Seven superbikes in the comparison test – country road


Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

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Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Aprilia RSV4 RF, BMW S 1000 RR, Ducati Panigale V4 S, Honda CBR 1000 RR Fireblade SP, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R and Yamaha YZF-R1M in comparison test.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The best suspension, the best brakes, the best electronics – and yes, the very best performance.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The speed of an arrow – Aprilia RSV4 RF.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The TFT display is small but clearly laid out. The settings are made with several dedicated buttons.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Ohlins TTX damper: some of the best the market has to offer. High spring rate in the front and back, tight setup.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The Ducati Panigale V4 S (215) has the most horsepower. In comparison, the rear is the Honda CBR 1000 RR Fireblade SP with 192 hp. But who wants to talk about bottom line?…

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The power – BMW S 1000 RR.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The last of its kind: A large analog tachometer offers excellent readability. The RR is fed up with pressure in all situations.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The processing quality of the S 1000 RR is posh, as the fork bridge proves. Semi-active chassis as an option.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The classy – Ducati Panigale V4 S.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

In addition to its function as a blatant pulse accelerator, the V4 S is a sublime sculpture. Sensational workmanship.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Brembo’s new pliers from the top shelf are called “Stylema”. There is currently no more delay in the class.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Unique selling point single-sided swing arm. The forged wheel is as light as a feather, the 200/60 tire specially developed by Pirelli.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Curve after curve, always at the limit.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The blade – Honda CBR 1000 Fireblade SP.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Semi-active Ohlins chassis instead of Showa, excellent function without much fiddling. Finest weld seams.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

SP wheels: light, but not forged. Class standard: Brembo monoblocks on 320 double discs.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The world champion base – Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The Kawa cockpit exudes a somewhat special charm, the tachometer of which is easy to read.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The prominent, electro-hydraulic steering damper of the sturdy ZX-10RR has less to do than others.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

In the MOTORCYCLE measurement, most motorcycles have a top speed between 293 km / h and 299 km / h. Only the Aprilia (305 km / h) and the Panigale (316 km / h) break the 300 mark.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The balanced one – Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Not the latest craze, but clearly structured and easy to read. The GSX-R’s LCD has its own appeal.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Suzuki also relies on Showa’s “Balance-Free” technology for the chassis. This should improve the response and damping properties.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

The noble one – Yamaha YZF-R1M.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Ohlins chassis also in the R1M. This works in great harmony with the compact chassis.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Crossplane four-cylinder, a R1 specialty: lots of pressure on top, unique sound. Large amounts of carbon fiber.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Impressions from the test procedure: Determine consumption,…

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

…Tension chains, …

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

…Take a coffee break, …

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

…Post selfies.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

From front to back (placement test result): Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R (2nd), Honda CBR 1000 RR Fireblade SP (3rd), Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR (6th), BMW S 1000 RR (1st).

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

From front to back (placement test result): Ducati Panigale V4 S (4th), Yamaha YZF-R1M (5th), Aprilia RSV4 RF (7th).

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

Impressions II: Small repairs are best done immediately, …

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

…but always with the correct tools.

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

“Mummy, …

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

…we are fine!”

7 superbikes in the country road test

The new V4 S against the rest

Superbikes – for many the crown of creation. Performance, chassis, brakes and electronics at the very highest level. Ducati’s new Panigale V4 S can finally compete with the finest, highest quality sports motorcycles in the world. On the country road and then on the racetrack.

D.At this point, ucati’s new Panigale V4, in a delicious S version with semi-active Ohlins chassis and forged wheels, competes with the finest superbikes for the first time (except for BMW all double R, SP, M, Factory, etc.). This is a happy event, but it will attract critics. Because if those previously raised the index finger to “Gnah, no one needs 200 HP” and “Much too fast, much too dangerous”, you can now delete the psychologically striking 200, insert an even more absurd number at this point and then even more incomprehensible look out of the laundry.

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Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

7 superbikes in the country road test
The new V4 S against the rest

Seven superbikes in the comparison test - country road

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316 km / h at 15,000 tours

If you, dear reader, are one of those likeable freaks who have the nail very deep in their heads, who have to have the fastest, most powerful, most desirable piece of high-end motorcycle – read this story to the end, then go to Ducati dealer you trust, push the little thing of 28 Mille over the counter and buy your ticket. You won’t care that the Duc won’t be at the top at the end of this comparison – not on the country road and not on the racetrack. And at most competition drivers (who are served with even sharper material anyway) or aesthetes should be irritating that Ducati is a little unsporting about 999 cubic meters for this disturbingly erotic piece of two-wheeler and the first street-legal V4 in the company’s history.

