Track test Ducati 999 R / Suzuki GSX-R 1000
There is more to it …
…than just whether the brand new Suzuki GSX-R 1000 or the sinfully expensive Ducati 999 R is the hottest racetrack weapon. It’s also about the sporty future of the two-cylinder.
The best place is right at the front of the pit wall in Ledenon. Where the sound pressure from accelerating down from the bend arrives practically unfiltered and announces in good time that the show is about to begin. There, where a hoarse 5000 rpm in second gear unmistakably form the audiophile prelude to a staccato that is second to none. And it’s also the best place to watch the visual climax: the moment the new GSX-R 1000
shoots over the hilltop with the engine revving at lightning speed and the front wheel held high to reach the short target degrees
to swallow. 340 meters further, a blink of an eye later, one gear higher, 8000 rpm screeching and 80 km / h faster, the spook is over. The Suzuki turns into the Triple Gauche and leaves viewers who take a deep breath. Wow what a number.
More is not possible, one is inclined to say. Series performance at it’s best, presented by the new queen of sports cars (see MOTORRAD 6/2005). With a 1000 series four-cylinder, the likes of which the world has never seen before and which concretes the belief in this drive concept on sports fields around the globe as firmly as that of the Pope in God. Anyone who dares to think of two-cylinder engines at this moment may not think anything else is sacred.
MOTORRAD does it anyway. Because Ledenon is not Misano, race training for everyone, not a championship race and not
every hobby racer a Troy Corser. The heretical question is: Do you need this performance explosion to drive fast, or do you need two cylinders less? And if so: which twin would be suitable to defend the two-cylinder honor?
There can only be one. Exactly, the one in Ducati‘s Superbike base, the 999 R. An impressive piece of two-cylinder technology, the data of which even make supporters of the pure Nippon doctrine doubt. Nominally unbelievable 150 PS at 9750 / min, plus a whopping 110 Newton meters of torque, which at least 1000 / min is closer than the 118 of the Suzuki four-wheeler. That should be exciting! Especially on this winding, demanding mountain-and-valley course. So back to the pit wall.
No hoarse hissing, but the typical subtle Ducati grumbling announces the second leading actress. For reasons of fairness, the 999 R competes without a racing system and EPROM, which are included in the scope of delivery. The first appearance is as calm as the legally compliant sound. Only a clear shake elicits the nasty crest of the racer from Bologna, the red one cuts past the pit wall by a hair’s breadth, briefly calls for fourth gear after the third and is gone.
It won’t work like this, the onlookers suspect. Even self-confessed twin lovers are disillusioned. The screeching appearance of the GSX-R is too striking for anyone to put a damn on a Ducati victory. Then the person who stopped the Italian’s first flying lap shakes his head. "1.29.6," he mumbles, more to himself. Say it again, now aloud, addressed to everyone. "That was just a 1.29 lap!"
Incredible amazement spreads. Ledenon connoisseurs know: Less than 1.35 minutes is really fast, less than 1.30 is madness. Many a committed amateur pilot fails because of the 40 mark. An observer wants to know who is the pilot on the D.ucati, who previously drove the GSX-R over the top in such a sensational way. »Arne Tode, 19 years old, born in Saxony. Last year drove the Supersport World Championship on a Yamaha R6 and the Endurance World Championship. "And did ?? everyone agrees here ?? has already proven that he is exactly the right person to thoroughly scrutinize the two super athletes.
But MOTORRAD has not only secured the services of this young top driver, but has also taken care of extensive data collection (see pages 72/73) in order to get a detailed picture of the performance of the opponents. Both GSX-R 1000 and 999 R are under close observation. Every throttle flap, every chuckle of revs and of course the pace are recorded to the meter and provide information about which machine is where and how fast.
For the "why", however, Arne is responsible. “It doesn’t make sense either of them to go down to the First down there at La Cuvette. In the second, the front wheel couldn’t be kept on the ground, "he describes the passage mentioned above from the driver’s point of view. No wonder, then, that the measured 147 hp and high-torque Ducati provides enough tractive power on the rear wheel (see diagram on page 70) to turn at the start / finish at optimal speed. Until shortly before the braking point, the red one does not lose a meter on the Japan bolide before its concentrated power can finally put itself in the limelight. In numbers: the GSX-R comes to the braking point at just under 233 km / h, the Ducati at least reaches around 228 km / h. But: While this can mean the decisive overtaking maneuver in the race, the time advantage is only 0.08 seconds (see page 72). A breath that the Suzuki immediately loses in the tricky Triple Gauche.
"The 999 R offers excellent feedback, especially on steep slopes and at high cornering speeds, such as in the first two arcs, "says Arne, describing the advantages of the Ducati, which can also be found in the further course of the lap when driving over the crest in the direction of Turn 8 and on the approach to the make the already mentioned sink noticeable. Above all, the GSX-R leaves valuable fractions of a second there, while it can only implement its performance advantage at the only point on the course where it does not accelerate steeply uphill or in steep inclines. Between Triple Gauche and the subsequent 180-degree right, she wins a tenth of a second ?? and later again half a tenth before measuring point seven. Otherwise, the Ducati is ahead? in the fastest timed lap (1.28.3 to 1.29.5 minutes) with 1.2 seconds.
And does it seal the Suzuki’s defeat across the board? Definitely not. On the one hand, the one built in a limited number of 500 units with sinfully expensive components such as the Ohlins spring elements, the Marchesini forged wheels, the superbike base engine with a bore-to-stroke ratio of 104 x 58.8 millimeters and lots Karbon refined 999 R a whopping 29,800 euros plus additional costs. And on the other hand, it certainly can’t do everything better than the mass-produced goods from Hamamatsu, which at 12,999 euros are not even half as expensive.
