MCN 2017 superbike shootout - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-26-2017, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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MCN 2017 superbike shootout


I usually don't agree with these shootouts, and this year is no different, but it's always interesting to see figures as stock and what they have to say about them.

I just can't believe they picked the Honda as the winner. It was slowest in acceleration, least powerful, about in the middle of the group in lap times, and not all that great on the street either. They even said it wasn't the best at anything, but relatively good at everything...so how the hell can you pick that as the winner?? That logic makes no sense to me.

No, I've never ridden one, but from what I've seen and heard from others so far the Honda went from being a turd, to a turd with electronics!

Interesting to see the power figures. Any one of these would be absolute beasts to ride on a track once you get rid of the ridiculous exhausts and emission restrictions! Now I really want a liter bike ...but when I'll be ready to buy one, I'm going to want to test out a few of them and actually get a feel for what they're like to ride.
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 04:58 AM
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The test was more about what they thought the best over-all bike would be if you were going out to buy a super bike that did it all. I pretty much automatically pull Ducati out of the test since they're using a 1300cc motor with pre-euro 4 emissions, that puts the Honda at 2nd place for lap times in their test...if I remember correctly. The Honda's have always been known to do everything well. This new one is a good deal lighter than the last model with an ok increase in power.
My guess is they picked the Honda because it made everyone feel confident while riding it, they basically said as much while talking about riding in the rain (a dumb time to test super bikes).
As far as track times, this was a pretty small course and I would expect in other tests that the results will be almost flipped around...with the ZX10R and the Aprilia taking the lead.
I wasn't overly surprised by what they picked, I also don't really consider this a great test...I'll be waiting for a better track comparison of all the bikes.

Just my two cents though!
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post #3 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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The test was more about what they thought the best over-all bike would be if you were going out to buy a super bike that did it all. I pretty much automatically pull Ducati out of the test since they're using a 1300cc motor with pre-euro 4 emissions, that puts the Honda at 2nd place for lap times in their test...if I remember correctly. The Honda's have always been known to do everything well. This new one is a good deal lighter than the last model with an ok increase in power.
My guess is they picked the Honda because it made everyone feel confident while riding it, they basically said as much while talking about riding in the rain (a dumb time to test super bikes).
As far as track times, this was a pretty small course and I would expect in other tests that the results will be almost flipped around...with the ZX10R and the Aprilia taking the lead.
I wasn't overly surprised by what they picked, I also don't really consider this a great test...I'll be waiting for a better track comparison of all the bikes.

Just my two cents though!
The other thing I don't get about their logic in picking the winners is how they change from year to year despite the bikes being the same lol. They said the Ducati was the winner in this test in 2016, and the Yamaha was the winner in 2015....ummm...they haven't changed. They were the same exact bikes in 2015 and 2016....wtf?? lol Obviously there are some inconsistencies in the way they test, or their choices are biased in some ways. I wouldn't be surprised if they get some money from manufacturers to sway a certain direction

Although I would like to ride each one if I was to make a solid decision, for the moment my opinion on which I would get still doesn't change. For me it's been a toss-up between the Ducati, Aprilia and Yamaha, pretty much in the last 2 years. Out of those I've only ridden the Ducati at the track, and also an RSV4, but it was a 2012 model, so not the beastly 190-hp one.
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 05:40 AM
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I read that MCN is really bias and are big Honda fan boys, but who knows. I never trust any magazine with reviews especially if they run ads for the same product because that's what pays their bills.
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 06:00 AM
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I take all of those test results with a grain of salt now. I remember reading the Sportrider test after the ZX9R was redesigned in 1998 and was competing with the R1. The ZX9R performed better on the street and was faster around the track, but they picked the R1. There aren't really any bad sportbikes now, it's just a matter of finding the right fit for you or as a buddy said "...get the one that 'moves' you". Well, maybe that 09-14 R1 wasn't really a great bike.
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post #6 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 12:23 PM
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Lol the Honda is the pig of the group by a decent margin. They must be getting paid or are fanboys. ZX10R ftw though!

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post #7 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 12:32 PM
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post #8 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 02:28 PM
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I used to pick up MCN every Wednesday, but only to keep an eye on the standings for some of the other series that were racing, and for the classifieds of people selling off their race gear (with wets on wheels being almost mandatory) to keep my rides going with a steady source of spares.