The classy in the test: Ducati Panigale V4 S.

The advocates of the idea of ​​fairness, the noble idea of ​​the fight of the same cubature and everyone who can get excited about a little catapult to the horizon, are invited to the following play. It will take part: a Panigale V4, in the worst case also the equally strong sister without S, a very long, very untraveled, possibly closed straight and a driver with a solid personality. Take a deep breath, shift into first gear, activate the launch control (yes, really), rotate the black thing on the right stump as far as it will go, then let the clutch click with a little feeling: the fun ride begins. The electronic brain of the Ducati Panigale V4 S brings the starting speed to 9,000 revolutions – roaabapapapap – prevents the rollover backwards when the clutch is engaged, doses just enough material every millisecond so that the front wheel glides smoothly over the asphalt under maximum acceleration. Freak and vehicle fling forward.

Immediately afterwards, at over 14,000 revolutions, the shift light twitches, and accompanied by the nasty raging “Twin Pulse” hammering, the second sits with the Quickshifter without any major interruption in traction – the next escalation level in the V4 spectacle. Bits and bytes are still smoking, power, traction and a light front wheel turn into the ideal A-square. A blink of an eye in the inferno. Pock, in the third, and after 7.1 seconds, a real 200 kilometers per hour are reached. There, too, the violence is no less, but just palpable. Undoubtedly, such a race start aid is an indispensable feature on the morning way to the bakery. If the straight is an unrestricted, empty motorway or the high-speed course from Nardo, three more gear changes follow, until – wearers of the neon yellow vest must be really brave – the 1103-Desmo-Four on 15,000 tours (it can hardly be put into words) and satellite measured 316 kilometers per hour is allowed to storm. Voluntary self-restraint? 999 cubic? Seems like that was yesterday. Maybe we will see the birth of the first hyperbike here.

Cornering ABS? Of course everyone has

But what if you are NOT one of the freaks? What if you don’t care about zero two hundred, launch control and 316 things? Then I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for making it this far. The Desmosedici was to blame. The thing with the nail in the head could handle itself anyway. Because the sports motorcycles are paralyzing in the market. The 600s are almost dead, the 1000s are selling slowly – even a Panigale V4 S with a top speed of 350 km / h wouldn’t change that much. Imagine it’s Superbike comparison and nobody is looking? Completely unthinkable 20 years ago, today it seems a reality. The reasons? These motorcycles are possibly too radical for the mature rider, too expensive for the not yet mature and like surgical instruments in a ball bath for the zeitgeist. That the “no one needs” barrel could easily be emptied over every biturbo V8? A side issue.

At the same time, and thus to the point, superbikes unfold their fascination not only beyond good and evil, but also in completely legal, completely socially acceptable, completely normal driving situations. Admittedly, sports ergonomics require some basic fitness. But these seven crowns of creation reward the effort a thousandfold. Superbikes are nothing less than the pinnacle of motorcycle construction. In them the manufacturers gather their greatest know-how, all of their development pride. Through them, Japan and Europe fight out where the brightest minds are. This prestigious competition, which has been held for decades, has made all these motorcycles based on the Darwinian principle not only terribly fast, but also terribly good and, incidentally, extremely safe (really).

The level is so high today that the differences on the country road, apart from a few hard findings, are primarily reflected in the character of the person, in questions of taste. Brakes? Velvet and especially devoid of any criticism. Cornering ABS? Seven times of course. Undercarriages? The best there is across the board. Either semi-active, preferably from Ohlins, or the latest Balance-Free technology from Showa. Control electronics? Exclusively lean angle-dependent traction controls with IMU sensors, wheelie controls widespread, slide controls are making their way. Nowadays, nobody has to fall off a modern Superbike if they don’t aim at it. Tires? Finest, stickiest goods from Metzeler, Pirelli and Bridgestone. Quickshifter? Nothing new, everyone is blippin ‘today, and that’s great. Power? Let’s leave that… The hard part of this comparison, the impressions at the limit, we did of course on the racetrack – anything else would be bold.

