Comparison test Ducati 916 Biposto, Honda CBR 900 RR and Triumph Daytona T 595


Comparison test of the Ducati 916 Biposto, Honda CBR 900 RR and Triumph Daytona T 595

fire and flame

It had to happen that way. Everyone has written it, everyone has read it: Triumph sharpens the knife. Honda’s CBR 900 RR and Ducati’s cult object 916 were the inspiration for the Renner from Hinckley. Of course, one sells like hot cakes, the other is dreamed of. As? You have never stood in front of the Ducati 916, marveled, wallowed and then slipped away a little envious? Then you should do it. But you can, if the thing with the eternal fiddling around with the Desmodromic is too laborious and, above all, too expensive, stop by the nice Triumph dealer. It now has something very sporty on display: the three-cylinder Daytona. Not only does it resemble the Duc, it also has an abbreviation: T 595 – it doesn’t look bad.
Everything that happens between the tank cap and the oil drain plug has already been described. If the key technical data has been forgotten, simply read the package insert, ask your dealer or delve into our data boxes and the artistic studio photos. In the meantime we are already going.
“Where are the keys? ” Thank you. “And where is the choke here?” Doesn’t exist, the Ducati and Triumph injection computers are well informed about all conditions and know what to do. The Honda does it just as well with its carburettors and the easily adjustable choke. It goes over land, bumpy, curvy, through gorges, over mountains – just riding a motorcycle. The Honda driver grins. So soft, so comfortable, so easy. Nearly perfect. Nearly. Because the Honda whips and jerks quite roughly when the load changes due to the excessively large play in the drive train. “So that it can be shifted better,” says Honda. We say: Despite the large free angle of rotation, it sometimes hackles and gnaws in the switch box. In return, the four-cylinder pushes forward from all positions with a slight delay, but with silky power, climbs unrestrained over the 10,000 mark and flatters its driver with subtle tingling vibrations. A willing companion, inconspicuous and loyal. Neither of the two opponents burns its fuel as carefully and economically as the Honda engine, neither does the pull-through test between 60 and 160 km / h in such a short time.
Quite the opposite of the V-Twin from Bologna. The 916 throws off rumbling and uncouth, vibrating, not annoying, rather funny. Finally, in the 90-degree V-engine, two huge, 94-millimeter pistons whiz through the coated cylinder liners at almost the same speed as the Honda, and rattle the tubular space frame impatiently. Full thrust is available, not in abundance, but readily available. From the pure paper form, the twin presses hardly more torque on the test stand roller than the four-cylinder unit of the Honda. The difference when driving: The Ducati 916 grips more robustly, without any delay. In milliseconds, the electronic injection calculates the right amount of fuel for the two mighty 54 mm intake manifolds and helps the engine to make this spectacular start out of seemingly nothing. Around the corner, open the gas line, and off you go. And then this gear, short, crisp, exact – is there anything better? Riders in a hurry are allowed to exceed 10,000 rpm, the electronic limiter protects against mischief, but the 916 is really in its element in medium-sized regions. There, where there is rumbling and buzzing and where this slacker does not get his sympathies over his head, but rather over his neck.
Triumph tries to find the golden mean. Three cylinders, nicely lined up and cultivated in terms of vibrations by means of a balance shaft, are intended to close the gap between the philosophies. An idea that emerged from the tradition of long forgotten days. And then it runs down your spine as cold as ice. This triple guarantees the highest entertainment value acoustically and in terms of performance. A real hammer. Hissing like a souped-up Porsche Carrera boxer, the T 595 plunges forward, torque as if it were nothing, and here too this catapult-like acceleration out of nowhere. Incredible. With this liveliness, the triplet conceals the drop in performance at half speed in a very elegant way. The T 595 engine underlines its muscular hustle and bustle with a crisp, growling sound. The legendary Honda RC 30 also had something like that, something grumpy, something ……? No, there is no point in explaining. Better go to your Triumph dealer and you will know what is meant. But just to be on the safe side, leave your checkbook at home, because the Triumph has other surprises ready. Consumption, for example. And that’s the end of funny. Because the Daytona buys its power and glory with over 25 percent higher fuel consumption than the carburettor-fed Honda. Progress, ick hear you trapping. Electronic sensors at every nook and cranny, computer-controlled engine management –
