Ask MO Anything: And Why do the Euro Bikes come out smelling like a rose?

Greetings MO!

Once again, I commend your publication as being my primary source of all things two-wheeled. Keep up the excellent, objective journalism.

Now to my question: Looking at the latest round of superbikes (as an example, though it seems that this has been an issue for some time), it seems that the European manufacturers (generally) are able to get not only pretty excellent torque curves on the dyno with no major dips, they also seem to (again as a general rule) have better off/on throttle fueling than their Japanese counterparts. I understand that torque curves are determined by a huge variety of factors and I don’t want you to explain all that, but the off/on fueling of certain bikes (such as the current R1) has been repeatedly and widely criticized as being too snatchy, presumably due to lean fueling. I’ve heard both of these issues being explained as being due to having to meet emission regulations. However, the European bikes have to comply with these same regulations. So what gives? How are these differences really explained/justified by manufacturers and why are some better able to deal with emissions restrictions than others?  

Thanks so much for your time.

Kyle


Dear Kyle,

Thanks for the praise and for the question. The short answer is: We’re not sure. There are some questions the manufacturers are happy to answer. Questions about adherence to government rules doesn’t seem to be one of them. Sometimes you’ll hear hints that all the manufacturers are on the honor system, and that their motorcycles never actually get tested. Other OEMs tell us (off the record), oh yes, the tests are very real.

The EPA says it has “stringent emission standards for highway motorcycles that have been developed and refined for over 30 years. Motorcycles are regulated under section 202 of the Clean Air Act which calls for EPA to consider the need to achieve equivalent emission reductions from both motorcycles and other vehicles as much as possible.”

Read section 202 here if you’ve got a few days. Whatever the latest U.S. federal emissions guidelines are, all motorcycles sold in Europe are phasing in Euro-4 requirements as we speak, which are about as strict as California’s CARB emissions requirements – the strictest in the U.S. – in regard to reducing pollution, and this includes the evaporative emissions canisters seen on California bikes for several years.

Yoshimura Suzuki had like ten computer techs working on Rog Hayden's and Tony Elias's bikes at CoTA tire test, and they don't even have to pass EPA tests.

Yoshimura Suzuki had like ten computer techs working on Rog Hayden’s and Tony Elias’s bikes at CoTA tire test, and they don’t even have to pass EPA tests.

 

We learned a little about all this from MV Agusta’s Research and Development Director Brian Gillen a couple of years ago, when he talked about getting that company’s Rivale ready for prime time. Due to various legal requirements and fuel specs around the world, that bike needed 32 distinct fuel maps worked out before it was ready for worldwide release (and that was before Euro 4, which required the new Brutale emit 30% less pollution and 5 decibels less racket). ABS is the same deal, and now it’s mandatory in Europe: Each motorcycle’s ABS mapping is unique, and needs to be programmed to work with its center of gravity, weight distribution, and a host of other factors.”

And now there are lean-sensitive ABS and IMUs to deal with, too. Basically, there’s a whole lot of computer programming going on, and since you brought up on/off throttle snatchiness, it occurred to me that there were very few complaints about that on any of the seven bikes in our recent 2017 Superbike Street Shootout, or in the track portion of that same seven-bike slugfest – and a couple of MO’s test riders are hyper-sensitive to abrupt throttle response.

The R1 still came in for a bit of abuse in Mode A, as did the GSX-R’s Mode A, but throttle snatchiness wasn’t an issue when stepping down a mode, which still delivered the same peak power when fully pinned. The more time the OEMs have to perfect their bikes’ fueling and other computer-controlled systems, the better they seem to work. Lots of ride-by-wire bikes used to be jerky; now the roles seem to be reversed; the fluidity of the latest R-b-W bikes make throttle take-up on some of the old cable-controlled ones feel more pronounced.

At the end of the day, though, most bikes we get to test seem to run better than ever, even on 91 octane with 10% ethanol and ever-more stringent government regulations to make them greener and quieter.