"The chassis of the GSX-R forgives small mistakes and allows narrow and wide lines," reports Arne ?? and confirmed
so that the author, who not only traveled faster on the Suzuki, but also felt much more comfortable. Tea
999 R is more open to possible course corrections than the standard 999, which rolls on heavier wheels and is eleven kilograms heavier. However, it does not achieve the formidable handiness of the GSX-R, which is seven kilograms lighter. Neither does its stability when braking, because the Suzuki’s slipper clutch does a great job.
On the other hand, there is a tie when it comes to engine response. Wonderfully direct and yet soft, both get straight to the point. Given the violence that is then unleashed, this silky smooth way of dealing with it is almost unbelievable.
Just like the high technical standard on which two and four cylinders are presented. Everyone who is ahead of the game can decide for themselves. Because just as impressive as the GSX-R drive is the state of the four-cylinder technology-
nik, this astonishing Ducati twin, surrounded by top-class racing technology, shows that two cylinders are by no means obsolete even on the circuits of this world.
Track test Ducati 999 R / Suzuki GSX-R 1000
It’s about more …
Technical data: Ducati 999 R
Water-cooled two-cylinder, four-stroke, 90-degree V-engine, crankshaft lying transversely, two overhead, toothed belt-driven ones
Camshafts, four valves per cylinder, operated desmodromically, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 54 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter, 520 W alternator, 12 V / 12 Ah battery, hydraulically operated multi-plate dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, O- ring chain.
Bore x stroke 104.0 x 58.8 mm
Displacement 999 cm3
Compression ratio 12.3: 1
Rated output 110 kW (150 PS) at 9750 rpm
Max. Torque 110 Nm at 8000 rpm
Chassis: tubular steel frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, Four-piston fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 240 mm, two-piston fixed calipers.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/50 ZR 17
Tires tested by Metzeler Racetec K2
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1420 mm, steering head angle 66.5 degrees, caster 97 mm, spring travel f / h 120 /
128 mm, seat height * 805 mm, weight with a full tank * 207 kg, payload * 105 kg, tank capacity 15.5 liters.
Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 10000 km
Price 29,800 euros
Additional costs 250 euros
Technical data: Suzuki GSX-R 1000
Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 44 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter with secondary air system, 375 W alternator, 12 V / 10 Ah battery, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, Six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.
Bore x stroke 73.4 x 59.0 mm
Displacement 999 cm3
Compression ratio 12.5: 1
Rated output 131 kW (178 hp) at 11,000 rpm
Max. Torque 118 Nm at 9000 rpm
Bridge frame made of aluminum, load-bearing engine, screwed frame rear
Aluminum, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm with upper cables made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 310 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake rear, Ø 220 mm, two-piston fixed caliper.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/50 ZR 17
Tires tested by Metzeler Racetec K2
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1405 mm, steering head angle 66.2 degrees, caster 96 mm, spring travel f / h 120 /
130 mm, seat height * 810 mm, weight with a full tank * 200 kg, payload * 175 kg, tank capacity 18 liters.
Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 6000 km
Colors blue-white, black-silver,
Price 12,999 euros
Additional costs around 140 euros
MOTORCYCLE measurements racetrack
Do not Scare! Anyone who is willing to deal intensively with this jumble of numbers and diagrams can learn a lot.
The table at the top left shows how fast the Ducati and Suzuki were at the key points of the course, the route map at the top right shows which points are involved, without
to be able to represent the topographical conditions that are so important in Ledenon. Nevertheless: Between the second and third arc of the Triple Gauche, the 999 R is around nine km / h faster than the GSX-R 1000 and thus regains the eight hundredths of a second lead that the Suzuki was able to achieve at the end of the start / finish. So here both are tied. The passage between Triple Gauche and the sharp 180-degree right down in the valley is the only section of the route in which the GSX-R 1000 can also implement its superior engine performance (see performance diagram on the right). One tenth of a second is the lead that is gained by around ten km / h more speed. Then it accelerates steeply uphill in a right leaning position before the coming 180-degree left is braked. Again, the GSX-R almost inevitably lifts the front wheel ?? and so loses time and speed. Three km / h and 14 hundredths are lost before a key part of the course follows. After the mentioned link, you accelerate vigorously and then throw yourself into a link located directly on a knoll. Here the Suzuki loses almost half a second to the Ducati.
In the last long downhill section with the precisely to be hit slight left bend to the last left curve of the course, it is another three tenths. The same margin remains in the curve itself and when accelerating out
so that the GSX-R 1000 passes start / finish again with excess speed, but also 1.2 seconds or 75 meters behind.
In the upper diagram on the left is the speed variator-
run on both motorcycles (Ducati: red, Suzuki: blue)
shown, while in the lower speed (top) and throttle valve position can be read. Amazingly, the situations in which the GSX-R advances into those speed ranges in which it really has excess power are few and far between and can only be found in the first part of the course. The throttle valves of the four-cylinder are open much less often and are allowed to start /
Aim to be raised only cautiously because of the rising front section. Striking and indicative of the range of services offered by modern four-cylinder thousands: On the Suzuki, Arne drives everything in one gear, from the triple gauche to the downhill section before the last left. And in the second!
Top speed * km / h
0 ?? 100 km / h sec
0 ?? 140 km / h sec
0 200 km / h sec
60 ?? 100 km / h sec
100 ?? 140 km / h sec
140 ?? 180 km / h sec
The pulling force diagram shows which force actually acts on the rear wheel and where the optimal shift times are. The curves of the
Do gears two and three of the Suzuki (blue)
When compared with the speed curve (page 72), it becomes clear why second gear is almost always sufficient in Ledenon, while fourth gear is also used on the Ducati.
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