Yamaha R1 Forum: YZF-R1 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Squid
Joined
·
3,371 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As a motorcyclist, something that has always really interested me is the differences in the methods used by different manufacturers in their aim to achieve good performance in a motorcycle.

Why does OEM A use a long-stroke engine? Why did OEM B cant their engine so far forward? How did OEM C get so much more torque from their engine, despite identical bore and stroke to the other engines?

How come most of the Italian OEMs use trellis frames as opposed to the beam frames of the Japanese?

A couple of recent rides on the Ducatis of a friend inspired me to write down my thoughts on my impressions of the differences between four-cylinder sportbikes and their Italian v-twin counterparts.

A lot of the technical information contained in the write-up will be Motorcycling 101 for many of you. This write-up was not intended to offer anything truly new or profound. Rather, it is a collection and consolidation of my thoughts as I rode Ed's 1098 and 748.

I apologize in advance for the punctuation. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get my original punctuation to translate from MS Word to the forum when I copied and pasted the write-up. Probably something to do with the phpBB code. I would love for someone to tell me how to do this, so that I can fix it.
 

·
Squid
Joined
·
3,371 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Since buying my first motorcycle in Fall 2004 and becoming involved with the sport riding subculture shortly after that, I have always owned Japanese-built motorcycles with four-cylinder engines. After all, the “Big Four” motorcycle manufacturers (in order of number of motorcycles produced), Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki, who produce the majority of the world’s motorcycles, have in common the following: they all use four-cylinder, in-line engines in their supersport (that is, race-replica) machines (commonly known as “ninjas” or “crotch rockets”). These supersport motorcycles are well-built, relatively affordable machines with a well-earned reputation for quality and reliability. Typically offered in engine displacements of either .6 liter or 1 liter, these Japanese supersports usually not only post the highest horsepower numbers in their respective classes when strapped to a dynamometer, but usually also dominate acceleration and top-speed tests at the dragstrip when placed alongside their European-made counterparts. In addition, the Japanese-built four-cylinder machines offer the lowest curb weight, with few exceptions. The numbers don’t lie – these bikes are fast. But do dyno and dragstrip numbers tell the whole story? I submit to you that they do not.

I have ridden Japanese-made, four-cylinder motorcycles exclusively since the beginning of my on-road motorcycling career four and a half years ago, as have most of my peers in sport riding. This is a result of many factors – value probably being foremost among them. They are fairly cheap, they are the fastest bikes around (on paper, at least), they are reliable, requiring little maintenance, and dealerships are widespread, meaning that parts and service are readily available. In other words, the complete experience of owning a Japanese-built motorcycle appears to offer the biggest bang for the buck. But since I started riding motorcycles, I have noticed that the European marques have a small but dedicated following. This has been a source of intrigue for my Japanese crotch rocket-riding friends and myself. With the seeming advantages of the Japanese bikes, why would anyone want to pay more money (quite a bit more money in some cases) to own a slower, heavier motorcycle that requires more frequent and more expensive maintenance? I don’t know that there is one single answer, but after recently having the privilege of riding a Ducati 1098 and also a Ducati 748, I can say that I am gaining a better understanding of why some people are passionate about European- (and especially Italian-) built motorcycles.

Modern 600cc Japanese supersports are developing in excess of 100 rear-wheel horsepower, and their 1-liter counterparts have reached output levels greater than 150 rear-wheel horsepower, right off the showroom floor. One might wonder how it is possible for such small engines to reliably generate this amount of power. The answer is through simple hot-rodding. More oversquare engine dimensions allow sky-high RPM levels, while advanced modern manufacturing techniques allow engine internals to be lighter as well as stronger, permitting ever-rising compression pressures, increasing horsepower as well as torque. However, in their quest for bragging rights in the dyno wars, the Big Four have placed an emphasis on top-end horsepower, with the result that the powerband, or the range in which the engine efficiently produces its best power and torque characteristics, is moved farther towards redline. While this “top-end” power looks good on a dyno sheet, and might be beneficial on a fast racetrack like Road Atlanta or on a top-speed run at Bonneville, it is less accessible and harder to control in street riding, where most of these motorcycles will rack up the majority of their miles. Camshaft profiles with ever-higher lift and duration factors make for engines with great top-end power compared with their predecessors of only a few years ago, but with comparatively tame low-end and midrange.

