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1200GS v CBR600RR
Bluetooth headset and Bar controls £350. Always in touch...
hydration system £80 To hell with your pricey Little Chefs and Wild Bean Cafés.
iPhone £700 How did you live without it? You wonder after it’s dropped out of your pocket on the A1.
GPs £800 You know where you’re going and you know where you’ve been.
VeyPor Vr2 comPlete with dash kit £275 You can’t have too much info.
diGital multimeter £110. For monitoring health of electrical systems.
satellite radio £120 Bought in haste, doesn’t work in UK. Thank god for iTunes.
radar detector £360 Fine until you have to explain its presence to the cops.
audio interface and switcher £55. For managing all of your audio devices.
micro air PumP £40 For the unlikely event you’re ever too far from a service station.
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uRIne ColleCTIon SYSTeM £25 cobbled together at home.
SolAR-poWeReD pHone CHARGeR £50 if the sun ever shines again...
Throttle hand priceless
Do GADGeTS MAke You faster? words MICK PHILLIPS Pics PauL bryant
BMW’s much-vaunted R1200GS Adventure is 223kg of Teutonic muscle and armour. Capable enough in its basic form, there’s a baffling array of official and aftermarket kit and gizmos that can be bolted onto its immense surface area. You are the starship commander. You can boldly go where no neighbour has gone before. But does all this stuff save you time? Make you faster? Does it help to scratch that primeval biking itch, or merely suppress it? A second-hand Honda CBR600RR is a world apart from the big Boxer. Svelte, focused, purposeful and clinically capable, though some would argue in a much tighter frame of reference. Is a higher top speed irrelevant on the road? Is a relatively short tank range a real handicap? And the big question is, do you need clever gizmos to make real progress on the road?
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pb100 the bikes to ride before you die
Not the sum of its parts: old GPX750 motor + heavy, slow steering = brilliance. For half the price of an RC30.
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PB road test///technical
HONDA SP-1 susPension
43mm Showa forks have removable caliper brackets, enabling racers to swap calipers and disc sizes without having to go to the hassle of swapping fork lowers. Clever, but three years later the world had gone radial.
The LCD dash proved unique to the SP-1. A graduating array of backlit LCD panels did the business of the rev counter and there was a digital display for speed, too. Lighter than conventional dials, the display was so good many racers kept them on.
Revolutionised the face of sportsbikes, the SP-1 was the first bike to run the air intake through the headstock rather than around it. That had two benefits. Firstly it put the air intake in the centre of pressure, and secondly it helped minimise the bike’s frontal area.
tech hiGhliGht: enGine The first V-twin Honda made with racing in mind was a success right from the start. A bigger bore and a shorter stroke than the Ducati 996, the SP-1 had to make big power to be successful. And this it did, although the lack of desmodromic valve actuation kept revs down. Redline on the SP-1 is 10,000 rpm, and even with parts rods it could only get to 11,000rpm. A race Ducati of the time could hit a ceiling 12,000rpm.
Power 127bhp@9500rpm torque 75lb.ft@8000rpm capacity 999cc Bore and stroke 100 x 63.6mm Brakes Twin 320mm discs with four-piston calipers. rake/trail 23°/100.65mm Wheelbase 1409mm tyres 120/70 ZR17; 190/50 ZR17 Fuel capacity 18 litres Measured wet weight 213kg claimed dry weight 200kg
DUCATI 1198S enGine
The most powerful V-twin ever, the 1198 matches the peak power of the next closest bike at 7500rpm and then goes on to produce a ridiculous 154bhp at the rear wheel. There’s no secret to the power – it’s a case of capacity, revs, good gas-flow and big bang. 63mm oval throttle bodies suck in huge amounts of fuel/air.
The 1098 was the first road bike to have Brembo monoblocs and this bike carries them too. Huge amount of power; they went off after a few hundred miles of winter use. Hard road and track riding restored bite and feel. Glazed pads?
New polyellipsoidal headlamps save 0.5kg over the 1098 thanks to their magnesium construction. A useful saving at the polar end of a machine. Shame they’re useless, then.
tech hiGhliGht: traction control The DTC unit constantly monitors rear wheel speed against front and instructs the ECU what to do from there. The system works by retarding the ignition by 5, 10, 15 and 20 degrees before cutting the fuel as a last resort (you feel the fuel cut as a cough). It is a different system to the one fitted to the 1098R – that cut the ignition, but the unburnt fuel that is a by product of this would kill the catalytic converter. Light flashes on the dash when TC is operated.
