The best athletes in the country road comparison Honda CBR 600 F, Suzuki GSX-R 750, Kawasaki ZX-9R, Aprilia RSV Mille, Suzuki GSX 1300 R Hayabusa
Great in fashion: performance that the rubber smokes. Goal real sportiness needs more than sheer power. Which bike has the right mixture for the greatest country road fun??
No, we’re not going to Hockenheim today, not to Calafat and not to the Ring either. No, today there are switchbacks instead of Sachskurve, street cafes instead of pit stops and you can leave the knee sliders at home. Because between the Black Forest and Spessart, the hotly debated Suzuki Hayabusa is hunting for easy prey. Easy loot? The colossus?
Honda CBR 600 F, the nimble track and field athlete.
Mmmhhh, that hisses. The CBR 600 F scratches the curves fresh and lively. Sausage doesn’t matter, whether it’s a hairpin or a full soup through long, fast arcs. Directed from the wrist, no one makes it easier than the 600. The brisk rider should have the right gears ready, otherwise nothing works. Or just at a snail’s pace. No, speeds are the salt in the 600 soup that you always have to keep simmering. For real sportsmen, the step dance through the gearbox is a fun element of dynamic locomotion, it is simply part of it, such as brave braking points that are set late, razor-sharp turns and lean changes in no time at all. Disciplines that are tailored to the bomb-proof, agile Honda chassis and the impressively sharp braking system. A driving machine par excellence. But as I said, without real sportsmanship it gets a little boring, almost bland. This is not only due to the middle-class jogging suit, the upright seating position for tourists also calls into question the fast driving dynamics that are actually offered. Not bumpy enough for real racers, of course, but it provides an impeccable overview of the game in the tangled asphalt worm, so that even well-camouflaged combine harvesters and other spoilers can be spotted in good time. Great too, if you still haven’t had enough after a thousand and one bends, neither a stiff neck nor numb fingers cloud the corner tango. And where is the peregrine falcon? In the rearview mirror. Depending on the route, sometimes smaller, sometimes larger, but never within reach. For now, the Hayabusa remains hungry and disappears into the lion’s den. Blue signs, wide asphalt: Autobahn. Now the CBR folds the mirrors forward, tears the visor off the face of the stooped pilot, the engine scoffs: lack of oxygen, sucked out by the peregrine falcon rushing by with an excess of 50 km / h. Well, everyone can turn the whisk stupidly.
Suzuki GSX-R 750, the superbike replica.
Just a few years ago, the athletes par excellence, the 750 class fell victim to severe illness. Only Suzuki is putting an updated model in the shop window with the GSX-R 750, while the competition is offering either old, heavy or barely affordable precious metal for sale. In a good tradition, the 1999 Suzuki does not believe in compromises either. Low handlebars, high butts – that’s racing. The injection engine penned into the massive aluminum chassis does its work according to exactly the same motto. Below hardly more steam than the 600 Honda, the four-cylinder only pushes off powerfully from 8000 rpm. Unfortunately too late, because fat Hayabusa is already hanging mightily on her neck on tricky country roads. Displacement advantage or not, if you look closely, the Suzuki 750 driver jumps up and down the gear steps no less excited than his colleague on the 600 CBR. That finally brings the peregrine falcon within striking distance. Goal watch out now, because on your grippy 190 Metzeler ME Z 3 Racing not exactly the handiest, the much too tight steering damper of the GSX-R 750 also messes up some targeted lines. The rough load change reactions in an inclined position pull the Suzuki off track even more. No, it won’t work that way. Too bad. It’s a shame because the chassis itself isn’t a bad one. Stable, well balanced, handy and light. Only the trappings destroy the harmony. Just like with the engine, which offers brute peak performance, but is out of the ordinary in terms of pulling power and drivability. And down.
These vices become more noticeable in unfamiliar cornering areas, where responsive and willing corrections and the finest steering precision are required. And so it is not surprising that the GSX peregrine falcon seizes the next best opportunity and disgracefully accelerates its namesake. From now on, with the fat butt in view, the GSX-R 750 despairs of the downright infernal acceleration of the Hayabusa. No chance to counterattack. Off the mouse. The prey has been killed.
Kawasaki ZX-9R, the big bike in 600 format.
Saddle up and feel good. It’s great how everything fits and sits. And at least as great as the grass-green lighter rushes through the hilly landscape. Nothing the ZX-9R can’t do. Great brakes, great handling and lots of thrust. Well, the Hayabusa pushes forward even tighter, but that’s enough for the country road.