Spend enough time around old motocrossers, and you’ll surely hear the term “on the pipe.” This refers to the power delivery of two-stroke engines. Due to the nature of the way a two-stroke engine operates, it requires what is called an expansion chamber to be built into the exhaust system, which reflects sound waves back into the exhaust port, actually helping to evacuate the exhaust from the exhaust port, greatly increasing the engine’s power potential. However, in order for this “supercharging” effect to work, the engine must be turning a certain number of RPM – usually in the middle-to-upper range of the powerband. The engine runs most efficiently when it is “on the pipe,” producing its best power and torque. Motocrossers like to get the engine on the pipe right as they are cresting the top of a hill, giving them a boost to make the jump. However, there are times when it is not ideal for the engine to make the transition from “off the pipe” to “on the pipe”—for example, while leaned over in a turn. The reason is obvious – the sudden spike in power can cause the rear tire to abruptly lose traction, possibly resulting in the rider losing control. The “pipey” powerbands of modern Japanese supersport motorcycles such as the Yamaha R1 and R6 have been compared to the powerbands of two-stroke engines that have “nothing down low,” but have a sudden “hit” or “rush” of power when the engine goes “on the cam” in the upper reaches of the RPM band, usually in the last four to five thousand RPM before redline. Engines such as that of the R6 may not have much power at all below this magic range in the RPM band, even requiring the rider to slip the clutch almost to the point of abuse to perform even a routine in-town maneuver such as accelerating away from a traffic light. And when the rider is out on his favorite mountain road or racetrack, he has to keep the engine up in the higher RPMs in order to make time and get good drive out of the corners. The only problem with this is that the manic nature of the engine’s power delivery when it’s “on the cam” can make it difficult for the rider to manage traction at the rear tire, especially when driving out of the corners. While good riders develop an almost telepathic connection between their right wrists and the rear wheel, and become adept at keeping tabs on rear traction when coming out of the corners, the manic power delivery of some modern four-cylinder supersport motorcycles places an added mental workload on the rider that could otherwise be focused on other important factors, such as steering, braking, body positioning, and front wheel traction.

