Buttonwillow Raceway Park...
Buttonwillow Raceway Park
Racepak G2X Data Analysis
As we've been doing for the past couple of years, we piggybacked our g2X data acquisition system on each bike while kento was aboard at Buttonwillow. last year's test was also conducted at Buttonwillow, and the lap times and segment times (with the exception of the turn 2-3 segment) are comparable with that test-and, incidentally, this year's literbike comparison test ("Turn it up to 11", June '08).
|LAP TIMES |
|HONDA ||1:08.189 |
|KAWASAKI ||1:08.394 |
|SUZUKI ||1:07.924 |
|TRIUMPH ||1:07.793 |
|YAMAHA ||1:07.463 |
Less than one second separates the quickest and slowest lap time, an indication of how tightly matched the bikes are. Times are overall slightly slower than last year, perhaps due to conditions and perhaps due to the performance of the Continental control tires. The Honda and Kawasaki are each approximately a half-second slower than last year, the Triumph and Suzuki a couple of tenths off their last year's pace. The Yamaha's time is more than a half-second quicker than last year's.
|TURN 2-3 SEGMENT TIME |
|HONDA ||13.88 SEC. |
|KAWASAKI ||13.85 SEC. |
|SUZUKI || 13.68 SEC. |
|TRIUMPH ||13.70 SEC. |
|YAMAHA ||13.47 SEC. |
The R6 builds a commanding advantage through long, sweeping turn 2, which is highlighted by a severe dip in the early part of the turn. The R6 powers through easily, and although the Suzuki has trouble in the first portion of the turn it ends up faster than the Yamaha past the midpoint. All five bikes have roughly equal speed through the high-speed right-left transition into turn 3, with the powerful Triumph gaining more speed on the short chute between the two turns. The R6 exits the section with a couple of tenths in hand over the Suzuki and Triumph and more over the other 600s, a significant advantage for so early in the lap.
|TURN 4 SEGMENT TIME AND MINIMUM SPEED |
|HONDA ||6.38 SEC., 61.4 MPH |
|KAWASAKI ||6.42 SEC., 58.8 MPH |
|SUZUKI ||6.32 SEC., 62.9 MPH |
|TRIUMPH ||6.38 SEC., 61.2 MPH |
|YAMAHA ||6.33 SEC., 63.2 MPH |
The apex of turn 4 crests the one hill on the course, placing a premium on front-end feedback and stability down the far side of the rise. While Kento gets a good run up the hill and carries significantly more speed on the Kawasaki, that is more than offset by a slower apex speed over the crest. It's practically a wash for time here between the five bikes, although the Suzuki, with its superb front-end feedback, edges the others by as much as a tenth of a second.
|TURN 6 ENTRANCE SPEED, SEGMENT TIMEAND EXIT SPEED |
|HONDA ||82.5 MPH, 10.12 SEC., 78.3 MPH |
|KAWASAKI ||80.6 MPH, 10.14 SEC., 77.7 MPH |
|SUZUKI ||82.1 MPH, 10.19 SEC., 77.6 MPH |
|TRIUMPH ||82.4 MPH, 10.15 SEC., 77.8 MPH |
|YAMAHA ||78.4 MPH, 9.97 SEC., 77.8 MPH |
Turn 6 is a slightly decreasing-radius sweeper and calls for trail-braking well into the turn to make time. The Yamaha is quickest through this section by another sizable chunk, with a speed through the first part of the turn visibly higher on the graph. However, the Honda is the quickest of the rest of the bikes and has a higher exit speed. On the straight leading up to this turn the Triumph gains a big speed advantage and carries that speed the farthest, a common theme on the track's few straights. The Suzuki's weight is evident under heavy braking, and the GSX-R loses a large chunk of time here.
|CHICANE SEGMENT TIME AND EXIT SPEED |
|HONDA ||7.23 SEC., 106.6 MPH |
|KAWASAKI ||7.19 SEC., 110.4 MPH |
|SUZUKI ||7.27 SEC., 107.3 MPH |
|TRIUMPH ||7.09 SEC., 110.2 MPH |
|YAMAHA ||7.19 SEC., 100.0 MPH |
This series of switchbacks rewards quick steering and good power, and the Triumph makes the most of its light weight, potent engine and short gearing to post the quickest segment time and claw back some of the R6's lead. The Kawasaki and Triumph carry a huge speed advantage through the final right-left transition leading onto the straight, but the 675's lighter weight shows in its quicker segment time.
|TURN 8 SEGMENT TIME |
|HONDA || 4.95 SEC. |
|KAWASAKI. || 4.95 SEC |
|SUZUKI ||4.90 SEC. |
|TRIUMPH ||4.87 SEC. |
|YAMAHA ||4.90 SEC. |
Turn 8 is a slightly cambered 90-degree left-hander that usually gives an overall picture of each bike's basic braking, turning and acceleration characteristics, as it is relatively smooth and simple. This is another corner in which the Triumph excels by matching late braking with high corner speed and a strong exit, and it helps that there are no bumps to unsettle the 675's rear suspension. The Suzuki and Yamaha are on equal time and a tick behind.