and yet the threesome has an unparalleled binge.
The drive is also unrivaled, with almost no backlash, with a smooth transition when changing loads and a flawless gearshift. Compliments to Hinckley, who is sitting.
The chassis and ergonomics are as different and independent as the engines. Leaving no doubts about its radical sporting destiny, the Ducati forces its rider into the position in which superbike riders leave the competition behind. From the lofty heights of the wide bench, you grasp the low-lying, perfectly cranked handlebar stubs and, with a slim knee joint and a firm grip, become an integral part of the man / machine synthesis. Not a comfort swing, rather a spartan driving machine: with reduced damping of the fork and shock absorber, an acceptable country road device, but where requirements such as wind protection, pillion suitability or other everyday matters are fairly neglected.
With a restrained pace, the 916 on the 190 Michelin tire tumbles a little indecisively over faults in the ground and through tight bends. The faster the speed, the more inclined the positions, the more stable and precise the steering is the stiff, very direct tubular space frame. Finely balanced, the red one thunders over winding, bumpy country roads without any nervousness. Above 120 km / h, however, there is a significant sluggishness that calls for active physical activity and powerful steering impulses.
Even if the Brembo stoppers on the test machine do not grip as weakly as they did for years, the current braking system still does not meet the requirements of a superbike replica. Too dough, too toothless – actually a shame.
Such slip-ups are unimaginable at Honda and one of the reasons for the continued success of the Fireblade. A motorcycle that, at a sensational 207 kilograms, masters lightweight construction in the big bike scene better than anyone else. This ease is omnipresent, when pushing, maneuvering and last but not least when driving. The CBR playfully circles tight serpentines, casually folds from one incline to the other. It only offers resistance when the small and wide 16-inch wheel is forced to turn in under increased wheel load when braking – even though the Bridgestone BT 56 set has already reduced the senseless 130 millimeter span of the front tire to an effective 125 millimeters.
In return, the Honda with its gently tuned suspension elements floats heavenly over the holey mountain roads of French Provence. Supported by the dresser positioning of handlebars, seat and rests, it shines in the ranks of radical super athletes with almost tourist qualities and a reasonably reasonable offer for passengers. The occasional knocking of the handlebars on bumpy roads is primarily due to the extremely handy chassis geometry and low weight. On the other hand, it is gratifying that even with the comfort setting on country roads, there is sufficient driving stability to whistle elegantly around the corners in one stroke. Not exactly biting, but finely dosed in all situations, there are no serious complaints about the braking system, which was already defused in the 1996 model.
Which is not to say that it can’t get any better. The proof is provided by the English, or more precisely: the Japanese themselves. The two Nissin four-piston calipers of the Triumph have the 320 steel discs so masterfully under control that it is a pure pleasure to brake the Daytona at the last minute. In connection with the torsion-resistant and sufficiently tightly sprung 45-millimeter telescopic fork, the braking effect can be implemented safely and without instability in the front end. Plenty of negative spring travel at the hindquarters brings calm to the seating and guarantees a high level of driving comfort. Good wind protection and impeccable cornering stability with a pillion passenger expand the range of uses of the T 595. The seating position with the widely spread handlebars and the still a hand‘s breadth too long, somewhat too angular tank requires a few kilometers to get used to, but makes the leisure time fun for super sports conditions rather dignified comfortable.
