2009 KTM 1190 RC8 vs. 2008 Suzuki GSX-R750 Comparison Test Review

7 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2009 KTM 1190 RC8 vs. 2008 Suzuki GSX-R750 Comparison Test Review отключены
KTM 1190 RC8

2009 KTM 1190 RC8 vs. 2008 GSX-R750 – Comparison Test Bookends.

Photography by Chris

If ever there were a that has weathered the test of in a changing two-wheel climate, the Suzuki GSX-R750. When it emerged in the European and Canadian in 1985 (arriving stateside the year), it defined what a superbike should be. Over the this 3/4-liter inline-Four has battle-hardened and refined through updates and wholesale revisions, but one has remained: Suzuki’s commitment to the hypersport philosophy.

While to global Superbike racing over the past decade left this lone 750 Four out in the cold in terms of competition, it remains a superb of well-balanced performance and was voted Superbike in Cycle World ‘s Ten Bikes as recently as 2006. essential formula for success the several years has been to endow its agile-handling 600cc platform with an increased and … to deliver a sizable in horsepower and torque.

The backside of the recently revised Superbike is the KTM RC8, the latest arrival on the scene. Don’t be fooled by the designation on our orange-n-black testbike’s because actual displacement of its V-Twin engine is 1148cc, under the current 1200-cube given to Twins in sanctioned Superbike competition. Surely KTM has to thank for taking a “build it and will come around” with its 1198cc 1098R.

fans can look forward to when KTM plans to mount its own assault in WSB.

As was the case the original GSX-R all those ago, the RC8 was first launched in (last January) and is now finally our shores, with 450 units for the States in 2009. It was well the wait as a few wrinkles have ironed out of KTM’s first in building a pure sportbike. Our was one of 50 early arrivals that KTM America refers to as 2008-and-a-halfs.

What this amounts to is while our bike features the and gearbox refinements of a 2009 it wears ’08 bodywork that has three slightly mismatched of orange. If that doesn’t like the level of finish you would expect from a that lists for $19,498, KTM and promises a more consistent hue be applied to its 2009 machines.

But the stopwatch is colorblind and we were to see the outcome when our pair of foes met on the street, track and Before things got rolling, bikes were weighed a dry fuel tank, revealing the RC8 weighs 4 pounds more the 419-pound GSX-R. No surprise as to bike packs the most when strapped onto the CW as the larger-capacity RC8 built a mountainous of torque hovering around foot-pounds across its rev range.

residing some 25 ft.-lb. the Gixxer’s torque curve equally flat and broad. the RC8 holds an 8-peak-horsepower advantage, output through the midrange reveals the full value a big offers as the Katoom pounds out 40 ponies than the silky-smooth at 8000 rpm!

As impressive as the mill’s Schwarzenegger-like strength may be, how it fare when pickin’ on its own size? Overlaying the power of the RC8 and its natural rival—the Ducati a greater appreciation for the linear in which the RC8 builds power. the Italian Twin’s delivery a bit from 4000–6000 rpm, it command above 7500 rpm a strong upper thrust of more horses.

Another comparison of interest is the RC8 against that other engine, the 1125cc Rotax that propels the latest Here, the RC8 maintains a 5 horsepower throughout the bottom half of the rev with the two converging at 6500 rpm and pretty much neck-and-neck to rev limits.

Getting back to the at hand, we spent plenty of commuting on freeways and city aboard the KTM and Suzuki. While has long-distance sport-touring on its résumé, each offer a means for rider ergonomics. Both the ability to alter footpeg we opted for the more-relaxed lower points on both when on public roads.

The clip-on of the KTM can be raised 15mm from standard location, a quick and alteration that also to our liking. In the raised position, do contact the mirror stalks making full-lock U-turns, but a minor concession for overall comfort. While KTM’s subframe is height-adjustable, we left it in its lower (and less position.

All levers and foot on the KTM are adjustable (as are the Suzuki clutch and levers), and the shifter linkage the rider to tweak the amount of and the ratio of movement to suit his or her in resistance and amount of shifter when changing gears.

Associate Editor Blake and I held differing opinions the RC8′s shift quality. concerns stemmed from an occasional false neutral upshifting from second to on the street. I have experienced few that change gears as and smoothly as our RC8 under light-to-moderate

The slightest tug on the clutch lever and toe on the shifter snicked up through the with blissful precision, I, too, experienced the false during a full-boil pass the dragstrip. Buuurrrrring!

