MotoGP – Moto GP 2013: new format for qualifying –

Test of the 600 super sports car

Speed ​​monster in the track test

The first part of the comparison test takes the current super athletes to the racetrack. Because the 600s are the extremists among the athletes, whoever affords a weakness is passed on. With the CBR 600 RR C-ABS, Honda is bringing an electronic driving aid into the race for the first time.

She is a little monster, hunted with a vengeance and so elusive. The next second that keeps getting in the way of drivers and designers in search of the best time. In the hunt for her, the super athletes’ concepts seem almost exhausted. And yet the developers are still squeezing some potential out of the engines, chassis and now also from the electronics.

Honda, which has been subscribing to the Supersport World Championship title since 2002, left the model update to the CBR 600 RR with careful modifications to the cylinder head and exhaust for more power in the middle of the rev range, but was the first manufacturer to apply an ABS suitable for sports. Which, however, is associated with around ten kilograms more weight. Exactly this amount of hip gold was saved by Kawasaki on the previously rather plump ZX-6R, the only super sports car that was really completely renovated for 2009. Since the ZX-6 has always had plenty of top performance, it has now been trimmed to a fuller speed mid-range. The chassis is also completely new. In addition to better mass centering, the lighter frame got a steeper steering head and a fork that has a large damper piston instead of an elaborate cartridge and therefore the name BPF fork (Big Piston Fork).

Triumph only slightly revised the 675 for 2009, now lets the triplet turn around 400 revolutions higher and press two more horsepower, and also reduced the weight somewhat in important places such as the wheels. Suzuki and Yamaha send their super athletes into the race practically unchanged. That should increase for this test on the brand new Spanish course Parcmotor Castelloli near Barcelona. However, the excavators and trucks didn’t seem to have moved away until shortly before our arrival, and when we first inspected the route, it turned out to be too dirty for serious testing. So pack everything and move to nearby Calafat so that the five can show what lap times they are capable of in the hands of the testers, all of whom are very committed hobby racers. There the machines were quickly fetched from the vans, jacked up, the latest Metzeler Racetec Interact pulled up and the tire warmers switched on.

Test of the 600 super sports car

Speed ​​monster in the track test

Suzuki GSX-R 600

by Diego

Suzuki GSX-R 600: four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, 92 kW (125 PS) at 13500 rpm, 68 Nm at 11500 rpm, weight with a full tank * 200 kg, price 10490 euros (* MOTORCYCLE measurement).

It starts with the Suzuki. In the absence of a 2009 model, an identical 2008 machine is used. It only takes a moment for the ice to break between her and the pilot. Because the GSX-R 600 immediately reveals a completely sociable and uncomplicated nature. She is not the most petite in the field, but wags anything but clumsy around the course. Can be driven through the chicane behind the paddock with a loose hand, while the effort required remains almost constant down to large lean angles. And it pleases at corner exit with very even power delivery. This is easy on the nerves and encourages you to open the gas very early. This characteristic does not seem explosive, but it does not frighten the less experienced with sudden bursts of performance. Thanks to the gentle load change reactions, your strength can be used in a well-dosed manner.

At the other end of the straight, in the braking zone, the Suzuki really does well. The pressure point on the hand lever of the test machine was not the crispest, but the bite of the four-piston calipers and the braking stability thanks to the excellent slipper clutch were splendid. However, at 200 kilograms, the highest weight in the test field dampens the temperament a bit. And the GSX-R chassis is not completely unimpressed by violently banged lean angles. A little movement comes into play here. The GSX-R does not offer earthy stability in fast corners, even if the damping reserves of the spring elements are largely exhausted. In return, the Suzuki gives its driver a good feeling for what is going on under him, lets him feel the limit area and the road. And that creates confidence to rush around the corners with a lot of speed and to force the chase for the seconds both at the corner exit and entrance. Which the stopwatch finally honors with 1.35.14 minutes.

Honda CBR 600 RR ABS

Meanwhile, the Honda climbs into the ring. Compared to its competitors, the CBR 600 RR looks incredibly compact. Short tank, rests and handlebars at a decent height, the wonderfully petite Honda is a real feel-good motorcycle, nothing pinches or tweaks, you feel in good hands right from the start. However, it does not give the impression that it is trying to uproot trees. Squeezing out the four-cylinder until it comes out sweet and sour does little. Its peak performance is already available at 13900 rpm, which is not too lavish at 118 hp. The Honda compensates for this with maneuverability. The cleverly placed ten kilograms of ABS technology have only changed this a little.

