The basics of riding fast

Lighter and faster with every passing year, modern superbikes rock, but getting the best out of them without ending up in the undergrowth needs some serious skill. Here are the basics

Posted: 29 November 2010
by Warren Pole

We are truly blessed these days. Fair cop, world peace isn't exactly looking likely too soon and the planet's best brains are yet to find a cure for the common cold, rainforests are disappearing faster than Abi Titmusses' dignity and, if scientists are to be believed, the earth is set to become a gigantic fireball somewhere around teatime next Tuesday.

But leaving weighty issues like these behind let's turn our gaze back to the world of motorcycles which pack the firepower not only to see off any so-called 'supercar', but may even be capable of firing you beyond the

Earth's atmosphere if only you could find a ramp big enough. We've never had it so good. Take the new GSX-R1000, it being the most of the mostest right now. For £8800, you get a bike that weighs in at 166kg dry, packs 165 genuine back wheel bhp, can shred the quarter mile in 10.1 seconds and which will rip you to the dark side of 170mph in little longer than it's taken you to read this paragraph.

To put all this into perspective, Neil Hodgson's 2000 BSB title-winning superbike only had three more horsepower and was two kilos heavier. And it cost two hundred grand. Now that sort of performance is available to you and me for less than the price of a very crappy small car. That's what I call progress.

So now we literally do have superbikes on the road, it's time for a good long look at ourselves because chances are we ain't superbike riders, which can leave a yawning chasm between us and our bikes.

Sure the throttle works both ways, and yes these bikes are only as fast as you want them to be, but the simple fact is you can't ride bikes like these for a few weeks of the year and expect to be anywhere near the money on them. Kid yourself you can and you'll be a bonnet ornament before summer's out.

But making the most of your superbike on the road isn't so tough and once cracked, you'll find the rewards are enormous. So unless you really do have that HRC factory superbike deal tucked behind the breadbin, step this way for the fastest summer you've ever had.

Continue for the first lesson of fast

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Discuss this story

Thank you for this. I drive a 65ton B-Double truck often on narrow, winding roads barely wide enough to fit the rig in the lane at 100kph plus the added bonus of navigating city suicide drivers. Much of what you wrote is part of how I drive every day. However, as the owner of a ZX14R I found lots of handy little tips in here which I hadn't thought of. Learning to handle my machines awesome power will take time and the advice from this article has given me food for thought.

Posted: 12/11/2013 at 12:05

The tips are great and I can add the following....ride as regularly as you can and have some form of instruction, not just a trackday thrash. I do regular superbike school in Oz and It renforces good habits and help eliminate bad or developing bad habits. Noone is too old to learn more about their riding or how to improve it..john negus..terrigal australia (CAPO 1200 AND ZX12R)

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 14:07

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