Send your moto-related questions to AskMOAnything@motorcycle.com. If we can’t answer them, we’ll at least make you feel temporarily better by thinking you’re talking to somebody who knows what they’re talking about. Even if we don’t. It’s the thought that counts.

Recent Ask MOs:

Why are there no Ducatis at the Isle of Man?
Why Won’t My Motorcycle Engine Rev To Redline? 
Why Are My Brakes Still Mushy?

 

 

 

  • John B.

    Mountains of unreadable and unknowable regulations, and to what objectively verifiable outcome? I wish more companies were like VW, and used their intellectual talent to find ways to outmaneuver government bureaucrats. Power to the people, and to the rear wheel!!!

    • john phyyt

      My Early FZ 09 is flashed. The person who did it, has a day job as an engineer with VW Autos.. He can and probably will reply to this. !! How about it.
      Just specifically on snatchy throttle. One aspect worth noting is that Aprilia has bad fuel economy but good throttle. Yamaha ( FZ09) has brilliant fuel economy but. When you close throttle it cuts Gas 100% . When you re-open well. … After reflash economy suffered and probably emissions. But really great throttle now.

    • Ulysses Araujo

      Even if reducing pollution is reasonable (not CO2 emissions, a lost cause), I think the regulations entered an useless diminishing returns phase long ago. The added costs, raw materials and fuel spent carrying ever heavier exhaust systems have damaged the environment much more than slightly increases in polluting gases.

      • John B.

        Remember, for decades the government told us to eat a low fat high carb diet. That turned out to be wrong and gave us a diabetes epidemic. Similarly motorcycle emissions in the US and Europe have no detrimental effect on anything. But bureaucrats have to do their thing…..

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Most of these comments are based on gut feel instead of raw data, just like Mr. T.

        • Ulysses Araujo

          Yeah, and despite the alleged importance of the subject there’s barely any data about it (don’t believe me, search for yourself). Wonder why?

      • lennon2017

        These arguments are completely nulled by the reality of the paradigm shift to electric vehicles. (Range anxiety is going to be so quickly addressed and meanwhile marketed to with low-maintenance speak.) Torque fiends and cleaner water advocates rejoice. Mechanical whine is soon the new growl and roar. How cutely passé this “get your catalytic converters off my headers” defiance is. F-150s to Corollas have them and those things sell A TON every year. In a country which has never and likely will never treat motorcycles (and scooters) as main transportation vehicles and buy them in the kinds of numbers that’s really something, pipes will prove pointless in 25 years except for the way ’57 Chevys are upkept today. Befriend a Bolivian!

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Electric is coming but not so quick. F-150s and Corollas have electric assist but still have engines for longer range. Tesla and Leaf are the only true electrics. Leaf only has a 100 mile range. Tesla has a 265 mile range and then takes over an hour to charge at a Tesla Supercharging station. The only cure for this range limitation is energy density and instant charging. There are technologies on the horizon such as supercapacitors but it will take decades for them to become practical. Until then electrics will mostly be used for commuting and delivery services. On the supply side nuclear has been ruled out and coal is frowned upon so the only practical energy sources are natural gas, solar and wind. Are those going to be enough to power homes and businesses as well as 300,000,000 electric vehicles?

    • GreggJ

      VW got nailed for lying about and cheating regarding reducing pollution from their diesel engines. There actually are objectively verifiable outcomes regarding reducing pollution from diesel engines as the links below show: saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars. In 2004 in California alone, “The cost of these health impacts is $21.5 billion per year.”

      Here are some representative links:

      What the scientists said way back in 2004:
      http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/clean_vehicles/sick_of_soot_full_report.pdf

      If you don’t trust scientists, here is a link to the World Bank report that says the same things: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/04/29/cleaning-up-diesel-exhaust-improves-health-climate

      Don’t trust the scientists or the World Bank: Here is a report from a private company that says the same thing: http://www.meca.org/resources/meca_ufp_white_paper_0713_final.pdf

      • John B.