Enter the two-cylinder engine. Most often built in the v-twin (Aprilia, Buell) or l-twin (Ducati, Honda RC-51, Suzuki SV) configuration today, a twin is heavier than a four-cylinder engine of equal displacement. A twin will also rev more slowly than a four-cylinder, due to the greater mass of its pistons and valve train (remember, a DOHC v-twin has four cams instead of only two, like an inline-four). Typically, a twin will also not be able to rev as high as a four-cylinder, and will usually have a powerband that, while if not broader than that of a four-cylinder, will offer the rider more accessible power and torque. That is, the useable range in which the twin makes good power and torque will often (but not always) be located lower in the RPM range than an inline-four of the same displacement. So, while the peak torque figures of, for example, a 1000cc, v-twin-powered Honda RVT1000R (RC-51) and a typical 1000cc, inline-four-powered Honda CBR1000RR may be similar at approximately 75 ft.-lbs., the CBR has to be revved to, say, 8500 RPM to achieve this figure, while the RC-51 was hitting peak torque maybe 2000 RPM earlier. The more relaxed nature of the power delivery of a twin also allows the mental workload of the rider to be decreased, for several reasons. The first is that the greater low-end torque of a twin-powered motorcycle allows the rider to make good time without having to do a lot of shifting to keep the engine up in its preferred power range. Another (major) factor that contributes to this is the fact that twin-powered motorcycles are easier to control when accelerating out of corners on a racetrack or curvy road. Part of the reason for this is the more progressive manner in which 2-cylinder engines produce their power. Unlike the “lightswitch-like” power delivery of, say, the R6, for example, twins tend to build power much more smoothly. So, while they might not “feel” as exciting to ride as a motorcycle with a big hit in the powerband, they can make it much easier to make time on a good road or racetrack, because the rider is not constantly fighting to maintain rear traction, like he might be on a machine with more abrupt power characteristics. Nine times out of ten, a good sport rider or a racer will be willing to compromise by accepting a small top-end horsepower deficiency in exchange for a broad, smooth powerband without any sudden jumps in horsepower and torque, because it will ultimately be easier to control the motorcycle. Another big factor in the rideability of twin-powered machines is traction on corner exit. Many experts (and amateurs) claim that the nature of the way in which twins put their power to the ground results in greater traction as the rider accelerates out of a given corner. The reason for this is claimed to be that a twin has more time (measured in fractions of a second, of course) between power pulses than a four, allowing more time for the rear tire to recover grip in between pulses. If we slow everything down, the power that the engine is attempting to transfer to the rear tire is not one smooth, continuous surge – we can actually break it down into individual pulses that are created as each cylinder fires and transfers its reciprocating energy into rotational crankshaft inertia, and so on into the transmission, and ultimately to the rear wheel. Not only does the twin allow more time for the tire to recover between power pulses, improving traction, but the greater time between pulses also apparently makes it easier for the rider to interpret what is going on at the rear tire, which allows him to feed in more throttle, and/or react more quickly when the tire does finally break loose. All this really means is that the rider’s mental workload is reduced, allowing him to concentrate on what’s important – going faster!

As I mentioned previously, my time riding twin-powered machines has been almost non-existent; having been limited to the rare slow ride on a Harley-Davidson or other v-twin-powered cruiser. A year or so ago, a friend offered the chance to ride his RC-51, which I happily accepted, but I was only at the controls for less than five minutes or so, and didn’t get the chance to evaluate the bike on a good road with lots of corners. Furthermore, the RC’s suspension was so out-of-whack for my particular weight and style that I was concentrating on just keeping the machine on the road. But while my time on the RC-51 was brief, I immediately noticed a vast difference in the power delivery characteristics of the 999cc Honda l-twin and the 998cc inline-four of my regular steed, a 2007 Yamaha YZF-R1. The Honda, though it was probably developing (by my conservative estimate) in excess of 115 rear-wheel horsepower and over 65 ft.-lbs. of torque, felt quite slow compared to my R1. I know now that this was due, in large part, to the smooth power of the l-twin engine. Instead of having a big hit at 8000 RPM like my R1, the RC had a smooth, strong, continuous surge of power that built from 2500 RPM, crescendoing at its 9500 RPM redline. Compare this to my R1, which, while producing over 150 horsepower at the rear tire, is comparatively weak in the lower end of its powerband, and has lots of drive-killing peaks and valleys in its RPM band.

