Concept comparison super sports car: Aprilia RS 250-Kawasaki ZX 6R-Yamaha YZF R1

Concept comparison super sports car: Aprilia RS 250 / Kawasaki ZX 6R / Yamaha YZF R1

Bet that…

… There is no substitute for power and the light 250cc athlete easily slows down the big buzzers? Logical! Or not? Superbike champion Christer Lindholm and Otto Normalo have tried it out and guarantee every motorcycle get-together a proper argument.

Franz Klammerle (name changed by the editors) angrily leans over the wobbly beer table and snorts threateningly at his counterpart: "You – you just overtook me because – because you were faster, you Heini. "Tea saying that is often quoted of a highly ambitious, but deeply insulted B licensee sums it up: Being quick is – at least in the sports group – everything, no matter how and with what. And because the arguments about the "how" in the MOTORRAD editorial team are just as quick-tempered as at the regulars’ table, we have extended it again, or more precisely: let it go. Because this is a question of the highest level of competence, you contact the champion personally, but not Guildo, but Christer, last name Lindholm, reigning German Superbike champion in 1997 on a Yamaha and with two other titles in Pro-Superbike Germany’s fastest Swede . As an antithesis, you take one of the tens of thousands of hobby knee sliders, who love to rush – but not professionally – over racing slopes and alpine passes. »Normalo«, alias Armin Juppenlatz, 32 years old and no stranger to the editorial staff as an experienced road sweeper.
Originally, the author was supposed to act as the third pilot alongside professional racing and amateur – unfortunately things turned out differently. But more on that later.
Hockenheim, a small course, peppered with waves and stumbling blocks, sometimes narrow and tricky, but also with lightning-fast double curves and high demands on handling and steering precision. Almost like in real life on the country road, only without snuck tractors, freshly drooled traces of diesel oil and devious bitumen paintings.
All three machines are in the pit lane with identical Michelin Race 3 tires, the super gripper with a profile.
In the best tradition of the 1970s, when two-stroke squadrons mixed up the bastion of bulky four-cylinder engines, the Aprilia RS 250 rushes into the race (individual test, issue 5/1998). 61 PS weak, 162 kg light, the catalyst cleaned two-stroke slips into the role of David.
Poison green, 203 kilograms in weight, 112 hp and chosen as the test winner, the brand new ZX 6R from Kawasaki (comparative test in issue 6/1998) lurks to snatch the lion’s prey.
Yamaha’s radical answer to all super athletes in the world is called R1 (individual test in issue 1/1998) and enters the ring with 148 hp and a slim 202 kilograms. Arnold Schwarzenegger versus Alfred Biolek – or something like that.
Pull in, let it roll, relax. The top priority in the class struggle: no junk, but perfect machines and clear results. So that nobody cheats, every meter is recorded by the installed 2D recording. From the data collected, the electronics specialists with experience in the Grand Prix analyze a great deal of astonishing information about the driving physics and driving styles of the transparent test pilots. In a direct comparison (see pages 24/25) the fastest lap can be reconstructed in every detail.
Then let’s get down to business. Armin, the amateur, took a deep breath and grinned; he can drive 250 cc. Poisonous 61 hp, which, thanks to the restless shift foot and mercilessly squeezed, deliver pretty quick laps. Armin squeezes until it’s sweet and swings around the course in 1.20.1 minutes. »Only when you have the feeling when you turn in that you are knocked down does the momentum at the corner exit fit perfectly. The 250 teaches you to use every inch of asphalt. But unfortunately that only works sometimes. "The recording speaks volumes: where things get tight, he drives the Aprilia at the highest cornering speeds.
Christer Lindholm is also racing around the track with the little Aprilia and, like the amateur, would have to get used to better lap times. "Whoever thrashes too hard in the corners loses the momentum, and apart from the momentum there is nothing that will bring you forward, "Christer complains about the performance deficit. The hands stand still at 1.17.1 minutes.
"Normalo" Armin, who was still very hot for jagged laps, quickly realizes that he has found his Master after switching to the Yamaha R1: "This thing is killing me". And why? Because the "normal" is simply overwhelmed with this merciless catapult. Braking points, aimed at accelerating to the next bend and found to be good, turn into illusory flops a few fractions of a second later due to the brutal thrust. Much too late on the lever, the impending departure is just balanced out. Better to get into the irons a few meters earlier. The same stress when accelerating. Crunchy lean angles – no problem, but a bit too early on the gas, and the sticky Michelin tire is torn from its seemingly immovable asphalt teeth by the elemental force of the 1000 engine – or the front wheel goes to heaven. The amateur, who would have expected the sensational 202 kg of the R1 to be a little more light-footed, also struggled with the handling. Such insights create restraint, but are not useful for the lap time: 1.18.9 minutes are on the clock.