        I am a tort lawyer and have worked with and against science-related experts on tort cases for nearly 30 years.

        I assure you scientists know where their bread is buttered and you can find a scientist who will support almost any theory. Similarly, the world bank is in the tank for the climate change oligarchs. If you believe the nonsense you wrote, good for you. Lemmings gotta do what lemmings do. If you want the truth, follow the money. Climate change makes the political class rich.

        I didn’t say anything about diesel, you did. I stand by my assertion that in the west motorcycle emissions pose no verifiable threat. Nice try vastly broadening the subject to all pollution regulation. I wasn’t born yesterday, and I’ve seen all the charatan tricks.

        • GreggJ

          You said, “I wish more companies were like VW, and used their intellectual talent to find ways to outmaneuver government bureaucrats.” The VW case was about cheating on diesel. I was not referring to motorcycle emissions, I was referring to diesel emissions. I made no mention of climate change, and the links focus on diesel particulates and the harm they cause. You asked for “objectively verifiable outcome (s)” related to government regulations. I gave them to you.

          I apologize for offending your delicate sensibilities with facts. As a tort lawyer, you should know that the ad hominem attack is the cheapest form of argumentation, ergo:”scientists know where their bread is buttered; you can find a scientist who will support almost any theory; the world bank is in the tank for the climate change oligarchs; Lemmings gotta do what lemmings do; Climate change makes the political class rich; I’ve seen all the charlatan tricks.” Are you seriously trying to give lawyers a bad name? (pun intended, as was the admittedly cheap ad hominem attack 🙂

          • John B.

            I’m merely describing the reality I know from years of experience. I worked with and against electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, metallurgists, human factors specialists, and epidemiologists, among others, in tort cases related to major catastrophes.

            Tort litigation is a massively profitable cottage industry for these scientists, and fairly quickly they fall into certain camps in order to maintain their livelihood. That is to say, if you’re an expert who defends Yamaha in a product liability case, you may NOT at a later time work as an expert for a plaintiff with a product liability case against Yamaha.

            Experts generally work for (get retained by) plaintiffs or defendants, but not both. Moreover, they become advocates for the people who pay them, and will defend products they know are defective. (Did you miss all the litigation related to 3-wheel ATVs? Well-credentialed experts defended those products despite the obvious defects.) Same goes for many plaintiffs experts. They become known as the expert to hire if you have a case involving a certain product against a certain manufacturer and if they are good at it, they make a fortune. They become scientists bought and paid for. Scientists are human beings subject to all the foibles that haunt other human beings. They’re not beyond reproach.

            I contend the emissions from motorcycles ridden in Europe and the U.S. combined have no objectively verifiable effect on the environment that would lead to catastrophic climate change. If you know of a study to the contrary please share it. Of course, I reserve my right to look behind the study for any biases and/or undisclosed financial interests. Keep in mind the pollution from one Asian two-stroke scooter motor emits as much pollution as 30-50 U.S. automobiles.

            If you truly believe anthropogenic climate change will cause a catastrophe why do you ride motorcycles for pleasure?

            Finally, scientific inquiry is never closed except in the minds of lemmings who want to believe things.

            I wish I had gotten in on the climate change bonanza on the ground floor. It’s very lucrative.

          • john burns

            damn!

          • Sayyed Bashir

            The problem is that the real world is not black and white. 3-wheel ATVs had their good and bad points. The plaintiff’s experts focused on the bad point (easy to tip over) but ignored the good points, while the defendant’s experts focused on the good points (easy, fun and cheap to ride) and played down the safety issue. The plaintiff won but that doesn’t mean 3-wheel ATVs were bad, just like motorcycles are not bad but could one day be declared too dangerous by the government and we will all be forced to ride four wheelers surrounded by air bags.

          • John B.