So, having spent so little time at the controls of any non-inline-four-powered machine, I was obviously ecstatic when offered the chance to ride the 2007 1098 S of a friend. The latest, greatest Superbike from Italian manufacturer Ducati, the 1098 offers an extreme contrast to Japanese machinery. First and most importantly, it features a 1099cc l-twin engine, developing (conservatively) 135 rear-wheel horsepower and approximately 70 ft.-lbs. of rear-wheel torque. More importantly, it develops this power in a linear, progressive fashion, offering stump-pulling low-end torque which builds into a killer midrange and top-end rush. Secondly, and this may be the biggest difference between a Ducati and its Japanese competition – it features a trellis frame. Instead of using twin cast-aluminum beams, like a Japanese sportbike, the Ducati’s frame is constructed from lightweight, chromium alloy (chromoly) steel tubing. Counter intuitively, the main advantage of the steel trellis frame is that it is not as stiff structurally as an aluminum beam frame, like on an R1, for example. This allows the frame to act as a sort of shock absorber, picking up where the motorcycle’s suspension (its tires, brakes, rear shock and fork) leaves off. Generally speaking, the motorcycle’s suspension functions at its best when the bike is cruising down the road or track straight up and down. The fork, tires, and shock are able to absorb irregularities in the tarmac surface, doing their job of keeping the motorcycle planted, and the tires in contact with the road. However, when the motorcycle is leaned over in a turn, the fork and shock are at the wrong angle to do their job properly. At extremely steep angles of lean, when the motorcycle’s tires encounter a bump, a pothole, or other surface irregularity, the rider needs the motorcycle’s frame to give (especially at the steering head, swingarm pivot and shock mount), or flex, to allow the vehicle’s tires to remain in contact with the tarmac, maintaining traction, and keeping the rider in the saddle, as opposed to sliding down the road! The inherent flex that is built into the trellis-type frame appears to be very good at complementing the motorcycle’s suspension in this way, while the Japanese factories have had to, in recent years, design more flex into these critical areas of their bikes’ frames in order to improve this obscure aspect of handling. The factories also claim that increased flex in certain areas and greater stiffness in other areas also improves the elusive (and coveted) “feel” of a motorcycle while keeled over in a turn.

Not a standard model, my buddy’s 1098 is the up-rated ‘S’ model, which comes from the factory in Bologna with top-of-the-line, Swedish-made Ohlins suspension componentry, improving ride and handling tremendously over the Japanese-made Showa bits that are included on the standard 1098. The 1098 S also arrives at the dealership wearing Italian-made, forged aluminum Marchesini split 5-spoke wheels, which, while being stronger than cast units, are also much lighter, saving several pounds of all-important unsprung weight. The 1098 I rode had also received a performance upgrade in the form of a pair of lightweight, Italian-made, carbon fiber Termignoni mufflers, allowing the engine to breathe more easily, increasing power, torque, and throttle response. On top of all this, the 1098 S comes shod with, what else, Italian-made Pirelli hypersport tires, in the very sticky Dragon Supercorsa street/racetrack variant, in 120/70-17 front, and 190/50-17 rear sizes. In other words, it’s more than capable of going fast if you do your part. Equipped from Borgo Panigale with a digital, MotoGP-style speedometer unit, the ‘S’ version of the superbike also includes a digital data logging system, called the Ducati Data Analyser (DDA), which automatically records data from several different parameters, including throttle opening, engine RPM, vehicle speed, gear selection, and lap times. This allows the rider to improve his riding and lap times by actually going back and checking these parameters so that he can improve his technique in the future. Another very cool feature of the Ducati is the computerized engine start sequence, which eliminates any uncertainty the rider might have in how long to hold down the starter button. Instead, the rider simply presses the starter button and immediately releases it, and the ECU takes care of the rest, starting the high-compression l-twin perfectly every time.