And the boss? Burns thick black traces on the parquet, which amazes every "normal" in deep homage to the master’s iron gas hand. ”At first I drove into corners at too high a speed, then it slipped quite a bit when driving out. Now I’m going up a gear – but it’s still slipping. A fantastic engine with plenty of torque, only a pair of super-grippy slicks can cope with it, "comments the northerner on his test drives, which he ends with a 1.11.4 lap. Is there something like respect spreading even with the master? In any case, the Swede complains that the spring-damper settings of all three street bikes are too soft for his taste, "because to drive really fast you need a firm, direct motorcycle, like my YZF-750 Superbike. "Christer Lindholm looks like this: Impossible late on the brakes, he circles the shortest way around the corner, only to open the gas tap fully in the blink of an eye later. And for this the Master needs grip, grip and more grip.
To avoid possible misunderstandings: The R1 is and remains a wild piece of equipment, a milestone in the history of sports. Even if the staff of the sports club doesn’t pulverize all the lap records in the blink of an eye, there’s nothing better than admiring the deep black rubber tracks you have erased yourself in every lap. Welcome to the black painters’ club.
And the 600 series Kawasaki? Hits the nail on the head and pulls Armin around the course in 1.17.0, Christer in 1.11.8. “And so easy,” grins the master. With Armin too, everything is fine again after the brisk ride on the Kawasaki.
In terms of handling, Christer Lindholm even places the ZX-6R ahead of the small Aprilia 250, which, with its chassis geometry trimmed for driving stability (see box on page 21), requires more pressure on the handlebars when turning than the 40 kilogram heavier, but highly agile Kawasaki. This in turn confirms that weight and handling do not necessarily have to be linked to one another. Further evidence of this theory is the fact that the R1 is rated a whole lot more unwieldy by all test personnel than the roughly equal weight ZX 6R. Where does it come from? On the one hand from the wide, but necessary for the bestial smoke, 190 slippers on the 6-inch rim, on the other hand from the higher rotating masses of the 1000 motor, which influences handling and cornering ability with its stabilizing centrifugal forces.
Those in the know of the racing scene will hardly be surprised by such results, as even the 250cc Grand Prix machines equipped with half power often lose less than two seconds per lap on the 200 HP grenades of the 500cc class.
And so that things really go well at the next regulars’ table, the brand new Yamaha turns the popular claim that light machines brake better than heavy ones, completely upside down. With an average deceleration of 10.4 m / sec² (explanation in box on page 22), the Yamaha anchors much more efficiently than the Aprilia RS 250, which comes into a spin early with the rear wheel lifted. The reasons for this lie in the differently balanced center of gravity, the shorter wheelbase of the Aprilia and the fact that when braking at full speed from high speeds, the air resistance contributes a not inconsiderable part to the deceleration. And the rugged and tightly cut fairing of the R1 has more than enough air resistance.
Conclusion of the trial of strength? That a dozen highly talented racing professionals in Germany pull the gas cord unrestrainedly, even with inflated big bikes like the R1, but cannot convert their brute performance into anything nearly as brute. And that thousands of hobby racing drivers and would-be Doohans together with the MOTORRAD editors can certainly be less modest. If you want to. Sure, the 250 Aprilia mutates into a sleeping pill on lightning-fast slopes, but with the R1 you still get damp hands even on the boring straights. The interface between drivability and sheer power is razor-sharp on the 600 concept. Sufficient power, above all manageable power, combined with playful sharpening of curves.
ZGranted, there are still weaknesses there: The constant turning of the four-cylinder Quirrl, for example, which sometimes becomes a nuisance in the tricky country roads. Although the Kawasaki drive is relatively powerful, a few Newton meters more torque would be great. But where do you get it from? Perhaps the designers and marketing spies should reconsider the popular middle class despite its unbroken success. An appetizing serving suggestion: 100 HP from a slim and cleverly constructed 750 V2 engine, with a full punch and still keen on revs, not even 170 kilograms with a full tank and as small and bustling as a 250 GP bike. After all, the athletes of this world don’t race around the race course every Sunday, country roads, crooked and twisted, are the area. And whoever seriously demands 150 hp there will soon be wearing his ass in a sling anyway or riding a bike for lack of a driver’s license.
Ahhh, why did the author fail as a guinea pig, you wanted to know? Because Yamaha’s YZF R1 tore a spring in the shock absorber of the clutch to pieces during the last test run, whereupon it cracked loudly at a speed of 180 km / h. "A fault in the test machine, which, for whatever reason, was not equipped with the reinforced clutch basket installed on all customer machines, "said the Yamaha manager and Lindholm supervisor Hans-Hermann Oetting about the damage. And so, unfortunately, the eagerly awaited gala performance by Christer Lindholm fell through, driving the R1 around the piste with the already heated slicks in direct comparison to his superbike. Because one thing is certain: the difference between the super athletes off the rack and their sinfully expensive models has never been as small as it is today.

