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New way to evaluate bike shootouts

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All shootouts I read are the new bikes in stock form.  But who knows a serious rider who leaves his bike stock?  A good rider does this suspension, exhaust, bar position and setup, tire selection, etc.

 

So to really evaluate a bike, take 5 professional test riders.  Each rider would setup up all five bikes for him: his choice of suspension, exhaust, bar and tire selection.. maybe even seat height. 

 

What do you think the results would be??  I'd bet the shootout would have extremely close results for all the Big Five.

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All shootouts I read are the new bikes in stock form.  But who knows a serious rider who leaves his bike stock?  A good rider does this suspension, exhaust, bar position and setup, tire selection, etc.

 

So to really evaluate a bike, take 5 professional test riders.  Each rider would setup up all five bikes for him: his choice of suspension, exhaust, bar and tire selection.. maybe even seat height. 

 

What do you think the results would be??  I'd bet the shootout would have extremely close results for all the Big Five.

Chaos.

 

For one thing, that means a loaner of 25 brand new bikes plus the costs of setting up and customizing 25 loaners. I agree with you in principle but, who is gonna go for that? Five different riders with 5 different set ups on each bike? This pipe with that link. That link, different pipe, those forks. Those forks another link and yet another pipe? Then, mapping?

 

Then, how would you, or I, decipher all of that?

 

Unless you are a SERIOUS race, pick your favorite color and enjoy. Change it as you see fit. They offer enough suggestions in the reviews to at least point you in the direction of the various strengths and shortcomings. 

Edited by Larry Gude
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Chaos.

 

For one thing, that means a loaner of 25 brand new bikes plus the costs of setting up and customizing 25 loaners. I agree with you in principle but, who is gonna go for that? Five different riders with 5 different set ups on each bike? This pipe with that link. That link, different pipe, those forks. Those forks another link and yet another pipe? Then, mapping?

 

Then, how would you, or I, decipher all of that?

 

Unless you are a SERIOUS race, pick your favorite color and enjoy. Change it as you see fit. They offer enough suggestions in the reviews to at least point you in the direction of the various strengths and shortcomings. 

 

Nah I think he's trying to make a point about the bikes needing tailoring to the rider, rather than one being "better" than the rest.

 

It actually supports what you say in the end. Buy the bike that you like or works the best to begin with and go from there. :thumbsup:

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Nah I think he's trying to make a point about the bikes needing tailoring to the rider, rather than one being "better" than the rest.

 

I

I may not have written very clearly because that is what I meant to be saying. It just seems to me that that would give the reader FAR too many variables. Heck, you'd need a test rider your height and weight and body shape AND skill level and THEN customize each of the bikes for THAT guy. I'm 6' 2", 260 novice but, I need a set up for a 150 pound 5' 10" racer because of my weight and I do ride fairly hard. My CRF250 (2010) I bought used set up for a 6' 2" 160 pound kid, C, maybe B racer, on a good day, suits me pretty good but a bone stock '14, exact same bike but, no suspension work or set up, feels vague as hell to me. HUGE difference in my view. Then, the good riders I ride with, they can't tell much of a difference, at all between the '10 and the '14. Freaks me out!!!   LOL

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Chaos.

 

For one thing, that means a loaner of 25 brand new bikes plus the costs of setting up and customizing 25 loaners. I agree with you in principle but, who is gonna go for that? Five different riders with 5 different set ups on each bike? This pipe with that link. That link, different pipe, those forks. Those forks another link and yet another pipe? Then, mapping?

 

Then, how would you, or I, decipher all of that?

 

Unless you are a SERIOUS race, pick your favorite color and enjoy. Change it as you see fit. They offer enough suggestions in the reviews to at least point you in the direction of the various strengths and shortcomings. 

 

Not necessarily, it would just require the time and money to setup the five bikes separately for each rider.  The time is the biggest factor, having suspension revalved for every tester?

 

But the track is an apple, these stock bikes being tested are oranges.  It's hard to really evaluate the bikes when good riders don't even ride a stock bike.

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Not necessarily, it would just require the time and money to setup the five bikes separately for each rider.  The time is the biggest factor, having suspension revalved for every tester?

 

But the track is an apple, these stock bikes being tested are oranges.  It's hard to really evaluate the bikes when good riders don't even ride a stock bike.

And who is gonna pay for that? Honda isn't gonna be real happy to have the magazine or some vendor basically say "Their forks are trash. Use ours." Then what of another fork vendor? Or some shop that does magic with Honda's stock forks? Or prefers C's over B's and A's forks?

 

I mean, I hear you but, frankly, a bike shootout is NOT about THE best bike. It's about business and the various business models of the manufacturers, the aftermarket people and all that goes into some sort of harmony and profitablity for everyone. To me, if the shooutouts mattered, really mattered, why in the heck wouldn't Honda, just using them as an example, take the shootout from this year, the last 10 years, and specifically improve everything the testers say they should? Half the fun of the shootouts is reading about the testers complaining about the same shortcomings on X or Y (or YZ LOL) year after year.

 

I think it would be awesome if, as part of the purchase, you were provided a track day with a bunch of vendors to get YOUR bike right for YOU. I think we'd all agree, if nothing else, getting your bike set up for you is a very worthwhile difference from stock.

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All shootouts I read are the new bikes in stock form.  But who knows a serious rider who leaves his bike stock?  A good rider does this suspension, exhaust, bar position and setup, tire selection, etc.

 

So to really evaluate a bike, take 5 professional test riders.  Each rider would setup up all five bikes for him: his choice of suspension, exhaust, bar and tire selection.. maybe even seat height. 

 

What do you think the results would be??  I'd bet the shootout would have extremely close results for all the Big Five.

 

Virtually no modern motorcycle test is done in 'stock' form.

 

Typically, the test is accompanied by a Factory represenetative, who gets the 'best' out of the motorcycle, by adjusting fork oil height, jetting , mapping, tire combos, Sag, bars, and clicker settings.

 

This usually changes for every test rider, over the course of several weeks.

The tires, chains, sprockets, and usually suspension tuning, motor tweeking are all part of this evaluation process.

 

If the magazine finds a particular 'upgrade' that they feel is substantial, it will be in the next months issue.

 

The magazines don't tell you all that, because they are trying to evaluate the bikes on a level playing field: the field of proper set up for the RIDER and terrain.

 

It's been this way since 1971 (Dirt Bike #1)

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You need to look at what the shoot out really is.. A bunch of moto nuts, getting to ride and review the latest offerings while making money. Look at a boat mag, wood working mag, or moto mag.. It is all about promo for the sport, and factory. To test in somewhat stock form is the least they can do. Who is paying the bills? Surely not our $20 per year sub.. Think about it. Any aftermarket add on was promoted by the manufacturer to the editor.. Just like each bike was. The more promo the factories do the better there going to look.

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