            Come on Sayyed! These three wheelers caused many young riders to become paraplegics. In litigation cases, the manufacturer’s experts (scientists all), among other things, blamed the parents when they knew the product had a defective design. The manufacturers defended these products to the end of the Earth, and ultimately successfully opposed a government recall that would have eliminated the risk. Do you agree calling paraplegia a “bad point” is a gross understatement?

            Manufacturers and their hired-gun scientist experts also behaved deplorably in opposing child safety mechanisms on cigarette, and later utility, lighters. Young children regularly started fires with these lighters often seriously burning (and/or killing) themselves and their siblings. Among other nonsense, manufacturers said it was “not feasible” to economically add a child safety mechanism to these lighters even though they had internal information stating the cost would be trivial. Again, the manufacturers blamed the parents and fought the cases and CPSC rulemaking all the way. Experts made a bloody fortune on these cases.

            If you knew the whole story, you would feel differently. Especially, if any KTM or Harley motorcycles were harmed.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            That’s funny! But anyway, young people are killing themselves everyday on sport bikes but no one is calling their design defective. 3-wheel ATVs are not toys and kids should not be riding them, especially without training. All motorsports are inherently risky. I understand they were easy to tip over if you turned too sharply. We have trikes which will do the same thing except the wheelbase is much longer and they are heavier. I am not defending 3 wheel ATVs but just saying that there are many sides to a story and some people emphasize one side and others the other side. This is the basis of conflict (that’s where lawyers make money). Conflict resolution is where both parties come to a common understanding and take steps to mitigate the situation. I was not involved in the litigation and understand that some experts (especially in the climate change argument) may try to obfuscate the truth for monetary reasons. Real scientists and engineers discuss both the good and bad points and that’s why nobody calls them to testify.

          • John B.

            Respectfully Bashir, you are completely misguided with respect to the ATV litigation. I’m not going to write a treatise on product liability law for you, but I can assure you 3-wheel ATVs had design defects that caused cafestrophic injuries. Fortunately, you have Google and can find out the truth if you really want to know it. I doubt you do.

            Also, where are these highly principled experts you reference? Experts (scientists) hired to testify in large tort cases know what they are hired to do, and their inquiry is anything but an objective search for truth. I have spent decades working these cases, and have dealt with hundreds of experts. Yet, based on who knows what, you dispute what I have experienced. It’s as though you don’t want to know the truth.

            It’s so difficult to teach people anything. They believe what they want to believe. I have nothing more to offer you.

          • John B.
          • GreggJ

            Nasa currently has more than 18,000 employees (according to NASA), and god knows how many former ones. Your “evidence” disputing the irrefutible peer reviewed published evidence on climate change is to post a link to an opinion letter from 49 former NASA employees (none of whom have any background in climate science or have published anything in the field). Wow, I am so impressed.

          • John B.

            How many of the 18,000 NASA employees are in a position to send a letter that defies the NASA Director? Just last week, I was at the Johnson Space Center and every security guard I saw said they thought Climate change was BS. LOL!!!

            There is no such thing as “irrefutible [sic] evidence” in science. It doesn’t work that way except in the minds of people like you. I suppose back in the 1600s people like you thought Galileo’s theories about the universe were “irrefutible [sic],” but Albert Einstein surely did not, which enabled Einstein to make discoveries that refuted Galileo’s theories. Science is never settled.

            I could post a thousands articles that question Climate Science dogma, and it would make no difference to you. You don’t understand the first thing about science. “Irrefutible [sic] evidence!.” That’s dope!!!

            Oh, and how about some evidence that motorcycle emissions in the West (Europe, the U.S. etc.) cause any discernable harm at all; let alone precipitate a catastrophe.

            PS – You’r the first person this century to like a DickRuble comment. Congratulations! Great minds think alike; apparently, so do undisciplined ones. Pablum for dinner again?

