Destroy Supercars

Ridiculously powerful, with unearthly levels of grip and braking ability, the modern supercar is a tough quarry. Here’s the lowdown

If you ride a sportsbike of 600cc or more, 95% of the time you rule the road. But occasionally you’ll come across a supercar whose driver is giving it the absolute billy-bollocks. Suddenly your GSX-R will have all the punch of a neutered mouse. So, on the basis that you have to know your enemy, here’s the inside angle on what a supercar driver is armed with, and how to thrash him dead should he choose to use it.

Straight-line domination

Acceleration is where bikes dominate. But launching a bike smartly is a skilful balancing act of throttle, clutch and body position. Sit on the bike with your weight forward, your left foot under the gearlever and at least 4000rpm dialled in. Before the lights change your want the clutch at the bite point, with the bike in first gear. Smoothly release the clutch, wind the throttle to full and keep your weight forward to stop the front wheel coming up. The idea is to get the clutch home and the engine on-song as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, the supercar next to you has far less to worry about. “If it’s a Bugatti Veyron, don’t even bother,” says Evo magazine’s Henry Catchpole. “It doesn’t matter how inept the driver is, with 1000bhp and four-wheel drive all he has to do is floor the accelerator: 0-60 in 2.5 seconds; 0-100 in 5.5 seconds and the quarter-mile in 10.2s.” Only a Suzuki Hayabusa can get close; 10.4s for the quarter-mile. “The chances of coming across a Veyron are slim, let alone a driver with the balls to thrash it,” admits Henry, “but be careful of the 600bhp Bentley Continental GT Speed. These are driven by footballers who will take you on and, with three tons of car next to you, they’re bloody scary. On the motorway a Lamorghini LP670-4 or GT2 Porsche 911 will be hard to touch; gobs of turbo power everywhere, and top speeds over 200mph.” The lesson here is choose your fights. At higher speeds a bike’s amazing power-toweight ratio becomes less advantageous.

Corner kings

So there you are, kicking the bejeezus out of a twisty A-road section, when you see a car in your mirrors. And it’s getting bigger. If it’s not a police car, you really need to have a word with yourself. Being hauled in by a car on a twisty road? Tsk. “The new Nissan GT-R is the corner king,” say Harry. “It’s got 475bhp, an automatic gearbox and, if you pitch into a corner way too fast, it just sorts itself out; incredible. By the time it does go wrong you’ve reversed the laws of physics.”

The battle plan

Supercars can corner quicker than bikes and brake much later, as anyone who’s been beaten up at the Nu¨rburgring by a rampaging Porsche will testify. What they can’t do is match bikes’ acceleration or their ability to penetrate traffic. Use these strengths to your advantage if there’s a motor giving you grief on your favourite A-road. On a bike you’re agile and able to gain and lose speed quickly and safely. If you know the road and you’re smooth, you’ll win.