Panigale between Fireblade and R1

So what are the main differences? Let’s start with the other V4 in the field, the Aprilia RSV4 RF – which, in addition to the tough “Twin Pulse” pseudo-twin cylinder of the Ducati Panigale V4 S, proves to be a real gentleman racer in terms of smoothness. But that of Duc, who was briefly translated and blessed with the most violent draft, cannot hold a candle to punch in the cellar. Surgical precision, telepathic feedback, the most precise implementation of all inputs – that is the essence of the RSV4 RF. And steely, comfort and uncompromising hardness. In addition, the Panigale – also as a V4 S – in terms of its engine and chassis, looks downright wild and unbridled.

The contrast to the demanding, highly racetrack-focused Aprilia is the Kawasaki ZX-10RR. The long 10-man ninja offers unconditional stability in every position, creating effortless driveability and surefootedness. With a more conservative geometry, their handling looks more old-fashioned. Your engine only unpacks the big hammer at the top: all or nothing.

No comparison with the most European of the Japanese, the Yamaha YZF-R1M. Yamaha not only emptied the big bucket of carbon over it, but also heavenly chassis know-how. Playful, dancing, the R1M, like the Honda Fireblade SP, which is almost even more spectacular in this respect, takes even the narrowest country lanes. The Aprilia can do that too, but bad asphalt, mogul slopes, it cannot. Then the more versatile Yamaha YZF-R1M and Honda CBR 1000 Fireblade SP pull away. The semi-active Ohlins suspensions work brilliantly “out of the box” in the automatic modes, whereas the Ducati Panigale V4 S reveals more movement – even on the gas. Although the red one from Borgo Panigale turns in similarly directly, also reports crisp, but with its special chassis does not find the same inner calm as the Fireblade SP and R1M. Which is why she finally has to place herself between the two. Before the Yamaha, because its ergonomics are more flexible, because its lively crossplane engine requires more speed, then drinks. Behind the light, economical Honda, because its chassis is fuller in combination with the extremely good steering damper, and at the same time it follows the will of the driver even more consistently than the R1M and V4 S. The Fireblade also rightly bears its name as the SC 77. In the SP variant, as a strict single-seater, it then has to admit defeat to the balanced high-pressure inline four-cylinder. No, the GSX-R 1000 R and BMW S 1000 RR are less sharp than the RSV4, V4 S, Blade SP and R1M. They draw a less high-resolution image of the underground, do not quite convey its pointed flair, and are less inciting.

GSX-R inconspicuous, outstanding BMW

But they punch even more confidently and effortlessly (okay, not than the Duc). The Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R is the inconspicuous model boy. Competent, no weaknesses, easy to drive, best Japanese four-cylinder engineering. Can do everything, never attracts negative attention – but apart from the pressure of the VVT ​​engine, there are no absolute highlights. Everyone can decide for themselves whether the price advantage of a GSX-R 1000 R is very important in this league. It is always the best offer.

Which brings us to the test winner. With its power plant of a four-in-line, the 1000 RR gives little or nothing to the Panigale V4 S over long stretches; in the acceleration scene outlined at the beginning, it would even take a tenth off it (like the Suzuki) due to a much better clutch on 200. Their power output and controllability are unmatched in this field. Their traction control and ABS work even better than any Japanese, more than on par with Ducati and Aprilia.

Your chassis is one of the most stable, without losing handiness. She is economical. And yes, it even has cruise control and heated grips. She is cool Teutonic perfection. And thus the complete opposite of the hot, at this point still somewhat raw, Panigale V4 S.

Aprilia RSV4 RF

The speed of an arrow. As an uncompromising piece of sports equipment, the RSV4 RF (model update last year) wants a racetrack and makes no secret of it. The seat bench is tight and high, the contact with the machine is filter-free and comfortable. Jockeys tend to find enough space due to the high notches.

Aprilia RSV4 RF.

The coordination of the spring elements turned out as hard as the bench. If the surface is level, this results in excellent cornering stability and an almost unreal transparency down to the deepest slopes. The RSV4 surgically dissects even the most tricky combinations of curves with an experienced hand. Absolutely a precision tool, it punishes – like the Ducati – those who hang on it like a sack of potatoes with restlessness. Subjectively, the Aprilia (at 210 kilos this year the heaviest machine in the test field) has a comparatively high center of gravity – which does not make it more unwieldy, but more difficult to move.