The T 595, which weighs 223 kilograms with a full tank, rushes through the labyrinth of curves in an astonishingly casual manner, winding its way through even the narrowest chicanes as light as a feather. A merit of the steering geometry, which has been radically trimmed for maneuverability, with a 66 degree steering head angle and only 86 millimeters of caster and the sharp contour of the Battlax BT 56 front tire, which is still willing to turn even when braking in an inclined position. Only in deeper inclines can the Englishwoman not hide the unruliness of the 190 slap on the unrivaled light and thin-walled six-inch rim. The Daytona then has to be kept on course with a firm hand, mainly on bumps and longitudinal grooves. Unfortunately, the BT 56 rubber in 190 dimensions also fails in terms of self-damping. The board-hard carcass construction with extremely stiff flanks, also filled with a full 2.9 bar air pressure according to Triumph specifications, stuck in a sloping position over bumpy asphalt and road heels and occasionally loses its grip.
But this is urgently needed for everyone involved in the next exercise. The full-bodied announcement by the English that with the Daytona T 595 they have put a super-sporty high-flyer on the wide rubbers, forces the acid test – a trip to the racing and test track in Ledenon, southern France, which is peppered with knolls, hills and ridged patches of asphalt.
It’s the Ducati’s turn and is barking impatiently in the pit lane. It doesn’t take five corners to understand why Ducati is the Superbike World Champion with this motorcycle. Yes, yes, the brakes, pretty slow, but otherwise – unique. The 916 balances along the ideal line to within a finger’s width, a bit stubborn, but absolutely stable, safe and with highly informative feedback to the driver. There is no longer any trace of the wobbly Michelin tires on the country road in the boiler room. With a lot of grip, the Ducati hurries on the tightest line through arches of all kinds, mastering even the insidious and tricky passages as if pulled on a string. The twin delivers usable thrust at any time and is not offended if the speed drops completely when accelerating. A real buddy. The lap time: 1.40.2 minutes, the next please.
Oops, now a completely different film is playing. Handy, but thanks to the comfortable springs and the soft rear tires – a Bridgestone BT 56 tire specially developed for the CBR 900 with the additional identifier “G” – less stable when changing lean angles quickly or in the acceleration phase F.ireblade around the course. Late brakes on the racetrack have to put up with the fact that steering precision is watered down when turning into the 16-inch front wheel. Not always, and certainly not on the steep downhill braking passages, you can keep to the targeted line. That costs time, and so the Honda lacks a smooth second on the Ducati record. Sheer power is only of secondary importance on the winding course, what counts here is thrust from below. That is why the Honda is in good order, but the constant pressure carburetors of the four-cylinder respond somewhat delayed, so that it does not shake its performance out of its sleeve as spontaneously as the beefy Ducati twin.
The Triumph injector masters this feat of strength just as well. The high-torque triple pushes forward in a flash and clicks into the red area without much fuss. But in the hunt for fast lap times comes the big disappointment: The Triumph is overwhelmed with the demands of the track. The Daytona only reluctantly follows the targeted ideal line, in some passages indecisively over bumps and rutted ruts, loses grip too early when accelerating on undulating asphalt and, to make matters worse, rasps over the ground in the few right-hand bends with the bends. Lap time: 1.43.3 minutes. All conceivable settings are explored in an auxiliary program: spring preload up, a lot of damping, little damping; Air pressure down, 2.5 bar, 2.3 bar, 2.0 bar – the Triumph remains stubborn and hardly shows any improvement. Last option: The rear tire is swapped for a Bridgestone BT 56 in a narrower 180/55 dimension, which also has a significantly more flexible substructure with only one carcass layer. So, now it’s off. More manageable than the Ducati, more stable in curves and with greater steering precision than the Honda CBR 900, the Triumph shows off its hidden talents. Within a few laps, the horse and rider have reconciled and easily shorten the lap times to the CBR 900 level. But the joy remains subdued, because the MOTORRAD rating is based on the series equipment. And unfortunately the Triumph technicians have completely overgrown their flagship tire choice. Reason enough for MOTORRAD to check the running gear quality of the editorial long-distance machine with the approved retrofit tires at the next best opportunity.