The area in which I rode the 1098 S is rural, with unimproved roads. The roads are constructed from the light gray-type pavement that offers a lot of grip, but requires a lot of concentration and awareness from the rider, as the light color of the road surface is such that gravel and sand does not necessarily stand out and make itself obvious. Additionally, the roads in this area are very bumpy. The specific route that we took does not offer a lot of tight corners; there were only a few at the very beginning. But I did get the opportunity to accelerate hard out of several corners. Though the relatively poor nature of the road surfaces and my unfamiliarity with the motorcycle combined with my intense desire not to wad the Ducati up, limiting my overall evaluation of the European exotic, I was still able to get a small taste of what the 1098 S was capable of. The first thing I noticed was that the riding position was not, as I had read in all the motorcycle rags, a torture rack – at least not for me. In fact, the long reach to the low-set clip-ons suited my 6’3” frame quite nicely. The seat-peg distance also did not seem unreasonable, either, as sport bikes go. I don’t think I would have any problem doing a 300-mile day in the mountains on the bike. The next thing I noticed was the instant power that flowed from the engine room. Unlike a four-cylinder sportbike, the Ducati did not have to be revved up to four or five thousand RPM to pull smoothly – it seemed to have the torque I needed to pull out into traffic from almost right-off idle. The theme that continued to echo in my mind as I rode the 1098 was that the power just seemed to be instantaneous. There was no waiting for the engine to spool up. So much low-end and midrange torque was immediately available that there was really no need to spin the engine up into its upper RPM ranges. But when I did, I was rewarded with a wonderful top-end rush that I was not expecting. The l-twin of the Ducati is deceiving. The lack of a “hit” at any point in the RPM band contributes to the rider’s feeling that he is not really going that fast – though a quick glance at the clocks serves to indicate otherwise. The expansive fairings of the motorcycle also add to the relaxed feeling of the rider as he accelerates out of the corners. Even though I am over 6 feet tall, I felt almost no wind, even at 90-100 MPH. The relaxed nature of the motorcycle’s power delivery, combined with the excellent wind protection, and the tall gearing permitted by the abundant torque of the engine, makes for effortless high-speed cruising on the machine. One can comfortably maintain a pace on the Ducati that would quickly become tiring on the higher-strung, shorter-geared Japanese supersports with less extensive fairings. The Ohlins suspension was firm but plush, offering good feel for the road surface. The roads that we were on would certainly offer a good workout for any suspension, and some of the hits definitely came through. However, even though the suspension was quite stiff, I could tell that it was capable of hitting very large bumps without throwing the bike out of sorts. In other words, if you could stand the hit, the bike would take it with no problem without doing anything untoward. But what stood out most about the 1098 was the instantaneous power that rocketed me out of the corners as if fired out of a slingshot. Though I didn’t get to spend enough time on the bike to begin to start testing how much sooner I could open the throttle than on my R1, it was obvious that the 1098 is an extremely capable machine that would be a fearsome weapon if unleashed in anger by a skilled rider.

Despite my glee at getting to ride the latest, greatest superbike from Ducati, I think I actually had more fun on a recent jaunt aboard a 2001 748, also belonging to the same friend who so graciously offered his 1098 S for a test ride. Knowing that my R1 is temporarily out of action for some winter performance improvements, my benevolent, Italian machine-loving friend (I’ll call him Ed) recently offered to let me tag along on a ride through some of the best twisty roads in the Memphis area. Though the rural roads east of the Memphis metropolitan area where I had ridden the 1098 are great, they are bumpy and unimproved. Ed lives right on the river, in the southwest part of Downtown Memphis, in view of the classic steel architecture of the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge. Built in 1949, it carries Interstate 55 over the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee to West Memphis, Arkansas, and is known to native Memphians as the Old Bridge. This distinguishes it from the newer Hernando-DeSoto Bridge, which was built in 1973 to accommodate Interstate 40, and is known locally as the New Bridge. Coincidentally, Ed’s nostalgic, aesthetically-pleasing neighborhood is also a great starting point for motorcycle rides, being that it is a short ride along the scenic Mississippi River to the Meeman-Shelby State Park. Known as Shelby Forest to local Memphians (and sport riders), the park happens to be surrounded by some fantastically tight and twisty roads. Though the roads to the east and north of Shelby Forest are frequently dirty in places, and have plenty of hazards to motorcyclists such as numerous blind driveway entrances and free-running dogs, they generally have good pavement quality, and are lightly patrolled by local law enforcement. Overall, these roads, north of the city, probably offer the best sport riding in our area, from a qualitative standpoint.

