Articles in two british bike mags


If any magazine dealer, or a Borders or Barnes & Nobles, in your city stocks any of the British morotrcycle magazines, this month is a bumper crop for Hayabusa tests.

There are TWO British magazines that each have a story comparing the high speed superbikes.

One of them compares the Hayabusa, the ZX-12, the CBXX Blackbird. and the Kawi ZZ. That comparison is pretty well thought out and makes some good points. Of particular interest are the dyno curves. The magazine accidently swapped the curves for the ZZ and the Hayabusa when laying out the page, but once you realize that and make the mental swap, it's VERY revealing to compare the Hayabusa curve to the ZX-12 curve. While their particular ZX-12 made 3 more hp than their particular Hayabusa, the Hayabusa absolutely walked all over the ZX-12 in acceleration, since the ONLY place the ZX-12 beat the Busa with that 3 hp was at one high rpm point. EVERYWHERE else, the Busa had SEVERAL hp more than the ZX-12. There were also good comments comparing the handling of all 4 bikes.

The second test was surprising, and ultimately I suspect, fraudulent. It compared the Hayabusa, the ZX-12, and the CBXX Blackbird. In that test, the ZX-12 showed a much higher than normally expected hp, while the Hayabusa they got seemed at the lower end of a normal Busa number. The ZX-12 was described as being so fast it left the Busa behind!

Trouble is, when you examine the story in detail, you see three things that stick out like sore thumbs:

1) The ZX-12 had a SEVERE case of handling instability (the testers were basically unable to do full throttle acceleration without a dangerous amount of headshake. This is NOT characteristic of the ZX-12.

2) The dyno curve for the ZX-12 was FULL of peaks and valleys all through the rev range, falling way below the Busa at all but very high rpm. This type of rough curve is NOT at all normal for a Japanese stock motorcycle. They always are smoothed out by the factory to prevent sudden traction (lack thereof) surprises.

3) One of the photo captions pointed out that the ZX-12 they tested was a privately owned bike offered for inclusion in the 3-way test, not a factory or distributor provided bike.

So, I strongly suspect that the ZX-12 was NOT stock. The owner had clearly monkeyed with both handling (which he screwed up altogether), and the engine (which he managed to get some extra peak horses out of while screwing up the curve as a whole royally). Inclduing abike like that in a supposed comparison test was at a minimum stupid, and more cynically fraudulent.

Anyway, both articles were interesting and informative, but especially the 4-way comparison.

Jim G

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