          • GreggJ

            You asked, “How many of the 18,000 NASA employees are in a position to send a letter that defies the NASA Director?” It seems the answer is, all of them, at least according the NASA’s chief scientist at the time, Waleed Abdalanti. Here is the quote, “If the authors of this letter disagree with specific scientific conclusions made public by NASA scientists, we encourage them to join the debate in the scientific literature or public forums rather than restrict any discourse.” You provided further evidence of the NASA’s liberal policy on free speech by citing the learned opinions of the random security guards you surveyed at a launch facility “just last week.” Nice work!

            Einstein and Galileo? He called him”the father of modern physics—indeed of modern science altogether.” You write lengthy posts discrediting scientists, and then use a classic example of how science is superior to every other form of human inquiry (because it advances based on evidence!) to support your beliefs? Weird.

            You are correct, I should have used the term, overwhelming, instead of “irrefutable” regarding climate change. Though melting ice-caps and glaciers, record temperatures, rising ocean levels and temperatures, and their increased acidity due to absorption of Co2 is pretty damn compelling evidence. But, o.k., lets just say, maybe all this isn’t really happening. Happy now? And maybe the earth is supported by turtles, and maybe helmets really don’t save lives. Whatever.

            Regarding motorcycle emissions in 1st world countries and climate change, you and I have never disagreed on that point. As I have stated several times now, I was referring the health effects of the microscopic particles that diesel engines emit. Jeeze, how many times do I have to write that before you read it!

            Finally, I am o.k. with you attacking me personally, as I am not some conservative snowflake who melts into a rage at the first sign that someone disagrees with them and then falls fainting to the floor desperately trying to keep their dog eared copy of Ayn Rand from touching the ground! No sir, flail away at me if you must my friend, but please leave Dick Ruble out of it! That man has a sense of humor! Think how boring this place would be without his pithy, cogent, and often outrageous over the top comments to liven things up. Seriously.

        • Kyle

          While I agree that there are scientists out there that are pressured to find certain results by their funders, it is the case that those papers would not hold up well over time if the finding was not repeatable and reliable. This is often why we don’t look at just one paper, but rather many before drawing any conclusions.

          Let’s keep it civil, here; no need call names for stating an opinion.

          • John B.

            I simply refuse to consume pablum. Moreover, it’s a personal affront when people try to feed it to me. Whenever a person tries to BS you, they’re essentially saying they think they are so much smarter than you that they can sell you a bullshit story. Moreover, did you notice how GreggJ tried to change my original statements, and then refuted statements I never made. That’s called a straw man argument, which is a form of fallacious argument. Nice try…. not today.

            We know from the 2009 “Climategate” email scandal years ago, that so-called climate scientists purposely manipulated data and attempted to suppress climate change critics. Can you blame them? They would be out of a job if they determined anthropogenic climate change (global warming, whatever) posed no threat. Make no mistake, climate change and its related policies are big money.

            Climate change (i.e., the notion that anthropogenic climate change will cause a catastrophe) is an organized scheme to effect a massive wealth transfer from wealthy nations to poorer ones with the political class getting rich as the deal makers. The United Nations, World Bank, and other organizations are complicit in this scheme, and we cannot trust them to produce reliable scientific data and reports.

            If catastrophic anthropogenic climate change were real, what makes you think governments could solve it? Look what the government has done to address unaffordable health insurance and health care; they made it more unaffordable. Look at education; how are inner-city public schools doing? Has government made college more or less affordable? What has Chicago done to reduce gun violence? Has Los Angeles solved its traffic problems? No, government and politicians are feckless. Politicians don’t know how to do anything other than talk and raise money. As such, even if climate change presented a catastrophic threat, pols couldn’t solve it.

            In sum, if you want to keep things civil then do not distort my statements and don’t insult me with fairytales. Most important, save the intellectual pap for the lemmings; they eat it up, but it’s anathema to me.