Schwups, the Honda CBR 600 F is nibbled. Probably lost a hundred and twenty revolutions, poor 600 pilot. It’s nice that the 143 hp ZX-9R carries just eleven kilograms more than the 600 series. Because it makes everything a little easier. Braking, turning, overtaking – everything. There isn’t much to shift, the engine speed fluctuates between 3000 and 7000 rpm, that’s all it takes. Not for the Honda and for nothing and nobody else. Not even for the Suzuki falcon, which looks more like a lame-winged sparrow in the country road area against the ZX-9R.
It is flawless how resolutely the Kawasaki engine converts every gas command into thrust. The fact that the four-cylinder underlines its show of strength with robust hissing is not only quite entertaining, but also a clear challenge to the brain to switch to the highest concentration.
The ZX-9R landing gear reacts to all commands from the command post without complaint or grumbling, and also elevates the thinker to the handlebars. A little CBR 600, paired with the powerful punch from a third more displacement. A great feeling all around.
Unfortunately, that changes with the full throttle rush on bumpy motorways. With a shaky front section, the fork chucks over concrete slabs and joints, a softer setting of the damping only brings marginal relief. The attempt to be dragged in record-breaking regions in the slipstream of the Hayabusa is canceled prematurely. Or look for a nicely flattened and traffic-free football field. The only question is whether you can still find something like this today.
Aprilia RSV thousand, the Italian sportsman with twin steam hammer.
Brand new and already very good. The Italians really succeeded in their first super bike, no question about it. Unlike the purring four-cylinder, the thundering Aprilia requires a real machinist. Only he understands the rumbling and rumbling, the humming and shaking that elevates the 60-degree V2 to the core drive of all test subjects. But he doesn’t make wandering around any easier. Because it also blends in unabashedly in the choice of line with a hard metallic load change impact. The Aprilia only follows the line anyway if you take it hard on the cantars. Not unwieldy, no, but only with committed physical effort in the direction of hanging off does the RSV take a stand. Granted, that takes some practice and understanding. After all, Mille doesn’t want to be a run-of-the-mill racer, but rather a real sportsman. Half inclines are just as unlikely as discarded asphalt surfaces. Their territory is fast slopes, and they prefer to put them on the earlobes. But that doesn’t work here. Or at least not for long. Because trekkers and sleepy day trippers cross the ideal line in the country road area, traces of diesel oil are hidden in the asphalt like cameleons and anyway – the knee sliders are at home in the garage.
No matter now, just get away before the fat one comes. This is where the Rotax injection engine helps, pounding jaggedly out of the quark and blasting out of the corners with full thrust. In higher engine speed regions, unfortunately, a bit sluggish and listless, one prefers increased switching activities between the curves to the annoying squeezing into the red area. And already the shadow of the overpowering peregrine falcon lies over the tail of the Mille. So better squeeze it out until it’s sweet. Must be, after all, the 116 hp of the Aprilia drag a weighty 223 kilograms through the landscape. Just because the Aprilia’s Brembo brake finally bites, the turned-on handling can be implemented in the lead and the bird of prey is currently still digesting the Suzuki GSX-R 750 with pleasure, the Mille is spared this time. Lucky.
Suzuki GSX 1300 R, the monstrous killer bike? Or what?
Now coffee and cake, exactly. With cream. And how that fits again. Turn the blinker on and get out, pub with an idyllic garden, fresh plum cake and hot coffee. Everything with cream. So, let’s get out of it, what is it about the scary Hayabusa? Five test drivers, across the board from tourists to racers, five days on the Hayabusa and its easy prey. And now? Impressed, all five. Sometimes also thoughtful. But don’t be frightened. If only because the Hayabusa is also equipped with this everyday, but still ingenious component: the stepless throttle. An invention that saved us from early childhood from rattling unchecked into ruin with the 5.3 hp mopeds. And even years later we had the Suzuki T 250, the Kawasaki Z 900, the Yamaha R1 safely in the (gas) grip. And if not, it wasn’t the throttle and the power, but the head, the ability, the daring. And the experience. And it now helps us to dose the sheer power of the Hayabusa in such a way that we release just as much power in the wet, on gravel, on the crowded highway as the machine and the environment can handle. And no more. Never before has you seen so much astonishment in the eyes of the test team as in this comparison. Because this 251 kilogram monster swings like a dream through the country road curves, without hectic and, it seems, without hurry. The driver is comfortably embedded in the machine, on a chassis with good feedback and surprisingly easy handling for these masses.