Power 154bhp@9500rpm torque 89lb.ft@8000rpm capacity 1198cc Bore and stroke 106 x 67.9mm Brakes Twin 330mm discs with four-piston calipers rake/trail 24.5°/N/A Wheelbase 1430mm tyres 120/70 ZR17; 190/55 ZR17 Fuel capacity 15.5 litres Measured wet weight 197kg claimed dry weight 169kg
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SUZUKI GSX-R750 K9 engine
The last of the 750s, the GSX-R is an entirely conventional four-cylinder lump, but because it doesn’t have to pander to racers any more it can be built for midrange. The 48mm stroke is longer than an SRAD’s but it revs 2000rpm more.
Fuel injection steering damper
Electronic steering damper allows nimbleness at low speed then a solenoid linked to the ECU tightens it up as speed increases. Simple, but very effective.
Suzuki have spent 10 years refining the fuel consumption on their GSX-R family and this is the result – smooth fuelling, 50mm throttle bodies and twin injectors. Both the primary and secondary injectors have shower-form ends.
tech highlight: high and low-speed compression damping The only bike here with the ability to fine-tune your compression damping has the best ride. It’s no coincidence. It allows you to separate how quickly your suspension compresses at speed over bumps and under load on the brakes and in corners. Get it right and the bike is supple without being soft. Like the GSX-R itself.
power 133bhp@13,000rpm torque 57lb.ft@11,000rpm capacity 749cc Bore and stroke 70 x 48mm Brakes Twin 320mm discs with four-piston calipers rake/trail 23°/97mm wheelbase 1400mm tyres 120/70 ZR17; 180/55 ZR17 measured weight 203kg claimed dry weight 165kg
APRILIA RSV1000R Fuel injection Brakes
Lower spec than the 1198s monoblocs, these Brembo radials are proven over the last five years. Four pads bite into each disc. Radial master cylinder comes as standard, as do braided hoses.
57mm throttle bodies have a single injector per cylinder and the ECU receives 15 different signals from around the bike to determine fuelling and igniton curves. Eprom chip already has mapping for race pipes built in.
The Magneti Marelli dash looks like a lesson in simplicity – but receives data on all engine parameters via a CAN line and has memory to enable it to act as a diagnostic system. Weighing 220g, it incorporates a 40-lap lap-timer too.
tech highlight: suspension Despite being the base model, the RSVR has topclass suspension. Öhlins 43mm titanium nitridecoated forks at the front and a Sachs monoshock at the rear, which is also adjustable for length, therefore adjusting rideheight. More ride-height should give the Mille more feel and make it steer better too.
power 122bhp@10,000rpm torque 68lb.ft@8,500rpm capacity 997.62cc Bore and stroke 97 x 67.5mm Brakes Twin 320mm with fourpot calipers rake/trail 25°/101.7mm wheelbase 1418mm tyres 120/70 ZR17 measured weight 218kg claimed dry weight 189kg
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New Suzuki GSX-R1000
Evolved. Compact. Beautiful
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no big bangs. just evolution words Matt Wildee pics Jason CritChell
The GSX-R1000 K9 is the latest instalment in an eight-year saga of extreme performance bikes. Since 2001 the GSX-R1000 has been the vanguard of the litre bike class – more often than not it has been the most powerful, most hardcore bike in this class. GSX-Rs aren’t about prettiness or posing – they’re about getting the job done. In short, they’re PB made motorcycle. But unfortunately the previous model didn’t get the job done quite as well as it could have. We’ve always loved the outgoing K7/K8 models but a cynic could have regarded them as a failure. Sure, they shifted units, but they weren’t revolutionary like the super-light, grunty 2005 K5 was. That bike moved the game on in a way that no bike had since the 98 R1. It even won the World Superbike title. It was one of the great Suzukis. The K7/K8 didn’t do that. It was nowhere near a WSB title and was bested by the R1 in its first year on the road and by the Fireblade after that. For a company as proud as Suzuki that hurts. This bike is about getting Suzuki back where they feel they belong – at the front. This is the most radical reworking that the GSX-R1000 has had for years – Suzuki has thrown everything they’ve got at the K9. We spent a day at on the roads in Southern Spain and lapping Almeria racetrack to find out if their sums add up to a return to litre-bike supremacy.
circuito Almeria, southern spain. The all-new K9 GsX-r awaits pB
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Who is... Dave Ward?
A 46-yeAr-oLd fAbrIcAtor-weLder And eX-LAwnmower mechAnIc. he’s A cLub rAcIng stALwArt, roAd rIder And cX500 rIder who hAs never owned A cAr.