However, unbiased is pretty much the last thing I'd call them and their writing capabilities are rather suspect at times. "Testing them to their absolute limit"? In a straight line at Bruntingthorpe? A two mile long, former aircraft runway wouldn't test a moped properly. Rockingham isn't far from me and may be one of the dullest tracks in the UK. It's not a great testing track, it's just pretty much the most accessible to their offices about half an hour from me.

As for opinion as to the ultimate anything, that's entirely down to the individual rider. I think if they were truly unbiased, it's most likely either the ZX10R or the S1000RR would have won in terms of 'best all-round'.

Their quality seems to have diminished to the point where they're a published group of mediocre individuals, spinning meaningless diatribe about motorcycles over a pint in the pub. In the 90's, it was worth buying for some things. These days? Pfffft!
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post #9 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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I used to pick up MCN every Wednesday, but only to keep an eye on the standings for some of the other series that were racing, and for the classifieds of people selling off their race gear (with wets on wheels being almost mandatory) to keep my rides going with a steady source of spares.

However, unbiased is pretty much the last thing I'd call them and their writing capabilities are rather suspect at times. "Testing them to their absolute limit"? In a straight line at Bruntingthorpe? A two mile long, former aircraft runway wouldn't test a moped properly. Rockingham isn't far from me and may be one of the dullest tracks in the UK. It's not a great testing track, it's just pretty much the most accessible to their offices about half an hour from me.

As for opinion as to the ultimate anything, that's entirely down to the individual rider. I think if they were truly unbiased, it's most likely either the ZX10R or the S1000RR would have won in terms of 'best all-round'.

Their quality seems to have diminished to the point where they're a published group of mediocre individuals, spinning meaningless diatribe about motorcycles over a pint in the pub. In the 90's, it was worth buying for some things. These days? Pfffft!
Good to know from a local! I've always suspected as such, and I've always taken these reviews with a grain of salt as well. Personally when it comes to superbikes and supersports, I'm really only interested in how they perform on the track, and it would be nice to have someone that's fast as hell and is unbiased, ride them back-to-back at a decent track and see what the thoughts on each bike are, as well as lap times.

Such a test was done on a bit smaller scale a couple years ago when the new R1 came out. They compared the 1199R Panigale, the RSV4 RR (I think), and the new R1. They had Neil Hodson ride the bikes, somewhere in California if I recall, along with the guys from whatever magazine it was that was doing the review. Interestingly enough Hodgson was the only one who went faster on the 1199R, by a significant margin too. Basically the conclusion overall was that the 1199R was the fastest bike but also the hardest one to ride and because it is such a beast, it requires someone of "well beyond average" talent to really get the most out of it, whereas for most of us average Joes, the R1 and RSV4 were easier to ride and therefore easier to go faster.
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post #10 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by sbk1198 View Post
Good to know from a local! I've always suspected as such, and I've always taken these reviews with a grain of salt as well. Personally when it comes to superbikes and supersports, I'm really only interested in how they perform on the track, and it would be nice to have someone that's fast as hell and is unbiased, ride them back-to-back at a decent track and see what the thoughts on each bike are, as well as lap times.

Such a test was done on a bit smaller scale a couple years ago when the new R1 came out. They compared the 1199R Panigale, the RSV4 RR (I think), and the new R1. They had Neil Hodson ride the bikes, somewhere in California if I recall, along with the guys from whatever magazine it was that was doing the review. Interestingly enough Hodgson was the only one who went faster on the 1199R, by a significant margin too. Basically the conclusion overall was that the 1199R was the fastest bike but also the hardest one to ride and because it is such a beast, it requires someone of "well beyond average" talent to really get the most out of it, whereas for most of us average Joes, the R1 and RSV4 were easier to ride and therefore easier to go faster.
I don't wish to impugn anyone's 'journalistic integrity' or infer that I am (or was) some overlooked WSB contender-in-the-making, but in reality, I believe these sorts of reviews are worthless.

Neil Hodgson was a factory Ducati rider, and achieved his greatest success with this factory. It suited his riding style (higher corner speed as opposed to point n' squirt), but even changing to a 4 cylinder model where this is less effective, isn't going to really kill his lap times. Boil it down another level and you have competent racer/top-end trackday rider. Realistically, they're only beginning to really be able to appreciate differences between suspension settings, tyre choice, engine power, etc and have genuine differences to their results.

Then there's the great unwashed. The 'Average Joe', to whom these factors count for nothing. You could send them out for three hot laps, change the tyres to pre-warmed, race-spec rubber, add 10bhp, tweak the suspension, adjust the traction control... and there's still a big variation in lap times (both up and down).