Of course, you whistle the lightweight "prey" under the armpits when it really presses. But whatever. The GSX 1300 R does not want to be a racing motorcycle and it is not. Thank goodness, because whoever uses the full power will be surprised. Then all five – or ideally six – senses are actually required. On the one hand, because the 1300 engine violently pulls on the rubber and it goes off track faster than you’d like. On the other hand, because the 7.6 seconds from zero to 200 km / h almost mark the value of a 500 GP machine. Which may not confuse the pilot himself as much as his environment. The only dangerous thing about the Hayabusa, if anything, is its stealthy rocket-like movement. At a brisk 220 km / h, the peregrine falcon snuffles bored like other engines on the idle nozzle. Under certain circumstances, this leads to the fact that the Suzuki driver perceives every fast-moving left lane of the motorway as a traffic jam. Goal anyone who deduces from this that all Hayabusa owners like our TV-Toni plow along the grass verge and risk the life and limb of his fellow citizens is quite wrong.
Und the 300 km / h sound barrier? Of course we broke through on the test route, but guaranteed never reached it on the test drive with a backpack and rain jacket. We didn’t really care either. Honest.
By the way: Has anyone actually noticed in the heated discussion that the Hayabusa not only cracks the 300 km / h mark, but is also the first Suzuki to drive a catalytic converter with a secondary air system? It’s nice too, isn’t it?
Technical data Honda CBR 600 F
Four-cylinder, four-stroke in-line engine, four equal pressure carburettors, 0 36.5 mm, bore x stroke 67 x 42.5 mm, displacement 600 cm3, output 106 hp at 12,500 rpm. Max. Torque 67 Nm at 10500 / minLiter output 176 PS / 1000 cm3Power weight ° 2.69kg / PSCarriage dataWheelbase 1395 mmCaster 96 mmSteering head angle 66 degreesWeight with a full tank 201 kgPrice 16430 Mark Driving performance and measured values Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 3.1 sec0 – 200 km / h: 9, 8 sec Direction 60-100 km / h 5.7 sec 100-140 km / h 4.6 sec Maximum speed 252 km / h Consumption in the test Minimum 5.2 liters Maximum 8.6 liters Rating engine / drive + smooth-running, easy-revving engine + low consumption + precise, smooth gearshifts – weak torque under 5000 rpm rating chassis / equipment + good driving stability + very good handiness + easy to dose brakes + practical main stand-like wind protection-no catalytic converter
Technical data Suzuki GSX-R 750
Engine data Four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine Electr. Manifold injection, 0 XX mmBore x stroke 72 x 46 mmHub volume 749 cm3Power 135 HP at 12300 / min.Max. Torque 82 Nm at 10300 / minLiter output 180 PS / 1000 cm3Power weight ° 2.16 kg / PSCarriage dataWheelbase 1395 mmCaster 96 mmSteering head angle 66 degreesWeight with a full tank 207 kg Price 19300 Mark Driving performance and measured values Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 3.1 sec 0-200 km / h: 9, 2 sec pull-through 60-100 km / h 5.5 sec 100-140 km / h 5.7 sec top speed 261 km / h consumption in the test Minimum 5.7 liters Maximum 9.6 liters Rating engine / drive + high final output + easy-revving engine- moderate cold start behavior- high consumption- hard load change behavior – choppy gearshifts in the lower gear steps evaluation of chassis / equipment + good driving stability at Vmax + large ground clearance + comfortable suspension – wobbly and unwieldy in tight, wavy curves – no catalytic converter
Technical data Kawasaki ZX-9R
Four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine Four equal pressure carburettors, 0 40 mm, bore x stroke 75 x 50.9 mm, displacement 899 cm3, output 143 hp at 11,000 rpm, max. Torque 100 Nm at 9000 / minLiter output 159 PS / 1000 cm3Power weight ° 2.07kg / PSCarriage dataWheelbase 1415 mmCaster 93 mmSteering head angle 66 degreesWeight fully fueled 212 kgPrice 21170 Mark Driving performance and measured values Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 3.0 sec0-200 km / h: 8, 9 sec Direction 60-100 km / h 4.5 sec. 100-140 km / h 3.8 sec.Maximum speed274 km / hConsumption in the test Minimum 5.5 litersMaximum 8.3 liters Rating engine / drive + high-torque engine + low consumption + precise gearshift + low load change reactions, precise chassis + powerful, easily controllable brakes + catalytic converter with secondary air system – nervous steering at top speed and bumpy routes – no splash protection on the rear wheel
