Comparison test of the 600 super sports car
It’s getting tight
Riot in the sports group. A whopping 124 hp, a ridiculous 207 kilograms with a full tank, pure, sensual sportiness. Up to now, no sports motorcycle has been so radical. That was 1992 ?? Honda had the first to the amazed experts
Fireblade presents. A little sensation. Today you would have a difficult time with these key data in the 600s.
The bar is now a lot higher. She recently hung up the YZF-R6 (MOTORRAD 3/2006) there. Yamaha specifies 127 HP on the crankshaft, with the Ram Air effect even 133 HP. The test bench attested that the clutch had a real 122 hp, while the editorial scale had stopped at just 190 kilograms.
Suzuki is now countering this with the completely redesigned GSX-R 600, promising 125 hp and garnishing the newly designed, extremely compact, just like Yamaha-
th inline four-cylinder with titanium valves and an anti-hopping clutch. And
from now on, triumph also mixes in
the scramble for the best middle class-
Athlete one. The English developed the
new Daytona without the restrictive corset of any racing regulations. But always had the Racetrack in mind. The result was an exciting one-
stylish three-cylinder with an unmistakable triple flair and the unusual stroke-
space of 675 cm3. The Triumph brings the British kick of extravagance into the supersport class, and has already shown in the top test (issue 5/2006) that its builder succeeded in making an excellent result. So it’s all about in the supersport league.
Three exciting innovations, three hits-
strong, mature top dogs from Ducati, Honda and Kawasaki. To whom the crown belongs in the end? That will be carried out. On the race track in Calafat, Spain. But only at the end. Before that, it goes extensively into the mountainous hinterland. Where there is an adventurous winding pass-
roads meander wildly up the hills and then tumble back down into the valley in equally wild spirals.
Bets are still being accepted as to who will beat the competition on this selek-
tive terrain from the field? Here we go.
Two-cylinder culture at its best ??
Ducati 749 S.
Although the Ducati now has to share its exotic status with the Triumph, the unconventionally drawn Signorina still has a very special charisma. A quick press of the start button ?? and the starter automatically balances the crankshaft with a slow, pumping rhythm until the Desmo-Twin starts to work with a well-damped, pulsating blow. The only one over-
the Duc still leaves the rules to the driver
the idle speed using the choke lever. The same goes for the sitting position
own ways. Integrates the pilot
their low seat height deep into the motorcycle,
but at the same time it is overstretched
the long tank. At least allow
the adjustable footrests downright relaxed knee angles.
The way the Testastretta engine is presented on the country road is also casual. The V2 shovels a massive amount of torque to the rear wheel from the low rev range, shines with impeccable throttle response and decent turning ability. So the 749 comes out of the starting blocks in a jagged manner despite the long overall gear ratio and the highest weight in the field at the corner exit. Especially since the aisles can be sorted precisely and smoothly over long distances. The draft-
strong two-cylinder spices up the sprint from curve to curve with pithy hammering from the airbox and well-dosed vibrations ?? present, but never annoying. In addition, the Italian offers her well-known chassis virtues: unconditional stability and firm, yet appealing spring elements that do not allow themselves to be disturbed even by heavy road warps, as well as the finest feedback about what is happening between the rubber and the road. And Brembo anchors, which are snappy and lightning-
good ?? almost too jagged for sensitive natures or shady ground ?? grab it.
Nevertheless, the Ducati rider does not have an easy position if he wants to stay on the heels of the rest of the troop. In terms of handling, the Italian’s multi-cylinder competition is dancing around on the nose and much nimble through the maze of curves. In addition, a noticeable righting moment ensures that the 749 wants to be forcefully asked into the curve on the brakes. The straight sitting position is not very helpful because it puts too much pressure on the wrists. The easiest way to feel that the 749 is basically in its fourth year is on winding country roads while
the competition has carefully, steadily and consistently fine-tuned performance development, handling and ergonomics.
Forever young ?? Honda CBR 600 RR,
the balanced one
It’s astonishing: no matter which motorcycle a test pilot switches from to the CBR, the reaction is always the same ?? shiny eyes, satisfied grin, yes, that fits. Sporty, relaxed, nothing tweaks. The ergonomics on Honda’s super sports car are simply first class, and the contact with the machine is intimate. Why
man ?? also thanks to the pleasantly tighten
Seat cushion ?? has an excellent feel for the motorcycle.
