Racepak G2X Data Analysis
Buttonwillow Raceway Park
We strapped our Racepak system to the passenger seat of each bike while Kento was aboard and logged GPS speed for his fastest laps, shown here plotted against distance for the full lap. Buttonwillow's west loop is the same track we used for last year's literbike comparison test, and the segment times and speeds listed below are comparable to those recorded last year. While the data allows us to compare the bikes with each other objectively, it also permits comparisons between the new models and their predecessors for some interesting results.
|Lap Times |
|Honda ||1:06.45 |
|Kawasaki ||1:06.81 |
|Suzuki ||1:07.04 |
|Yamaha ||1:07.45 |
The field is spread across exactly one second this year, while last year the difference between the fastest (Suzuki GSX-R1000) and slowest (Honda CBR1000RR, not including the Ducati 1098) was half that-the Honda's 0.36 second advantage this year is significant and a big improvement over its performance last year. For reference, the Suzuki is within 0.1 seconds of the time it posted last year (although we used different control tires); the almost-unchanged Yamaha is approximately 0.5 seconds slower; the Kawasaki has improved by half a second and the Honda by almost a full second.
|Turn 2-3 segment time |
|Honda ||13.71 sec. |
|Kawasaki ||13.66 sec. |
|Suzuki ||13.85 sec. |
|Yamaha ||13.88 sec. |
The Honda and Kawasaki are a notch quicker than the Suzuki and Yamaha through this combination of fast bumpy turns, the Kawasaki thanks to its superior suspension and the Honda due to its quick transition into Kento's Corner. It helps the CBR that it has the highest peak speed along most of the straights; its weak top-end is more than offset by its steamy midrange and light weight, and the Honda in many cases pulls from the lowest apex speeds and past the other bikes to those peak straightaway speeds.
|Turn 4 segment time and minimum speed |
|Honda ||6.25 sec., 61.1 mph |
|Kawasaki ||6.31 sec., 66.4 mph |
|Suzuki ||6.32 sec., 62.4 mph |
|Yamaha ||6.34 sec., 62.5 mph |
Even though the Honda has the slowest apex speed over Andrew's Leap it stops quicker going up the hill and accelerates stronger down the other side for the quickest segment time. It's a wash for time between the others, although Kento carries a bit too much speed over the hill on the Kawasaki and loses time through the next segment. A missed shift or too much speed down the hills also cost the ZX-10R time on the next straight. The CBR is more than a quarter-second quicker than the old model through here, a huge gain for a single corner. While the Yamaha had a clear advantage here last year, the Honda and Kawasaki have made that up-and then some-with their updates.
|Turn 6 entrance speed, segment time and exit speed |
|Honda ||77.2 mph, 9.87 sec., 79.3 mph |
|Kawasaki ||76.0 mph, 9.68 sec., 79.0 mph |
|Suzuki ||77.75 mph, 10.01 sec., 80.7 mph |
|Yamaha ||77.3 mph, 10.00 sec., 78.1 mph |
In this long, looping right-hander, each bike trades segment time for exit speed based on its chassis and engine characteristics-generally entry and exit speeds vary wildly here while segment times are quite consistent. The Kawasaki gains a big chunk of time (and more than a quarter-second on its predecessor) but exits down on speed to the Suzuki and Honda, while the GSX-R has the slowest time along with the highest exit speed. Turn 6 dumps directly into the chicane section, another corner where the Honda is significantly faster than the '07 model with a further 0.3 seconds in hand.
|Chicane segment time and exit speed |
|Honda ||7.22 sec., 111.0 mph |
|Kawasaki ||7.38 sec., 107.9 mph |
|Suzuki ||7.21 sec., 109.4 mph |
|Yamaha ||7.24 sec., 110.3 mph |
In another section that plays time against exit speed, the Honda shows its superiority here with almost the quickest time and the fastest exit speed-a testament to its light weight and strong midrange. Surprisingly, the GSX-R makes it through quickest, while the Kawasaki is hampered by its midrange flat spot. The quick-steering Yamaha shows some spunk with a good time and fast exit speed, but it's not enough to offset the R1's losses elsewhere. The Honda carries its advantage down the long straight to the final corner.