Comparison test Ducati 996 S, Honda CBR 900 RR, Triumph Daytona 955i


Comparison test Ducati 996 S, Honda CBR 900 RR, Triumph Daytona 955i

Comparison test Ducati 996 S, Honda CBR 900 RR, Triumph Daytona 955i

Strategy games

Win with four? Or would you rather be brisk with three? Are two boys enough if the sheet is correct? The cards are being reshuffled with the new Triumph Daytona 955i.

The enlightening thing about a proper Skat is the analysis afterwards. When the cards are on the table, everyone knows what they did wrong. Before that, when the cards are dealt, it’s not that easy. Example of the new GP-1 class: This is in the starting blocks for the 2002 season? and nobody knows what trump is. Does a robust twin stand out? Three cylinders in line? Or the four in a row. Possibly ?? very exotic ?? even a five-cylinder in a V-shape?
In contrast to sport, in civil life the matter has already been decided. At least for triumph. It should be the triple. Because the old Churchill saying “no sports” still applies on the island and because Triumph boss John Bloor wants to develop and sell motorcycles for the streets. In addition, the three-cylinder has become a trademark after the rebirth of Triumph.
The matter is also decided with Honda, because their CBR 900 RR with inline four-cylinder has been very popular with buyers for years. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t appear in the Honda simulation games on the world’s racetracks, because the V4 was initially favored for the superbikes, then the V2 later and the V5 is planned for the future GP-1 class. So it is left to Ducati alone to transport the racing spirit one-to-one into everyday life. Regardless of whether it is a circuit or a country road: Everything is under the sign of the V2. And the success proves the reds right in terms of sales as well as on the circuit.
Probably also because the pure function is not everything. Not even picking up the bread. The fact that the cold Desmo-Twin dies several times just at the moment when the driver engages first gear enables a new start process, a brief idling roar that makes the neighbors green with envy, while the clutch that slips on the final drive is unmistakably clear makes that a long first gear for the way to the bakery is sufficient even if it is only in the next village.
Well, now an end to polemics. Nobody buys a 996 S to get rolls. Others, including the Daytona 955i and Fireblade, can do better. And nobody buys them exclusively for shopping. Everyday life takes place after work and on the weekend. On the home route, with short trips. Or on vacation.
All areas of application that seem tailor-made for the new Daytona. Although the 955i has become lighter, more compact and stronger, it is miles away from the ergonomic uncompromising character of the Ducati with deeply clamped handlebar halves and footrests, which only experience asphalt contact in the event of a fall. In this respect, the British model is based heavily on the tried and tested Honda. Because even if the distance between the handlebars and the seat is a little larger despite the shorter tank and there is more weight on the wrists, the seating position of the latest Daytona generation is definitely considered comfortable. In stark contrast to this is what the new 955i has to offer in terms of chassis geometry. A 67.2 degree steering head angle and 81 millimeters of caster are records in the Richter scale, which is quite limited at the top for agile handling. For comparison: The rather stubborn Ducati rolls around with a steering head angle of 65.5 degrees and 97 millimeters of caster, and even the Fireblade, known as nimble, is content with 66.3 degrees and also 97 millimeters. A radical cure that has an impact: was the Daytona of the last generation more sedate than hyperactive, the current model draws on par with the exemplary Honda in terms of handiness, while changing lean angles ?? no matter at what speed? operate under heavy labor on the Ducati.
But the 996 driver is happy to accept that and brings the load back on track again and again by shifting his weight a lot, because, as is well known, the pleasure comes after work. And promptly enjoys this astonishing accuracy and the unique stability with which the Duc ?? the faster the better ?? draws its circles. An exclusive pleasure even among these top-class players. Honda and Triumph offer more comfort, especially on poor terrain, but cannot counter this in terms of feedback and chassis reserves, especially in fast, undulating passages, because the shock absorber’s damping reaches its limits. This is especially true with the Honda.
The 996 S is also a perfect boarder liner, just in a completely different way. In addition to its extreme ergonomics, the red from Bolongna penetrates from a financial perspective into areas that can cause physical pain. 34662 marks change hands for the S variant? and thus well over 10,000 marks more than for the Fireblade (23,990 marks) and Triumph Daytona (24,460 marks). Compared to the civilian 996 (30,158 marks), the buyer can choose between a light aluminum rear frame (only for solo operation), other camshafts and titanium connecting rods that nobody sees. Bad deal? No, because there is also more power. Ducati promises a nominal 128 instead of 113 hp, and it should be in competition with the nominally much more powerful three- and four-cylinder for reasons of sporting fairness. After all, 122 hp remain on the test bench. These are enough to even stand up to the clearly strengthened triumph in terms of top speed (266 km / h each) and acceleration with 141 PS, while the CBR 900 measured at 136 PS can move up a little.
In real operation beyond the test bench role and light barrier, these are subordinate variables. Much more important is the way in which the service is provided. Each of the candidates has their weaknesses below 4000 rpm, the area that is often used in city traffic and leisurely coffee trips across the country. The Daytona triple, for example, falls into a pronounced power and torque hole between 3000 and 4000 rpm and only then finds itself in a quite remarkable condition. The Honda has its weakness attack around 1000 rpm earlier and draws attention to itself in the lower speed range with a rough throttle response, which in connection with the large play in the drive train ?? recently also not an unknown phenomenon at the Triumph ?? relaxed strolling around is not relieved either. The Ducati is annoying in addition to the poor smoothness of the V2 in the lower third of the engine speed due to this eternally long first gear and a far too long secondary ratio.
