2005 Ducati 999

Ducati 999 – Model Year 2005

It's all about balance.

2004 Suzuki GSX-R600

When a 2% Improvement is the Difference
Between 4th and 1st.

The US economic recovery is about to get a big boost as hundreds of racers purchase new bodywork, pipes, brake lines, clip-ons, rearsets, manual cam chain tensioners, valving for front forks and purchasing valve jobs and head skimming because Suzuki Cup racers will be able to qualify on their 2003s, but the winner at Road Atlanta in October will be riding a 2004.

The not-so-elusive GSX-R in its native habitat. It’s the 2003s that are now endangered.

2005 Triumph Daytona 650

Las Vegas, NV
November 15, 2004

Feel the mystique.

Suzuki GSX-R 750

Don’t ask why, ask why not?

Let’s say you start the race season and, in the first race, beat all your competition. At the next weekend half of them have quit racing entirely and you win again, by a large margin. At the third weekend a few of your original competitors have started racing again, but in a different class. By the fourth weekend you are gridding up, by yourself, and cruising to a easy victory. Each race weekend you win, roughly, $2,000,000. A small but vocal group of spectators begin questioning why you still bother to show up and continue to win the race and continue to collect your paychecks. Your answer, which should be obvious, is that it is not your fault that no one can compete with you, and the remuneration doesn’t hurt either.

For six years Suzuki has completely and utterly dominated what used to be the most hotly contested sportbike class. One by one the other Japanese companies brought great shame to themselves by capitulating the class to Suzuki until they were the only one left. As the world racing class structures moved to 1000cc and the AMA followed suit some folks have been left wondering why Suzuki still makes the 750. The answer should be pretty obvious. They sell a lot of them to street riders, most of their racer sales were not to AMA racers in the first place and they make a ton of money off of the bike.

Once upon a time the world’s sanctioning bodies decided that the speeds that the race bikes were achieving were too fast for the tracks and tires and so the changed the cc limits from 1,000 to 750. Should we set up a pool for how long it will be before it happens again?

Yamaha R1

The new R1 is probably the best platform for an open class racebike on the market today. It’s small, it’s light, it’s very powerful and it has great suspension and excellent brakes. It could qualify for the Daytona 200 with a simple tire change (actually this speaks more to the declining prestige and influence of the Daytona 200 than to the competencies of the R1 but it sounds impressive none-the-less). The growing ranks of track day enthusiasts will find that this R1 needs virtually no modifications or upgrades to make a thoroughly capable and enjoyable track bike. The new R1 is substantially better than the 2003 in every single performance category where it counts and most of the styling categories where it doesn’t.

Yamaha says this bike is for experts only.