As we admired the classic, Italian styling of the two pampered Ducatis in the climate-controlled room where Ed stores them, the topic of our conversation again turned to a subject of frequent debate amongst sport riders – differences in design philosophy between the big-four Japanese factories and the smaller European marques, such as Ducati. It was easy to compare the differences, as Ed, coming from a similar motorcycling background as myself, is also an R1 pilot, and just happens to also own a beautiful 2004 example, which is also currently on display in his home. Not coincidentally, the Yamaha R1, especially since its first major redesign for model year 2004, has been said to be the Japanese motorcycle which is most reminiscent, from a design standpoint, of Italian motorcycles – especially Ducatis. One of the biggest advantages of a motorcycle featuring a longitudinally-mounted v-twin or l-twin engine, such as nearly all Ducatis have, is that this design gives the motorcycle a very thin cross-section, contributing to the small, light feel of the motorcycle, important for rider confidence. Japanese supersport motorcycles have traditionally featured four-cylinder, inline engines, mounted transversely across the frame. While this design allows the slight forward weight distribution necessary for good front-end traction, it can result in an undesirably wide motorcycle. Yamaha were among the first of the Big Four to address this problem by canting the engine forward, thus allowing the twin rails of the aluminum frame to pass completely over the engine, instead of around it, resulting in a much more narrow cross-section. This design also results in the 2004+ R1 being what I have heard called a very “front-endy” motorcycle – meaning that it has a lot of weight over the front wheel (especially with rider aboard). While this is good for traction, it also demands a lot of confidence in the front end to go fast. (Another by-product of the forward-canted engine is a very high wheelie balance point for the modern R1, but that’s another discussion!)

As Ed and I took off down Riverside Drive in search of twisty roads, I could not help but get a little jealous of Ed. Not only does his neighborhood feature some monumentally beautiful natural and man-made landmarks, but there is always an abundance of young, gorgeous women jogging up and down the river in this area. We had to be very careful, because, as we all know, you go where you look! But seriously, as I soaked in the essence of the 748, I was again struck by the relaxed, loping character, and the fact that it was really unnecessary to rev the engine beyond 5000 RPM or so in normal riding, because the engine just has such an abundance of torque right off idle. But, as we crossed over onto Mud Island and took the back way out to Shelby Forest, by General DeWitt Spain Airport, via Auction Avenue, Ed, who was leading, picked up the pace a little, allowing me to sample a little of what the 748 had up top. I was quite surprised to find that it has a nice top-end rush when you get up over 8000 RPM, as well. The suspension on the 748, being nearly eight years old, was softer than that of the 1098, providing a good ride. The motorcycle had only about 8300 miles, but was shod with a very old-looking Pirelli MTR01 front, and MTR02 rear, tire. And although it would seem unlikely, Ed and I suspect that these were the original tires! The brakes also felt fairly wooden. In fact, the motorcycle seemed as if it had spent very little, if any, time performing sport riding duties! I would guess that, sadly, it was a bar-hopper in its previous life. Before we left Ed’s house, I noticed that the tires were reading in the neighborhood of 33 psi, front and rear. Not being worried about wearing them out, I left them there with the hope that I would be able to get some extra heat into them, being that outside temps were forecasted to be in the low to mid-sixties that day.

Once we got out onto some of the roads we had come for, I was able to scrub a little of the hard outer layer of rubber off the tires, wear the hard, plastic-like coating off the brakes, and scuff the rotors a bit, improving the feel of the controls. Back brake still felt like it wasn’t there, though. The overall feel of the 748 can really be described in one word: fun. Even at the modest pace Ed and I were running, the relaxed nature of the little l-twin powerplant was entertaining. The broad, seamless torque curve of the bike served to amplify its modest output, masking the fact that it’s only putting out about 90 horsepower and 50 ft.-lbs. of torque. But the great thing is that all this is useable horsepower. In the second half of the ride, when we picked up the pace a little, I realized that, with a good set of tires, one could confidently turn the throttle to the stop on corner exits without fear of being high-sided across the Atlantic. Fueling was almost perfect. I only noticed the one anomaly – a slight fluffiness around 4000 RPM – after Ed pointed it out to me. And even then, it was only noticeable when boulevard-cruising at low speeds. Overall, the 748 simply endows its rider with confidence. The feeling I got from riding it was that it was capable of so much more. The tube-trellis chassis transmits so much information through the controls that I would feel confident pushing this motorcycle close to its limits on a good mountain road. The bike feels so good now that it’s hard to imagine how much better it would be with a little TLC. I have no doubt that an afternoon of maintenance – some new, super-slippery fork oil, a brake job, and a set of new, modern tires – would improve the feel of this little 748 by at least an entire order of magnitude. Hey, it may only have 90 horsepower, but there’s something to be said for a motorcycle that makes you feel like a hero even at a pace of 40 percent!

