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Old 10-28-2009, 04:00 PM   #1
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Whitham tests 2009 World Superbikes

VISORDOWN'S Jamie Whitham was amongst the handful of journalists invited to Portimao circuit, Portugal, to test ride the full gaggle of 2009 World Superbikes. Here are his first thoughts on his day spent thraping WSB exotica around one of the best circuits in the world:

"I was privileged to be invited to stay on at the Portimao circuit after the recent final round of WSB to have a run on most of the top factory bikes . . . . . And -be-jeeze was I in for an E-ticket ride !

"A superbike used to be a road bike with a bit more power, a bit less weight and better brakes and suspension . . . well not any more.

"All the bikes were easy enough to potter off down pit lane and out onto the track, but when you have enough heat in the tyres to start opening the throttle a bit you realise what a focused, specifically set-up and awesome machine a modern world class superbike is.

"To cope with the huge power and silly levels of grip the suspension, especially on Spiesí R1 and Hagaís 1098 F09, is so firm that itís difficult to ride them hard enough to get much feeling and confidence at all, unless you're a WSB supremo, of course.

"Theyíre all packed with electronics: traction control, launch control and anti-wheelie systems. The Yamaha even has an automatic blip on the throttle as you shift down the box into a turn. But donít be fooled into thinking all this technology makes these bikes easier to ride: it doesnít, especially around a circuit as demanding as Portimao."

Jamie's test notes:

Spies R1: No weight transfer. Rock solid forks, feels like the rear shock's been replaced with an iron bar.

Haga's Ducati: Tips in so quick it feels like you're going to lose the front.

Honda and Kawasaki: Most like their road-going equivalent; like a properly sorted road bike with loads of grip.

Aprilia RSV4: No idea. Spanish journo lobbed it down the track in the morning so we never got to ride it!

Whit's full write up on the 2009 WSB machines is in Issue 5 of Visordown magazine

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Old 10-28-2009, 04:36 PM   #2
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I would have been with the Spanish guy, que gilipollas!!!!!
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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He's already ridden the RSV4 anyway..

or that was teh street version maybe..
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Grinchy View Post
The Yamaha even has an automatic blip on the throttle as you shift down the box into a turn.
Holy !
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