If potholes get under the forged wheels, the best conventional chassis in the field (Ohlins instead of Sachs for RR) is the first to lose its shape due to its hardness. The control electronics of the Noale arrow work at almost the highest level – the ABS never interferes on the racetrack either, the traction control acts sensitively and can be adjusted at any time from the handlebar with a trigger.

Further reference to the origin and destination of the RSV4: It also has a launch control, only it even has a pit lane limiter. The geometry can also be adjusted via an adjustable pivot point.

In terms of engine performance, Aprilia’s V4 is in the middle of the field – with 200 hp, however, our specimen was five less than in the previous year. What is noticeable here is on the one hand the subdued propulsion below 5000 revolutions, which increases vehemently above it – when the exhaust flap is opened. The sound of the 65-degree V4 (conventional firing order, no crank pin offset) has something musical about it and is probably best described as jazz metal at concert volume. The controllability of the subjectively a little too long geared engine is excellent, as is its smoothness from medium revs. Quickshifter, blipper and gearbox work perfectly, the performance of the perfectly adjustable brake is beyond any doubt.

BMW S 1000 RR

The power. The only motorcycle in the test field of which only one (basic) variant exists. Forged wheels, the semi-active chassis and a sinful Akrapovic complete titanium system as special equipment lift the inexpensive S 1000 RR up to and above the level of the competition, and also save seven (!) Kilos compared to last year’s test motorcycle.

BMW S 1000 RR.

Although the BMW received an update in 2017, it is the oldest basic design. Nevertheless, the well-known double-R qualities ignite: With 199 HP in the light, the Bayerische Motorenwerke stack very low, 207 HP at the top make the rocker arm motor by far the most powerful 1000 in the field. Great on the country road, not to be despised on the racetrack either: the BMW has a very powerful center and takes on the 1100 V4 over long distances. In no speed range does the S 1000 RR have any noteworthy load change reactions; instead, it only provides perfectly accessible and usable power on the remarkably smooth throttle grip at all times. Also well known is the traction control. Depending on the lean angle and the driving mode, the S 1000 RR releases just as much power as the liability conditions allow. In slick mode, the TC can also be fine-tuned while driving. A network that feels foolproof and makes you fast. In addition, there is an excellently adjustable clutch and a (on the test motorcycle) perfectly working quickshifter. When it comes to handling, the RR is not the sharpest tool – Aprilia, Fireblade SP and R1M are clearly superior to them in terms of steering precision and turning behavior. The great strength of the chassis, however, is its good nature. The motorcycle can easily handle the pumping of the rear end when the pace is sharp, and the braking stability is excellent. Not too low at the front, not too high at the back – the ergonomics are less active than Aprilia and Co., but also allow longer country road stints and even the way to work. In addition, the BMW offers the most generous amount of space, which makes it almost indispensable for very tall drivers (besides the Fireblade).

Ducati Panigale V4 S.

The classy one. The explosive power delivery of the V4 S is probably its most outstanding characteristic – this motorcycle kills you with power. It is unquestionably the strongest, most exciting, most sensual motorcycle in this field, also the highest quality – but not objectively the best.

Ducati Panigale V4 S..

First of all, it is surprising how little the new engine feels like four-cylinder because of its “twin pulse” ignition sequence in the lower speed range. That brings Ducati charm, but not necessarily many points in terms of running culture. Anyone who feared that the V4 would turn the Panigale into a softened, clinical (or quiet) motorcycle can rest assured. This finding can also be extended to your driving behavior. Whole racehorse and all Panigale, if you want to be driven with concentration, demands binding, precise input, rewarded in return with ultra-direct handling despite the long wheelbase. Line corrections in an inclined position are most playful on Ducati (and Blade). Its ergonomics are excellent both on the country road and on the racetrack: narrow at the waist, wide at the stumps, non-slip footrests, perfectly contoured tank flanks. The red is also far ahead when it comes to the control electronics: The TC works in neatly spread levels and very smoothly, the ABS, depending on the setting, is safe to razor-sharp. Cornering ABS, Quickshifter and Blipper are self-evident, they all work perfectly. In addition, the 330 brake system is the new reference in terms of deceleration performance and controllability. What the Panigale V4 S throws back (in addition to enormous maintenance costs) in comparison: A clutch that jerks when starting up sharply, which also prevents even better acceleration values, and the fact that its semi-active chassis requires adjustment work. Her rather sharp way of dealing with movement contributes significantly to this. The chassis, which consists of the supporting motor and subframe to the steering head, takes less patience than other machines with hits in an inclined position, a front wheel that tears up whether it’s power or (rare) pumps from the rear during strong acceleration. This is at the expense of stability.

