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At http://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/detail?sectionID=212131&documentID=193335

MCN’s road test crew is back from the test you’ve all been waiting – the 2004 superbike shootout.

We’ve been riding the ZX-10R, R1, Fireblade and GSX-R1000 across hundreds of miles of roads in France and Spain and on the track at Ledenon, France.

We’ve performance tested all four bikes on closed roads and had them on the dyno.

MCN News Editor Andy Downes, who rode alongside Editor Marc Potter, road tester Michael Neeves and test rider Dave Hill, said: " We went out on Saturday but the weather in southern France was so bad we rode to Spain to chase the sun.

" We rode some amazing mountain roads near the coast before heading back to France for the track session on Tuesday. "

Our full 12-page test report appears in MCN on March 3.

Speaking as someone who doesn’t test bikes full time, but who has a real passion for riding sports bikes, Downes said: " Not one of these bikes will disappoint. Every one of them is amazing in its own way.

" But for me, the R1 is the bike I would want to take home. It has everything a 1000cc sports bike should have without any compromise. "

But the final verdict isn’t up to Downes. His opinion is part of the final mix and the test team is still analysing the figures and arguing the relative merits of the bikes involved. It’s extremely close but you’ll have to wait until Wednesday for MCN’s official and definitive verdict.
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