SuperBike, July 2006

OK, here are some comments I have on the July 2006 issue of SuperBike. 

Launch Test: Bridgestone BT-002 Racing Street Tyres

It appears that, despite being sold alongside the BT-012SS and the BT-014, the BT-002 is actually going to replace the 012SS. I’m on my third BT-012SS at the rear and my second on the front and I really like them. SuperBike say that you might associate a loss of confidence with the BT-012SS. I’ve never had any confidence issues with the 012SS – hence the repeat purchases – but SuperBike reckon the BT-002 might be a good, predicatble tyre for trackdays. Mind you, at £200 a pair they’d better be good: my last set of BT-012SS cost me £150.

Racedays Masterclass

I’ve never done a masterclass or track school: I am one of the ‘Officers’ of trackday organisers the Motorcycle Folly, though, and our Chief Instructor is Mike Edwards from the Mist Suzuki Superstock 600 racing team … and there he is with his riders in the photos! So if Mike thinks his team can benefit from a masterclass with Jeremy McWilliams then it’s a fair certainty that your average trackday rider could benefit hugely.

“The Three Peaks” – Yamaha FZ1 Fazer -v- Honda CBF1000 -v- Suzuki SV1000S

The FZ1 is the latest incarnation of Yamaha’s… er… well, it’s not a Retro, it’s not a naked bike… maybe a musclebike? Hmm. Anyway, they’ve taken their R1-with-high-bars and restyled it so it looks like a dog’s dinner. There’s some sort of oil drum srapped to the side where the silencer should be… That is one ugly bike.

The CBF1000 is a Fireblade with sensible bodywork. Again, it’s been hit with the ugly stick. If they can make the CB1300 look good, why does Honda fail so miserably with the CBF1000?

The third bike is the SV1000S which looks long and mean and like Cinderella next to the ugly sisters.

For some bizarre reason, SuperBike like the FZ1′s styling.

Prices? The FZ1 is £7,599, the SV1000S £6,049 and the CBF1000 is £5,999. Yes, the most ugly bike here is £1,500 more than the others. Put another way, it’s 25% more than the others. What are Yamaha thinking?

SuperBike plump for the FZ1 as the test’s winner, despite:

“…the broad spread of power is gone, replaced by a peakier, more abrupt motor, the loss of the sofa seat and a limited tank range … the limitations put on the bike by the chassis design.”

All that, plus 25% more cash.

“Workshop: 17 Under the Seat Essentials”

SuperBike looks at some nifty things to stash under your seat, space permitting. They say:

“Some bikes have a bigger storage space than others. The original FireBlade … [has] an amazingly capacious space under a key-operated flip up pillion seat. It doesn’t get much better than that…”

Main Underseat StorageExcuse me?

This is what I keep in the space under the saddle. Headlight bulb, sidestand pucks, cards, waterproof trousers, rucksack, bungee cord and a road atlas. There’s also a torch sloshing around in that canister under the (aftermarket) seat.

Boot And this is in the container under the rear of the seat.

It’s a multi-tool, Wee Willy visor cleaner kit, pouch with pad, pen, etc., tie-down, cable lock, tape, disc lock and the OEM toolkit.

It doesn’t get much better than that

The July 2006 issue also featured the launch test of the Kawasaki ZZR1400, but I’ll comment on that later, as there’s a full test in a later issue.