Technical data Honda – HONDA CBR 900 RR Fireblade

Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder actuated via bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, Keihin constant pressure carburetor, Ø 38 mm, contactless transistor ignition, no exhaust gas cleaning, electric starter, three-phase alternator 445 W, battery 12 V / 8 Ah.Bore x stroke 71.0 x 58 mm Displacement 919 cm³ Compression ratio 11.1: 1 Nominal output 128 PS (94 kW) at 10 500 rpm Max. Torque 9.3 kpm (91 Nm) at 8,800 rpm, piston speed 21.3 m / sec at 11,000 rpm, power transmission, primary drive via gears, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, primary ratio 1.52, secondary ratio 2.63, transmission ratio 2, 73 / 1.93 / 1.60 / 1.40 / 1.26 / 1.17 Chassis bridge frame made of aluminum profiles, telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 45 mm, with adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm with upper cables made of aluminum profiles, central spring strut , articulated via a lever system, with adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front with four-piston calipers and floating brake discs, Ø 296 mm, rear disc brake with single-piston caliper, Ø 220 mm, cast aluminum wheels. Front suspension 120 mm, rear 125 mm, front rim size 3.50 x 16 rear 5.50 x 17 tire size front 130/70 ZR 16 rear 180/55 ZR 17 dimensions and weights steering head angle 66 degrees caster 90 mm wheelbase 1405 mm seat height * 800 mm handlebar width * 670 mm Turning circle * 6560 mmWeight fully fueled * 207 kgWheel load distribution * v / h 51/49% load capacity * 183 kgTank capacity / reserve 18/4 litersEquipment / PriceAvailable colorsRoss-White (with Sparkling Red and Black), Pearl-Lemon Yellow (with Black and Pearl-Royal– Magenta), black (with Checker Black Metallic and Matte Cynos Gray Metallic) Warranty two years with unlimited mileagePrice including VAT 20,290 marks Additional costs 330 marks * MOTORCYCLE measurements

Technical data Triumph – TRIUMPH Daytona T 595

Water-cooled three-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, one balancer shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder operated via bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, electronic intake manifold injection, engine management, no exhaust gas cleaning, electric starter, three-phase alternator 480 W, battery 12 V / 14 Ah x stroke 79.0 x 65 mm, displacement 956 cm³, compression ratio 11.2: 1, nominal output 130 PS (96 kW) at 10 200 rpm, max. Torque 10.2 kpm (100 Nm) at 8500 / min Piston speed 23.4 m / sec at 10 800 / min Power transmission Primary drive via gears, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain. Primary ratio 1.75 Secondary ratio 2.39 Gear ratio 2, 73 / 1.95 / 1.54 / 1.29 / 1.15 / 1.07 Chassis bridge frame made of aluminum tubes, load-bearing motor, telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 45 mm, with adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of cast aluminum, Central spring strut, articulated via a lever system, with adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, front double disc brake with four-piston calipers and floating brake discs, Ø 320 mm, rear disc brake with double-piston caliper, Ø 220 mm, cast aluminum wheels. Front travel 120 mm, rear 140 mm, front rim size 3.50 x 17 rear 6.00 x 17 tire size front 120/70 ZR 17 rear 190/50 ZR 17 dimensions and weights steering head angle 66 degrees caster 86 mm wheelbase 1440 mm seat height * 820 mm handlebar width * 700 m m Turning circle * 6400 mmWeight fully fueled * 223 kgWheel load distribution * v / h 49/51% load * 187 kgTank capacity / reserve 18 / 3.5 litersEquipment / PriceAvailable colorsJet Black, Strontium YellowPerformance variants130 PS (96 kW) Guarantee two years with no mileage limitPrice incl 025 Mark additional costs 465 Mark available accessories ex works Alarm system, carbon fiber rear wheel cover, carbon fiber front wheel cover, tank bag, assembly stand, stainless steel silencer without ABE, carbon fiber silencer without ABE, * MOTORCYCLE measurements

Result Ducati

3rd place. High price, expensive maintenance costs, tough, idiosyncratic – not a particularly happy choice for everyday life. But if they are ready to forgive everything, then ascend. Ask your dealer or a Ducati addicted 916 driver about risks and side effects. But do not come to us afterwards with your misery. We warned you.

