Top 10 Outtakes From The 2015 Superbike Track Shootout
The stuff we couldn't fit in the story
By now, we trust you’ve had a chance to check out our 2015 Six-Way Superbike Track Shootout, in which we took the Aprilia RSV4 RF, BMW S1000RR, Ducati 1299 Panigale S, Honda CBR1000RR SP, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and Yamaha YZF-R1 – six of the fiercest stock superbikes available in dealerships now – and pitted them against each other at the world-famous Laguna Seca Raceway. There’s a lot that goes into a big test like this, both on and off the track, most of which never make it into the actual story. So for this Top 10, we bring you outtakes from our track test, revealing to you the lighter side of MO.
10. 33 is not amused with your antics, Evans
Ask most moto-journalists, and they’ll tell you the number one rule for the job is not to crash. Number two, however, is to look good on camera. It doesn’t really matter how fast you are, what matters is how fast you look. Here, Evans attempts to satisfy the second rule by playing it up for the camera with a nice wave. Instead, he doesn’t fully get his hand up in time for photog Dito Milian to get the snap. Also, rider 33 on the KTM RC8 is not amused. Check out those eyes of disapproval.
9. John Burns is rabid for Superbikes
John Burns, everybody, fresh from getting bit by a rabid BMW S1000RR he rode from his cushy SoCal home all the way to Laguna – less than 12 hours after landing at LAX from a press junket in Spain. Sometimes the moto-journo travel schedule can take its toll on the body, and after nearly 30 years of doing this, the effects are starting to show on our pal JB. And yes, this is his good side.
8. Sean Alexander likes donuts
MO’s editorial director, Sean Alexander, has a penchant for all things tasty. This generally refers to food-related items (just ask him about the meat sweats he gets when he orders the “I Heart Pork” at one of our favorite BBQ establishments), but when it comes to the wonderfully sticky Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC, Sean’s not afraid to throw that donut over his head and give it a try, too.
7. Which tire is it already?!
Joey Lombardo is one of the best in the business when it comes to turning a wrench and making a motorcycle go faster. The former Superbike mechanic now turns the spanners for Kawasaki, but he so graciously offered to help sling tires on and off for all the bikes. Why is he on the list? First, because he deserves a mention and a big MO thumbs up. Second, because he had to install and remove multiple rear tires after a certain editor (ahem, me) initially assigned the wrong tires to the wrong wheels. He did it gladly, cracking jokes the whole time (usually about me). Don’t worry, eventually the correct tires made it on the correct wheels.
6. I actually turned a wrench
How worried would you be knowing that I was the one responsible for properly installing the wheels and brakes on your BMW S1000RR? The correct answer is: very. Along with Lombardo slinging tires, Evans, Sean and I performed the wheel swaps on the bikes. Thankfully, all the riders, including myself, finished the test in one piece, and the BMW’s brakes worked flawlessly the entire test. As a side note, I implore you, BMW, never to use Torx bolts ever again. What’s wrong with using a hex bolt like everyone else?
5. Evans turned a wrench, too
This, ladies and gentlemen, is Evans Brasfield. The man responsible for churning out a number of how-to articles in the coming months. He looks trustworthy, right?
4. Redpath and his computer screen
Many people don’t want to admit what they’ve got on their computer screens at random times of the day. Chris Redpath of MotoGP Werks is not one of those people. The man responsible for dynoing all of our test bikes eats, sleeps and breathes motorcycles, and this is usually what you’ll find him looking at when he sits down at the computer. The man’s got such a vast wealth of experience tuning bikes, nowadays looking at dyno runs just helps him reaffirm what he’s feeling from the butt dyno as he’s making a pull.
3. That’s not gonna buff right out.
The hawkeyes among you who have seen the video component to our track shootout noticed something was a little off about the Aprilia when the six of us were standing and talking. “WHO BROKE APRILIA’S MIRROR!” asks TheHeartBrokenBiker on Youtube. Well, what happened is revealed in the opening photograph in my column Ambition vs. Talent. Basically, I was hit by another rider. The damage was largely cosmetic, fortunately, but there’s no question the Aprilia RSV4 RF, number 54 of 200 that are coming stateside, is a bit secondhand. So, if you see it one day pop up for sale, you either want to stay clear of it or, depending on the depth of your wallet and your wrenching abilities, try and negotiate a good price for it. And no, Evans, no amount of polishing is going to buff that out.
2. Burns keeping Chandler honest
In the aforementioned video component to our track shootout, you may remember Burns telling three-time AMA Superbike champion Doug Chandler that he could beat DC10 around Laguna on one of the six modern bikes if Chandler were on his superbike from 1996. Burns was kidding, of course, but maybe he drew inspiration from this picture, where JB (on the Kawasaki) is keeping Yamaha-mounted Chandler honest through turn 6. Then again, Burns finished his comment, saying “well, I’d be able to keep him in sight for a couple corners, at least.” That seems more appropriate here.
1. Evans tries the Rossi line
If you’ve never ridden at Laguna before, as was the case for “Fireball” Brasfield, the Corkscrew can catch you by surprise. It’s entry is blind, and the left turn leading in to it is sharper than many realize. Ever the racer though, Evans was constantly looking for the fast line through there and, inspired by none other than Valentino Rossi himself, created his own line through the Corkscrew. Unlike Rossi, however, the line clearly didn’t work. Worse yet, Evans was all alone on track. Valiant effort, EB, and thanks for running off in front of the cameraman!
Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.
More by Troy Siahaan