As a result, there is hardly anything to complain about. Sure, other 600s are stronger or slightly lighter in paper form. And the load changes, they should be milder. But otherwise? Peace, joy, eggs-
cake. The Honda is wonderfully balanced in the twinkling of an eye through first-class twisted combinations of corners. Bounces on bumps and when turning quickly from right to left at the front and rear, nicely synchronized and drives exactly where the rider in a hurry directs you. Even the most tricky passages do not stumble, and the rough load changes do not ruin the choice of line at the apex of the bend. With such a character, the CBR 600 RR makes it easy for less experienced pilots to be relaxed and brisk.
Especially since the finely appealing spring elements provide plenty of comfort and feedback, and the four-cylinder with it
dignified running culture shines. He pushes forward bravely from medium speeds without being tired or strained
Act. And with the crisp and precisely shiftable transmission, it is a pleasure to always serve him the right gear. The CBR engine is not a terrible ripper, in spite of the decent revving, it is definitely a pleasantly powerful companion for brisk country road burning.
Hot spurs complain at most about a slight erection moment and the fork that goes on block during groovy braking maneuvers. The gorgeously gripping stoppers that can be dosed down to the hair, which prove that you can build excellent brakes even without the hassle of radial pumps, appreciate it with clicking their tongues. Caution is only advisable on bumpy slopes that are tackled with commitment. There can the Honda ?? as well as Kawasaki and yamaha ?? deal quite violently with the handlebars. Convincing, on the other hand, is the high-quality workmanship, details such as the clearly structured, excellently readable cockpit and the cladding that was removed in a few minutes and reassembled just as quickly because it was precisely fitting.
May it be something more? Kawasaki
ZX-6R and the power of displacement
Small displacement advantage? big impact. No question about it, the 636 from the Kawasaki
is among the four-cylinder supersport
the measure of all things. Pulls out powerfully
the speed basement and screwed up the speed ladder with eerily beautiful growls, rattles and screams. Almost sensational, the vehemence with which your engine pushes from 10,000 rpm to well over 14,000 rpm. Its brilliant revving peaks in an enormous 123 hp. Silky smooth running of the engine is not its forte, but smooth throttle response is. What a power plant.
You hardly have to exhaust your turning ability and explosive power development on the country road. Up to 8000 revolutions is always ge-
There is enough pressure in the boiler, which saves some switching operations compared to the rest of the four-cylinder pack. This engine is undoubtedly the cream of the crop of the Kawasaki, which crowns its convincing appearance with a precise six-speed gearbox and an inconspicuous and effective anti-hopping clutch.
Compared to the compact and gracefully built competition, the ZX-6R looks like a really stately motorcycle due to the wider tank and the long fairing front, which it subjectively in the first
Moment makes it seem a little unwieldy. But it is not. It only needs a bit more steering force to turn, but then it folds down all the more readily to the deepest inclines and can then be peppered from left to right with just as light a hand.
The negative sides of the Kawasaki in everyday life: The spring elements should be a little more sensitive to work. In addition, the squishy seat cushion and the wide tank prevent intimate contact with the machine. And while we’re at it: the LCD tachometer is not even a second choice in terms of readability. The thumb rises again on the brakes. Snappy, transparent and razor-sharp to dose. Worthy of an athlete.
With renewed momentum to the top?
Suzuki GSX-R 600, the comeback
At the end of last season, the little Gixxer was out of breath that she could no longer think about test wins. Too little power, idiosyncratic ergonomics. That should be different with the completely redesigned, nominally 125 hp 2006 GSX-R 600. In any case, the Suzuki developers did a great job of the pilot. Neatly firm seat cushion, the adjustable notches do not fold the driver’s legs too much, and the short tank moves him comfortably close to the relatively high-mounted handlebars. That fits perfectly. The same applies to the chassis. As soon as the tires and steering damper are a little on the temperature and have shaken off the slightly doughy moment, the Suzi swings easily into an inclined position. She willingly follows the smallest of Lenk-
command and thread in no time
nothing by wicked curve combination-
nations. Course corrections? Child’s play. The stability in fast, bumpy corners is a poem.
The Suzuki technicians had a lucky hand when coordinating the suspension elements. Tight, sensitive, and without any sporty harshness, they iron even wrinkled asphalt smooth. Especially those
Gabel spoils with the finest appeal
and sufficient compression damping, while the shock absorber is a little more detailed about the condition of the road-
formed, but with proper com-
continues to have even greater damping reserves and high and low-speed compression setting ready. With this chassis you can really let it rip. Also because the steering damper ensures calm on deck on mogul slopes.