This is all long before introducing the umpteen (technical term) variations in conditions that are brought about by riding on the road.

My opinion (and, please note, opinion!)? Ride what you like. Enjoy and appreciate it. If you're not at the aforementioned 'competent racer' level I described before - and drop all the ego you may possess before making that assessment - whatever tyres/exhaust/suspension tweaks/supercharger/high-octane fuel/rearsets/brand of steering damper you use will have absolutely bugger-all effect on how fast you go.

The limitation is your experience and abilities; not the bike.
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post #11 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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My opinion (and, please note, opinion!)? Ride what you like. Enjoy and appreciate it. If you're not at the aforementioned 'competent racer' level I described before - and drop all the ego you may possess before making that assessment - whatever tyres/exhaust/suspension tweaks/supercharger/high-octane fuel/rearsets/brand of steering damper you use will have absolutely bugger-all effect on how fast you go.

The limitation is your experience and abilities; not the bike.
Absolutely! 100% agreed! Today's bikes, especially the liter bikes, are all amazing and way better than 99.99% of us could ever ride them. Although there are still differences, especially with some of the previous gens, that makes certain bikes be considered among the best, and others "the turds", you can be fast on anything. I've seen people win races on the '08-'11 gen Honda CBR1000, while competing against people on the newer R1's, ZX10r's, S1000RR's, etc. I guess some people like a challenge
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post #12 of 26 Old 04-28-2017, 10:46 AM
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Absolutely! 100% agreed! Today's bikes, especially the liter bikes, are all amazing and way better than 99.99% of us could ever ride them. Although there are still differences, especially with some of the previous gens, that makes certain bikes be considered among the best, and others "the turds", you can be fast on anything. I've seen people win races on the '08-'11 gen Honda CBR1000, while competing against people on the newer R1's, ZX10r's, S1000RR's, etc. I guess some people like a challenge
Exactly. A fast, capable rider is a fast, capable rider. Even a MotoGP star would struggle to discern a real difference between this model that's 2kg lighter or that one which has 2bhp more.

My bike is 17 years old, over 200kg fully wet, ~20bhp down on the current model and shod with sport touring tyres. I still out-ride others on new litre bikes with all the bells, whistles and electronic doodads on a frequent basis. Hell, even my supermono racer was around 10bhp down and 10kg up compared to most of the others in the paddock. I still placed 5th in a class of nearly 30.

I'm not going to let a magazine tell me what's the ultimate any more than I'm going to let Freddy Flaptongue down at the pub. I'll decide that for myself.
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post #13 of 26 Old 04-28-2017, 11:18 AM
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A human being unbiased. That is laughable. If you don't believe me ask any friend who just bought a new bike how he likes it. What is he gonna say" it's horrible, it sucks". No, people are gonna have much praise for whatever bike they are riding, generally speaking.
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post #14 of 26 Old 04-28-2017, 11:23 AM
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A human being unbiased. That is laughable. If you don't believe me ask any friend who just bought a new bike how he likes it. What is he gonna say" it's horrible, it sucks". No, people are gonna have much praise for whatever bike they are riding, generally speaking.
Not only is this true, but their choice could be entirely influenced by factors that don't matter or are less of an issue for you. Someone chose a 300 as their ultimate ride? More power to them. What might not be evident is that they're 5' 3" and managing a larger machine is tricky. I'm 5' 10" so that doesn't affect my choice. Even aftermarket mods are often a matter of aesthetic taste more than something that actually improves the bike.

The only person who can decide the ultimate for you is you.
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post #15 of 26 Old 04-28-2017, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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A human being unbiased. That is laughable. If you don't believe me ask any friend who just bought a new bike how he likes it. What is he gonna say" it's horrible, it sucks". No, people are gonna have much praise for whatever bike they are riding, generally speaking.
Absolutely. That's why the best way to decide what's best for you is to do what these guys are doing, and ride all of them on equal terms, in the same conditions, and evaluate on what YOU care about (comfort, performance, etc.). But do it for yourself, not for a published magazine, or website. Of course, unless you're rich as fuck, you're not gonna have that luxury. Since I only care how they do on track, I would take a big trailer full of all these bikes to a race track that I'm familiar with, put the same tires on them, and ride the shit out of them. Then I can decide what I like the best.

I know...it's all dreams
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