The CBR scores with flawless handling, great accuracy and fine feedback. It drives simply, almost by itself. The ingenious, electronically controlled steering damper confidently tames any approach to steering the handlebars during harsh driving maneuvers. And the new C-ABS actually braking points that would normally only be approached with the threat of blows. In addition, there is no annoying pulsation in the lever, you only feel the control processes as a mild decrease in the braking force before the first-class stoppers grip again with full force. At the entrance to the curve, if you would normally release the brake slightly, the system shows what deceleration is still possible. In addition, when braking in an inclined position, the Honda literally sucks itself onto the asphalt, showing no trace of the righting moment.

Only once did the Honda regulation reach its limits in the hunt for times. At the end of the start-finish, where a hairpin is braked with full sails into a depression, the CBR, compressed on the very last groove, suddenly made a stoppage, probably stimulated by the rear wheel jumping violently due to the lack of a slip clutch. Whereupon the perplexed pilot, when trying to tame the wedging stern, took the emergency exit into the gravel bed? where the ABS also regulates perfectly. And who knows how this situation would have ended without ABS? The gain from the anti-lock device is in any case considerable. Especially on wet slopes or in everyday life.

Kawasaki ZX-6R


Kawasaki ZX-6R: oven-cylinder, four-stroke in-line engine, 94 kW (128 PS) at 14,000 rpm, 67 Nm at 11800 rpm, weight with a full tank * 193 kg, price 10890 euros (* motorcycle measurement).

In the end it only lasts for 1.35.67 minutes. Because especially when braking, the trampling rear wheel brings unrest to the load. Also fits ?? as with the GSX-R 600 ?? the gear ratio for Calafat not really. Your first gear, which is translated to 117 km / h, is the shortest, the jump to the second, which is translated to 160 km / h, is the largest at 43 km / h. With the Triumph (123/153 km / h) and the ZX-6R (125/155 km / h) the spread is just 30 km / h. And ultimately, in addition to tighter suspension elements, there is also the last bit of top performance missing. The Kawasaki ZX-6R with a measured 123 PS really has enough of that. Nevertheless, the green impresses on the first few laps less with sheer top performance than with the irresistible way in which it grabs from the middle speed range. Exactly where the predecessor’s great weakness lay. Whereby commands of the throttle hand are not implemented in a flash, but with a blink of an eye. The six pushes, supported by a strong middle, powerful and does not let go up to the zenith at 14000 / min. Then the forward thrust subsidies again.

In terms of handling, the Kawasaki is now absolutely on a par with Honda and Suzuki. The revision looks like a fountain of youth, the ZX-6R no longer tensions its driver as badly over the tank as its predecessor, the seating position looks more homogeneous, more clearly trimmed for racing. The braking stability is excellent, too, when the brake calipers hit their claws with force in the 300 mm discs. The slip clutch keeps the stern reliably in check and the fork braces itself bravely against diving too deep. It also ensures remarkable cornering stability, only crystal-clear feedback is missing. Surprisingly, you immediately feel that you are in good hands on the green, you immediately find confidence to really give it the spurs, which it converts into a 1.34.78 round. Get off the Kawa, up on the Triumph. Ooops, first of all you have to adjust yourself properly. If the ZX-6R looks rather broad and stocky, the Triumph appears slim and tall. Very high. The handlebar stubs, on the other hand, are very low, ready to attack. Yeah, the lady wants to run.

Triumph Daytona 675


Triumph Daytona 675: three-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, 91 kW (124 hp) at 12600 rpm, 72 Nm at 11600 rpm, weight with a full tank * 190 kg, price 10990 euros (* MOTORCYCLE measurement).

You quickly got into it. Because the 675 literally takes its driver by the hand, folds casually down to the deepest slopes. The balance and the feedback, especially from the front: first class. The precision with which the Triumph storms the targeted line is colossal. The stiff chassis and the taut spring elements, now equipped with high and low-speed compression, nail the Daytona to the asphalt. Even if you hit tricky corners like the Omega with force and an optimistic incline.