So no more strolling. After all, this is about athletes, and they usually only show their true colors beyond the town signs. In the case of the new Daytona a typically British one, because the offered performance is served with the familiar triple tubes from the airbox, but also with restraint. One simply does not trust the triplet to have 141 hp because it lacks sensational highlights and runs out of air significantly faster above 10,000 rpm compared to the four-cylinder Honda. A fact that also applies to the Ducati V2 due to its design, but is less of a problem there, or not at all, because the Desmo-Twin burns off a fireworks display between 6000 and 10000 rpm, which also makes stubborn admirers of the four-in-line stagger. Just like the Triumph engine, it is silky smooth and yet spontaneously on the gas, but subjectively pushes forward much more emphatically and, when it reaches its peak performance at 8800 rpm, is in this area above the three- and four-cylinder competition.
In view of the fact that the question of top performance on the country road is not seriously asked anyway, a highly welcome characteristic. But the Triumph’s unobtrusive forward thrust also has its good, because it allows the pilot to concentrate better on what really matters. Finding the right line, for example. Always a pleasure with the new Daytona because the chassis modifications are having an effect. In contrast to the previous model, it is as easy to handle as the CBR 900 RR from one lean angle to the other and hardly loses any accuracy on the well-known Honda, thanks to the narrower 180 mm rear tire on the 5.5-inch rim Advantages when it comes to ignoring bumps. This tire dimension would undoubtedly also do the Ducati good, which bulges a 190 Pirelli Dragon Corsa on its 5.5-inch rim so excessively that the 996 tips further into the curve on its own at a controlled speed from a certain lean angle.
But you can put the repeated criticism of the Ducati brake system on the current 996 model aside. The Brembo four-piston stoppers work at a high level both in terms of their effectiveness and controllability, but they still have to give up the Triumph and, above all, the Honda brakes on the country road. The finely metered Nissin system from Honda even has slight advantages in terms of meterability compared to the super-snappy Triumph system from the same manufacturer.
When it comes to the comfort of any co-drivers, the tide turns. Here the Triumph is just ahead, followed by the Honda, while the test 996 S (with the aforementioned aluminum frame rear and single hump instead of the optionally available steel frame rear with seat bun) refuses to do this from the start. Just like an effective illumination of nocturnal curve labyrinths, because a real racer needs an effective lighting tool at best during the 24-hour hunt and then goes to the start anyway converted.
The Honda already has excellent lighting as standard, and the Triumph has significantly increased its luminosity thanks to the new twin headlights. That’s what the two fight for when it comes to the hunt for fast lap times? aha, now we have landed on the racetrack after all, the Ducati literally attracted us ?? with problems of a different kind. So, small course Hockenheim, now it’s time. And already the first, cautious laps show: As always, everything is different. Even professionals like Jurgen Fuchs can be wrong. He relies fully on the Honda after the first flying laps, praises the wide rev range upwards, which saves a gear change in front of some corners as well as the vehement acceleration, praises the handiness with which the Honda can be thrown down to the dragging footrests ?? and drives the Ducati half a second faster. That is the motorcycle that loses 14 hp on the Honda on the test bench, that gives in to be stubborn and awkward to give in and whose engine runs out of breath on top. As the? Because the 996 S throws into the scales those qualities that can sometimes be detrimental to it on country roads, where comfort plays an essential role. The tight coordination of their high-quality suspension elements, for example, which leave so much room for improvement that they can be adjusted to every driving style and course. Armed in this way, the Ducati do not bring load changes or bumps out of control, it accelerates as smooth as butter and, once on course, allows limitless inclines. To do this, she does not push forward at the exit of the curve brutally, but with even pressure. And here the seating position fits, which puts a lot of pressure on the front wheel and allows the 996 S to turn into corners at great speed.
Honda and Triumph are more indifferent. Its comfort-oriented set-up, which is still quite welcome on the country road, reaches its limits on the racetrack, which is manifested above all in instability in the braking and acceleration zones. The CBR 900 RR is fickle, especially when braking in an inclined position with simultaneous downshifting (end of the crossbar), the rear sways. On the Daytona, on the other hand, the fork does not really play along, dipping deep when braking and then poorly absorbing bumps. Also, both tend to ?? the Honda more than the Triumph ?? in addition, occasionally boldly wedging the handlebars, which the standard steering damper on the Ducati effectively prevents.
The braking systems, which are already superior on country roads, are also effective. With one difference: Under the tough conditions, the Triumph system wins and works flawlessly, while the Honda loses a little because the pressure point moves after several laps and also becomes more spongy. In return, the lack of speed reserve of the strong Triumph, which has never been missed on the country roads, is now noticeable. One or the other time it abruptly runs into the limiter, especially since the jammed gearbox doesn’t exactly increase the desire for additional gear changes. The stopwatch runs half a second longer than on the Honda, and stops at 1:12.1 minutes. A fine figure for a motorcycle that has shifted to the motto “no sports”. In addition, the time impressively proves that the triple stands out even in its latest expansion stage and does not have to match the established two- and four-cylinder competition in terms of performance.
VSo much praise for the new Daytona, in terms of functionality. The fans will not really like the fact that Triumph has drawn level with the Japanese competition in terms of looks. Where has it gone, the fine single-sided swingarm? The elegant rear, the oval silencer, the expressive headlights. One could certainly learn from Ducati in this regard. 996 remains unmistakable 996 ?? because unmistakable design is a trump card that always stands out. No matter which hand the other players have.

