A Quartet of Electronically Enhanced Superbikes | MC Comparison

Class of 2011: Divine Intervention

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Joe Neric, Kevin Wing, Matt Samples

2011 Ducati 1198SP  | Price: $21,995

Dyno
Nothing beats a big-bore twin for bottom-end grunt. The Testastretta EVO makes more torque at 3750 rpm than the fours make anywhere on the tach. A low-rpm torque peak makes short-shifting necessary to keep the front end grounded.

Tech Spec

Engine type: l-c 90-deg. V-twin
Valve train: DOHC, 8v desmodromic
Displacement: 1198cc
Bore x stroke: 106.0 x 67.9mm
Compression: 12.7:1
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Dry, multi-plate slipper
Transmission: 6-speed
Measured horsepower: 152.9 bhp @ 9900 rpm
Measured torque: 87.9 lb.-ft. @ 8300 rpm
Corrected ¼-mile: na
Top-gear roll-on, 60-80 mph: na
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 43/29/35 mpg
Frame: Tubular-steel trellis with single-sided aluminum swingarm
Front suspension: 43mm Öhlins fork with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Öhlins shock with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Four-piston Brembo radial Monobloc calipers, 330mm discs
Rear brake: Two-piston Brembo caliper, 245mm disc
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rake/trail: 24.5°/3.8 in.
Seat height: 32.2 in.
Wheelbase: 56.3 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.1 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 430/405 lbs.
Colors: Red, black
Availability: Now
Warranty: 48 mo., unlimited mi.
Contact: Ducati North America, Inc.
10443 Bandley Dr.
Cupertino, CA 95014
408.253.0499
www.ducatiusa.com

Ergos
You could blindfold Mike Hailwood’s ghost and he’d still recognize the 1198’s riding position. Like every Ducati superbike, a high, flat seat and low, narrow clip-ons demand an uncompromising racer crouch. The roomy ergos fit taller riders best.


2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R | Price: $13,799

Dyno
The new Ninja disappointed at the dyno, lagging 18.3 bhp behind the similar-spec BMW. Kawasaki claims the ZX-10R was engineered for optimum midrange, but even there it’s outperformed by the S1000RR, which makes more torque at lower rpm.

Tech Spec

Engine type: l-c inline-four
Valve train: DOHC, 16v
Displacement: 998cc
Bore x stroke: 76.0 x 55.0mm
Compression: 13.0:1
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate slipper
Transmission: 6-speed
Measured horsepower: 159.5 bhp @ 11,600 rpm
Measured torque: 74.1 lb.-ft. @ 10,800 rpm
Corrected ¼-mile: 10.37 sec. @ 142.92 mph
Top-gear roll-on, 60-80 mph: 2.76 sec.
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 44/29/36 mpg
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
Front suspension: Showa Big Piston Fork with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Showa shock with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Tokico four-piston radial calipers, 310mm discs
Rear brake: Tokico single-piston caliper, 220mm disc
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Bridgestone Battlax BT016
Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Bridgestone Battlax BT016
Rake/trail: 25.0°/4.2 in.
Seat height: 32.1 in.
Wheelbase: 56.1 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 440/413 lbs.
Colors: Green, black
Available: Now
Warranty: 12 mo., unlimited mi.
Contact: Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA
9950 Jeronimo Rd.
Irvine, CA 92618
949.770.0400
www.kawasaki.com

Ergos
Cynics might accuse Kawasaki of copying BMW. Seat-to-peg and seat-to-bar distances are almost identical, while the Ninja’s clip-ons are positioned barely a quarter-inch higher. Two-position-adjustable footpegs make it a tad more accommodating.

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