To win a WSB ti­tle or a BSB race or a Bri­tish ti­tle, a bike needs to be bril­liant. MCN’S testers say these ma­chines are way be­yond bril­liant

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test - By Michael Neeves & Adam Child MCN’S SE­NIOR ROAD TESTERS

We are in a very priv­i­leged po­si­tion; af­ter weeks of beg­ging phone calls to race teams and man­u­fac­tur­ers, they fi­nally gave in and al­lowed us to ride the hottest race bikes this side of Motogp. Some are price­less cham­pi­onship-win­ning bikes like Jonathan Rea’s ZX-10R, oth­ers rep­re­sent years of de­vel­op­ment and are the pin­na­cle of that model’s evo­lu­tion – for ex­am­ple Honda’s stun­ning BSB bike.

This win­dow into an­other world gives us the op­por­tu­nity to take a short glimpse at the hero­ics needed for their rid­ers to pi­lot them, and the ge­nius of the en­gi­neers who put the bikes to­gether. We can also use these cut­ting-edge ma­chines to pre­dict the fu­ture, to give us a glimpse of what we can ex­pect from next year’s road and race bikes – af­ter all, much of the de­vel­op­ment for our 2016 road bikes has come from these bikes’ an­ces­tors.

But no mat­ter how many race bikes we’ve tested over the years, it’s im­pos­si­ble to hide our nerves as a group of fac­tory me­chan­ics pre­pare their price­less bikes for our en­joy­ment. So many things run through your mind, mainly the need to re­frain from crash­ing. But as the en­gines are warmed and all the anx­ious eyes turn in your di­rec­tion, there’s no room to hide. The ten­sion in­creases as you throw a leg over the bike, but it all dis­ap­pears once you’re trundling down pit lane, and your fo­cus shifts to the task in hand.

The Honda BSB bike we’re rid­ing is the last of the line for this model Fire­blade, and the best it’s ever been. De­spite be­ing one of the old­est bikes on the grid, rid­ers Dan Lin­foot and Ja­son O’hal­lo­ran both se­cured show­down spots. Hutchy’s BMW S1000RR could be la­belled as the most suc­cess­ful race bike of the year, it’s never been beaten on the roads and was con­sis­tently on the podium in Bri­tish Su­per­stock – and all with a left foot change. The Bri­tish cham­pi­onship win­ning ZX-6R as rid­den by Tar­ran Macken­zie shows a glimpse of how good a 600 could be. And fi­nally there’s the WSB Kawasaki ZX-10R rid­den to glory for the sec­ond time by Jonathan Rea. The bike may have changed, but the re­sults haven’t.

‘It’s im­pos­si­ble to hide our nerves as fac­tory en­gi­neers pre­pare the bikes’

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