            Finally, I never use eco-mode on my motorcycle. I love to burn fossil fuels. On one trip from California to Paris on his Gulfstream Jet, Al Gore consumes more fuel than I will consume in a lifetime riding a motorcycle. If Gore really believed climate change threatened humankind wouldn’t he find a more efficient way to travel?

          • DickRuble

            Here’s some advice, coming from a scientist with many years in neuroscience: 1) listen to your psychiatrist 2) take your Zyprexa 3) double the dose 4) avoid reading things you’re not intellectually equipped to understand.

          • John B.

            You’re prescribing antipsychotic drugs, giving medical advice, and rendering a diagnosis without a medical license, which is unethical and unlawful. Thank you for providing an excellent example of an unethical, reckless, and malevolent scientist. Have you thought about going into climate science?

            Do you realize ad hominem attacks are fallacious and have no persuasive value? How about responding to an argument’s substance for a change? You know, like educated people do.

          • john burns

            Damn. Oh, it says I can’t say damn again.

          • John B.

            Man, you should see me when I’m on the clock!

          • john burns

            Damn.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      And see how great it worked out for VW!

      • John B.

        VW deserve our praise for giving the bureaucrats the two fingers. They got caught and now they are over a barrel. Meh.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Everyone who tries to fool the system eventually gets caught. Toyota Recall ($5B). Triumph NHTSA fine ($2.9M). VW DieselGate scandal ($35B). Who gave the finger to who?

          • John B.

            Not everyone gets caught, and in many cases they make a fortune in the meantime.

    • JMDGT

      I agree. Whole heartedly.

    • Eric

      By power to the people, you mean a massive, international corporation, that like all corporations, places shareholder value over everything else? No thank you.

  • Kyle

    Thanks a lot, for the detailed response! Much obliged. Like it or not, emissions regs are something we all need to deal with for our environment and it’s good to hear that manufacturers are coming to terms with how to not let them impact performance significantly!

    • Ernie

      Not really any longer, emissions from personal vehicles in developed nations has gotten so far along that the regulations have exceed the speed with which tech can advance and still be profitable at least in diesel. Gas will shortly follow. To really make a difference in the environment moving forward trucking fleets and commercial industry further needs to be reeled in. The biggest contributors to emissions now though are china and india and if they don’t follow suit with emissions regs like we do in the western hemisphere it won’t matter what we do

      • John B.

        Precisely!

  • litedoc

    My contact at Honda says they wonder how in the world BMW and some of the other manufactures get past the noise/emission standards that seem to hobble some Honda models more than their competition. Wonder if it is cheating such as in the VW TDI models.

    • Born to Ride

      Ride behind a stock RSV4 or Tuono, then ride behind a stock Japanese liter bike and tell me they are following the same rules. The panigale is a loud sonovabitch too.

      • BDan75

        I was really surprised at how loud the current S1000RR is stock.

  • allworld

    I have never owned a Japanese bike, but the cable throttle of my Triumphs (2006 Sprint 1050 ST, and 2009 Street Triple 675 R) where very good.
    I have a 2016 MV, Brutale 800 RR and it is smooth, but just a little twist yields big results.
    Perhaps global standards would help all OEMs address these and other issues.

  • HazardtoMyself

    More and more auto manufacturers are now being investigated for emission defeating software.

    As motorcycles become more dependent on computers as well, I have been wondering if some of these manufacturers are also using software to beat the tests.

    I don’t really care either way. It does seem odd though that the euro bikes appear to have less of these issues, yet the Japanese bikes are historically considered more reliable…….

