|Racepak G2X Data Analysis
While we did use Buttonwillow Raceway Park for the track portion of our test, it was a completely new track for our testers as we utilized the full course, and in reverse direction. That makes comparing this data with previous tests difficult, but there are plenty of comparisons to be made between the Ducati and KTM. With just .3 second separating the two bikes over a two-minute-plus lap time, the 1198S pulls out a tiny overall advantage, but over the course of each bike's fastest lap there is more difference than that.
Buttonwillow Raceway Park...
Buttonwillow Raceway Park
Over the first three segments of the lap-leading up to Lost Hills-the KTM in fact pulls out a significant gap over the Ducati. Almost .5 second separates the two on the run up the hill, but the Ducati has negated that advantage by the time they are over the hill and into the Riverside turn. Through Riverside (segment 6) and the Bus Stop chicane (segment 7) the two bikes post almost identical segment times. The Grapevine (segment 8) is where the 1198S pulls out a small advantage, but from there the lap time difference is minimal.
With almost identical lap times and many of the segment times coming out equal, where does each bike have its advantage? In general, under acceleration the KTM gains time, while under deceleration the Ducati gains time. While the 1198S makes more torque and has a broader spread of power than the RC8R, the KTM makes more peak horsepower; on the racetrack, the Ducati's wide powerband is not much of a benefit for lap times. The RC8R also cards the highest maximum speed of 133.1 mph along the fastest straightaway, compared with 132.2 mph for the 1198S.
Under braking, and especially trail braking when the bike is leaned over, the 1198S shows a definite advantage compared with the RC8R, consistently pulling more braking G-force and more combined lateral and braking G-forces. Because Buttonwillow's full course is a flowing circuit with many trail-braking areas, the track plays to the Ducati's strengths in this case.
The long Sweeper turn (segment 3) generally gives a picture of a motorcycle's outright cornering capability, as the bike is leaned over on the edge of the tire for an extended period of time. Here, the KTM posted an 11.777-second segment time compared with the Ducati's 11.848-second time. And in the turn that we consider an overall judge of a motorcycle's handling-Sunset (section 1 on diagram)-the Ducati has a slightly quicker segment time, 6.437 seconds compared with 6.530 seconds for the KTM. In the objective terms of the Racepak G2X, there's not much between these two bikes at Buttonwillow.