Honda CBR 1000 Fireblade SP

The blade. Quite Fireblade, the SP puts controllability before power. The electronic chassis achieves the masterpiece of combining handiness and stability to the highest degree, in this field only achieved by the R1M. The turning behavior of the Honda is even ahead of that of the RSV4, its semi-active chassis provides clearer feedback “out of the box” than that of the Ducati, for example.

Honda CBR 1000 Fireblade SP.

It works excellently on the country road and on the racetrack without any major setup orgies. The Blade carries the same Ohlins chassis hardware as Yamaha and Ducati, and in terms of frame geometry it only goes extreme ways with a short 1404 millimeter wheelbase. What the huge aluminum frame, which switches the engine, contributes to the outstanding handling properties, must remain in the realm of speculation. On the other hand, in addition to a great electronic steering damper, the perfect ergonomics are crystal clear: very compact, short tank, not extremely deep and ideally placed handlebar stubs, space even for larger ones. It is noticeable that the Honda offers the easiest drivability of the more radical machines (Aprilia, Ducati, Yamaha). She is most likely to tolerate carelessness and inactive driving style. The Honda is just about the bottom of the field in terms of top performance (with 192 hp, our 2018 test motorcycle is 6 hp more than the previous year’s model, which also hit the gas a lot harder), but its low weight and brilliant handling compensate for this. The behavior of the control electronics is almost irrelevant on the country road, but a real mortgage on the racetrack. The TC intervenes early in the tame stages, late and hard in the remaining two aggressive stages, and above that forms the weakest safety net of the seven test motorcycles. Something similar with ABS, which sometimes opens up when you brake hard – that not only pulls your teeth, but in extreme cases can lead straight into the gravel bed. Then praise for a flawless finish. Note the beautiful welds on the swingarm.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR

The world champion base. The company car of a certain Jonathan Rea presents itself in series form rather good-natured (high braking, cornering and straight-line stability, gentle steering behavior) than as a handling miracle. Although the Kawa is not the heaviest motorcycle in the field, the conservative geometry (flattest steering head angle and longest caster) make it appear comparatively sluggish.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR.

The Zehner, which appears here as the “Winter Edition”, does not find the tight line as dancing as Fireblade and Yamaha, and demands the use of strength, especially in changing curves. Ergonomics and motor work in the same direction. The former is comfortable with a low bench and plenty of space, but is also quite inactive on strangely outwardly turned stubs. The long, wide tank and the footrests positioned a little way forward also stand in the way of the close relationship between the driver and the machine.

At the top like a hurricane, the classic in-line four-cylinder lags clearly and noticeably behind the competition on the way there. In fact, with an extremely long first gear, the Kawasaki is the only motorcycle on which you would want more power now and then. Gear one reaches up to 156 km / h, and in this one finds oneself more often than one would like. On the plus side, on the other hand, there is not only a fairly unapologetic drivability – the Kawasaki is far less hose-proof than Aprilia and Ducati – but also an extremely appealing, smoothly damping Showa chassis. Sensitively and with damping reserves that are fully suitable for the racetrack, the Balance-Free spring elements scan the road, provide good feedback, and do not allow themselves to be disturbed by knocks in an inclined position.

The clutch and transmission are the best Japanese standards. ABS and traction control work reliably, although the Europeans offer something even sportier here. In this way, the Kawa’s ABS, which can be switched off via a plug, can be brought into trouble on the racetrack, but then slows down further at a lower level.

Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R

The balanced one. The best GSX-R virtues come together in the current Kilo-Gixxer, which is entering its second season in 2018: an extremely powerful, accurately controllable, economical drive across all speed ranges, a precise, stable conventional chassis with good-natured, sharp handling, flawless brakes and electronics , sports ergonomics suitable for country roads. Suzuki’s flagship is less characterized by highlights in individual areas than by the lack of any serious weaknesses.

Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R.

One after the other: Although the handlebar stubs are a bit close together by today’s standards, apart from that, the ergonomics (medium-high seat, moderately short tank, comfortable knee joint) became aggressive without becoming unbearable in the long run. Equally potent, but not sharp, the in-line quad with variable valve control (VVT is the name of the system of the inlet camshaft that can be adjusted by centrifugal force depending on the speed) provides an incredibly broad band. There are no negative effects of this technology, but our test motorcycle vibrated noticeably more strongly in the middle of the speed than last year’s machine. Short shift travel and a perfectly coordinated quickshifter / blipper make changing gears a pleasure.