The debut of the newly designed, compact inline four-cylinder with its superimposed gear shafts is just as successful. In fact only 116 of the promised 125 horses are at the start ?? of the lively kind, however. The Suzuki pulls forward from the deepest positions without holes, from 7000 rpm it noticeably tenses its muscles and then fiery races up to the highest positions. At 11000 rpm, she adds a few more coals and storms with hurray towards the red area. The Suzi engine accompanies its march through the rev range
an impressive acoustic performance and roars at the driver full of fervor from the airbox and stub exhaust.
And otherwise? A creamy, precise one
Gear garnished with a top notch
Coordinated anti-hopping clutch for friends of the well-groomed braking drift, exemplary adjustable, enormously gripping four-piston stopper with a brake lever that fits perfectly in the hand. So one after the other fits into a harmonious whole, the Suzuki collects point by point and creeps far ahead in the favor of the testers.
Learning from the past ?? Triumph Day-
tona 675, fat triplet instead of narrow quattro
After the rather unsuccessful attempts to gain a foothold with a four-cylinder in the super sports area, the British dare one
restart. With a three-cylinder, as you would expect from Hinckley. End-
one would like to call out to them. Because the throaty-smoky three-cylinder hissing was missing in this class. Strictly speaking, the Daytona with its 675 cm3 does not even fall into the super sport class. It doesn’t matter, because the very first corners that were tackled with commitment show that the British have achieved a milestone.
Where to start With the fine brakes? The stable chassis? Or the powerful three-cylinder unit? Maybe in the sitting position. As narrow as a Grand Prix 250, with a high center of gravity, even higher seat cushions and low-mounted stumps, it offers her
Pilots only slightly less comfortable than the Honda. This arrangement is even the first choice for dancing over wild, winding streets.
Just like the landing gear. Once the tires and steering damper have warmed up, there is no stopping them. The Daytona zigzags effortlessly in an inclined position, hits the targeted point with crisp precision and circles through the radii on the targeted line with millimeter precision. Closing curves,
tricky harassment, no problem. The Triumph latches on without resistance
on each line one. And vigorously through-
She masters cracked changes of inclination with provocative ease and without any movement in the framework. Because the chassis shines with impressive neutrality, is perfectly balanced, the fork and shock absorber work in sync and, thanks to appropriately tight coordination and impeccable response, provide excellent feedback. Hallelujah, there is joy.
The triple is just as impressive. If the four-cylinder engine doesn’t get off the ground before 8000 rpm, it already has plenty of rich thrust up to this mark. A look at the torque curve reveals why: The Triumph does not step below 50 Newton meters
only on. The four-cylinder engines need at least 6500 rpm for this. In addition, is the Englishwoman ?? please hold on ?? At 190 kilograms, just as light as the Yamaha R6, but with a significantly shorter gear ratio.
From tight hairpin bends, the Daytona can be pulled on the curb in second gear at 1800 rpm. Around
then, with a growling thrust, to hurl the horse and rider with their front wheel raised towards the next bend, where the Nissin stoppers with their first-class mix of controllability and bite inexorably bring the pace back to normal-
support. The three, equipped with a throttle valve per intake port, runs-
cylinder by means of a balance shaft as if on velvet paws. Only the clear load changes when applying the gas can bend the clean line a bit in curves. If you have come to terms with it, there is nothing to complain about on the 115 hp triple. Neither the precise gear nor the drinking habits. And certainly not the sound. Because the Triumph not only goes ahead like a big one, it also sounds like it.
The race is on ?? Yamaha YZF-R6,
Probably no manufacturer has trimmed a mass-produced bike more radically for racing. Real 121 hp from 600 cm3, huge axle diameters, powerful profiles for the frame and the steeply inclined swing arm. This combined with an ultra-handy steering geometry and multiple adjustable spring elements that provide plenty of damping reserves so that you don’t bend your knees in the event of racing stress. It is logical that everyday suitability suffers here. At least when it comes to the sitting position, the wide flared handlebars ensure that there is plenty of pressure on the wrists. The short tank also puts a lot of load on the front wheel, which is good for feedback.
As expected, high torque is definitely not the strength of the R6 engine. Little happens below 8000 rpm. No, it should be 10000 / min so that things go well. But then the air burns. With a roar from the titanium stub underneath the engine, the 600 zaps its way up the speed ladder so quickly that you can hear and see. In order to keep this fiery powerhouse happy, you have to quickly sort the gears in the closely spaced gearbox so that the shift drum glows.