1st place on the racetrack. Do you have a small van, would you prefer to spend your vacation with a few other “crazy people” in Mugello, on the Nurburgring or in Brno? Then you can take it easy. Something like that doesn’t happen every day. A bit unwieldy maybe, but so razor-sharp and fast on the slopes and with a lot of pressure in the engine. A lot of fun.

Result Honda – Honda CBR 900 RR

1st place. Low consumption with excellent driving performance, light-footed handling with good driving stability make the Honda a winner. The lightest 900 in the test only suffers from the choppy drive and the somewhat toothless brakes. However, good all-round qualities and the cultivated four-cylinder engine iron out the deficiencies in the power transmission.

2nd place on the racetrack The CBR 900 copes with sporting activities on the race track in a casual and no-nonsense manner, but pays for the soft tuning, which is more for comfort and roadworthiness, with disadvantages in terms of steering precision and stability. An all-round good-natured, reliable athlete who lacks the finishing touches to become a real hit.

Result triumph

2nd place Triumph made the desired compromise between the Honda CBR 900 and Ducati 916 perfectly. Handy, the best brakes, a power plant from the engine and the whole thing packed in such a way that you can easily find your way around in normal everyday life. Unfortunately, the wrong tires and the unacceptably high consumption prevent the Triumph from winning the test, which is quite possible.

3rd place on the racetrack. Which marketing person ordered this 190 tire just to be “in”? Off to the warehouse, counting screws. Unfortunately, the Daytona messed up second place, maybe even the top position because of the stubborn, inharmonious 190 tires and the insufficient lean angle of the exhaust manifold, which messed up the sport test quite a bit.

Technical data Ducati – DUCATI 916 Strada Biposto

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, transverse crankshaft, two overhead, toothed belt-driven camshafts each, four desmodromically operated valves per cylinder, wet sump lubrication, electronic intake manifold injection, engine management, no exhaust gas cleaning, electric starter, three-phase alternator 350 W, battery 12 V / 16 Ah. Bore x stroke 94.0 x 66 mm Displacement 916 cm³ Compression ratio 11: 1 Nominal output 115 HP (84 kW) at 9000 rpm Max. Torque 9.9 kpm (97 Nm) at 6700 / min Piston speed 22.0 m / sec at 10 000 / min Power transmission Primary drive via gears, hydraulically operated multi-plate dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain. Primary ratio 2.00 Secondary ratio 2.40 Gear ratio 2, 47 / 1.76 / 1.35 / 1.09 / 0.96 / 0.86 Chassis tubular steel frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, guide tube diameter 43 mm, with adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum Cast iron, central spring strut, articulated via a lever system, with adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front with four-piston calipers and floating brake discs, Ø 320 mm, rear disc brake with two-piston caliper, Ø 220 mm, cast aluminum wheels. Front travel 120 mm, rear 130 mm rim size front 3.50 x 17 rear 5.50 x 17 tire size front 120/70 ZR 17 rear 190/50 ZR 17 dimensions and weights steering head angle 66.5 degrees caster 97 mm wheelbase 1410 mm seat height * 800 mm handlebar width ite * 680 mm Turning circle * 6900 mmWeight fully fueled * 218 kgWheel load distribution * v / h 49/51% load * 182 kgTank capacity / reserve 17/4 litersEquipment / PriceAvailable colorsRedPerformance variants109 PS (80 kW) for a surchargeWarranty two years without mileage limitPrice including VAT 29,990 marks 500 marks * MOTORCYCLE measurements