-John M. Pifer
(aka yankin&bankin - R1 Forum handle)
 

·
14k+ posts and not one helpful
Joined
·
14,287 Posts
Wow, great write up!! looks go be alot of info in here.... i don't have time to read all of it right now but i skimmed through and looks to be very interesting :yesnod
 

·
Chicken strips GONE!!
Joined
·
1,600 Posts
I'm all about pics but this write up was so great I was sad it was over. And I went thorough the whole thing... I'm a fan of italian bikes as well though I never had a chance to ride one yet. :dunno

That's magazine material my man! Are you a specialized journalist or something? :confused:

Worth the half-hour readin I say... :yesnod
 

·
Squid
Joined
·
3,371 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I'm all about pics but this write up was so great I was sad it was over. And I went thorough the whole thing... I'm a fan of italian bikes as well though I never had a chance to ride one yet. :dunno

That's magazine material my man! Are you a specialized journalist or something? :confused:

Worth the half-hour readin I say... :yesnod
And thank you for the compliment -

Not a journalist - just a regular guy riding a regular Japanese bike, trying to keep a rear tire on it!

BTW, I added some pics for your enjoyment.

See below.
 

·
06 50th R1 - BOTM Aug 10
Joined
·
895 Posts
Excellent read -- thanks much!!! I'm a big fan of the Ducs as well and I'd love to own one but the maint and purchase costs make it a tough call!

:):):)
 

·
I'm an Englishman in WI.
Joined
·
33,631 Posts
Great report and confirms why I thought that some just loved the Duc.
Excellent job of putting your thoughts and interpretations into words, definitely magazine worthy :bow
 

·
2wheellife
Joined
·
71 Posts
wow, great write up. I actually read the whole thing and I hate reading. You should probably look into writing/journalism.

I've started on 5 jap bikes before I got my 1098 and Tuono. It's really a different feel on italian bikes. There are pros and cons of both. I love both italian bikes and jap bikes, it's like women doesn't matter what race, they are all women.
 

·
Come Ride With Me...
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Great read!!!

I love both, but I will give up my rice before I give up my pasta...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
ill i have to say is WOW great post awsome .....
 

·
KyleM's 09 R1 is no DESMO! :-)
Joined
·
2,190 Posts
Great post Y&B! I have ridden Japanese 4 bangers since the late 80s. I purchased my Aprilia this past summer and had a lot of the same impressions. Though it took me a good month of riding to get used to it, I have fallen in love with the linear V-Twin power and the confidence inspiring chassis even at full knee draggin lean. Feb 28th at Jennings GP will be my first V-Twin track experience and I cant wait!
 

·
R1, "One Hell of an Addiction"
Joined
·
14,032 Posts
I just finished reading your write up. Excellent piece of work. If you sent this write up to any of the bike mags I read I have a good feeling that you may be offered a job as a test bike journalist:secret:What a fun job that would be. Keep up the good work:thumbup
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
First, thanks for a great write-up. However I do have a couple of things to point out.

So, while the peak torque figures of, for example, a 1000cc, v-twin-powered Honda RVT1000R (RC-51) and a typical 1000cc, inline-four-powered Honda CBR1000RR may be similar at approximately 75 ft.-lbs., the CBR has to be revved to, say, 8500 RPM to achieve this figure, while the RC-51 was hitting peak torque maybe 2000 RPM earlier.
By looking at dyno graphs the CBR 1000 seems to have about 5 lb-ft more torque on average. Furthermore, even at the RC-51s torque peak which seems to be at ~7500rpm the CBR 1000 has it beat.