On the chassis side, the Blues rely on the same Showa technology as Kawasaki, although the rear shock absorber has one µ less damping reserves. Irrelevant on the country road (here the good compromise between firmness and residual comfort is more appealing), noticeable on the racetrack. There, the strengths mentioned result in stress-free, accessible power, which puts the Gixxer in the close choice, especially for occasional ring drivers. Highly motivated lap time hagglers, however, could be missing the last bit of feedback and steering precision. Even the Suzuki’s anti-lock device can sometimes be disturbed in wavy braking zones. For a sports motorcycle of this league, the GSX-R 1000 R offers an excellent price-performance ratio.

Yamaha YZF-R1M

The noble one. The most European, track-oriented motorcycle among the Japanese. Its semi-active Ohlins chassis combines razor-sharp steering behavior and enormous cornering stability to the same extent as the Fireblade SP. The R1M drives smoothly but with high precision over the front wheel, reporting liability conditions even more clearly.

Yamaha YZF-R1M.

The biggest difference to the Honda, which is very comparable in character (both machines have very compact ergonomics and excellent electronic chassis), lies in the engine, in addition to the extremely high-quality finish (fine aluminum tank and square meter carbon fiber cladding). With the CP4 unit, the R1 uses the crossplane principle, i.e. an unconventional crank pin offset of 90 degrees. The motor delivers its power in a finely pulsing and perfectly controllable manner, generating an excellent feeling for traction on the rear wheel. Although it lacks a little pressure on country roads, up to 7500 revs, the special construction (and the resulting, animal-like roaring sound) ennoble the higher speed level to an extraordinary acoustic experience. However, the consumption is quite out of the ordinary, the R1 consumes 6.1 liters of fuel even more than the Aprilia.

A blipper that has been installed since this year’s update (which thanks to the new suspension software has significantly increased the braking stability) makes the rather clumsy transmission take a back seat. The Yamaha brake system offers a very stable pressure point, but requires a comparatively high level of hand strength. If you reach in vigorously, the complex combination brake system (which contributes to cornering stability with automatic use of the rear brake) of the R1M noticeably cuts the further deceleration performance. But that can only be experienced on the track. In return, it has the best traction control of any Japanese and can almost compete with BMW, Ducati and Aprilia in this regard.

Aside from fuel consumption, the only real weakness of the Yamaha: its clutch, the pressure point of which loses its definition under heavy loads. Otherwise a very noble, but not very cheap motorcycle.

MOTORCYCLE test result

1. BMW S 1000 RR
The engine chapter alone was enough to make her victory clear. Excellent assistance systems, enormous equipment and good everyday manners “on top” make the S 1000 RR difficult to beat as a superbike in the 1000-point scheme. Still powerful.

2. Suzuki GSX-R 1000 R
Apart from the powerful, sociable engine, it is not individual highlights, but rather a very balanced overall performance that lifts the Suzuki into second place. Can do anything, is easy to drive and affordable. A bit of “bling-bling” wouldn’t look bad on her.

3. Honda CBR 1000 RR Fireblade SP
The best chassis, also and especially on the country road. Outstanding ergonomics, enough usable performance. As a strict single-seater, she misses a few points. Who doesn’t care, gets a real top-class with the expensive Fireblade SP.

4. Ducati Panigale V4 S
A tricky clutch and hard use of power decimated the yield of the abnormally powerful engine. The special chassis is, at this point in time, more of a rough diamond than it is finally cut. As always, no other offers more experience.

5. Yamaha YZF-R1M
Chassis on the same sensational level as the Fireblade SP, but theoretically offers space for two. The crossplane engine has its own character, the noble nature turns on. High thirst and relative weakness in draft are important.

6. Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR
In itself a red hot iron, in comparison not quite red-hot. On the plus side, there is uncomplicated, stable driving behavior and a sensitive conventional chassis. The aim: a shorter translation, more punch below.

7. Aprilia RSV4 RF
Wonderfully radical, far too radical for the general assessment. The extremely stiff chassis works on level asphalt, but less so in many everyday situations. The same applies to the jockey-like ergonomics. From the racetrack, for the racetrack.

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