Road and race 600 supersport bikes face-off
600cc sportsbikes rock. You know that, I know that, and just about anyone who's not been living in a cave for the last decade knows it too. And if you were fortunate enough to have had a few spare quid this year and chose to head down the 600cc route you would have been in the distinctly pleasant quandary of having to choose from the creamiest 600cc crop we've been treated to in a long time.
The new CBR600 blazed out of the blocks at the tail end of '02 with the sauciest looks Honda have mustered since the RC30 and screaming performance to match, while Kawasaki pulled their collective socks up at bleeding last and delivered to us the rabid new ZX-6. Triumph also came good, finally delivering a 600 capable of running with - and possibly beating - the Japanese class dominants after the false start that was the original TT600 and Yamaha's R6 was breathed on to keep it as fresh and exciting as ever while also taming its wayward front end.
Quite a bunch of bikes I think you'll agree, but how good are they really? I mean how would they fare against their finest racing counterparts? What I'm getting at is how wide is the gulf between the 600s in our showrooms, and the ones tearing up the British Championship week after week?
Reckoning this debate was one of national significance, and one which needed solving as quickly as possible I took it upon myself to assemble the finest British Supersport bikes and their roadgoing counterparts for the mother of all head-to-head tests at a sunny Donington Park.
Honda Racing brought down their all-conquering CBR600RR, the Valmoto crew came along with their drop-dead gorgeous flag-flying Triumph Daytona, MSS Kawasaki provided their green and glorious ZX-6RR, and Virgin Yamaha provided a couple of their well-abused R6 Cup bikes.
Stir a bundle of roadbikes into the mix alongside messrs Harris, Frost, Jones and co and we were all ready to rock and roll so get that cup of tea sorted, send the kids out to play, put your feet up and come with us on a journey into supersport wonderland. This could be a lot of fun...
Continue the Supersport Road versus Race
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