The Suzuki’s quality was uncharacteristically notchy we put about 1000 miles on the when the cog-to-cog clicks living up to the buttery feel come to expect of Gixxers. The 750 is with a back-torque-limiting clutch also applies additional on the plates under acceleration to allow use of lighter springs for lever effort. While the works well, my hunch is it introduces additional driveline

Combine this with the light, snappy response, and it can upshifts under casual very herky-jerky if you don’t polished technique. An effective when trying to be extra-smooth away from stops is to skip-shift from first to as there’s enough low-end to keep the engine from

This year’s GSX-R750 has the Drive Mode Selector, and its B mode takes some of the out of throttle response, which well in smoothing the ride in Something I’ve noticed this latest SDMS is that unlike the GSX-R1000′s B which reduces power at all settings, the 750 in B only does so at than half-throttle, with no at all in the top two gears.

Pretty clever, as it provides softer initial yet delivers unrestricted power you pin it, without needing to thumb the toggle. Horsepower is hobbled to levels when C mode is in

Maintaining steady cruise on the KTM is rather difficult due to it having a light throttle spring and a ton of available at the slightest twist of the Slab joints and bumpy are a …! As with the GSX-R, fuel mapping feels

Another hot topic worth is the blazing heat that from the RC8 engine. It’s if you’re all leathered up, but wearing boots and blue jeans riding the KTM like standing too a BBQ. Unlike with the there’s no need to suit up or Nomex knee-highs when on the Gixxer for a quick and cool errand.

While these manage daily duties enough, backroad burning and attacks are the root of their Into the mountain roads of National Forest we rode, the GSX-R and its stock-fitment Bridgestone BT016 radials to the test fitting Pirelli Dragon Pros, standard on the KTM, so bikes would have footing when we later comparative lap times around the of Willow Springs road

Retracing the route aboard the Suzuki verified there no tire-induced handling quirks. back-to-back evaluation was of particular due to the RC8 having notably lighter than the GSX-R. The tire had no perceivable effect on the effort to change direction aboard the and its steering neutrality and overall were maintained.

Comparing geometry of the two reveals near-identical and rake, but the KTM triple-clamps have offset and its trail is shorter that of the Suzuki. This, with more leverage the RC8′s 2-inch-wider handlebars, is part of what gives the KTM its agility. Both bikes quite competent when through hairpins and medium-speed transitions, carving up everything we like a couple of Ginsu through fresh cod.

But its loads of torque anytime, in the rev range, the RC8 is just that easier to ride on roads you may be reluctant to open the throttle the exit of a blind bend in view.

Impressions at the technical Streets of were equally close, Blake and I both logging our lap times aboard the GSX-R—Conner at compared with his RC8 best lap of I managed a best time of aboard the Suzuki while a 1:22.15 on the KTM.

Here, we found the RC8 chassis a bit too lively exiting bumpy corners, and its was on the touchy side when to settle the bike mid-corner. was no question that the Twin harder once off corners, but the steadfast stability over the stuff and the forgiving nature in its throttle application allowed drives to begin earlier. It instilled the confidence to carry speed through the track’s section—a crested third-gear had the RC8 shaking its head when to make a quick time.

bikes come equipped steering dampers, the KTM’s an WP unit while the Suzuki’s damper adjusts automatically on the I conducted an experiment with the when the bike was on CW ‘s dyno: the shaft with the unit while running the bike and its speedometer. My findings indicate damping remains light and until wheel speed 90 mph, at which point resistance increases in relation to

While the RC8 won the backroad battle its robust torque and light, steering, it needed to mount a as the GSX-R got the nod in both urban use and at the Would our final test acceleration and top-speed testing—provide an At first, I had doubts about how the KTM would launch at the strip, due to its narrow clutch-engagement span.

But it turns out that the Suzuki is the one to get out of the hole, requiring clutch through much of first while keeping revs 12,000 rpm to avoid bogging the Ouch! On the Twin, a more-relaxed launch is all it takes, with the muscle allowing full engagement almost immediately. The times pretty well the story of the orange bike’s victory through the quarter-mile.

And the two were run past the radar I suspect that aerodynamics for the 169-mph Gixxer topping the RC8 by 3 mph in

Add it up and it looks as though we have a until you dig into your and realize that you can purchase two $10,599 GSX-R750s for the cost of one The superbike climate may have as the big KTM demonstrates, but the GSX-R750 is far from its date. Just as it has been every year of its existence, one of the best performance values on the

KTM 1190 RC8
KTM 1190 RC8

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