The R6 does not allow its pilot to take a breather. In return, it offers an unbelievable level of driving dynamics. Is even easier than any other-
Pepper in an inclined position and pops like shrapnel with a high-pitched screeching
one bend to the next to greedily devour one bend after the other at breathtaking speed.
Stability and steering precision are beyond any doubt. The Yamaha hits a line faster than you can imagine. No arch is so tight that she can’t get it. When it comes down to it, she could certainly drive circles around herself too. In addition, she pampers you with feedback at its best. One almost thinks the grain of the asphalt in the
To feel fingertips. This chassis can do everything? except comfortable. A clear case for enthusiasts. And the racetrack.
Athletes belong in the arena? the hunt is on, no more excuses
Everyday life is good and beautiful. But what if it does? What if the last tenth should be fine-tuned? The Calafat circuit will bring it to light. A demanding-
full slope with selective curve sequences and non-slip, partly eroded surface. A real job for the chassis. Racing professional Arne Tode should make the most of the
using fresh Conti Sport Attac soled machines, the recording of his laps by data recording bring to light the strengths and weaknesses of the six super athletes.
The Ducati makes the start. After just a few laps, she had a respectable 1.35.8 minutes. Your trump cards: the extremely stable chassis and the earthy, firm spring elements that offer crystal-clear feedback. The powerful V-twin is now missing some horsepower at the top. Unfortunately, a large part of its panache fizzled out in the far too long gear ratio and the more than 20 kilograms in weight in comparison.
On the not particularly fast race track of Calafat, the Honda provides a big surprise with a splendid 1.34.4 minutes. Thanks to stable brakes and a good-natured, excellently balanced landing gear, which makes walking the tightrope at the border of take-off much easier. Only the too soft fork and the overall lowest engine power thwart the absolute best time.
Well, performance isn’t everything. Because the ZX-6R is not faster despite 13 more horsepower. Arne praises the fine handling, the first-class steering precision and above all the engine. But that is too indifferent
Feel for the front wheel. And the front section occasionally irritates with strong vibra-
braking. This leaves only a wafer-thin tenth of a second or six meters ahead of the CBR at the finish line.
With 1.34.8 minutes, the Suzuki is very close on their heels. “What fun,” shouts Arne, wearing a helmet, after rolling out into the pit lane. Great spring elements, great brakes and a handy, precise and stable chassis with a lot of feeling for them
Tires when it slips. In addition, a wide usable speed range and the best slipper clutch in the field. And helpful details such as the bright shift light, good wind protection or the not too heavily tinted windshield, through which you can still aim at the braking point even when crouching.
And the triumph? Sweeps around the course with eerily beautiful roaring, pushes yourself out of the hairpin bends with power,
threads his way through the chicanes at lightning speed. Remains quite stable in the braking zones even without a slip clutch. A little more top performance and a little tighter spring elements for more feedback and thus more confidence in the limit area, and the Daytona would have pushed itself to the front on the racetrack as well. But even so: a very strong debut with 1.34.7 minutes.
So, now comes the R6, which will do the rest. With un-
embarrassed roar the Yamaha storms into the home straight, neck corners, and The stopwatch shows 1.34.3 minutes. On par with the Kawasaki. Despite the brilliant handling, the most stable chassis and that rocket of motor? The brakes ?? Always in control of the situation on the country road ?? the racing bite is missing a little. And even race track pros like Arne Tode need a bit of getting used to in order to cope with their tendency to kickback and to keep the 600 at the right speed for maximum acceleration when exiting a curve.
That’s it. The stopwatches are stowed away, tires and engines have cooled down. What remains? A surprising winner, the realization that the level of the 600s is now extremely high and the result on the racetrack has never been so close. As predicted, it will be tight.
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Comparison test of the 600 super sports car
It’s getting tight
MOTORCYCLE measurements racetrack
A comparison on the racetrack has never been so close. All the more important are the data recording, the
based on the fastest lap,
in which sections of the route which test motorcycle at top speed or in curves-
speed brings time ?? or leave it.
Additional rating race track
The boss in the ring is the Yamaha with its race-ready chassis. Even if their power on the angled course is not reflected more clearly in the lap time. Only a steering damper is her
strongly advised. Suzuki and Triumph follow,
although a few tenths slower than Honda and
Kawasaki, with a wafer-thin lead, tied for second place. The decisive factor in the points assessment is the somewhat more confident suspension set-up than the CBR and ZX-6R. In terms of handling and engine performance, the Ducati loses touch with the competition, which is also reflected in the lap times.
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