Triumph three-cylinder engines – tradition and character

In the best of English engine engineering, Triumph-Werke presented the first 750 three-cylinder to the public in autumn 1969. Long-stroke, air-cooled, with two valves each via underlying camshafts and pushrods, the Trident developed an astonishing 60 hp. A strong piece for the time and reason enough for the British to prepare their triple for racing in order to seek success in the grueling TT races on the Isle of Man or the glorious 200-mile races in sunny Daytona. The competition back then: Moto-Guzzi, Harley-Davidson, BMW, BSA, also with the three-cylinder engine, and not to forget the first Japanese three-cylinder two-stroke engines from Kawasaki and Suzuki. Unfortunately, even the grandiose successes in racing could not prevent the Triumph works from heading towards their downfall from the mid-1970s. It wasn’t until the industrialist John Bloor brought the brand back to life in an exemplary hi-tech manufacturing facility in 1990. After the four-cylinder machines of the new series did not meet with the hoped-for approval, people in Hinckley, England, returned to their old values ​​and preferred the three-cylinder, built in parallel, with 750 and 900 cubic centimeters. Significantly slimmed down and equipped with plenty of power, the new Daytona T 595 with its distinctive character and sweeping design could finally put the new movement on the road to success.

Ancestral gallery: Honda CB 750 F – four cylinders that change the world

It wasn’t the first four-cylinder between two wheels, but it was certainly the pioneer of today’s four-cylinder generation. The two-wheeler market in the West collapsed in the mid-1960s, of the major German manufacturers, apart from Zundapp and Hercules, only the Munich BMW works remained. Friedel Munch put the NSU TT Auto four-cylinder in his Munch Mammut, and the Japanese made their first attempts on the European market with two-cylinder four and two-stroke engines. In 1969 the time had come, the first CB 750 F was available for test drives in the MOTORRAD editorial office in Stuttgart. Incredible 67 hp, overhead camshaft, four carburetors, front disc brakes and almost 200 km / h. Honda recognized the worldwide growing market for powerful, fast motorcycles, occupied this segment with the overweight Gold Wing sofa with water-cooled boxer engine and the six-cylinder CBX 1000, before the sporty Bol d´or series with 900 cubic centimeters and 95 hp inline four-cylinder Plan occurred. At the same time, Honda developed its first V4 engines, which initially caused more trouble than profit, but survived their teething troubles well and even gained a foothold in racing with the RC 30. For pure street athletes, however, Honda returned to the in-line engine in 1992 and demonstrated with the CBR 900 RR that big bikes do not necessarily have to suffer from being overweight. Reliable, popular and a coveted item for many tuners, the Fireblade was still at the top of the hit list in 1997.

Ancestral gallery: Ducati 750 SS – Dottore Taglioni and the myth V2

The bevel-twin from 1973 drove its way into the hearts of the Ducatisti forever. Even then, the Ducati was one of the few series machines in the world that were consistently trimmed for sport. A board-hard but stable chassis, double disc brakes, half fairing, a light plastic tank and two open Dellorto carburettors became the hallmarks of the silver racers from Bologna. The engine comes from the drawing board of long-time Ducati chief engineer Fabio Taglioni. The special features: The camshaft drive took place via a so-called vertical shaft, which set the overhead camshaft in rotation via two 90-degree angle drives. Inlet and outlet valves were operated via a forced control, the so-called desmodromic. This maintenance-intensive valve control is still a part of all Ducati engines to this day, from the SS 600 to the 996 superbike. The tubular frame made of rigid triangular structures and the engine as the load-bearing part is also a typical Ducati component. In 1988, under the leadership of engineer Massimo Bordi, the first Ducati appeared with a water-cooled four-valve engine based on the Pantha engine with toothed belt drive to the two camshafts. At first laughed at, the concept turned out to be almost unbeatable after several modifications. Six world championship titles and countless victories crown the Ducati myth.

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