Technical data Aprilia RSV Mille
Engine data 60 degrees V2 four-stroke engine, electric intake manifold injection, bore x stroke 97 x 67.5 mm, displacement 998 cm3, output 118 hp at 9300 rpm. Max. Torque 93 Nm at 7000 / minLiter output 118 PS / 1000 cm3Power weight ° 2.60 kg / PSChassis dataWheelbase 1415 mmCaster 97 mmSteering head angle 65.5 degreesWeight fully fueled 223 kgPrice 22998 MarkDrive performance and measured valuesAcceleration 0-100 km / h: 3.1 sec0-200 km / h: 10.3 sec 60-100 km / h 5.3 sec100-140 km / h 5.0 secMaximum speed269 km / hConsumption in the test Minimum 5.5 litersMaximum 8.4 liters Rating engine / drive + spontaneous powerful acceleration + wide, usable speed range + low consumption – strong engine vibrations – hard load change reactions – evaluation of the chassis + optimal ground clearance + tight, direct suspension – wobbly in tight, undulating curves – no emission control
Technical data Suzuki GSX 1300 R
Engine data four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, electronic intake manifold injection, 0 XX mm bore x stroke 81 x 63 mm displacement 1299 cm³ power 175 hp at 9800 rpm max. Torque 138 Nm at 7000 / minLiter output 134 PSPower weight 1.92 kg / PSChassis dataWheelbase 1485 mmCaster 97 mm Steering head angle 65.8 degreesWeight with a full tank 251 kgPrice 21690 MarkDelivery performance and measured valuesAcceleration 0-100 km / h 2.7 sec0-200 km / h 7.6 sec Steering 60 -100 km / h 3.9 sec 100-140 km / h 3.7 sec Top speed 300 km / h Consumption in the test Minimum 6.3 liters Maximum 9.4 liters Rating engine / drive + pulling power in all positions + low load change reactions + best driving performance- relatively high consumption Rating chassis / Features + comfortable suspension + good passenger comfort + stable cornering behavior + catalytic converter with secondary air system – relatively unwieldy in alternating curves
2nd place – Honda CBR 600 F
2nd place The calculation of the Honda engineers works out again. Because the chest of drawers sits well on the winding country road and there is no doubt about the pure driving dynamics, the small Honda CBR is at the forefront. A first-class mobile fun. The fact that the lively 600 barrel organ requires a committed rider should not be concealed. A challenge for everyone who prefers to spend their mobile leisure time active rather than phlegmatic.
5th place – Suzuki GSX-R 750
5th place: Str 19,300 marks, Suzuki provides the best large-scale 750 series. Matured over four model years, the lightweight GSX-R masters the demands of sports, but for everyday use you want more torque and less load change reactions. In terms of handling, the GSX-R 750 is clearly behind the 600s, and the big bikes eat it up in draft. Nevertheless: not a bad motorcycle that the committed racer can help with targeted fine-tuning on the chassis.
1st place – Kawasaki ZX-9R
1st place The boss in the area is called the Kawasaki ZX-9R. A successful mixture of light-footed curve dancer and powerful engine. The renunciation of merciless sportiness gives the Greens the decisive advantage in country road operations. Comfortably accommodated, the Kawasaki rider enjoys a highly agile big bike that, apart from small weaknesses in the top speed area, shows no nakedness. Another plus point of the ZX-9R: the catalytic converter, which is available as an option for only 300 marks.
4th place – Aprilia RSV thousand
4th place The Rumpelstiltskin in the quintet. Unmistakably two-cylinder, the RSV mille rumble loosely in terms of driving dynamics, but needs a knowledgeable hand for it. Just sit on it and mix it up is not possible. Character can be called something like that. Or inadequacy. No matter, the hit from Noale is different from others, which certainly makes it likeable, but not better. A heater for those who know what they want and can teach their bike that too.
3rd place – Suzuki GSX 1300 R Hayabusa
3rd place It wasn’t easy for Hayabusa. Heavy, huge, thick. And now everyone is reconciled with the muscle man. Because it unfolds its thrust as smooth as silk, the chassis circles harmoniously and familiarly through the curves. Sure, something else is beautiful. But we don’t care. We are interested in the country roads, and the bottom line is that they are impressively high. Anyone who equates sport with strength is well served here. And the questionable 300 km / h are the freestyle, but not the obligation.
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