Front wheels is 01 CBR600 Sport, rear is Blade. Discs, rear caliper and hanger are all CBR Sport. Dave made the torsion arm and spacers so it would all fit. Front calipers are ZRX1200.
It’s a long time since sportsbikes needed fork braces. But Dave reckons the one his mate Stu bought in the US works.
hy have you bought that?’ it’s a question Dave Ward’s been asked a number of times. And there’s always a lot of emphasis on the ‘that’. There wasn’t anything wrong with the used, 1999 Kawasaki ZRX1100. it was in great nick, just not what his road racing and hillclimbing pals expected him to compete on.
Dave has been racing for nearly 25 years, stopping for only two seasons when he was starting up his own business in the late-80s. ‘Back on Christmas Eve in 1980, I was walking around Scarborough, finishing my shopping, and thought, “What would I really like?” And I realised it was to enter a motorbike race. So I spent Christmas Day taking the centrestand off my road bike and getting it ready to race.’ All Dave’s mates told him he’d come last, and he did, but he wasn’t bothered. ‘I was on the grid and that’s all that mattered.’ He started competing on a Z750L1 in 1981. In 1993, he won the Auto 66 Clubman’s championship on a naked EXUP, bought as a damaged repairable and tuned by himself. When we meet, Dave is affable; as easy-going as a tortoise with a full
belly. He’s all tea and biscuits, fussing to make sure everything is just so. That might be because today, mid-week, at the back-end of winter, his race-face is upstairs, with the leathers and four walls-worth of trophies. ‘When my mates do one or two hillclimbs a year they don’t understand why I don’t want to park next to them. It’s because I want to concentrate, I want to think. I enjoy the competitiveness. I’m not there to mess around,’ Dave explains. He has nothing but respect for riders with natural talent, riders who win their debut races and then barely lose another until they join the ranks of the pros, but he has another ingredient – determination. It’s Dave, his determination, skill, hard work and well thought-out modifications that have made this bike a winner and outright hillclimb course record holder. And I love it. engine
A lot of scepticism aimed at Dave and his Kawasaki was due to its powerto-weight ratio. But Dave had plans. He’s big-bored virtually every race bike he’s had. The Z750 went to 810cc, a GPz900 was taken out to 972cc, his EXUP benefited from Wiseco 1041 pistons and the ZRX’s original 1052cc block was taken out to 1109cc, again with Wiseco pistons.
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1164 cc of KHI grunt (unleashed by)
NK ZZR cams
1 21 on the number
pounds worth of Öhlins twin shocks
Rear Metzeler slick is 190/70 17.
‘It beats R1s and Fireblades in the 1300 Open class’
Akrapovic pipe treatment. The 1200 has noticeably more midrange than even the big-bore 1100. ‘There was a big difference in power and midrange when I big-bored the 1100, and it’s the same difference again from the big-bore 1100 to the 1200.’ If I owned a ZRX I’d be saving for some of those NK cams.
While it was apart local Scarborough tuner NK Tuning upped the compression by skimming the barrel – apparently there isn’t enough meat on the head. NK also flowed the head, reprofiled some ZZ-R1100 cams, and fitted dual valve springs to cope with the increased lift. Dave is pedantic when it comes to jetting his bike, but he does it all by feel, not graphs on a screen. This bike has only been on the dyno once in the six years Dave’s owned it. And that time, at NK Tuning, it made 149bhp at the rear wheel, nearly 50 per cent more than the stock 105bhp. After all that development Dave eventually went out and bought a complete ZRX1200 engine from DK Spares (‘Who couldn’t have been more helpful,’ he says), to replace the big-bore 1109cc motor. He gave the replacement engine the Mikuni 40mm flatslide, NK head and cam and
This bike holds the outright course record at the Oliver’s Mount hillclimb. When Dave takes it road racing, in the 1300 Open class, it beats R1s and Fireblades. Especially in the wet, when good handling and riding skill mean more than back-straight thrust. But look at the ZRX and it appears to be a barely modified road bike. That’s because, as handsome as this big bruiser undoubtedly is, Dave is far, far more interested in go than show. ‘If Sharon can hear they were £200,’ says Dave in a stage whisper so his other-half can hear. He’s talking about the Öhlins’ twin shocks. To the untrained eye they look like those fitted as standard to Yamaha’s big retro XJR. They’re not. These are adjustable. And work. And were £700. The front forks are modified stock legs though. Gareth at
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