Probably the strongest opponent, and one which on a certain level influenced the development of the 1000RR, is the Yamaha YZF-R1. Also improved for 2008, the light, powerful and packed with trickle-down MotoGP technology, the YZF-R1 is one of the most advanced Open-class production motorcycle ever built.
The systems that contribute to that are starting from the YCC fly-by-wire throttle system for flawless response under all conditions, inline four-cylinder engine with powerful, tractable R1 powerplant ever, thanks partially to the world’s first electronic variable-length intake funnel system and ending up at the six-piston radial-mount front brake calipers and 310mm discs generating the kind of braking power a bike like the R1 requires.
Right next to the Honda and Yamaha stands the Suzuki GSX-R1000, one of the most successful open-class motorcycles in the history of production-based racing even better by applying the latest technology and the most recent hard-fought racing experience. Suzuki’s task is keeping the GSX-R1000 well ahead of the competition.
For the 2008 Ninja ZX-10R, Kawasaki engineers aimed for an ideal superbike with engine and chassis performance capable of satisfying professional racers, combined with top-notch streetbike qualities for mainstream riders. It’s a delicate balance, but these aren’t your average engineers. They’ve been directly involved in the development of every 600 and 1000cc supersport machine since the 2003 Ninja ZX-6R, plus Kawasaki’s factory Superbike racing efforts, so they have the know-how to deliver the goods.