Technology transparent – specialist Chinese for beginners

Deceleration in m / s²: The theoretical maximum braking deceleration is 9.81 m / s², i.e. the acceleration due to gravity or gravitational acceleration, in which man and machine are loaded with the centrifugal force of a G, i.e. their own weight. The interlocking of the soft tire rubbers with the asphalt and the contact pressure generated by the wings of formula racing cars enable motorcycles and cars in practice, however, much higher deceleration values, which are around 16 m / s² for racing motorcycles, depending on the speed, and for Formula 1 racing cars even far more 25 / m / s². Specific engine output: In order to be able to compare engines with different cubic capacities in terms of their actual performance, the actual measured output or torque is converted to one liter cubic capacity, i.e. 1000 cm³. Example: The 250 V2 Aprilia two-stroke engine with 248 hp per liter displacement (4 x 62 hp) is exactly 100 hp above the four-cylinder four-stroke unit of the Yamaha R1. The reason: Small-volume two-stroke engines are more powerful than comparable four-stroke engines. HP per kilogram: The acceleration in the lower speed range essentially depends on two factors: namely the vehicle weight plus driver and the maximum engine power. If these values ​​are divided, it is easy to calculate for each vehicle How many horsepower are available per kilogram of vehicle mass when accelerating.Recording: For around 10 years, various data have been recorded while driving in racing and during test drives in industry. During the MOTORRAD test drives, for example, the speed was recorded via a sensor on the front wheel, similar to an electronic bicycle speedometer, and the rotary movements of the throttle grip. Modern systems allow several different parameters on the chassis or engine to be recorded and saved at the same time. Since errors or weaknesses in the chassis can be thoroughly analyzed using thesis values, professional racing teams use not only the statements made by the driver, but also the findings of the data recording for a perfect coordination of spring and damping.

Speed ​​on the racetrack in comparison – amateur

The amateur: In the acceleration phase (rising lines) the extra power of the R1 only comes into play from around 150 km / h. With the Aprilia RS 250 and the Kawasaki ZX-6R, the amateur almost compensates for the up to 40 km / h higher top speed of the R1 with high cornering speed and fluid lines.

Speed ​​on the race track in comparison – professional

The professional: Superbike champion Christer Lindholm brakes longer in the corners (sloping lines) with the R1, plunges into acrobatic inclines and accelerates hard and efficiently over a short distance. The higher cornering speed with the more manageable RS 250 and the ZX-6R is almost identical.

Speed ​​on the race track in comparison – amateur / professional

Amateur versus professional on the R1: At almost the same speed when cornering, the professional drives up and away from the amateur in fast passages and when braking. By relentlessly tearing the gas open, it also creates a significantly higher top speed on short and long straights.

Speed ​​on the race track in comparison – on the throttle

On the throttle: In the target curve / home straight section (black part of the route sketch), the amateur carefully accelerates (yellow), while the professional (red) pulls hard on the throttle, is almost 20 km / h faster (dotted lines) and around 50 meters later and harder on the brakes.

In comparison: Yamaha YZF 750 Superbike versus Yamaha YZF-R1

Just one day before the MOTORRAD test drives, the German superbike elite competed for victory and honor on the small Hockenheim circuit. The best conditions for Master Lindholm to beat the YZF R1 around the course under almost identical conditions. The key data in comparison: When empty, the 148 hp R1 weighs around 188 kg (power-to-weight ratio with 80 kg driver 1.81 kg per hp), 18 kg more than the 165 hp superbike (1.51 kg per hp). Optimally translated, Lindholm consistently uses the six gears of the racing machine, while positions five and six remain unemployed with the R1 gearbox. There are reasons why the actual mileage and lap times still differ. On the one hand, the racing machine rolls on sticky slicks, while the R1 is soled with profiled supersport tires. On the other hand, the Lindholm YZF 750 has an individual chassis adjustment and a tailor-made seating position. The fact that Lindholm achieves better deceleration values ​​when braking with the YZF R1 is directly related to the center of gravity of the racing machine, which has been trimmed for maneuverability and shifted far forward. Even when accelerating, the R 1 cannot be shaken off for the first few meters and only gives in when the airflow gets tangled up in the jagged fairing from a speed of 160 km / h and the YZF 750 shows its aerodynamic advantages and its excess power.

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