The fact that the Triumph brakes a little bit against the cornering when braking is given. For this, the three-cylinder grapples courageously at the exit of the curve from medium engine speeds and pulls the machine wonderfully out onto the straight. Turns, roars, hisses and in no time sets all the lights on the shift light on fire. The 400 revolutions that it is now allowed to turn can be used as an overspeed reserve before cornering. Strong as a goat, as the new, one-piece brake calipers lay there when braking, grab hold of with a wrought-iron fist and great pressure point that the ?? rear not calmed down by a slip clutch ?? begins to prance easily. Not as intense as that of the Honda, however. The Triumph storms around the course in 1: 34.38 minutes and gives the Kawasaki four tenths.

Yamaha YZF-R6


Yamaha YZF-R6: four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, 95 kW (129 PS) at 14500 / min, 66 Nm at 11000 / min, weight with a full tank * 193 kg, price 11,750 euros (* MOTORCYCLE measurement).

But now the R6, the Triumph will fix it, right? After all, no one is bred for racing as uncompromisingly as she is. Delicate, with a short tank, the pilot in close contact with the deep handlebars, the R6 screeches like a ricochet around the course. Turns and roars in the highest positions. That kicks, but also challenges. The R6 can and will turn like the devil? and it has to. Your peak performance curve knows only one thing: speed. You have to be prepared for this and always have the right gear ready. If you’ve got the hang of it, it’s awesome. Then the R6 bangs around the course, stabs? after the preload of the fork has been adjusted exactly ?? Into the corners with millimeter precision, it can be peppered from left to right with a similar ease as the Triumph. Goal when you come out of a bend, you might get the handlebars around your pilot’s ears. Where’s the steering damper?

As grim as the R6 sweeps around the track, it should only be a matter of time before the Triumph mark is cracked. A mistake, because the R6 provided by the Spanish importer, like the GSX-R and ZX-6R, fails with the brakes and the suspension setup. The stoppers only offer a good average in terms of hand strength and deceleration. And in contrast to the perfectly tuned fork, the shock absorber lacks rebound damping. Which is why the R6 loses ground pumping at the exit of the curve and wears the rear tire prematurely. Nevertheless, she storms around the course, defeated by only two tenths of a second in 1.34.54 minutes, and therefore accepts the silver medal with her head held high.

Like the other places, the Yamaha can still hope for revenge in the country road comparison. In the next issue of MOTORRAD, when the tire warmers are stowed away and the street shoes are we.

Race track rating


Track test queen: Full torque and abundant power across the entire rev range characterize the Triumph triplet.

1st place: Triumph Daytona 675

2nd place: Yamaha YZF-R6

3rd place: Kawasaki ZX-6R

4th place: Suzuki GSX-R 600

5th place: Honda CBR 600 RR

The route: Calafat Circuit


The bargade team ( was on site for the timekeeping.

The 3.46-kilometer racetrack near Barcelona / E ?? on which, by the way, the Master Bike was held for the first time in 1998 ?? is excellent terrain to get a feel for the agile 600s. Freshly asphalted at the turn of the year and freed from some bumps, it offers not only excellent grip but also a rich selection of tricky corners, chicanes, fast passages and hard braking corners.

The tire: Metzeler Racetec Interact


Left: Metzeler Racetec Interact, right: the previous Racetec.

After Metzeler presented the Roadtec Z6 Interact last year, the Racetec Interact is now following. Interact stands for a new carcass construction. Based on the consideration that a racing tire places significantly different demands on the carcass at the tire shoulder and center, with the Racetec Interact the wires of the zero-degree steel belt in the center of the tire are slightly less tensioned for more flexibility and contact area on the shoulder on the other hand, wound with more tension for greater stability. In addition, the winding distances have been redefined.

Also new are the mixtures in the gradations from K0 (soft) to K2. The K3 is street legal. In addition, the Interact has a modified profile with fewer and shorter, but wider grooves, which should prevent the tread from tearing up prematurely. The K2 mixture driven in Calafat appealed not only to the rapid build-up of adhesion at low (track) temperatures, thanks to homogeneous turning and rich self-damping. Stability and above all grip were enormous. Even after around 60 laps, the grip and wear were absolutely fine for this distance.

Related articles

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *