Road Test: 2004 Supersports Test - 1000'S

Take sixteen of the best sportsbikes in the world to a circuit for three days, put them on identical tyres, add thirteen journalists from ten different countries and you have the most comprehensive test ever.

Posted: 22 April 2008
by Jon Urry, James Whitham

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The Supertest began as an idea last year between Spanish magazines Solo Moto and el Periodico, Portuguese mag Motojornal, Italian magazine La Moto and Two Wheels Only. The idea of the test was to put all of the very best sportsbikes head-to-head on track in one huge, comprehensive test to find out which was the best according to several different criteria. In order to stop arguments, the bikes were all lap timed.

Now in its second year, the Supertest has become even more comprehensive. Every bike tested was supplied by the relevant manufacturer and came complete with a factory representative and technical support to ensure that it was performing to its absolute peak against the competition.

The original test team of just five magazines has expanded to include twelve publications from ten different countries all over the world. Riders involved include world class racers such as James Whitham and Olivier Jacque, national champions, race school instructors and journalists whose job it is to ride and rate every new bike launched each year.

For the 2004 Supertest, the bikes were taken to the challenging Almeria circuit in Spain, used by all of the British Superbike teams for testing, as it has a perfect combination of tight and twisty sections as well as a very fast straight to test all of a bike's performance. It's also one of the driest areas of Spain, so conditions are consistent for all three days.

Every bike was fitted with Michelin's brand new Pilot Power tyre to take out the inconsistency of varying
original equipment tyres, and to give the riders the grip required to push the bikes hard enough to really sort out the winners from the losers.

The bikes were split into two categories - 1000s and 600s - and every rider filled in a form rating each bike in order, from best to worst, on five different criteria:

  • Motor - how well the engine performed
  • Comfort - how comfortable the bike was
  • Chassis - how the bike handled
  • Price - the cheapest bike in each country got the top score, the most expensive the worst
  • Equipment - what you get for your money, e.g. Öhlins suspension, lap timer, rev light etc.

The results were then put together and a 1000 winner decided - find out who tops the lists here...

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