp vs the claimed 197bhp while the Suzuki makes 185.7bhp vs 199bhp and Honda comes in at 179bhp v 189bhp. Stand by though because we’ve just fitted a Rapid Bike Evo module to our long term long Fireblade SP to, in theory, improve engine performance and fuel efficiency by self-learning. In a few weeks we’ll also see what difference a full Akrapovic system makes…if any. Thanks to Performance Parts for those goodies.

 

 

The ZX10-RR, as discussed, is a track weapon which happens to be equipped with some headlights and a number plate. Specifically introduced to offer a focussed and ferocious ride which’ll have your eyes out on stalks and for a touch under £17k is some £1400 less than an equally-as-track-ready Yamaha R1M. The Yam comes with some very impressive electronics but it would be hard pushed to beat the homologation special Kawasaki on lap time. Pick one up from your local dealership and head straight to a superstock class at the TT or BSB and in the right hands, it’d be competitive without doing much to it.

Tall first gear aside, the neat end can and high-end wheels plus a stealthy-appearance make the ZX-10RR not only a proper teenage boy poster candidate but also add to the ferocity of the Kawasaki. A smoothly sprung front, precise gearbox and good screen protection are all neat touches while the powerful acceleration that keeps on coming counteracts the heavier front end (than the others here).

Some would argue that by testing the most race focussed of each range, we are unfairly overly-scrutinising their road-going capabilities but that is where they will spend most of their time so I have to choose the best all-around package, and that prize would go to the Honda, just.

Its sweet handling, agile and precise ride, electronic goodness, smooth power delivery, top class electronics are ideal for both road and track. Above all else, this is the bike that every time I get on it, I think, ‘yes, good times are ahead’, I’m excited about riding it. It may not be as edgy, coiled and nasty as the ZX-10RR, or as powerful through the middle revs or as comfortable for the big miles as the GSX-R1000R but I’d take the Honda home if the price tags were all equal…but they aren’t and that’s where this review ends because justifying a bike on price is circumstantial.

Go and enjoy a test ride yourself and please feel free to let us know how you get on by commenting below.

 

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

SUZUKI GSX-R1000R

HONDA CBR1000RR Fireblade SP

KAWASAKI ZX-10RR Performance Edition

 

 

 

 

Engine type

Liquid-cooled transverse four

Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC Inline-4

Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke In-Line 4, DOHC, 16 valves

Displacement

999.8cc

999cc

998cc

Max. Power (claimed)

199bhp @ 13,200rpm

189bhp @ 13,000rpm

197bhp @ 13,000rpm

Max. Torque (claimed)

87lb-ft (117.6N.m) @ 10,800rpm

85.6lb-ft (116Nm) @ 11,000rpm

83.7 lb-ft (113.5Nm) @ 11,500rpm

Gearbox

Six-speed with quickshifter and auto-blipper

Six-speed with quickshifter and auto-blipper

Six-speed with quickshifter and auto-blipper

Brakes

Front: 320mm, Brembo Monobloc four-piston calipers

Front: 2 x 320mm Brembo four-piston radial mount monobloc brake calipers

Front: Dual semi-floating 330 mm Brembo discs. Caliper: Dual radial-mount, Brembo M50 monobloc, opposed 4-piston

Rear: 220mm, Nissin single-piston caliper

Rear: 220mm disc

Rear: Single 220 mm petal disc. Caliper: Single-bore pin-slide, aluminium piston

Wheels

Front: 120/70-17

Front: 120/70-ZR17M/C

120/70 ZR17M/C (58W)

Rear: 190/50-17

Rear: 190/50-ZR17M/C

190/55 ZR17M/C (75W)

Suspension

Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped

Front: Telescopic inverted fork with an inner tube diameter of 43mm, and a NIX30 Smart-EC (OHLINS) Front Fork with preload, compression and rebound adjustments, 120mm stroke

Front: 43 mm inverted fork with rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability and top-out springs

Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped

Rear: Unit Pro-Link with gas-charged TTX36 Smart-EC (Öhlins) damper featuring preload and compression and rebound damping adjustment, 60mm stroke

Horizontal Back-link with gas-charged shock and top-out spring. Compression damping: Stepless, dual-range (high/low-speed). Rebound damping: Stepless. Spring preload: Fully adjustable

Seat height

825mm

820mm

835mm

Overall length

2075mm

2065mm

2090mm

Overall height

1145mm

1125mm

1145mm

Overall width

705mm

715mm

740mm

Ground clearance

130mm

129mm

145mm

Wheelbase

1420mm

1404mm

1440mm

Fuel capacity

16 litres

16 litres

17 litres

Kerb weight

203kg

195kg

206kg

Price

£16,099

£19,125

£16,949

PCP Example:

 

PCP - Representative Example

 

Suzuki GSX-R1000R

Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP

Kawasaki ZX-10RR Performance Edition

 

 

 

 

OTR Price

£16,239

£19,125

£16,949

Deposit

£4000

£4,504.91

£4,000

Amount of Credit

£12,239

£14,620.09

£13,089

36 Monthly Payments

£152.12

£175.00

£157.45

Duration

37 months

37 months

37 months

Total Amount Payable

£18,778.32

£21,779.96

£19,088.20

Representative APR

7.9%

6.9%

5.9%

Option to Purchase Fee

£10.00

£10.00

£10.00

Annual Contracted Mileage

4000

4000

4000

Credits:

Video: Beach Media

Photos: Gareth Harford

Thanks to Silverstone for the use of the circuit. Check their website for details of future track-days and events.

Thanks to Dunlop for the supply of our controlled tyres, the SportSmart2 Max.

 

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