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Comparison test Ducati 996 S, Honda CBR 900 RR, Triumph Daytona 955i

Comparison test Ducati 996 S, Honda CBR 900 RR, Triumph Daytona 955i
Strategy games


When it came to the question of the engine concept for the GP-1 class, heads smoked for a long time in Japan and Italy, and the approaches to solutions are quite different. The reason is the knowledge that has grown in recent years that drivability is more important than the last bit of top performance. The reason: the engine characteristics are the decisive factor right from the apex of the curve. By carefully pulling out the throttle, you are looking for the limit for the slip limit on the rear wheel, still in an inclined position. The ideal case: in this acceleration phase, pull the throttle grip as evenly as possible to full throttle. But: the more aggressively the power delivery, the more the driver’s reaction is required, because after the first few meters of acceleration he has to wait or even take off the accelerator slightly, as the engine increases its power disproportionately with increasing speed. The highsider sends his regards. Even the best four-cylinder riders in the Superbike World Cup give away valuable tenths of a second to their competitors on the V2 machines during this phase. Jan Witteveen, Head of Racing at Aprilia: »The throttle connection (control of the rear wheel via the throttle position) is generally better possible at low speeds than at high speeds. The two-cylinder engines work around 2000 to 3000 rpm lower, but they provide more torque there. «After comparing the three production motorcycles, I can only agree. At Ducati, the stressful phase is already over after the first few meters of acceleration, because after a powerful acceleration it turns rather unspectacularly to the limiter. Even with a perfect performance of the four-cylinder Honda, a lot more sensitivity is required at high speeds in order not to be suddenly overtaken by the rear wheel. In terms of concept, the Triumph should be in between? But she doesn’t quite manage that. At low speeds it has too little steam to drive like the Ducati, then too little speed to be able to use the enormous peak power.

1st place – Honda CBR 900 RR

She was not really nervous, the serial winner, in view of the new competition from the island. Of course, it didn’t have to be that a three-cylinder engine would dig the water in terms of performance. Otherwise, however, the self-confidence of the Honda is absolutely justified, because the fire blade is a very good sports motorcycle in the sum of its properties. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement. Keyword steering damper. And the rough engine run would have to be just as little as the pronounced load change reactions.

3rd place – Ducati 996 S.

3rd place It comes as it had to come. When it comes to purely rational considerations in everyday life, the 996 S has nothing to order. Too uncompromising, too uneconomical, too expensive. A clear case. But it is just as clear: When it comes to the emotional experience of motorcycling, the Ducati is way ahead. Because it drives so emotionally? and the feeling of sitting on something special always goes with you. The consistent focus then really pays off on the racetrack, it deserves first place.

2nd place – Triumph Daytona 955 i

2nd place The new Daytona has gained momentum. This is not a question. Became stronger, more manageable, ergonomic cheaper. Simply more modern. Add this unmistakable three-cylinder sound that simply turns you on. Still, it’s not enough to beat the CBR 900 RR. Neither on the country road nor on the racetrack, because in addition to old weaknesses (transmission) it also has new ones (load changes). And not only friends of the brand will regret that the new Daytona has lost its independence compared to the old one.

“What is she doing?”

Again and again the question provides a topic for discussion. “What is it doing?” Also in the MOTORRAD test.

In order to make the assessment in the MOTORRAD scoring more transparent, the individual criteria are explained one after the other. First of all: top speed. MOTORRAD rates the maximum speed according to a linear table. Test all motorcycles in a comparable way – that is the basis of the new points system. For speeds from 116 km / h to 290 km / h between one and 30 points are awarded. Anything over 290 km / h is considered with 30 points – there is nothing more. This means that the manufacturers’ agreement that 299 km / h is enough is taken into account. A Triumph 955i (266 km / h) receives 26 points, a Sachs Roadster 800 (177 km / h) 11 points.

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