It's the same if you compare the Ducati 999 to the GSX-R 1000. The GSX-R makes more torque practically everywhere in the rev range.

The first is that the greater low-end torque of a twin-powered motorcycle allows the rider to make good time without having to do a lot of shifting to keep the engine up in its preferred power range.
This is really not true. The inline four cylinder sportbikes easily beat the V-twins in top gear roll-ons. So, while the inline 4s could just roll on the throttle in 6th gear, the twins would have to downshift a gear or two to be able to stick with them. Even the 1098, like the one you rode, can't match the 1000cc inline 4s when it comes to roll-on acceleration. And it's cheating with 10% extra displacement...

CBR 1000 RR -08
60-100km/h 3.5s
60-140km/h 6.4s

GSX-R 1000 -07
60-100km/h 3.3s
60-140km/h 6.3s

RC-51 -02
60-100km/h 4.4s
60-140km/h 10.0s

999R -06
60-100km/h 4.2s
60-140km/h 8.3s

1098 -07
60-100km/h 3.5s
60-140km/h 7.1s

Numbers from www.einszweidrei.de
Compilation of data from german magazines.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,161 Posts
How come most of the Italian OEMs use trellis frames as opposed to the beam frames of the Japanese?
2 reasons.
1. The trellis style / bird cage frame has become synonymous with Italian bikes.
2. Its one of the old school ways of frame design!


The Japanese design their frames on computers & the physical test ride is one of the last steps prior to final approval and manufacture.

Ducati to this day designs their frames with a test rider from the get go! They start with trellis frame with a good known geometry / rake etc and start adding or deleting tubes after each ride depending on the riders comments! Obviously more involved but basically its all old school, real world trial & error testing every step of the way on a track.

Until very recently frame manufacturing cost and weight was not high on Ducs list of must haves.

Great report BTW.
 

·
R1 is yummy
Joined
·
553 Posts
First, thanks for a great write-up. However I do have a couple of things to point out.


By looking at dyno graphs the CBR 1000 seems to have about 5 lb-ft more torque on average. Furthermore, even at the RC-51s torque peak which seems to be at ~7500rpm the CBR 1000 has it beat.

It's the same if you compare the Ducati 999 to the GSX-R 1000. The GSX-R makes more torque practically everywhere in the rev range.


This is really not true. The inline four cylinder sportbikes easily beat the V-twins in top gear roll-ons. So, while the inline 4s could just roll on the throttle in 6th gear, the twins would have to downshift a gear or two to be able to stick with them. Even the 1098, like the one you rode, can't match the 1000cc inline 4s when it comes to roll-on acceleration. And it's cheating with 10% extra displacement...

CBR 1000 RR -08
60-100km/h 3.5s
60-140km/h 6.4s

GSX-R 1000 -07
60-100km/h 3.3s
60-140km/h 6.3s

RC-51 -02
60-100km/h 4.4s
60-140km/h 10.0s

999R -06
60-100km/h 4.2s
60-140km/h 8.3s

1098 -07
60-100km/h 3.5s
60-140km/h 7.1s

Numbers from www.einszweidrei.de
Compilation of data from german magazines.
:iamwithst

If you like v-twins then great, but the idea that they're 'better' that inline 4s or even V4s is nonsense. If that was the case then everyone in GP's/WSB would be running them.
I've ridden almost every bike available out there but always get the best feel from in-line 4's, and I love how the R1 (for example) revs out to high rpms. Ducati's always feel like they're going to shake themselves apart at high rpms. And even in the 2-stroke world the in-line 4's and V4's always made more HP than twins.
Other engines might, depending on your opinion, make better noises but so what?

Anyway, nice write-up :)
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
About this Discussion
33 Replies
21 Participants
yankin&bankin
Yamaha R1 Forum: YZF-R1 Forums
R1-Forum is a Yamaha R1 motorcycle enthusiasts community dedicated to Yamaha YZF 1000 R1 sportbike. Discuss performance, customization, specs, reviews and more!
Full Forum Listing
Top