  • Alexander Pityuk

    I recently bought a used VFR1200F ’10. This bike’s throttle response was f*ng nuts! (btw, Kevin, where the hell did you mention that in your review? “A slight abruptness during throttle pick-up is a minor foible” is how you call that?..). That is why I dove deep into this question, so let me explain.
    My bike has one of the earliest TbW systems + it is restricted in 1st and 2d gears. This makes the problem particularly pronounced.
    Look at the graph below. This is 2d gear. Same thing with the 1st.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/37e0c1881fd6ea68409ebda52e9c5873f6f05128749d7341b4d6e5e94ca9a6eb.jpg
    Red lines show how bike comes from the factory, black – how it should be coming.
    The bike was literally unrideable and plainly dangerous in town. It surged like a mad arabian horse. Slow cornering had to be done only while trailbraking and covering the clutch.
    Bike has 7 different maps for each gear + N. So I partially cured the problem by fooling the ECU into thinking that the bike is always in 3d gear or higher. The difference was night and day.
    Now, why am I talking about restrictions? Because together with snatchy throttle it’s all about fuel mapping and emissions standards. All those terrible things are done under the sauce of “helping us tame the bike” and “saving the planet”.
    And the biggest enemy is so-called Fuel Cut in closed throttle conditions. Most modern FI vehicles do that to meet strict regulations. This makes reapplying the throttle very noticeable, in part because the intake manifold dries off, in part simply because the difference in amounts of fuel supplied is larger.
    How european bikes manage to better cope with this problem? There are gates which are opened to some. You know, diesel gates…

    • Kevin Duke

      My first ride review was from Japan and 97% of it was from a racetrack. When we had it in our hands here and compared it to a K1300, I wrote: “As for the VFR1200F, Honda’s first electronic throttle system has its own peccadilloes. Ridden at a moderate pace, it’s practically flawless. But when flogged, we noticed soggy throttle response below 5500 rpm. In the lower gears, it feels like it pulls from three-quarter throttle as strong as it does from just one-eighth throttle, as if the ride-by-wire system isn’t giving exactly what a rider is asking for. A minor occasional-but-not-consistent abruptness when reapplying the throttle can make for agitated nerves.”

      • Alexander Pityuk

        Okay, okay, fair enough. I’m just trolling you a little. Of course I’ve read all MO reviews. But what is “meh” for a seasoned moto-jourtanist is “wtf” for a noob like me 🙂
        And yes, it seems that US bikes have different (shit) map, I have US version too.
        P.S. Kudos to your professionalism. After riding this bike a few months I now understand what you meant after riding it just for a few hours! It does give you the same amount of power no matter how you open the throttle, because it’s the same restricted amount of power. And that can lead to a very… refreshing experience if one keeps the throttle WFO in 1st gear while it chokes and after a moment there come full beans…

    • Sayyed Bashir

      My 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250S has timing retarded in the lower gears. I installed a HealTech GIpro gear indicator with Advanced Timing Retard Eliminator. It makes the ECU think it is in 5th gear all the time and thus improves throttle response and acceleration in the lower gears. The bike runs great!

  • Don Silvernail

    A 30% reduction sounds like a big accomplishment but it’s only 30% of the last reduction amount, right? At what point do we arrive at a place where the cost of the next reduction outweighs the benefit of said reduction? I think this should be discussed and agreed upon before any more “reductions” are passed into law. The wonderful engineering that continuously allows us to pursue the last decimal place of emissions reduction is certainly not free (to say nothing of the greatly increased complexity of the machines). The law of diminishing returns should be considered or are we just buying time until they can perfect the electric motorcycle?

  • JMDGT

    I have two bikes that are ride by wire and one that is not. When I first started riding them the throttle response on the RBW bikes depending on what mode they were ridden in seemed abrupt or snatchy. I found it be more a function of my not having my hand in a proper position to keep the throttle stable without movement. Once I got used to positioning my hand properly the problem was solved. Since then they have been smooth as glass.

  • azicat

    Speaking from experience: the new Kawasakis have very good partial-throttle fuel delivery. Things were also very different during the 1990s as well, when the Euro fuel-injected bikes were just plain nasty. Anyone with a fuel-injected Ducati, MV, or Moto Guzzi from that era would agree. So many bad Weber Marelli ECUs with useless maps.