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R1 vs 911

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 13, 2004
I came across a post on the Hayabusa.org site regarding a video showing a race on a track between a stock R1 and a non-turbo'd Porsche 911. I was unable to pull this up to view, but according to the report of the video the R1 was able to beat the 911 on the straights but not on the corners. I guess I have always believed in the superiority of the sportbike to the sportscar, but this made me wonder and consider a couple of possibilities...

The bike only has 2 contact points vs the car's 4 contact points. This would seem to allow greater lateral G's as the car has more points of friction and can slide sideways without a loss of balance like a bike might have when pushed beyond the limits of traction. I would also think there would be a greater margin of error on the side of the 911 since the vehicle can slide a little sideways before losing enough traction to spin out. A bike may be able to slide sideways a little but I think the margin before loss of total traction (and becoming a puck) would be very small and like being on the razor's edge before letting go. On the other hand, a bike's center of gravity in a turn is further inside that a car's, which I would believe to be an advantage in controlling total traction needed.

I've never been on a track, so I can't speak from experience on any of this-it's only a possible theory to explain the stated results from the video (true or not). I would be interested in knowing our limitations in lateral G's compared to sportscar (sportbike vs 911), and if this scenario would really play out this way. Can any of you track guys (Sean?), or anyone with a background in physics (Martin?) answer this? I would like to believe it's not true, but.....
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Motorcycle.com Staff
Motorcycle.com Staff

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