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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Super Bikes in India - Comparison (Part 2)

In part 1 of my comparison, I tried to cover mainly the Super Sports machines that are currently available in India.

In this second wing of the comparison, I would try cover two of the most highly anticipated Super Sports bikes that are very eagerly awaited in India.

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. So, let's begin with Suzuki

Suzuki GSX-R1000

For the calendar year 2009, Suzuki decided to drift towards the shorter and lighter side of things. The K9 has the shortest Strokes to be ever used in the GSX-R1000 family in order to allow racing teams to tune and raise the revs safely. But the sadly, the K9 feels no different than the K7 or the K8 previously being used in the GSX-R.

Of all the Liter class sports bikes that we have in the line-up, the '09 GSX-R1000 produces the least power - a 161 bhp at the rear wheel is way low than the likes of 180-185 league. But this power shave off the liter bikes has paid other dividence. It's now a much better street bike, and is very aptly suited for Indian conditions. The bike rides rock solid even on bumby roads and the three way adjustable foot-pegs make the ride comfortable for the tall and short riders alike. But at the same time, the brakes, despite of having monobloc calipers, are quite a let down and fade down quite a bit and stand probably at the bottom most ladder of the competition.

On a track day, and infront of the more fierce competitors, the GSXR-1000 definitely looses quite a ground, but at the same time, all this transforms to a much better street machine for Indian conditions, docile but yet lightning fast when required added with the Suzuki D-Mode functionality. Earlier in the league of Super Sports, GSXR-1000 used to sit at the cheaper chairs, but with the 2009 version saw the GSXR do a merry go round towards the costlier chairs.

So, with the current crop of SBKs in India, the GSX-R1000 is sitting not happily somewhere but knowing Suzuki and the technical prowess the company has.... this situation won't be there for long.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

The country is already bitten by the Green Devil and Think Green is new Indian Biking Craze. The little Kawi Warrior - The Kawasaki Ninja 250 is the current definition of performance biking in the country.

Of all the Super Sports bikes available world wide, the Ninja has the biggest variant base and is a cult. Right from the day it made it's first appearance with Tom Cruise riding the GPZ 900R against a fighter jet in Top Gun, the Kawaski Ninjas have been ruling fantasies of many. So, how does the current version of the Ninja ZX-10R fair against the like of Yamaha R1, Honda Fireblade and the Ducati 1098.

The first and foremost thing, minus the baby Ninja (read Ninja 250R), Ninjas have never been made with hardcore street riding. They are very much race track tool, aggressive, fast and mean and therefore they loose on comfort factor. So, with that essence, if somebody is expecting a meaty bottom end and mid range, then it's better to look towards the Fireblade and the R1. The Kwacker is all about how hard and how fast you can ride. A small trailer of this trait can be seen on the Ninja 250 too, with most reviews saying the fun actually kicks in post 8K rpm. It's a real dooms day machine on two wheels.

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R has been a Man's tool and handling the bike needs some skill, well, as a matter of fact.. a lot of skill. Even though the current version of the bike is heavier than the pre 2008 version, but still the design and built of the bike makes it look thinner than it's previous versions and a lot maneuverable. But please for God's sake, don't go by the look. With a Power delivery of 185.4 bhp at the rear wheel and the Torque of 83.3ftlb the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10 is easily the most powerfull Super Sports bike in the current lot we have discussed so far. It's blazing fast and as you keep on twisting the right wrist towards the red line the actual beast gets unleashed and you really need to be a damn skilled rider to handle the affairs.

To bring matters back to the rider's hands on the street, the ZX-10R is equipped with Slipper Clutch, Petal Disks, Radial Brakes, Ohlinis Steering damper as standard. To add to it, Kawasakis have always enjoyed amazing build quality and the sports world swear by it.

The best part is, like the Ninja 250, if Kawasaki decides to join hands with Bajaj come as CKD instead of the regular CBU route like the other Super Sports machines in the country, there would be huge huge price difference and which could end up resulting in the inception of a major war... for the betterment of the riding community in the coutry!! :)

So, after seeing 5 bikes, three of them already available in the country, 2 of them slated to come, here's what I feel about the best Super Sports on Indian roads. Here I'm taking into considerations - Price, Power, Handling and overall VFM.

1) Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Surprised!! Well the very fact that makes the current GSX-R1000 sit at the bottom end of the food chain makes it a more potent tool on Indian roads. It's nimble power delivery, comfortable riding, handling on bumby roads and capability to blast off when required makes it a better machine for Indian conditions. Price wise it should fall in the same league as the other Super Sports like the Yamaha R1 and Honda Fireblade.

2) Honda Fireblade - Well this is one machine, you can't go wrong about. There's absolutely nothing that can stop this baby from being your first Super Sports.

3) Yamaha R1 - If you have the Knight then the current Yamaha R1 is your Stallion. It's ruling the international circuit and it's definitely would be an awesome street machine too. But be sure that you know how to tame this beast as it's quite unforgiving. The issues with Yamaha India's delivery of these machines is quite un-nerving, but guess we have to live with it.

4) Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R - Well you've got to be a pro to handle this. This is no toy for kids. It's fast, it's furious, and it's certainly not for the faint hearted. Not sure how well this machine would be able to handle Indian uncertain riding conditions because it's so so much track oriented and being the most power Super Sports int the current lot, well you've got to be absolutely sure of what you are into!!

5) Ducati 1098 - The only thing that pulls this baby down at the bottom of the list is the Price!! It's insanely high. No wonder why there hasn't been a single First Ride Experience anywhere over the internet, coz first you won't be able to afford it... but then even if you are able to do so, you're gonna keep this as private as you can to ward of the Tax Vultures. But really, hasn't it been the price, it would have easily a couple of ladders up!!
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  1. I am a Super Bike Virgin, so this this SBK Comparo can be regarded as my first peek into the liter class.

    Thanks Bro.

    I'll totally agree with you that a Street Friendly package is more practical for our Indian roads. After all the only Race Track open to the normal public is in Chennai and Coimbatore.

  2. Payeng Dude!!
    Thanks Man!! Your words are always an encouragement :)


Item Reviewed: Super Bikes in India - Comparison (Part 2) Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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